Famous yoga and meditation ashrams in India

Best India specific yoga and meditation ashrams. The article is an overview of a few yoga and meditation ashrams in India that offers yoga, meditation and related wellness practices  in amicable and harmonious surroundings.

All of these ashrams offer a chance to go deeper into spiritual practice away from the distractions of outside world. Most of the yoga and meditation ashrams listed here provides proper accommodation with comfortable food facilities.

This is just an indicative list and is based on a feedback from the valued readers. Feel free to contact me, if you feel I have missed out on any of the best and upcoming centres and ashrams that should be on the list, I will make the necessary changes…

1. Osho Ashram | Pune, Maharashtra

Osho Ashram Pune: The main aim of Osho Ashram Pune is to combine self-understanding with awareness techniques, to bring about quick and intense changes. Way ahead of his time, Osho was India’s most controversial spiritual leader, misunderstood because of his views on varied subjects including Sex.

The Ashram having shed its mysterious image, the luxurious Ashram is like any other ashram that helps time and space for people to work towards gaining inner tranquility and to explore themselves. Most of the courses offered here are directed towards healing from traumatic past experiences and inner development.

Some of the Courses offered: Huge ranges of multi-diversity courses are offered including Tantra, Zen, Sufism, Meditative therapies, Esoteric sciences, Creative arts etc.

To know more: www.osho.com

2. The Art of living Ashram | Bangalore, Karnataka

Art of Living Bangalore: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar founded this ashram, in1981. It is famous across the world for its stress-elimination and self-development programs, which are based mainly on breathing techniques (pranayama), yoga postures and meditation.

Art of Living is a voluntary organization and besides imparting education on yoga, it also undertakes various initiatives aimed at women empowerment, uplifting humanity and improving quality of human life.

Art of Living Ashram offers a perfect place for people from all religious backgrounds, beliefs, and cultural traditions.

Some of the Courses offered: Art of living I and II, Art of living Yoga, Meditation, Happiness program, Corporate programs and workshops, Employee rejuvenation program, Vedic Math and Youth training courses.

To know more: www.artofliving.org

3. Isha Foundation Ashram | Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

Isha foundation Coimbatore, founded by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudeva in 1992, is a non-profit organization. The ashram is located on 150 acres of lush green foothills of the Vellangiri Mountains near Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Isha foundation is a human service organization, which recognizes the capacity of each person to empower another.

The foundation activity of the ashram is a customized system of yoga called Isha yoga, which is a combination of ancient yoga with modern methodology, aiming at physical, mental and psychological wellbeing.

Besides yoga, it also implements various large-scale projects like: Action for rural rejuvenation, Project green hands, Isha vidhya among others.

A few Courses offered: One/two week’s program on Inner engineering and Isha yoga. Other courses offered are Yoga for children, advanced Meditation programs, sacred treks and Mind and Body retreats.

To know more: www.ishayoga.org

 4. Sathya Sai Organization | Anantpur, Andhra Pradesh

Sathya Sai Ashram Anantpur: The main objective of this Ashram is to help people to recognize the divinity in them.

The spiritual leaders teachings encourage a focus on God while leading a moral and righteous life.

People coming to the ashram are healed by an “incarnation of god”.

Prasanthi Nilayam, the abode of supreme peace is the ashram of Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, located in the anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh in south India.

A few Courses offered: There is a daily program of Vedic chanting, Bhajans (devotional songs), Spiritual talks, Aarti and Disccusions.

To know more: www.sathyasai.org

5. The Sri Ramana Maharshi Ashram | Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu

Sri Ramana Maharishi Ashram Tiruvannamalai: Home of the Great and revered Sage Ramana Maharishi, this ashram is located at the foothills of the sacred mountain Arunachala in Tiruvannamalai (Tamil Nadu).

One of the most sacred and revered ashrams in India, this ashram has everything that a spiritual seeker needs.

The main motive of this ashram is self-inquiry as a path to liberation. Everyday devotees gather at the ashram to Meditate, pray and chant holy Mantras. Although Sri Maharshi attained Maha Samadhi in 1950, people from all over the world still came here to be transformed by his silent presence.

It is recommended to walk around Mt. Arunanchala at least once during your stay at the ashram, preferably during the full moon day. Book a room at least 3 months in advance, if you wish to stay at the ashram.

A few Courses offered: Ashram offers activities like Meditation, Worship, Vedic chanting and Group readings and discussions.

To know more: www.sriramanamaharshi.org

6. Mata Amritanandamayi Ashram | Amritapuri, Kerala

Mata Amritanandamayi Math Kollam: At this ashram you are not only going to meet the popular guru of India “AMMA”, fondly known as hugging mother, the mother of all, but also receives her “Darshan”, a loving hug that is reported to change people’s life.

Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi focuses on overcoming the lack of love and compassion in the world. Residents of ashram have dedicated their lives in helping humanity.

People around the world are welcome in the ashram to come and stay, and take part in ashram’s daily activities. We recommend pre-checking and registering in advance owing to a very busy schedule of Amma.

Darshans (audiences) are held with Amma at 10 am on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday

A few Courses offered: Integrated Amrita Meditation technique (20 minute of yoga, pranayama and meditation). Other activities like morning and evening meditation; prayers and service are all integral part of everyday program.

To know more: www.amritapuri.org/ashram

7. Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram | Neyyar Dam, Kerala

Founded by Swami Visnudevananda, Sivananda Vedanta Ashram Neyyer Dam is one of the most popular ashram in India to understand the Indian way of living. This Ashram offers the ancient Indian lifestyle with an integral approach to yoga including Raja yoga, Bhakti yoga, Karma yoga and Jnana yoga.

Sivananda Ashram offers a yoga vacation program for people staying in ashram for at least three days and wishes to adhere to the daily schedule of yoga and bhakti. Yoga teacher training courses for one month is also offered at the ashram.

Ashrams are located in different locations in India and also worldwide.

A few Courses offered: Ashrams offer a wide range of courses on Yoga and related topics. Two intensive hatha yoga classes per day are scheduled everyday. Ayurveda wellness course, the practical ayurveda cooking workshop, fasting and detoxification program are integral part of courses offered at the ashram.

To know more: www.sivananda.org/neyyardam

8. Parmarth Niketan Ashram | Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Parmarth Niketan Ashram Rishikesh is the largest ashram in Rishikesh and provides a clean, poise and pure atmosphere to the thousands of devotees coming from all corners of the world.

It is open to all visitors with no discrimination o the basis of caste, religious beliefs, upbringing and nationality.

Frequent camps on intensive courses on yoga, meditation, pranayama, stress management, acupressure and other ancient yogic practices are conducted regularly.

Parmarth Niketan Ashram also conducts one of the biggest Yoga festival called International Yoga Festival every year in the month of March.

A few Courses offered: Daily practice of Vinayasa Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Yoga Nidra remains the integral part of the course. Activities like morning universal prayers, Meditation classes, daily lectures and discussions, world-renowned Ganga aarti at sunset are attended by hundreds of devotees’ everyday. Nature cure and Ayurveda treatment and training are also part of daily activities.

To know more: www.parmarth.com

9. Bihar School of Yoga | Rikhia, Jharkhand

Founded by Satyananda Saraswati in Bihar in 1963, Bihar School of Yoga, Rikhia has a relatable look at the Purist and traditional Yoga.

If you are looking for a more intense, challenging and transformative experience then this is a place where you can indulge in a four months yogic studies course.

Any one, from a beginner to an advanced yogi can join and gain benefit from the courses offered in the ashram. It teaches yoga from Vedanta, Upanishads, tantric and other ancient philosophies including Yoga.

A few Courses offered: Bihar School of Yoga teaches a comprehensive Yoga philosophy teachers training course. Two main courses offered are (1) Yogic studies 4 months (2) Yogic lifestyle and science 3 months.

To know more: www.rikhiapeeth.in

10. Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya | Mt Abu, Rajasthan

Brahma Kumari Ashram Mount Abu: It is a unique spiritual and value based educational institution. The vidyalaya and the institutions created by it, aims at establishing a value based society.

It focuses on human potential development with bringing harmony in human relationships.

It also educates people to change their attitudes and outlook in promoting the spirit of brotherhood, love and co-operation

This institution welcomes all people irrespective of their caste, creed, age, background, religion and nationality.

A few Courses offered: Many courses are offered at the center from time to time some examples of courses offered are: Stress free living, Self development leadership, Time and task management, Building interpersonal relationship, Rajyoga meditation, Overcoming anger and ego

To know more: www.brahmakumaris.org

The article is an overview of top 10 popular Yoga Meditation Ashrams in India where thousands of tourists across the world come to experience peace and tranquility through Yoga and Meditation. Please do your due diligence before enrolling into any of the programs/retreats and centers.

A writers note: I get emails inquiring about the safety, comforts and legitimacy of some of the ashrams in India. I also get a whole lot of emails inquiring about “what are the affordable and peaceful retreats”, “how to join an ashram”, “I want to live in an ashram”, “how can I join ashrams without money?”, “which are the peaceful ashrams in India?”… The list of these enquires is increasing everyday.

I always suggest to these seekers to do the due dilligence and contact the respective ashrams directly and/or read the experiences/blogs posted by people who have already found answers to these queries.

Needless to say, you can always write to me, I will try and give you an honest and unbiased feedback, based on my experience. All the Best!

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