For centuries, travellers have always turned to India for their share of self-discovery and spiritual wisdom. Be it meditation, yoga or even ancient practices that promise to rejuvenate your mind and soul, India has redefined the concept of spiritual travel. There are a number of places in India that can help you as you go on a journey of inner peace.
10 destinations for a spiritual retreat in India:
1. Yoga Vidya, Karnataka
The programmes vary based on the level of experience the participants have with yoga and consist of a beginner and advanced level. The beginner level consists of a two week long Yoga Immersion Retreat where participants are taught the theory of yoga as well as given detailed instructions and demonstrations.
It provides a spiritual background to the practise of yoga that can help the participants with their spiritual experience. They also teach the basics of Ayurveda and Patanjali Yoga sutras.
There is also an intensive advanced programme that is for experienced individuals. Although the advanced programme is currently discontinued, it might resume in the coming year. Yoga Vidya also has a meditation retreat that combines yoga with art and its one among the top spiritual retreats in India.
2. Lotus of the Desert Retreat, Rajasthan
This particular retreat is conducted only for women and focuses on feminine divinity in each of them. Travelling through the state of Rajasthan, the retreat focuses on the inner journey of each of the participants as they experience the colour and vibrant beauty of the state.
It provides everyone a chance to experience the peaceful nature of a yoga retreat as you meditate and practise yoga in the sacred city of Pushkar,Ajmer.
Other activities include hiking to temples on top of the mountains during sunrise and sunset. The retreat also lets participants visit some of the most spiritual places in Rajasthan.
The retreat also includes exploring the beautiful cities as they make their way through them which includes the city of Jodhpur. It also provides the opportunity to go on a camel safari in the Jaisalmer desert experiencing the beauty of the desert landscape. The beauty and spiritual aspects of the city of Delhi are also explored and experienced.
3. Tushita Meditation Centre, Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
Located in Northern India in the hills, the centre is known for the study and practice of Buddhism. Although not a retreat in the traditional sense, the centre offers an excellent environment to learn and practise the teachings of Buddhism.
The centre offers 10 day introductory courses in Buddhism. The centre also has personal retreats for experienced individuals that focuses highly on discipline and meditation in silence.
This ‘Silent retreat’ is a rare opportunity to be completely cut off from the outside world and focus solely on the task of meditation that can help participants discover the inner self.
4. Satvik Sadan, Bhimtal, Uttarakhand
Popular as a Vedic wellness retreat, Satvik Sadan is a yoga retreat that focuses on the power of yoga. Apart from teaching the participants about the power of Ayurveda in daily living, it also seeks to give lifestyle management counselling so as to impart the principle objectives in life that helps bring balance to one’s living.
The retreat also offers Ayurvedic massages for an invigorating experience. Located close to the Kumaon region which is believed to be the birthplace of Yoga, this is one of those spiritual retreats in India which seeks to impart the wisdom of the ancient practice of Yoga not just through postures but by setting participants off on a spiritual travel.
5. Chakra Activation and Balancing Retreat, Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Chakras are believed to be energy centres in the body where positive energy flows in and negative energy flows out. Ensuring that they are open can result in the release of negative energy from the body and can create harmony and balance in the mind and soul.
Having said that, this is one of the few spiritual retreats in India that organises a seven-day retreat at their Manali centre that will educate you on the aspects of each chakra and help you strengthen those chakras that are weak and calm those that are hyperactive which will result in a balanced life.
The programme also ensures that you have a rich spiritual experience and a lot of time for personal reflection. The programme which includes Yogic breathing and meditation also has a separate five-day advanced session.
6. Blue Mango Retreats, Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
The Blue Mango Retreats in the beautiful Lahaul-Spiti is the world’s highest meditation and spiritual retreat. This is one of the types of spiritual retreats in India which is especially suited for those who seek solitude and peace among the Himalayas. Apart from the beautiful scenery, the area is known for its Buddhist culture.
One of the few places where participants can experience peace and tranquillity, the Blue Mango retreat offers a six day spiritual and meditation retreat that promises to rejuvenate your mind and offers lessons on ways to tackle one’s life in a better way.The program also offers the chance to experience the local culture and also interact and learn from the locals.
The retreat promises to take you on a spiritual travel that will help in emotional and mental healing, deepen your spiritual understanding and strengthen your spiritual development.
The retreat offers the flexibility of either a group retreat or an individual retreat. An individual retreat may be more beneficial as the participant can customise his retreat and can receive focused attention.
8. Yoga Ashram, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
One of the well-known yoga retreats in India Yoga Ashram Rishikesh provides a number of yoga retreats as well as a variety of wellness packages that are aimed at revitalising the soul. Apart from a large number of spiritual treks, the centre also offers a number of spiritual retreats. It has a comprehensive Yoga travel programme that takes the participant through a number of spiritual retreats in India.
It also includes a tailor-made retreat where participants can customise a retreat to suit their individual needs. It also provides a yoga and spa retreat in addition to a body rebalancing retreat that focuses on those individuals that need to reinvigorate a tired body, mind and soul.
Their ‘Ayurvedic Indian’ retreat offers a complete detoxification for a healthy body and a clear mind. For those individuals who haven’t yet experienced the healing powers of Yoga, it includes a foundation course where they can experience and also learn about the benefits and origins of yoga.
The centre boasts of a variety of places where the participants can experience their yoga retreat that include the beaches of Goa and the Western Ghats.
9. Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Centre, Kerala and Karnataka
Located in both Mysore in Karnataka and Varkala in Kerala, the centre has a variety of spiritual retreat programmes that aid in the spiritual development of the participants.
Apart from having a Yoga retreat taught by experienced instructors, the centre also features a number of meditation classes that can help the participants in their spiritual travels. The centre conducts yoga retreats on the beaches of Varkala that will help the participants focus on their inner self.
As a meditation retreat the centre also offers Osho’s meditation classes that offer different kinds of Osho’s meditations. The centre also includes a three-week intensive course on Pranayama that is based on the power of breathing and focuses on controlling of the breathing as a means of calming the agitated mind and body.
It teaches the different forms of breathing that allow the individual to purify and revitalise his body and thus enhancing his mental energy.
10. Shreyas Retreat, Bangalore, Karnataka
This is another one of the popular spiritual retreats in India that offers its participants Ashtanga Yoga sessions which are normally for experienced practitioners that focus on a series of postures moving in a certain flow. Breathing is focused on as a way of facilitating the removal of toxins.
The centre also offers Hatha Yoga which aims to purify and harmonise the body by using it as an instrument to master the mind and hence attain higher levels of consciousness.
The centre provides spiritual meditation retreats that aims to create a balance in mind, body and spirit through Yoga. The centre also gives silent retreats that are a way of calming the mind and re-prioritising one’s life goals.
For those looking to relax, the centre offers a number of Ayurveda massages that can help to remove the negative energy that has been accumulated over time using a several techniques including Shirodhara Ayurveda massage that involves pouring a continuous stream of warm oil on the forehead and also Choorna Pinda Sweda Massage that consists of using herbs to massage the body that have the effect of calming the muscles.