Meditation is a branch of rather a wing of yoga that people have been talking about for centuries. In simple terms, meditation is a process to achieve a state where the mind attains inner peace without getting overwhelmed or distracted by the surroundings. The meditation science of yoga dates to almost 500 BC during the time of Lord Buddha when he sat under the Bodhi tree in meditation for the purpose of attaining enlightenment. Every year, hundreds of yogis (both aspiring and practiced) and spiritualists come to India to study the art of meditation, the route to attaining high power within the body and mind. Whether you come to learn yoga in India or undergo Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh or go with Hatha Yoga Teacher Training in Kerala, meditation is one of the core subjects of these programs.
Here are some of the most popular destinations where you can learn and practice yoga or meditation in India.
Mcleod Ganj Dharamshala
At a height of almost 2004 m above sea level, lies a small town called McLeod Ganj. This town is located in Dharamshala and has been a center of spiritual experiences attracting monks from across the globe. More importantly, this is also the place where thousands of people from Tibet took refuge as they had to flee the country during the Chinese invasion. The monasteries are led by the eminent Dalai Lama. The meditation centers here are focused on offering a wide range of retreats that the yogis and spiritualists can pick from depending upon their needs and their duration of stay. Most of these retreats advise against the use of any tech-enabled device for a distraction-free experience.
Dhamma Bodhi, Bodh Gaya
Bodh Gaya lies in Bihar, a northern state in India. The place is famous in history as this is the place where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment, the ultimate aim of meditative practices. Hence, the name ‘Bodh Gaya’. You can visit the meditation and yoga retreat centers here like Dhamma Bodhi which is a retreat center for Vipassana Meditation practiced under the guidance of S.N. Goenka. Usually, the retreats here are 8-10 days long. You can pay a visit to the Maha Bodhi Temple while you are here as this temple has the Bodhi Tree, the very tree which is believed to be the one where Lord Buddha meditated.
Rishikesh is the yoga capital of the globe situated in the lap of the Himalayas and by the banks of the holy river Ganges. The place is lined with the best yoga schools and ashrams that offer various kinds of yoga and meditation retreats and training programs. Two such places here are Yoga Vidya School and the Parmarth Niketan. Both places are known for offering spiritually and physically invigorating yoga programs that are globally accredited as well. Learn from professional yoga gurus and India yoga masters while you practice the art in the embrace of the Himalayas. Do pay a visit to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram as well, popularly known as the Beatles Ashram as this is the place where the band came over to study transcendental meditation under the guidance of spiritual guru Shri Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Rishikesh has been the hub of celebrity visits for the purpose of yoga and meditation retreats and courses ever since. If you are looking to practice and study various aspects of yoga and meditation on a deeper note, then go with a 100 hour Yoga TTC in Rishikesh or better yet, enroll in the best 200 hour Yoga TTC in Rishikesh. A yoga TTC in Kerala, India is full of intensive immersions in the various disciplines of yoga which includes different types of meditation practices.
Visit Pondicherry for an artistic immersion into the art of yoga and meditation. The place is popular among travelers looking to vacation in a secluded yet beautiful place. Pondicherry is also popular among spiritualists and yogis owing to the presence of various yoga and meditation centers here. You can visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram for a 15-day long retreat. Do visit Promenade Beach if the quiet beauty of a beach invokes inner peace in you.
Welcome to the embrace of the Himalayas, the place where it all began, the home to Adi Yogi, Lord Shiva, the first yogi on the planet. Meditate and practice yoga in the quiet yet soul-stirring presence of the Himalayas. You can visit the Ananda Yoga and Meditation Retreat Center famed for taking its guests and students through positively transformative experiences by the way of Ayurveda and Yoga therapies. Find your inner light here.
Goa is popular as the party destination of India which hosts some of the best beach parties in the country. What you might not know is that Goa also has some of the best meditation and yoga retreat centers and schools. Some of the best yoga schools here are set amidst the lush greenery of the forests while some are located by the beaches thereby offering a mix of enriching experiences. Stay in eco-friendly accommodations such as tree houses, stone lodges, etc, and treat yourself to the best spa treatments along with yoga and meditation practices while you are here.
Other than these places, you can also plan a visit to Kerala, the Ayurveda capital of India known for its exotic green landscapes and some of the best Yoga and Ayurveda schools of India.