The ancient science of yoga has been practiced in India for thousands of years. It’s well researched and acknowledged as bringing happiness, health, and peace of mind to those who practice it.
During the past 100 years, yoga has been recognized and welcomed in the West, and become important as a fitness regimen.
But yoga is not merely a physical exercise.
Yoga practitioners know that slow, measured breathing, mindful meditation, and focused body movements improve the quality of their lives on all levels: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
Experience the Best Yoga India Has to Offer
Imagine waking up every morning at sunrise and welcoming the sun in the shadow of the mighty Himalaya Mountains. You’ll improve in strength and flexibility as you learn the proper techniques from authentic Yogi masters when you participate in a yoga adventure with organizations such as Frontier, Love Volunteers, or other organizations. Your body will become stronger as you gently contort it to achieve new poses while participating in some of the best yoga India has to offer.
You’ll also learn the importance of yoga breathing, known as pranayama, which is consciously observing your breathing as you inhale and exhale. Pranayama changes the pattern of your breathing and focuses your mind. Your thoughts will become more clear and focused, and your attention span will increase.
You’ll also learn about Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest medical systems and that’s still used in India’s traditional health care systems. The term “Ayurveda” are the Sanskrit words “ayur” (life) and “veda” (science or knowledge). This ancient concept uses herbal compounds, special diets, and other unique practices to improve health.
You’ll become mindful, using meditation to relax, become aware of your mind and body, and overcome suffering. You’ll practice meditation techniques and focus on three basic aspects: body, breath, and thoughts. Psychology specialists recognize the power of mindful meditation or paying attention to details as they arise. Mindful meditation doesn’t alter your thinking; it helps you become aware of what is already true, moment by moment.
Visit India: The Birthplace of Yoga
If you have a special interest in learning and practicing yoga, Ayurveda, and meditation, consider traveling to India, where it began, and learn from experts who have been practicing it their entire lives. India, the birthplace of yoga, might be where you’ll find the most experienced and authentic yoga teachers.
Whether you’re traveling alone or with a group of volunteers in India, there are yoga adventure programs that can enhance your life as well as the lives of others. Below are three amazing programs to check out if you would like to travel to India and practice yoga.
Yoga & Volunteer Programs in India
Love Volunteers places volunteers on meaningful projects around the world. It’s a nonprofit organization with a transparent policy, sending 90% of its program fees to the local charities and organizations hosting its participants. Founded in 2009, Love Volunteers has placed more than 20,000 volunteers abroad on low-cost programs, many starting at only $280. Love Volunteers works in 34 countries worldwide, offering more than 120 different projects. Security is paramount, and Love Volunteers staff audits each program for safety, social responsibility, and impact. As well, their dedicated in-country teams offer 24/7 support.
Volunteer and Yoga Adventure
Join Love Volunteers on a Volunteer and Yoga Adventure in Palampur, India, with vistas of the Himalaya Mountains and verdant, green tea plantations as a backdrop. A haven for yogis, Palampur also is famous for its colorful, unique markets and serene, pine forests. As a “yoga volunteer” of sorts, you will be placed on a program that divides your time between giving to others and giving to yourself. You’ll work with daycare facilities, providing much-needed services such as light painting and renovation, as well as quality care and play to impoverished and disadvantaged children. Then it’s time to focus inward and participate in yoga and meditation lessons with other volunteers in India.
To start with your volunteering in India experience, you’ll arrive at Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, India, then transfer to Dharamsala, either via another flight or by overland transportation. Program staff will escort you to the volunteer house in Palampur, where an orientation session will be delivered. You’ll learn about local safety, basic culture and history, transportation, and have a chance to get to know the other volunteers and team members.
Rooms are shared at the volunteer house, which features Western-style bathrooms and hot showers. Wifi is available in the house, and your meals are provided. Food is mostly vegetarian and can include lentils, curries, naan, kebabs, and rice-based dishes. Program fees for this two-week trip start at $909 and include on-site supervision, as well as room and board, transfers, and orientation. You can add an extra week to your Indian experience, and spend more time at the beginning of your journey in Delhi. This $250 add-on gives you the opportunity to do more than just volunteering in India – you’ll visit spectacular landmarks such as the Taj Mahal, and take language lessons. You’ll visit tourist spots, catch a Bollywood movie, and enjoy meals at traditional Indian restaurants. Learn more about this incredible opportunity.
Frontier is a nonprofit conservation and development NGO that places people on quality volunteer programs around the world. Established in 1989, Frontier now operates more than 400 programs in 60 countries and focuses on community and adventure projects that safeguard biodiversity, and help contribute sustainable livelihoods for communities in the world’s poorest countries. Frontier projects range from community development, education, wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, humanitarian work, and research and conservation.
India Yoga Retreat
Step away from your fast-paced, frantic world and travel to India, the birthplace of yoga and Ayurveda, with Frontier. On this yoga retreat and adventure travel trip, you’ll learn the basics of yoga and meditation, massage, relaxation, and Ayurveda treatments, an ancient Indian holistic medical treatment. Learn how to make lifestyle and dietary changes that improve your well-being, and raise your energy levels. This odyssey to India will help you balance your body and your mind as you’re trained to incorporate the principles of yoga into your daily life.
You’ll spend two weeks immersed in the colorful, health-centric city of Goa, exploring the history and culture of the region, visiting sites of interest, and receiving basic language instruction. This allows a better understanding of the Indian philosophy of yoga and meditation.
In the second week, your daily schedule will begin early in the morning with the sunrise and guided meditation, followed by yoga lessons. Your mornings are free for long walks in the gardens, followed by afternoon sessions spent acquiring knowledge of Ayurveda. You will learn about and have the opportunity to have Ayurvedic medicinal treatments, which include herbal oils and body scrubs to rev your blood circulation and heal your skin. Afternoons include more guided meditation, mindfulness, massage, and breathing techniques.
You’ll stay in a simple, clean, and comfortable accommodation with same-gender rooms. Meals are vegetarian with fresh fruit and an emphasis on healthy eating. The cost of this program is $1,295 for two weeks and begins the first and third Monday of every month. Extra weeks are available upon request. Arrive on a Sunday at Goa Airport to receive transfer and orientation. More information is available by clicking here.
Ready for a Transformation?
By traveling to India to learn yoga and meditation, you’ll experience a deep connection to the history and traditions of this ancient science and the people who practice it daily. You’ll meet like-minded people who appreciate that yoga and meditation can help create a happier, healthier lifestyle. A bonus is, after immersing yourself in the physical, mental, and spiritual practice of yoga for two weeks, you’ll enjoy a calm mind and be in good physical condition. Return home with your priorities realigned and your horizons broadened.
Robin Van Auken · Writer
Robin is a researcher, writer, and a registered professional archaeologist, a skillset she uses every day as a cultural communication specialist with Hands-on Heritage. Her projects connect communities with an emphasis on interpretation and education and conserve cultural and environmental legacies.