We Indians keep flaunting the origin of Yoga being India, anywhere and everywhere. But how many of us have actually experienced it? The calmness, the elegant poses, the oneness with yourself, the unity with nature, the continuous flow…
Even if you haven’t, fret not. It’s never too late. Just pack your bags and head to Goa. Not for party scenes but for Yoga scenes. Surprised? Well, Goa has exquisite scenery and nothing beats the sea at tranquility. It’s a popular tourist destination and not every tourist equates holidays to going wild. Besides, the old culture of fishermen has always held meditation in high regard as you need to be really calm to be able to catch fish- for food or for the soul. So it does form an ideal destination. Goa also offers you great variety when it comes to Yoga centers. Each center has something unique to offer. The following are my favorites:
1. Art of Living
The program needs no introduction as it has proved its impact worldwide. The unique aspect of Art of Living is how natural they make Yoga feel. It’s not about the twists and bends of the body but about grace, poise, and control. Most of their programs are about helping you traverse through life rather than convincing you to opt out of it. They work towards helping people achieve harmony of body, mind and spirit and thus, happiness. They have a breathing technique known as Sudarshan Kriya which is about resonating with the rhythm of the biological system of the body. You may believe the theory, you may not. But it’s definitely a worthwhile experience!
2. Cyril Yoga Ayurvedic Centre
We all know about the peculiar way of schooling in the olden times – called gurukuls. Ever wondered what that experience would be like? Living isolated from the world, always close to your guru, doing chores to earn your stay and finally experiencing your own transformation. The Government might have moved on but the system sounds beautiful and the Cyril Centre gives you the perfect opportunity to try it out. Along with motivating and charming teachers, their Yoga program is aimed towards helping you make peace with yourself. Say goodbye to stress and strain physically, mentally and emotionally. They also offer Ayurveda and massage therapies to cleanse your body, mind, and soul.
3. Harmonic Healing
If the traditional Indian style is not your thing, Harmonic Healing is all about blending tradition and modern techniques. The most beautiful aspect of this place is the extremely well-chosen location – for everything! They use their Cliffside location splendidly well. You literally feel like you are sinking into nature. Their chanting sessions are mesmerizing. Coming to the modern aspect, they also offer Acrobatic classes, Vortex healing, a Chiropractor and a lot more. Their personality development workshops and the ones on Reiki, a Japanese technique for stress reduction are recommended. The name is very apt as music forms a huge part of the culture there and that just adds another dimension to the experience.
4. Tao-Zen Meditation Centre
If silence is what helps you relax, this is just the place for you. And they have a melodious way of breaking the monotony too – the mesmerizing chant of Om Mani Padme Hum. Tao Zen meditation is all about this chant whose literal translation is the sound of silence, the diamond in the lotus. Understand it and achieve nirvana! Also, this place DOES NOT provide accommodation. It’s a place you visit. That’s the way they roll. And for the rest of the time if you want to explore the two schools of thought without being a philosopher, check out the books The Tao of Pooh and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance!
5. The Whispering Lakes
If you don’t know what school of thought you like but want to explore, go to The Whispering Lakes. Their specialty is their accommodations which are a perfect blend of traditional cottages and most modern amenities to ensure a comfortable, rather even luxurious stay. And they have a restaurant on the lake! It doesn’t get fancier than that. Besides, they have a special Meditational retreat called Samadhi if you wish to be alone. Their unique offering is sessions with gurus from any and every school of thought you can imagine. Go with an open mind and discover yourself!
Not only will you avoid the usual hangover phase after a Goa trip, you will come back knowing yourself a little better and being able to control your mind and body a lot better! Besides, the things that you learn, the places that you see and the feelings that you experience will remain with you forever.
Rohit is a coder who has recently discovered the depth of traditions- especially Indian. He wants to understand the teachings of the old sages by experiencing as much as he can and then sharing them on his travel blog – www.transindiatravels.com