It is India’s age-old spirit and spirituality that made the West stand up and acknowledge the practice of yoga and meditation. Ashrams (isolated communities formed around a guru who follows Hindu philosophy) and Buddhist monasteries (residences for monks) provide a place of solace, emotional rejuvenation and spiritual reflection. The list of healing activities includes yoga, meditation, vegetarian meal plans and being in touch with nature and all things living. Usually located far from human habitation, attendees are not usually followers of Eastern religious practices, but rather seeking out a stress-free, spiritual and often inexpensive break. In memory of Lyengar, we have put together a list of the 10 most popular ashrams (or spiritual retreats) that you must visit.
Art of Living Ashram: Situated on the top of the Panchagiri Hills, 36km southwest of Bangalore, near Udipalya village, the ashram is an ideal location for reflection and retreat. Started in 1986, the ashram is an exquisite blend of the old and the new. Founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Art of Living is renowned world-wide for its stress-elimination and self-development programs based mainly on breathing techniques, meditation and yoga. Courses offered include Art of Living I & II, yoga, meditation, Vaastu Shastra, Vedic math, and youth training courses.