The great thing about yoga is that it’s a very mobile activity. You can drop down into a downward dog pretty much anywhere if you don’t mind the staring (or, in Justin Trudeau’s case, if you want to encourage the staring). While Instagram is full of human pretzels in airports and headstands on mountaintops, every yogi knows there’s nothing like getting your flow on surrounded by a dozen other beating hearts in a beautiful place. (Cool place + cool activity + cool people being the recipe for good travel.)
Here are the raddest places around the world to take a yoga class this summer:
As the birthplace of yoga, someone could write a whole book on amazing places to practice in India. (Actually, someone already has.) There are thousands upon thousands of options — from ashrams (isolated communities formed around a guru who follows Hindu philosophy), to fancy resorts, to Buddhist monasteries.
Here are a few of our favorites:
- Practice in the former royal palace of maharajah Tehri Garhwal, Ananda, which now features a full-service spa along with a view of the holy river Ganges and the Himalayas. Because what would be the point without both?
- If you’re the kind of person who’d like kurta pajamas laid out for you every evening to wear to your morning practice, book a room at the former residence of Lord Kitchener. It’s now the Oberoi resort which offers Hatha or Ashtanga yoga each sunrise — 8,250 feet above sea level.
- Make a pilgrimage to the heart and soul of Iyengar yoga: the BKS Iyengar Institute in Pune. A word of caution, if your yoga experience is summed up in the trailer for Yoga Hosers, cross this one off your list for now. You need at least eight years of Iyengar practice to take class at the Pune Institute.
- Govinda’s Indian Ashram is a Westerner friendly option for those who want to escape from their everyday stress. Bonus, at $15 a day, it’s also a budget friendly option to escape from your financial stress. The ashram is situated in Vrindavan — India’s most sacred place — and features luxurious grounds complete with mango trees, peacocks, and parrots, three things which also happen to have yoga poses named after them.