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Today, the world celebrates International Yoga day for the fourth year since its inception in 2015. June 21st was suggested by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his UN Address in 2014, as it is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere.

Yoga is the ancient Indian wisdom of wellbeing that aligns the body, mind and soul. Every year, millions of people across the globe adopt Yoga in its various forms. Many Yoga retreats across India are visited for the same purpose, too. Today, we bring you the top 5 cities for Yoga retreats on our list. We’ve chosen them for reasons we list below.

1. Rishikesh

Located at the foothills of the Himalayas, nestled close to the Ganges, Rishikesh is rightly known as the Yoga Capital of the World. The serene landscape surrounded by pilgrimage destinations gives Rishikesh the aura of calmness and tranquillity. The numerous ashrams advocating different styles of Yoga and meditation offer a slice of spirituality like no other.

2. Mysore

Officially called Mysuru, this cultural capital of Karnataka is a traveler’s delight. Located at the foothills of Chamundi hills, it was the capital of the erstwhile Kingdom of Mysore of the Wadiyar Dynasty. Dotted with temples and heritage structures, Mysore is famous for the Ashtanga Yoga style where students are taught correct posture and breathing techniques on a one on one basis. Intensive Meditation and Yoga Retreats are available across various yoga ashrams.

3. Dharamshala

Surrounded by majestic snow-clad mountains, this coniferous valley is a sight for sore eyes. Cool, crisp air and clear blue skies provide the perfect backdrop to find your inner balance. Being the spiritual center of Tibetan Buddhism, you’ll see the overall outlook to be spiritual.
Multiple yoga centers and ashrams cater to the growing demand of this ancient Indian practice.

4. Goa

Sunny beaches and sundown parties, that’s what we assume Goa to be, probably. However, this former Portuguese colony is way more than what meets the eye. The heart of Goa is lush, green and inviting. The fact that it is an ideal tourist destination makes it a hotspot for Yoga centers. Goa has something for everybody and November to March are the typical months to visit. Right from luxury retreats to small centers, in Goa, every yoga lover will find a home.

5. Pune

The eclectic city of Pune is a melting pot of cultures, traditional on the outlook but contemporary on the periphery. The rich heritage and the best educational institutes have put Pune on the map. Also, its proximity to Mumbai is a big plus. People often prefer the relaxed lifestyle of Pune compared to the hustle bustle of Mumbai. Many yoga schools and ashrams offer a plethora of programs designed for your convenience. November to February are ideal months to experience the hospitality of the Puneites.

Of course, more cities offer Yoga but these are our top five. None the less, the beauty of yoga is that you don’t need to travel anywhere to start. A simple routine at home is good enough. Try YouTube instructional videos, to begin with. The idea is to take that first step towards a healthier lifestyle. On # InternationalYogaDay are you with the world, yet?

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Our history goes all the way back to early 50s. Prrem and Aloo Vazirani – an accomplished couple who chased after their wanderlust bug. She was a doctor, he was a businessman, and both were filled with a desire to explore the world.