Yoga is a life affirming practice that channels your thoughts, clears the mind and leaves you feeling tranquil and rejuvenated. It’s also not as easy as it looks, and a great way of toning and firming your body. Goa is renowned for its beaches and its yoga centres. Combine the two and you have a recipe for complete relaxation; what could be better than performing your sun-salutations to the sounds of the crashing waves upon the shores? Here’s my Goa travel guide pinpointing the best areas for yoga as well as flagging up some fascinating nearby attractions.
Anjuna has plenty of yoga opportunities, especially for those interested in Ashtanga. This pretty seaside village has a host of shopping opportunities too in the form of local markets selling traditional jewelry, souvenirs and crafts. Aside from yoga, active types can try their hand at parasailing and paragliding. If you’re interested in religious buildings, it’s worth noting that the famous Basilica of Bom Jesus, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is just an hour’s drive from Anjuna. It’s a fine example of Baroque architecture and well worth adding to your sightseeing list.
Calangute has an array of yoga centres and ayurvedic natural health centres. You can enjoy complete mind and body pampering. It’s a great place for underwater exploration so it’s worth trying your hand at scuba diving or snorkeling too. Those interested in history may wish to visit nearby Aguada Fort, one of the best-preserved Portuguese bastions in Goa, dating back to around 1609. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Museum of Goa, it’s just a 30-minute drive from Calangute Beach and has a diverse collection of interactive artworks, documentary screenings and exhibitions.
The fisherman’s beach of Arambol is around a one-hour drive from Dabolim Airport and a mecca for international tourists. It’s considered to be one of Goa’s most beautiful beaches. If you take a short walk north you can find a smaller beach with a lake, that offers a chilled out retreat for quiet contemplation. There are lots of yoga schools in the area, and you may find many groups practicing on the beach. If you want to be at one with nature and witness some striking sunsets, climb The Arambol Mountain for spectacular views.
Mandrem is another great place to take yoga courses and there are numerous local centres which practice every imaginable type of this life affirming practice. This beautiful coastal town has a laid-back vibe and offers an array of water sports like water-skiing, parasailing and jet-skiing. Nearby is the pretty temple of Shirr Purchevo Ravalnatha, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It’s a good place to treat yourself to a massage too with nearby centres offering Ayurvedic massages. Nearby points of interest include the Bhumika Devi Temple and Mandrem Church.
For scenic beauty, peace and quiet, Agonda Beach is hard to beat. There are more than 11 yoga centres, schools and ashrams in the area, so you’ll find plenty of choice. 3 kilometres of pristine sands are lined with simple beach huts – it’s the perfect place for rest and relaxation. There are plenty of beachfront restaurants offering everything from authentic Italian pizzas to vegan cuisine.
I hope this has given you some ideas. Goa is just one of many options in India when it comes to yoga, so if you’re looking for inspiration you should also consider the lush green hills of Mussoorie, the city of Rishikesh or the mountainous Dharamshala. Wherever you go, I hope you enjoy a peaceful trip.
This is a guest post, contributed by Catherine Bennett
Reproduction of any of the contents, including the photographs without prior consent/permission of the writer, is strictly prohibited and a violation of the same will attract legal action.
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