Today, Yoga is gaining popularity around the world, with many countries practising it and even observing an International Yoga Day as Yoga teaches many different techniques of meditation, breath control and how to achieve harmony between the mind, body and spirit. It is widely practised for health and relaxation.
India is the origin of Yoga and people from all over the world flock to the country to learn this ancient group of physical, mental and spiritual practices. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Himalayan Siddha Akshar, Founder of Akshar Yoga Research and Development Centre, revealed the top 5 special places that are very popular with Yoga practices, culture and more:
1. Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh is a stunning state in northern India, is situated in the western Himalayas. It is one of India’s most picturesque states and is distinguished by stunning landscapes, snow-capped mountains, year-round rivers, lush forests, and deep canyons. The great Himalayas are the source of many powerful and divine energies. The Himalayas contain many secrets regarding knowledge of Yoga, spirituality, metaphysical existence, universal mysteries and much more. There are powerful places like Bijli Mahadev Temple, Siolsar Lake, Chandra Taal. There are also several secret caves and hideaways that were used by sages like Sage Vyaas, Markhendeya Muni, Rishi Shring, Agastya Muni etc.
It is every serious yogi’s desire to visit Rishikesh, the city dubbed as the “Yoga capital of the world,” which comes in a close second on this list. Rishikesh, a city in the northern state of Uttarakhand, is tucked away in the Himalaya Mountains and provides travellers and visitors a breathtaking view of the surrounding area. Lakshman Jhula, Ram Chula, Alakhananda, Tunganatha, Badrinath etc are some very famous places in Rishikesh.
We go on to the southern coastal state of Goa next on this list. Goa, which is on the coast and a well-liked vacation spot for beach-goers and party-goers, is also a fantastic location that yogis must explore. Goa’s ground is considered to be very prosperous because it is the land of Parashuram. This makes it ideal for spirituality and Yoga. The population here is very positive and fun-loving.
With a 3,000-year history, Varanasi has also been known as Banaras or Kashi. Varanasi, a significant Yoga destination, is also a significant Hindu religious site because it is located close to the sacred Ganges River and contains a large number of Shiva temples. In addition to being a popular pilgrimage destination, Varanasi is a significant centre for mysticism, spirituality and Ayurveda. It is one of the oldest cities and is treasure hourse of knowledge. There is a different energy here which attracts people from all over the world. The knowledge and the scriptures here are the highlight and bring yogis to the banks of Varanasi. It is considered to be a spiritual capital.
5. Tamil Nadu
There is an ancient connection with Yoga and spirituality in Tamil Nadu. Ancient scriptures of South India in Tamil text contain information regarding Yoga and spirituality written by Agastya Muni, a spiritual scholar and enlightened being. He is said to have discovered many ancient texts for Nadis or channels within the body. There are also many spiritually charged places like Madurai and Vydeshwaran that attract people who are interested in learning about yoga and India’s ancient culture.