Goa is a popular destination for travelers who look to get laid-back and enjoy the sun and sand along with the coastal charms of the Arabian Sea. If you love yoga and are an enthusiast, then Goa has a long list of retreat centers that cater to your needs of breaking away from the hustles and bustles of busy lives in urban areas. The retreats can bring the necessary calmness in your life as you book a week-long or a fortnight package to soak yourself into the yoga activities. It can be great fun to club your holiday with yoga activities while you learn various asanas and the techniques through the teacher training programs and also merge with Mother Nature. The yoga centers are mostly beach-located so as to give you that perfect ambiance of sea and sand while the palms sway in the cool breeze that sets you up for a perfect session by the beach.
With all these attributes combined, Goa becomes a great place for yoga enthusiasts and nature lovers. There cannot be a better place for a rejuvenating retreat as there are a plethora of yoga schools who teach varied styles as many renowned teachers from around the world travel to Goa to conduct workshops. Most importantly, Goa is also ideal for first-timers who visit India. This offers a great mix of east and west and allows culturally opposite sets of people to mingle and thrive in a cosmopolitan environment at a yoga retreat center.
What identifies a Yoga lover is his/her affinity for natural surroundings and an uncanny knack to travel to locations that are blessed with natural beauty where he/she seeks peace and tranquility and yet enjoys the best company of being in the lap of Mother Nature. Goa by virtue of its geographical location is blessed with sandy beaches, coconut trees and lush landscape which makes it a tropical paradise.
The best part is that many wildlife sanctuaries are located in the foothills of the Western Ghats that have already been branded as the world’s ‘hotspots’ of biological diversity. Such locations are ideal for trekking and visiting waterfalls at Tambdi Surla and Dudhsagar. Wildlife sanctuaries like Bondla, Cotigao, Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary are all homes to the evergreen forests where thousands of species of flora and fauna, including black panthers, leopards, macaques, flying squirrels and spotted deer have made these locations their habitat. The neighboring town of Dandeli, which lies in Karnataka is also home to thick forests and wildlife where various activities like trekking, jungle safari and water rafting are popular. Along the southern coast (Karnataka), further to Goa, lies the twin beach-temple towns of Murdeshwar and Gokarna which are ideal for religious revelries.
Located near Bhagavan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary in Sanguem, this place is home to a 12th-century Shaivite temple of Lord Mahadev and supposed to be Goa’s oldest. Ideal getaway location for trekkers, this place also has a beautiful waterfall located deep inside the jungle. So if you are in Goa on a yoga vacation and want to enjoy nature then Tambdi Surla could be an ideal choice.
Read about Tambdi Surla Waterfall
2. Dudhsagar Waterfall:
Dudhsagar is a top attraction for travelers in Goa. The tiered and cascading waterfall located on the Goa-Karnataka border is a sheer delight to the eye and resembles “white milk” rushing down from the great height. The falls is surrounded by thick foliage, multi-colored butterflies, beautiful birds, and a truly serene ambiance. Ideal for monsoon trekking, this place leaves everyone mesmerized. Nature lovers, as well as adventure enthusiasts, find this waterfall attractive, besides hikers, trekkers and mountain climbers also find this place interesting. Details on Dudhsagar Waterfall Website
If you love the beach, some water activity and go exploring the Arabian Sea to visit an interesting island, then Murdeshwar – a coastal town in Karnataka located 121km from Goa is an ideal location. The place has religious connotations as the Lord Shiva temple here boasts of the world’s second tallest Shiva statue that stands 124m tall. The beach is underrated but is one of the best beaches especially for scuba diving and other water activities. Netrani Island also known as the ‘Pigeon Island’, is located off the coast of Murdeshwar and is a huge attraction for tourists. Also, the fort at Murdeshwar is popular as it was built by Ruler Tipu Sultan.
If you are craving for total peace and calmness along the seashore, then Gokarna is a place you must visit. Located at a distance of 144 km from Goa, across the Karnataka border, Gokarna is a low key beach destination that hasn’t gone the commercial way. For peace seekers, it is the best beach destination in coastal Karnataka. This place has old temples of Lord Shiva and Ganesha and the religious revelry during Mahashivratri is worth noticing. Gokarna boasts of good beaches such as Om beach, Gokarna beach and Kudley beach. This place is also known for Yoga institutions and Ayurveda resorts and has earned the tag of being a perfect wellness destination. Hence, this town always attracts foreigners. Also, there are various water sports activities on offer. Parasailing, snorkeling and banana boat ride are common. Read more about Murdeshwar and Gokarna Guide
A small town situated in the western state of Karnataka, Dandeli is much famous for the Wildlife Sanctuary. The forest cover here is thick and also home to black panthers, monkeys and elephants, and various bird species. Dandeli is an explorer’s delight as a temple at the entrance to the limestone Kavala Caves is very famous here and known for their stalagmite formations.
The Anshi National Park which is a tiger reserve is ideal for a nature walk. Dandeli allows you to engage into activities like river Swimming, kayaking, coracle riding, and trekking. Also, the appealing beauty of the nature coupled with the spotting of several exotic wildlife species, adds to the travelers’ delight. More about Dandeli
Arambol is a beach location in north Goa and houses a popular yoga center called Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Center. This was established back in 1985 and offers different types of meditation and yoga courses to suit the student needs. Weekly yoga classes are held here. Other popular training courses include yoga for females and kids and yoga courses for teachers’ training. There are other nearby locations in Arambol that are peaceful and serene.
There is a lake named Paliem which is a sweet water body and is famous for its “cleansing sulfurous mud,” which is found near the lake. Another beach located here is the Keri Beach which is less crowded and just perfect for being very quiet. What adds to this location are historic Goan buildings, an ancient fort, and an old temple. It’s worth visiting early morning for taking beautiful pictures of the shoreline as the beach is deserted. Read: Arambol Guide
No doubt, Goa has one of the leading Yoga Schools located in a natural environment. Ideal to mix your retreat tour with holidaying. Just what the doctor ordered as far as relaxation and yoga learning is concerned. Breathe the fresh air, enjoy the local fruits and wander along the beaches and go around places just to unwind yourself and get rejuvenated in Goa.