On the beach.
Thanks for tuning in, catch you next time!
Joking aside, what are some of the best places to practice Yoga in Goa?
I asked myself the same question when I was there and because I’m an old-school foo, there was only one way to find out.
The obvious place to start. I complied a list. Had it ready. I didn’t even need my mat because most places provide one.
Then I start asking the locals about yoga and it led to me starting a new list. The nice thing is that the locals here are very direct and tell it like it is (provided they don’t have a hidden agenda like recommending only their friend’s yogashala).
The guy who owns the beach huts where I’m staying, upon hearing which yoga school I was going to visit, said “No, don’t go to that one. They are just there to take your money. It’s not for real yoga”
My mouth started to water….omg…is it time to meet the real yoga gurus who live like hermits out in the mountainside, away from all us petty mortals?
He ended up recommending another school. This one is good because the main teacher is from the Himalaya region (historical center of yoga) and is a true practitioner of the yoga philosophy, not just the stretching and poses.
So begins my yoga journey. First place to visit: Aranya Yoga Ashram near Palolem Beach.
The school itself is located behind a popular coffee chain, Café Coffee Day. There’s a small alley to the left of the café, which looks dark and creepy at night. Yoga schools as a whole are very different than in the USA. Don’t expect a fancy building! It’s tempting to think that the schools look sketchy based on their rough exteriors but that’s just how it is here. Generally, the quality of instructors and their instruction make up for it. If it doesn’t, then look for a new yoga school!
I was curious to meet this this guru-master. The next day I walked to the yoga center for the 8 am class.
I went to Aranya for a drop-in class just to check it out and liked it so much I bought the pack of 10 classes. The famous school’s founder taught the first class which was excellent and why I bought the pac of ten. However, in subsequent classes, he taught less and less.
As a result, it’s worth sharing this relevant info that may be useful for others thinking of doing the drop-in classes. I’m saying these things neutrally, as I do enjoy “most” the lessons.
- In case you’re looking for a true ashram, Aranya is a yoga school, not an ashram in the true sense of the word.
- The drop-in classes are actually part of the Teacher trainings that the school is running at the time. This means that as the teachers-to-be get deeper into their training, they start to conduct the yoga lessons as part of their practical/training.
I don’t mind it as it’s interesting to watch in case that I’d like to do a Teacher Training one day. Also, it’s challenging for me to keep up and I’ve been progressing quite well. It does tend to feel a bit cliquish as the teachers in training naturally get more of the attention and mainly just stick to themselves.
There are a few students who find this less than ideal, as we expected Baba to do most of the teaching. He does chime in but seems aloof at times. Also, it can be pretty intimidating if you’re a beginner or lower intermediate.
As I’m nearing the end of my ten pack of classes, my experience has been pleasant so far. However, the price is a bit high given that the Master Yogi himself hasn’t been leading the majority of the classes. I think I’ll check out some other schools for good comparison. Then I’ll consider whether to sign up again at Aranya.
I hope you found this info helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to email at firstname.lastname@example.org