Over the last 2500 years Yoga has certainly come a long way in India – from the mighty Himalayas to the more earthly Yoga Studios in our cities today! Once, the sole purview of the ascetic Yogis who lived with their Gurus in mountainous caves; dedicating their lives to seeking Moksha, Yoga today is a mainstream exercise; rather a global phenomenon that has been touted as a miracle cure for everything from Stress (even Cancer!) to Obesity (and 6-pack abs!). In this article we examine the burgeoning yoga scene in Bangalore city; which is illustrative of similar growth in other Indian metros.
Whatever the reason to begin, the good thing is that many Indians are finally realizing that the cure was always here. Well it’s taken at least 20 years for Indians to sit up and notice that the West has adopted Yoga wholeheartedly and its practitioners are benefiting tremendously from this ancient practice. And so, we’re now blessed with an army of young, talented Indian yoga teachers who are raising the level of yoga teaching and are being given the infrastructure (read beautiful yoga studios) in which to express themselves. And Bangalore is soon becoming a hub for yoga with the World’s only deemed-to-be University of Yoga; S-VYASA located here. And on a lighter note, the International University of Laughter Yoga is also in Bangalore!
Bharat Thakur’s ARTISTIC YOGA (www.artisticyoga.com)
Bharat Thakur is the living embodiment of the modern Yoga master. Artistic Yoga, Bharat’s phenomenal yoga style, perhaps accounts for most of the urban yogis in Indian metros! That’s a fair estimate of the influence Artistic Yoga has had on taking yoga to the mainstream Indian city-dweller; something this well-marketed yoga brand (across the country) has been able to achieve.
Artistic Yoga is at once a yoga style, a brand and chain of schools. Absolutely phenomenal for fitness and weight-loss; you’ll be buzzing with energy after each class!
Artistic Yoga has centers all over the city, stretching from Indiranagar to Koramangala, Whitefield, Jayanagar and much more. With about 20 plus centers, it’s easy to find a center close to your home. Teacher Training in Artistic Yoga is offered.
Here’s a fantastic Yoga school that is dedicated to representing the various forms of yoga present today. That’s why the name – a1000Yoga as there are a 1000 forms of yoga; and so there’s definitely one style that suits you! Pradeep Gowda, Director and chief Yoga Teacher at a1000Yoga has the sense of balance to grow this chain of yoga schools in a measured manner. The studios are beautiful and they all have shower facilities. They have really raised the bar for all future yoga schools.
In a sense it’s the first corporate yoga school in Bangalore with a focus on providing world-class studios; and offering a variety of yoga styles – from Hatha to Vinyasa, restorative Yoga and Pranayam classes. They also host interesting events and retreats; as well as 200 and 500hr well-recognized Teacher Training courses. Currently in Koramangala, Indiranagar and Jayanagar.
136.1 YOGA (www.136point1.com)
136.1 derives its name from the fact that the frequency of “Om” on a tuning fork is 136.1. This Chennai-based school is seeking to become the largest yoga chain in India, eventually employing 5,000 yoga teachers! Yes, staggering numbers – but they have the right focus and direction to achieve that. Yashwant, the CEO, has had vast experience in the fitness world before shifting to yoga and that has helped in bringing professionalism as well as a broad vision to the yoga world.
The 136.1 studios are stunning; with all modern facilities. They too host classes of different styles by different teachers. Keeping with the modern yoga school fundamentals of being present on the high-street and offering shower facilities; 136.1 is present now in Indiranagar and Whitefield. Also, they host wonderful events connected to Yoga.
AKSHAR POWER YOGA (www.aksharyoga.com)
Yoga master-teacher Akshar, with his unique and dynamic style of Power Yoga has helped a lot of people to get fit and lose weight. His classes have really caught the imagination of Bangaloreans living around Sadashivnagar and surrounding areas. With a beautiful studio and intense classes; APY has carved a niche for itself. Interesting events that bring the students together; as well as recognized Teacher Training courses are offered. They have just launched in Indiranagar as well.
YOGA HOUSE (www.yogahouse.in)
The Yoga House is the hippest Yoga space in the city! Having established Yoga House, Mumbai with great success; Maud Chuffart set up a similar model here in Indiranagar. Over a vast white expanse, Yoga House boasts the city’s first Yoga-inspired restaurant. Yes, it’s more than just a café! There are some fantastic organic and wholesome meals and drinks. Also, they have an interesting store as well.
The Yoga studio sees a variety of yoga styles taught – from Bihar school to Ashtanga to Iyengar. They also host interesting workshops and free classes on Saturday mornings. The Yoga House is a great addition to the yoga scene in Bangalore; adding a touch of glamour for all of us yogis!
TOTAL YOGA (www.totalyoga.in)
Total Yoga is a yoga-style and school that’s not just about Yoga practice; but engaging students in a yoga-inspired-lifestyle that promotes health, creativity & service. Founded by Manish Pole and Neetu Singh; it’s a unique format where 3 different styles are taught on alternate days of the week – Vinyasa flow, Hatha yoga and Power yoga. So all the students experience 3 different styles and tempos of yoga!
Regular events include the fun Yogi Brunch that happens every Sat morning; as well as the monthly Yogi Treks to various locales around the city. Total Yoga. The main center in Bangalore is in Indiranagar, while classes are also held at art/community centers in Koramangala, Whitefield and in UB City.
So there you have it…a round-up of the 6 big yoga studios in Bangalore. Indiranagar alone boasts of studios run by each of these 6 schools. So the next time you’re Yoga-Studio hopping in Bangalore, head down to Indiranagar! And write in your reviews of the experiences at each of them.