There’s something to be said for taking time out from your hectic life to rebalance, and the perfect excuse to get your body supple and limber is by practicing the age-old tradition of yoga. Finding a good place to tap into your inner Zen isn’t always easy, particularly if you’re just passing through a city for a few days. If a trip to Mumbai is on the horizon, here are our picks for the best yoga studios in the city.
If you fashion yourself a chic yogi, then look no further than The Yoga House. Set in a charming mint green bungalow in the trendy suburb of Bandra West, this yoga studio caters to the well-to-do locals, expats and visitors alike. Established by Parisian expat Maud Chuffart and Ajit Tapaswi, both are dedicated to providing practical yoga training for beginners to experienced clients, as well as helping people understand their body better through the practice of this Indian discipline.
A wide variety of yoga styles are taught here, from ashtanga vinyasa (a dynamic yoga that will generate a lot of body heat) to the purifying hatha yoga. You can sign up for a short membership or just drop in for a class, and there’s also a sister studio in Bangalore.
After you feel centered and balanced, head to the studio’s delightful café that serves some of the freshest and most interesting range of vegan food you will find in Mumbai. If you’re in a rush and want something light, order a pink juice (pomegranate, natural rose water and watermelon) or opt instead for a heartier meal such as a quinoa burger or Mediterranean salad.
If the stress of work is causing weary muscles, then perhaps it’s time to head to Yogācāra Healing Arts to release the pressure on your body. No one knows better than Radhika Vachani, founder of the collection of studios, who gave up a 20-year corporate career in the U.S. to practice yoga and bring healing into the lives of others. Combining a range of remedial therapies, from yoga to ayurveda, meditation and chakra healing, these wellness centers focus on the body, mind and spirit. The aim is to learn new techniques that you can incorporate into your day-to-day life, which will help bring greater balance, fitness and happiness.
Yogācāra Healing Arts offers two wellness centers in Mumbai, the original in the southern suburb of Mahalaxmi with a calming view of the Arabian Sea, and a new studio that opened in August further north in Bandra West. Hatha yoga classes, ayurvedic therapies, massage and life enhancement workshops are available, and you can also expect to find a nutritious café at the new Bandra West outpost.
Referred to as the oldest organized yoga center in the world, The Yoga Institute was established by Shri Yogendraji on Christmas Day in 1918. It is currently located near Mumbai’s domestic airport in Santacruz East, where it has been helping roughly 1,000 people practice yoga every day since 1948. Today, Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra (the founder’s son) and his wife Hansaji provide guidance and give advice to students.
The primary style taught here is hatha yoga, which focuses on the therapeutic benefits of yoga for both physical fitness and peace of mind. However, you can also choose from a wide range of classes including those that are specifically tailored to work on issues such as weight management, stress and diabetes. The center focuses on guiding people on how to live a healthier lifestyle, and requires all students to undergo a health counseling session before they can commence yoga practice. Most classes held during the week are gender specific, but weekend classes bring everyone together and children can participate in a special class tailored just for them.
Photo Courtesy of Yogacara