International Yoga day: Five famous schools of Yoga in India

  • HT Correspondent,, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jun 21, 2015 11:43 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiative, the International Yoga Day, which will be observed on June 21, will see events in India as well in 192 other countries, making it the biggest event ever for which the government has also applied to the Guinness World Records.

Yoga has since long been revered as a holy practice in India. Over the years, a number of styles have evolved, each one having its own set of rules.

Here's a list of the five schools in India that impart knowledge of unique forms of yoga:

Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute

This institute situated in Pune was started in 1975 by BKS Iyengar. Iyenger Yoga has become popular across the globe.

Iyenger Yoga is a form of 'Hatha Yoga' that has an emphasis on detail, precision and alignment in the performance of posture (asana) and breath control (Pranayama). The development of strength, mobility and stability is gained through the asanas.

BKS Iyengar has systematised over 200 classical yoga poses and 14 different types of 'Pranayama' (with variations of many of them) ranging from the basic to advanced. This helps ensure that students progress gradually by moving from simple poses to more complex ones and develop their mind, body and spirit step-by-step.

Iyengar Yoga often makes use of props, such as belts, blocks, and blankets, as aids in performing asanas (postures). The props enable students to perform the asanas correctly, minimising the risk of injury or strain, and making the postures accessible to both young and old.

Bihar School of Yoga

Offical website of the school

This institute was founded in 1964 by Swami Satyananda Saraswati in a bid to make Yoga accessible and feasible to everybody. The Yoga techniques developed here are a synthesis of many approaches to personal development, based on traditional vedantic, tantric and yogic teachings in conjunction with contemporary physical and mental health sciences.

The institute also runs a number of projects in collaboration with hospitals and medical organisations.

Parmarth Niketan

Source: Wikipedia

Not only does Parmarth Niketan impart sound yoga, the picturesque location blows your mind. It is situated in Rishikesh, in the lap of the lush Himalayas, along the banks of the Ganges. The ashram was founded in 1942 by Pujya Swami Shukdevanandji Maharaj.

It imparts courses ranging from Vedic heritage to Yoga teaching course. It has a large campus and has over a 1,000 rooms. It is also famous for the week-long international Yoga festival it organises in March every year.

Yoga Institute Mumbai

Offical Facebook page

The Yoga Institute, which is about to complete a centenary, is probably the oldest organised yoga centre in the world.

It was founded by Shri Yogendra. Yogendra developed medical 'Hatha Yoga', which aims at cuing ailments like cardiac and respiratory problems, diabetes, hypertension and stress.

The institute organises courses for pre/post natal mothers from time to time.

Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, Chennai

Offical Facebook page

The Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram is run by the son of the "grandfather" of modern yoga -- T. Krishnamacharya. Krishnamacharya taught yoga to both BKS Iyengar and K. Pattabhi Jois, who founded the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute, Mysore.

This institute imparts 'Viniyoga', which utilises postures and breathing techniques as yog therapies.

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