Yoga in Kerala, India

National Geographic magazine once named Kerala among the “Top 50 paradises of the world” and there was a good reason they did! Talk about Kerala and the mind paints images of lush-green palm trees, paddy swaying to the winds, elephants walking in rhythm, long stretches of the backwaters, and everything serene. Combined with its dedication to ancient traditions and Ayurveda, the state gives out a zen-like vibe, perfectly conducive to the practise of yoga. No wonder Kerala is among the most-visited destinations in India for yoga enthusiasts and learners alike. From the foothills to the seaside, there are a plethora of locations and centres you can pick. Depending on your choice and schedule, it would be a good idea to also incorporate some Ayurvedic treatments during your stay.

The best time to visit Kerala is between October ー March when the climate is pleasant. Rains from June ー August and summers from March ー May makes travel a non-feasible option. Mid-December to mid-January is the peak season and a lot of tourists visit the region. So, if that’s the time you plan to visit, do make it a point to book your classes in advance to avoid the last-moment rush.

Tourists enjoying a boat ride in Kerala backwaters

Backwaters of Kerala – Photo Credits: Kerala Tourism

Yoga Centres & Ashrams in Kerala

The most popular forms of yoga taught in Kerala are Hatha yoga, Vinyasa yoga, and Sivananda yoga. Other forms like Iyengar yoga, Kallari yoga (a mix of Kalaripayattu—the ancient martial art of Kerala, and yoga), multi-styled yoga (a mix of forms), Mysore-style Ashtanga yoga, and Kriya yoga are also available, though the number of specialised classed are few. Institutions like Sivananda yoga centre and Santhi yoga offer residential Teachers Training Courses (TTC). The duration depends upon your choice of programme. Places like Munkudil Ayurveda and yoga retreat, Agnihotra yoga retreat, etc. offer a yoga holiday that is inclusive of stay, food, and yoga lessons.

View more Yoga places in Kerala

Spiritual places to visit in Kerala

Kerala is home to a rich diversity of people and religions co-exist in harmony here. The state welcomes you to explore its cultural heritage and also marvel at the influences various rulers have had on the architecture of these attractions. However, there are few places of worship where only people of a specific faith/gender are allowed to enter. Some places also warrant a dress code and have fixed visiting hours. So, do confirm things beforehand.

Photo Credits: Kerala Tourism

Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple

The richest temple in the world, it is considered to be one of the 108 Divya Desams (holiest abodes) of Lord Vishnu.

Yahoorajeshon, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Guruvayur Temple

The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna’s avatar, Guruvayurappan, and is considered a must-visit by devotees.

Photo Credits: Kerala Tourism

Attukal Bhagavathy Temple

This Guinness Book of World Records-featured temple is dedicated to Kannaki, an incarnation of Goddess Parvathi.

Vibitha vijay, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Mannarasala Nagaraja Temple

Nestled in a forest, this unique, serpent-God temple is surrounded by sprawling groves that are conducive to the breeding and movement of snakes there.

Other attractions in Kerala

Kerala’s tropical climate is almost moderate most of the time. While the higher ranges remain cool year-round, the plains tend to stay warm/hot and humid mostly. The state is home to wild elephants, exotic birds, and many other marvels of nature. Its vibrant traditions, temple festivals, and friendly people add colour to even the smallest villages. A few places here have a local and modern version of their names (Trivandrum — Thiruvananthapuram, Alleppey — Alappuzha, Kochi  — Cochin), so it’s good to confirm the same. Also, “nanni” means thank you in Malayalam, so try and say one in response to any help. You’d sure see more smiling faces.

Fishing boat at Muzhappilangad beach in Kerala

Photo Credits: Kerala Tourism

Sink your toes in the sand

North Kerala has the best beaches in the state and Muzhappilangad一Asia’s longest drive-in beach一must feature on your list.

Kerala food, Kerala sadya

Photo by Aneesh K from Pexels

Feast on the Kerala sadhya

A typically traditional one consists of about 26 unique, mouth-watering vegetarian dishes and is served on a banana leaf.

A Kathakali artist performing in a temple in Kerala

Photo Credits: Kerala Tourism

Savour a Kathakali performance

Decked in character-based makeup and costumes, the actors act out stories revolving around Hindu mythology and ancient Indian epics.

Men practicing Kalaripayattu in a Kalari in Kerala

Photo Credits: Kerala Tourism

Witness Kalaripayattu demonstration

The agile practitioners of this art are sure to make you go wide-eyed in awe.