The statue of Adiyogi (Shiva) outside the ashram.
The Isha Yoga Centre is located in a beautiful, serene, farmland location, 30km from Coimbatore, in Tamil Nadu, India. It is also the place where you can see the giant statue of Adiyogi – Shiva that brought the many ways of yoga to the world. If you are coming for the purpose of spending time at the ashram, then it is best to stay on the ashram centre itself, as the closest accomodation is 5-10 km away.
The Isha Yoga Centre is the famous training spot for yogis worldwide, to come and learn yoga, and for followers and fans of Sadhguru to participate in his many programs that deal with personal development and better living. It is also possible to stay for short self led visits, which we stayed for 2 day and 1 night.
To book the accommodation you need to plan ahead and email email@example.com and ask if there is any availability for the dates you wish to visit. You could also try to do this by phone, however getting through can be tricky. There are several different types of accommodation available, for short stays, however you can only stay for upto 7 days maximum over any two month period, if not enrolled in a program. Your stay time is calculated as 24hrs from when you check in, which we really appreciated. We had heard that check in/out was from 9am – 11pm, but when we were there we were told we could check out at anytime, as there were people there 24hrs to allow this.
In the application to stay, you will be asked if you are participating in a program, and if so, directed to the appropriate accommodation information.
Keeping in mind that this is a yoga and meditation place, as opposed to a hotel like business, you may not receive correspondence back immediately, and so it is best to book in advance, keeping in mind there may be some delays between emails. To book is quite easy, if there is availability, but. it requires a few emails back and forth, so we advise making these plans at least a week or two in advance.
Once they have received your request, they will email an initial form requesting detail of who is planning to stay and your purpose. This is not really a place of tourism, so answering ‘meditation’ is always a better option if you are stuck.
There will be a further few emails securing your stay, then you are directed to a portal which you log on to complete your questionnaire, if you are a foreigner in India. I advise you to do this before arriving, as I had not, and it seemed to take ages. This will require things like photos of your passports, visa in India, covid vaccination certificates, etc. There is then a large amount of questions for you to complete – it took me about 25 mins. Some of the questions may appear to be very intrusive, but this is a yoga centre which is health based, and you can expect similar questions to what a doctor might ask. For us, there were no further checks beyond this, but expect things like if you are a smoker, you will not be able to smoke on the premises of the centre. Similarly with drinking etc.
Taxis can be caught to the Isha Yoga Centre from Coimbatore for around 800-1200 Ruppees, and you need to tell your driver to arrive at the ‘Welcome Centre’. Uber is also a good option here, depending on the time of day. You will need to show confirmation of stay to enter the Welcome Center road, but this will drop you at the check in point.
Check in is a lot like an airport check in style operation, and after being directed to a few desks you are given your keys and left to go explore.
Our accommodation block inside the ashram.
We stayed in the most basic style of accommodation, with AC. Keep in mind that fans and AC will be subject to power supply, which can be patchy throughout the day, and not at all during the mandatory lights out for 2 hours in the evening.
Our room in the basic AC Accommodation.
However, there are screens on windows for when this happens – opening them is fine. It was a nice simple room, with 2 twin bed and a nice bathroom, with western toilet and hot shower.
Our bathroom in our room.
The Room rate was 1300 Ruppees per 24 hrs, for 2 people, in November 2022. This included 2 meals per day, at 10am and 10:45am for the morning session and 6:30pm, or the later session of 8:00pm if you are going to the Adiyogi Light Show. The food is served is all vegetarian, and you can choose between Sattvic (yogic food) and Spicy – which was a manageable heat and pretty good.
There are also cafes inside and outside the centre, that serve really amazing high quality, healthy and organic food, for really cheap. A lot of people not on courses at the centre are eating at these cafes, to have more choice and freedom with their food selections. We also found it better to eat outside in the morning and then visit the baths and Dhyanaligha Temple while everyone else was eating.
The only thing we would suggest on your visit, is if you take a small camping lamp for the lights out time, between 7:30-9:30pm, and enough clothes to not need laundry facilities. You also need to take your own personal toiletries, as it is not a hotel.
All genders need to be dressed modestly, with loose fitting clothing, to your ankles, and covering shoulders and upper arms. Plan in advance, and don’t wear black. I had not planned in advance, and when I was walking around in all black, I was getting some pretty wild looks from some of the foreigners there doing courses. Apparently Sadhguru teaches that black is a devil colour and you should avoid wearing it, so you do not absorb others energy. He also teaches it’s a master’s colour – but if you want to avoid looks of horror- go for a bit of white or colour.
Overall, we had a really pleasant stay here and do plan to come back at some point. It’s a really peaceful place, with a lovely vibration and the food is really good, so combined with spending your days doing a bit of yoga and meditation, it’s a really good place to slow down and connect with yourself again.
For what to do on a short visit at the centre, see my coming blog: Isha Yoga Centre: short independent visit – what to do.