This world-famous centre for yoga attracts thousands of international students each year to learn, practise or become certified in teaching Ashtanga. Indeed, the city's connection with yoga is so profound that it is linked with a practice of yoga, Mysore Style, that's recognised around the world. This style was established by K Pattabhi Jois, and its ideology is more about developing Ashtanga asanas than following an instructor's moves. There are more than 20 established yoga schools in the city.
For the most part, students are required to be austerely committed to the art, and will need to stay at least a month. While in more recent times there’s been a growing trend for drop-in classes or week-long courses, long-term students will need to register far in advance, as courses are often booked out.
Most foreign yoga students congregate in the upmarket residential suburb of Gokulam. Several schools offer accommodation – check Facebook groups Ashtanga Community in Mysore and Mysore Yoga Community for accommodation rentals.
Yogis in India no longer need a special student visa or to register with the police.
Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute Founded by the renowned teacher K Pattabhi Jois, who taught Madonna her yoga moves. He has since passed away and the reins have been handed over to his grandson Sharath, who is proving very popular. You need to register at least two months in advance.
IndeaYoga Offering hatha and Ashtanga yoga with guru Bharath Shetty (who practised under the late BKS Iyengar) and his wife, Archana. Courses include anatomy and yoga philosophy. Drop-in classes and student accommodation are also offered.
Nirvana Yoga Shala Offers a diverse program covering hatha and Asthanga, meditation and lectures. Suspension-yoga teacher training is also available. Suitable for short- and long-term students at all levels. There's accommodation (studios with kitchenettes), a sauna, a plunge pool and a cafe.
Atmavikasa Centre Classical hatha yoga school set up by Acharya Venkatesh and Acharye Hema offering training, therapy and workshops. Enjoys a garden setting in a peaceful suburb 5km southwest of the palace.
Ramesh Shetty's Yoga Shala The Ashtanga vinyasa and hatha yoga teacher training here gets good feedback; courses are linked to Yoga Alliance for accreditation.
Yogadarshanam Classical Indian yoga centre offering classes, teacher training, workshops and retreats. The one-month foundation course covers yoga fundamentals and is perfect for beginners. Meditation classes are also offered.
Yoga Bharata Ashtanga vinyasa and hatha yoga classes with experienced teachers. Linked to IndeaYoga. Drop-in classes (₹300) are available.