Frequently Asked Questions
About the Dharamkot Yoga Centre - Dharamshala
Where exactly is the Yoga Centre in Dharamkot, Dharamsala located?
The Centre is located in Dharamkot Village, just above McLeodganj (also known as 'Upper Dharamsala'). From Mcleodganj, rickshaws charge ~80 Rupees, and taxis charge ~100/150 Rupees. Most drivers will know the centre but if not you can use Cloud Chat hotel or Hotel Dev Cottage as a landmark. Look for the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre's bright yellow-orange sign above the road that goes down to these hotels and the HIYC from the road up to Dharamkot.
When is the Dharamkot Yoga Centre open?
The Dharamkot Yoga Centre operates during the Spring and Summer seasons, from March/April until the end of October. Then we move to the Arambol Yoga Centre in North Goa for the Winter season, from early November until the end of March.
What are the weather conditions?
During March and the beginning of April as well as in October it can be quite cold, so warm clothing and footwear are essential. Although guest houses usually provide extra blankets, a sleeping bag is useful. In May and June as well as September the nights are often cold and the days are usually hot. It is a very pleasant time to be in Dharamkot, as the always cool mornings and evenings offer refreshing relief from the heat of the Indian plains. A waterproof jacket and umbrella are useful during this time and necessary during July and August. You can purchase Western, Tibetan and Indian style clothing and footwear for all weather conditions at reasonable rates in the surrounding local markets of Bhagsu and McLeod Ganj.
About the Arambol Yoga Centre - Goa
How to get to the Yoga Centre in Arambol?
From Delhi and Mumbai several trains go to Goa. The destination station is either Pernem (from which there is a direct bus connection to Arambol) or Madgaon (Margao).
From Madgaon or other places in Goa there are government and private buses to Panjim or Mapusa.
From Panjim or Mapusa you can take a taxi or bus to Arambol. From Goa Airport the easiest is a taxi, the cost of the pre-paid government taxi to Arambol is 1,800 INR Rupees, whereas outside the airport you may possibly bargain the taxi for a little less than 1,500 INR. In any case, ask your co-travellers from the aeroplane if someone is also going to Arambol (or Mandrem, which is a neighbouring village) and is willing to share the taxi.
The Yoga Centre is located in Madhlo Vaddo about 10 minutes walk from the Church in Arambol on the left. It is right next to Piya’s guest house and Arcan bar & restaurant. You can see the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre's banners both from the beach and from the road.
When is the Arambol Yoga Centre in Goa open?
The Centre in Arambol, North Goa, operates during the Winter season, from early November until the end of March. Then we move to the Dharamkot Yoga Centre in Dharamsala for the Spring and Summer seasons, from March/April until the end of October.
What is the weather like in Arambol from November to March?
The weather is very pleasant and warm during these months. Light summer clothing and beach wear are essential during the days. However the early mornings and evenings can be cool, so it’s good to have long trousers, long sleeve shirt, pullover, etc, as well.
About the Himalaya Shanti Ashram - Dharamshala
How do I get to the Himalaya Shanti Ashram, Dharamsala?
The Ashram is located in a small village Manyana, half an hour walking from a bigger village Charri (Chaddi). From Dharamsala bus station there is a direct bus to Charri, from which you can take a taxi to Manyana and look out for the Himalaya Shanti Ashram sign on the road. The Ashram is down by the river, so you need to descend a stone path which takes about 15 minutes.
You can call a taxi driver living in Charri : +91-980534115, who knows the way to the Himalaya Shanti Ashram (Yoga Ashram), his name is Gupta, and he charges reasonable prices. You can arrange with him to pick you up from some typical spots like Dharamsala bus station or Dharamsala (Kangra) airport.
What is the weather like in the Ashram?
The Ashram is located only 1 hour away from our Dharamkot Yoga Centre, however being hidden in the walls of the mountain valley and geographically 1000 meters lower, the climate is much warmer and less rainy.
In March and late October it can be quite cold, so warm winter clothing and footwear are essential. In May and June as well as September the nights are often cold and the days are usually hot. A waterproof jacket and umbrella are useful from March - September and essential during July and August which is the monsoon.
As during the Intensive and Teachers Training Courses we request our students to remain in the Ashram for the whole duration of the Courses, to avoid distractions of going out, we strongly recommend that you bring from home or purchase all the necessary clothes and items before arriving to the Ashram. You can purchase Western, Tibetan and Indian style clothing and footwear for all weather conditions at reasonable rates in the local markets of Dharamsala (around 40 minutes away by taxi), Bhagsu and McLeod Ganj (around 1 hour away by taxi).
What other things will I need during my stay in the Ashram?
The Ashram is located in the Himalayas, and like in any mountains, the weather is likely to vary from really hot to very cold and from very dry to heavy rain... For which you need to be prepared for different conditions. Proper rain jacket or umbrella is a must. It’s necessary to have a good footwear, like trekking half boots (for the cold or cool early mornings & evenings) and good walking sandals (for the warm or hot afternoons) with straps to close around the ankles as the paths of the Ashram have much slopes.
For the cold weather conditions in early March and late October, you will need warm clothing, socks, gloves and head cap, particularly for during the early morning practice. For the night time, you will be provided sleeping cover blankets, however it is a good idea to have a proper warm pyjama or a thick cotton tracksuit. A sleeping bag is a good option if you feel the cold.
You will also need a good torch, preferably a head torch for the convenience of use while walking, as well as notebooks & pens, towels and all the necessary toiletries you usually have like shampoo, soap, cream, lip balm etc. We have no rubbish disposal at the ashram so please consider that when bringing disposable plastic items down and please be prepared to take away anything that you bring.
Please bring comfortable clothes for the asana, pranayama and meditation practice, like soft cotton t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, blouses, long stretchable pants and trousers.
5-Day Courses, Yoga Weekend & Other Short Courses
How do I register at the Centre for the 5-Day Yoga Courses?
You can book the courses online or you can come to the offices in either centre during the week and book and pay in advance. If you are unable to book your participation in the Course beforehand, please come to our Centre 30 minutes prior to the start of the Course to check for availability and register. We cannot guarantee a place until the registration form and full payment are submitted.
I have practiced Iyengar Yoga for the last ten years and I am a qualified Yoga teacher; do I still have to do the Introductory 5-Day Course for Beginners?
Everyone - and this really means everyone - who comes to the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre for the first time must start with the Introductory 3 or 5-Day Course for Beginners, regardless of how much Yoga experience they have or how advanced their practice is. This applies even if you are a qualified Iyengar Yoga teacher. This Course is also a pre-requisite for many other Courses offered at HIYC. During the Course, we work on the foundations of Yoga in a unique way - which has been, and continues to be, personally researched and designed by Sharat Arora.
After successfully completing the Intorductory Course, students are able to continue with the 5-Day Courses for Continuing Students, which are taught early in the morning.
Will I be able to learn Pranayama during the 5-Day Yoga Courses?
No, Pranayama is not taught during the 5-Day Courses. It is only taught during the Intensive, Special and Teachers Training Courses.
Can I get a certificate at the end of the 5-Day Yoga Course?
Only a certificate of attendance is provided on request (at the beginning of the week).
Are there any prerequisites to join the 5-Day Yoga Courses at the HIYC?
To join the 5-Day Yoga Course for the Continuing Students, everyone must have firstly completed one Introductory 5-Day Yoga Course in the past or directly preceding the 5-Day Yoga Course for the Continuing Students. If the Introductory 5-Day Yoga Course was completed more than 1 year ago it is recommended to repeat it, unless the student was practicing the master teacher Sharat Arora method diligently during that time.
We reserve right to direct the person - who booked the 5-Day Course for Continuing Students online and did not complete Introductory course - to join the Introductory 5-Day Course instead.
Yoga TTC, Intensive & Special Yoga Courses
What is the schedule for the TTC, Special Courses and Intensive Courses over the next year?
In the Yoga section on our website, you will find the descriptions, as well as the schedule with exact dates of all the HIYC trainings and courses offered throughout the upcoming year.
How can I apply for a place in one of these courses?
There are special requirements for these courses. The requirements are as follows:
- For the Intensive Courses, you need to complete at least 3 rounds of 5-Day Courses;
- For the Teachers Training Course, you need to complete an Intensive Course within the year preceding the TTC. If an Intensive Course was completed in the past, then a personal request to Sharat Arora to attend only the TTC component has to be made.
The only possibility to book these courses via email is, to make a deposit with our offered paying options. If you decide to do one of the Intensive, Special or Teachers Training Courses, payment of an advanced deposit is required to secure a place.
For specific course information, or to read about the Teachers Training Certification, please see the relevant page.
Helping at the Yoga Centres & Yoga Ashram
While I am studying at HIYC, I wish to become more involved with the Centre. Is there any way I may contribute?
Yes! "Helping out" or the path of Karma Yoga, is an essential aspect of the life and culture at the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre. Any contribution is much appreciated and much needed. When you arrive at the Centre, please let us know if you are interested in volunteering and mention any special talents or capacities you possess. In addition to the help needed to maintain the Centre, we have ongoing community and environmental projects that need your energy and loving care.