BKS Iyengar’s Temple Of Yoga & India’s Traditional Celebrations

September 29 - October 8, 2024
BKS Iyengar Yoga Retreat Center Of Bellur, India
An 8 Day Intensive & Retreat Celebrating The Sacred Festivals Of The Yogic Tradition  

Food & Dining Options



This retreat brings you the opportunity to experience an authentic yogic diet, elevated through the culinary excellence of the Iyengar family’s experienced local cooks.


For breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day, delicious Ayurvedic meals are served using a wide variety of fresh, organic, and locally-sourced ingredients. 


Culinary delights which happen to be BKS Iyengar’s and Geetaji’s own home cooked recipes.


No garlic nor onion, per the Brahmin requirement.


Flavorful south Indian home cooking, seasoned to perfection. 


100% pure vegetarian sattvic food.  


A unique and delicious array of sambars, chutneys, currys, parathas, and more with just the right amount of fresh fruit and veg alongside. 


While the staff cannot specifically accommodate vegan or gluten free, there is enough variety in food with each meal that, with adequate preparation, you can easily make choices in the dining hall that fit whatever your health & lifestyle requirements might be. 


Each morning and afternoon local coffee, chai tea, cookies, fruit & snacks are served in the dining hall. 


The local kitchen staff maintain an incredible standard of sanitation and care.


You eat the same food prepared by the same people who prepare Iyengar’s family members’ meals. 


On each of the 7 main days of the intensive, all meals will be light yogic food conducive to 6 hours each day of practice and study. 


Yet during the afternoon of our final day this all changes…


The deepest of your practices are now behind you. 


Light yogic food, no longer a necessity. 


And so the staff bring out guruji’s favorite meal: 


“The Iyengar Lunch” 


More accurately called a feast. 


Course after course after course of different curries, chutneys, parathas, puris, and more. 


His favorite meal alone is likely to plant itself in your mind as a food experience unlike any other in your life. 


Room Information & Options


All rooms at the retreat center are shared. 


There are no one-bed private rooms available. 


All Rooms Include: 


  • Daily Hypoallergenic Cleaning, A Change Of Bedding, & Fresh Folded Towels


  • A Separate Digital Secure Safe Deposit Box For Each Person In The Room 


  • A Separate Organic Cotton Wood Framed Twin Bed For Each Person In The Room


  • 2 Organic Cotton Pillows With Hypoallergenic Cotton Sheets


  • A Dedicated Bed Light & Accessible Switch 


  • A Dedicated Ceiling Fan Above Each Bed With 4 Speed Settings 


  • A Dedicated Lockable Closet With 2 Lockable Drawers & A Few Hangers


  • A Full Set Of Copper Ayurvedic Cups & Water Pitchers For Each Person In A Room 


  • 1 Hot Water Boiler In Each Room 


  • Internationally Rated Electrical Plugs 


  • Dedicated Wifi Router Above Each Room’s Doorway


  • Easy Access To The Many Showers & Bathrooms Throughout The Compound


  • Drying Racks To Hang Your Laundry 


During enrollment you’ll have the option to upgrade to one of the compound’s seven available 2-Bed 2-Person rooms.


Those who enroll without this 2 Bed Double-Room upgrade will be placed in a 3 Person 3-Bed Room if they’re an early registrant. Those who enroll latest will be in a 4 Person 4-Bed Room.


You can make arrangements to room together with 1-3 friends or family members who are attending the retreat with you, just contact our team after completing your registration.



Your Questions, Answered



  • How Many Days & Nights Will Be Spent At The Retreat Center? 


Attendees are asked to arrive on Sunday September 29th and Depart on Tuesday, October 8th, 2024. This equates to a stay of 10 nights at the retreat center. All nights are included within your registration dues.


  • I’m Dealing With A Specific Health Condition And/Or Injury Which Greatly Limits My Practice, Will This Retreat Be Suitable For My Limitations?


Gloria Goldberg is one of the highest level teachers in the world specializing in therapeutic practices. After completing your registration you’ll be asked to specify your various conditions and needs, and Gloria will be prepared to guide you in taking care of your body during the retreat. As long as you can take care of yourself with her instruction during class, your injuries or ailments should not stop you from joining us. These days will be a tremendous opportunity for you to gain knowledge of the practices most suitable to your needs.


  • What Is The Safety Situation Like In The Area & On The Compound?


The walled compound is extraordinarily safe and secure with 24/7 security. Women can walk around the compound freely with absolutely no concern, regardless of the time of day or night. 


  • Can I Sleep In A Hotel Off-Location & Attend Teachings During The Day?


No, all attendees must spend the full 10 nights of this retreat inside the center’s on-site accommodation. 


  • I’m Vegetarian, Will The Kitchen Staff Be Able To Accommodate My Needs? 


The breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks at the retreat center are 100% Vegetarian with no Garlic nor Onion as are the brahmin cooking requirements.


  • I’m Vegan, Will The Kitchen Staff Be Able To Accommodate My Needs? 


The kitchen staff cook the Iyengar family’s home recipes which are 100% Vegetarian with no garlic nor onion used. While they cannot accommodate vegan or gluten free, there is still enough choice in food that many dietary preferences & necessities will be able to make choices that fit their health & lifestyle requirements.We would suggest those with more demanding dietary needs or preferences pack some non-perishable snacks which can supplement their diet while staying at the center.


  • I Have Specific Food Allergies, Will The Kitchen Staff Be Able To Accommodate?


The kitchen staff cook the Iyengar family’s home recipes which are 100% Vegetarian with no Garlic nor Onion used. While they cannot specifically accommodate allergies, vegan, nor gluten free, there is still enough choice in food that many dietary preferences & necessities will be able to make choices that fit their health & lifestyle requirements.We would suggest those with more demanding dietary needs or preferences pack some non-perishable snacks which can supplement their diet while staying at the center.


  • Is The Food Very Spicy? Will Those Who Don’t Like Indian Food Be Alright? 


The food is not excessively spicy by Indian standards and there are items at each meal which are not spicy including fresh fruit and vegetables as well as a variety of soups & sweet chutneys. We would suggest those with more demanding dietary needs or preferences pack some non-perishable snacks which can supplement their diet while staying at the center.


  • Is There Clean Drinking Water Available? 


International quality double reverse osmosis water filtration systems located throughout the premises. Ice cold R/O water dispenser located in the dining hall. 


  • Is There Tea And/Or Coffee Available?


All rooms are fully equipped with hot water boilers and both Chai & Coffee are served in the dining hall of the retreat center multiple times throughout the day.


  • Are There Alternative Dining Options In The Village?


The Iyengar family asks that you stay on the compound during the length of the retreat and that any outside food be vegetarian and non-perishable, pre- packed ahead of time before your arrival.


  • Are There Solo Private Rooms Available? 


No, all rooms are shared rooms. You can request to room with specific friends attending. Sharing arrangements are made upon request and are based upon home timezone and gender. 


  • How Does The 2 Person 2 Bed Room Upgrade Work?


There are only 7 rooms in the facility with just 2 beds to the room – the remainder have 3 or 4 beds to a room. Those attending with a friend or with family who want to stay by themselves in a room or those who simply want a bit more seclusion can select this option. 


  • I Want To Room Together With A Specific Person Or People, How Do I Arrange That?


After you complete registration simply email [email protected] and let us know the names of the others who you wish to room with and we will make sure you are booked together. 


  • Are The Facilities & Bedding Hypoallergenic & Organic? 


Daily room service is included in your stay, where all bedding and towels will be swapped out fresh. All cleaning and laundry alike is hypoallergenic & fragrance free. Rooms are equipped with organic cotton bedding and are impeccably well cleaned. Not even the faintest hint of chemical scents nor musty damp smells.


  • Are There Private Bathrooms And Showers In The Rooms?


Rooms do not have a private bath or shower, the retreat premises has several private toilets and showers on all floors where students reside. Facilities are very clean and both squat toilets and western toilets are available. 


  • Is There Western Medical Care Nearby? 


One of BKS Iyengar’s first acts in modernizing his home town was through the construction of a hospital meeting western standards of care. This modern hospital staffed by internationally trained doctors is located within the walls of the retreat compound, where non-profit care is provided to the members of the surrounding communities at any and all times of the day. In the rare occasion where seeing a doctor or obtaining medication might be necessary, there will be no reason to leave the retreat grounds. 


  • Should I Bring A Matt Or Any Props? 


The yoga hall’s equipment room has rows and rows of racks with an unbelievable array of props overflowing all the way to the ceiling. There is zero need to bring any props nor matts. 


  • I Have No Experience With Sanskrit, Chanting, Yoga Philosophy, and Yogic Scripture, Is This Retreat Right For Me?


Yes, the teachings will be based accommodating beginners as well as seasoned practitioners in the areas of scripture and philosophy. Iyengar once told me “your teachings should be suitable for the beginners of yoga as well as the most seasoned teacher” and that’s how she approaches her components of this intensive. An integration of all 8 limbs of yoga each day, not just exploring just 1 or 2 of the limbs at once, the whole purpose of the retreat is we have all day long and we are in the perfect environment to experience what it really means to be a yogi in that manner of practicing the eightfold path without compromising half of it.  


  • I Have Practiced Iyengar Yoga For Less Than 3 Years, Yet My Referring Teacher Feels I Am Ready For These Teachings, Can I Have An Exception Made On The 3 Year Requirement? 


Please contact [email protected] and explain your situation. Gitte & Gloria will evaluate such situations on a case by case basis to ensure all participants are sufficiently experienced. 


  • Can I Bring One Or More Family Members Who Will Not Participate In The Course To This Retreat?


Family members can enroll to stay on the retreat grounds with you, with dining included, but they cannot attend any teachings. The fee for room, food, & board will be 50% of the normal full registration fee. Contact [email protected] to make such arrangements. 


  • Who Are The Instructors Of This Retreat? 


Gitte Bechsgaard Ph.D. CIYT Lvl.3 and Gloria Goldberg CIYT Lvl.4 are the instructors for this retreat. They both have extensive experience in the integrative realms of the yogic tradition and years of private study with their gurus BKS Iyengar and Sri Krishan Mantri.


  • Can I Arrive Early To The Retreat Center? 


You can arrive at any time on Sunday September 29th, 2024. We ask you not to arrive earlier nor later than that date. Any such arrangements will need to be made by contacting the retreat center directly. 


  • Can I Stay Extra Nights In The Retreat Center After The Intensive Is Finished? 


You can leave at any time on Tuesday October 8th, 2024. We ask you to try not to leave earlier nor later than that date. Any such arrangements will need to be made by contacting the retreat center directly. 


  • Do I Have To Participate In The Pitru Paksha Ritual With The Bellur Pujari Priest On Our Second Day Together?


We encourage everyone to participate in all rituals yet at the same time if someone does not want to they can have self practice in the yoga hall or take rest in their room. 


  • How Do I Get To The Retreat Center Location?


Airport pickup and dropoff are included in your registration fee and arranged by the retreat center staff. A few weeks after completing your enrollment you’ll receive a request to send your flight details to us so we can make sure the airport shuttle is ready and waiting for you, and others arriving around the same time. 


  • Which Airport Do I Fly In & Out Of?


 BLR Airport – Bengaluru Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore, India 


  • Do You Think Jetlag For North Americans Might Interfere With The Curriculum Schedule?


Much of the group is from the US west coast and therefore this will be prepared for. Monday, September 30th will be an adjustment day where you can participate in a Jet-Lag Recovery class twice during the day guided by Gloria Goldberg, CIYT Lvl. 4


  • How Much Should I Pay For A Taxi From The Airport To The Retreat Center? 


We would suggest you take the airport shuttle arranged by the retreat center, included within your enrollment dues. 


  • When Will The Retreat Center’s Airport Pickup Van Arrive & What’s The Cost?


After you register you will receive an email requesting that you forward us and the retreat center your flight details. Airport pickup is included in your registration and will occur throughout the early morning (ie:1am) and day of the 29th, so you won’t be left waiting at the airport for much time at all. 


  • Is Getting An India Visa Difficult? 


The E visa process is straightforward and can be done by yourself or with a travel agent. It takes 30-60 minutes typically to apply and should be issued within a few business days. 


  • Should I Get My Visa Before I Register?


No, you should begin applying for a visa no more than 30 days before your arrival in India, as applying too early can lead to your entry visa expiring too early before your flight arrives. There are many options available surrounding these visas, so even in exceptional circumstances you can get a visa issued in less than 1 day for a fee or with the help of certain organizations.


  • Will there be opportunities to shop in the surrounding areas and village? 


Bellur is a very small village and the retreat coordinators ask that you stay within the walls of the retreat compound for the duration of your stay. 


  • Are There Secure Places To Store My Valuables & Luggage When Necessary?


Each and every room is equipped with several highly secure safe boxes and lockable cabinets, a dedicated and secure storage space for each person. Additionally, the retreat compound has areas for you to store your belongings in the event of early checkin and/or late checkout.


  • Is There A Reliable Wifi & Internet Connection On The Retreat Grounds?


Each room has a wifi router equipped above its entrance door and there are other hotspots throughout the retreat compound. The signal is strong yet reliability can be inconsistent at times. It is best to get a cheap Airtel or Jio Sim card before exiting the baggage claim of the airport, so as to have a reliable backup hotspot if required. 


  • Do I Need To Bring Extra Cash Or Tips?

You should bring some emergency cash as well as a debit or credit card to be safe. It is best to purchase rupees from your local bank at a large centrally located branch. Otherwise you have to do this exchange upon arriving at the airport in Bangalore, since sometimes the ATM doesn’t work and therefore cash withdrawal cannot be relied upon. The foreign exchange desk in BLR airport places a 9% GST charge and in addition to the exchange rate this can add up to 10-15% in fees. ATMs in the region outside of the airport have very low withdrawal limits and incur high fees and are therefore not recommended unless necessary.


  • Is This Related To The Tirtha Yatra Pilgrimage Tour Vidya Institute Is Hosting In October 2024?


No, this retreat is a distinct offering. The Tirtha Yatra tour is by invitation only.


  • What Are The Prerequisite Requirements To Attend?

A minimum of 3 years of Iyengar Yoga & pranayama experience, led by a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher is required in order to attend the teachings.


  • Are All Food, Room, & Course Fees Included In The Total Registration Fee?

Your registration fee is all inclusive and there is little reason you’d need to bring any additional funds for this trip, other than cursory emergency funds. Even the on-compound western hospital provides meditations & treatment free of charge.


  • When Does The $500.00USD Early Bird Discount Expire?

Sunday, June 30th, 2024


  • How Many Spaces Are Available?

The retreat center & yoga hall has a maximum capacity for 114 students, not including Vidya Institute’s faculty & staff.


  • When Does Registration Close?

Enrollment closes once all spaces have been reserved or after August 15th, 2024


Click Here To Continue To Your Enrollment Options <<

logo only light transparent
Join The Vidya Institute Mailing List

Subscribers are the first to hear about new programs, receive updates to our teaching schedule, get exclusive discounts, and more.

By clicking the button, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms.

Vidya Institute logo square-transparent