Over the years I’ve known more than a few people who have gone to Mysore, India to study at Pattabhi Jois’ Ashtanga Yoga Institute, many more than once.
For those of you who want to study yoga in Mysore, be advised that foreign yoga students must now obtain a “yoga” visa instead of a tourist visa:
“From March 2010, all students coming to study at KPJAYI must enter India on a yoga visa, as required by Indian law. You may email firstname.lastname@example.org for admission letters from our Institute to include with your visa application form to the Indian Embassy in your country. Upon arrival, students should follow the relevant registration formalities with the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) in Mysore.”
Apparently it’s not India’s immigration department, but the Mysore cops who are the source of this change….
“The booming yoga tourism in Mysore city may take a beating, thanks to a police circular to yoga schools ordering them not to teach foreigners visiting on travel visas.
The schools have been asked to teach only foreigners who arrive on ‘student visa’ or ‘yoga visa’ and to obtain permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs. Besides, police further cautioned the managements of yoga schools in the city that they would face legal action if they violated the order. They have also been asked to furnish to the nearest police station details of foreigners learning yoga on ‘student’ or ‘yoga’ visa with permission obtained from Ministry of Home Affairs.”
“The police, who recently sent out a circular instructing the yoga schools in the city to teach only those who arrive on yoga visa or student visa, claim there is more than what meets the eye. Speaking to Deccan Herald, a top source said, at any given point of time, there are 3,000 to 5,000 foreigners living in Mysore on tourist visa, mostly enrolled with different Yoga schools….
While they appear before the police when they arrive in the city, it becomes difficult to trace them afterwards. As a result, the police instructed the hotels to provide them with details of their foreign visitors.”
Or you can stay home and study astanga with Madonna.