Oldest Yoga Institute in the World

Yoga is one of the world’s most ancient exercise practices. It originated in India and has since made its way around the world, with many people getting certified as yoga teachers. There are also several yoga institutes all over the world; many of them are several decades old. 

However, you might be wondering about which yoga institute is the oldest one to ever exist, and in this article, we’ll answer that question for you. 

Let’s dive right in! 

2. Kaivalyadhama Health and Yoga Research Center

Year founded: 1924
Founded by: Swami Kuvalayananda
Type of institute: Healthcare, Education, Research
Location: Lonavla, Maharashtra

Kaivalyadhama Health and Yoga Research CenterPhoto Source

The Kaivalyadhama Health and Yoga Research Center is the second oldest yoga institute in the entire world. Founded by Swami Kuvalayananda in 1924, this institute’s focus is on the spiritual, therapeutic, and research aspects of yoga, and has branches all over India, the United States, and even France. 

The teachings at this centre combine modern science with ancient yogic practices and also educate its students on Meditation and Ayurvedic healthcare practices. 

Swami Kuvalayananda founded this institute to pursue his own education and scientific research of yogic practices. 

Did you know? 

The Kaivalyadhama centre is located in a forest in Lonavla. Its campus has eight different buildings, each for a different department, such as Philosophical-Literary Research or Scientific Research.

1. The Yoga Institute

Year founded: 1918
Founded by: Shri Yogendra
Type of institute: Charitable trust
Location: Santacruz, Mumbai

The Yoga InstitutePhoto Source

The Yoga Institute is the oldest yoga institute in the entire world. It was founded by Shri Yogendra, who was a poet, author, and yoga guru. He was widely known for reviving the practice of Hatha yoga in the United States and in India. 

This institute was founded at Dadabhai Naoroji’s residence in Mumbai, which was near Versova beach. It was the first yoga centre that offered men, women, and children free yoga classes, and did not discriminate against people because of their caste; this was quite revolutionary for the time!

A year later, Shri Yogendra went to America and started his yoga institute on Bear Mountain, in New York. He went on to tour the world for the next six years until he got married, and taught yoga and treated patients for various physical ailments. 

Did you know?

The Yoga Institute is recognized by the government of India as a research institute. Shri Yogendra conducted the institute’s first yoga research session in 1924 with Surendranath Dasgupta, a scholar and orientalist.


Even though yoga is one of the world’s most widely practised forms of exercise, there aren’t as many old yoga institutes as you might think! In this article, we took a look at the two oldest yoga institutes in the world, both of which happen to be located in Maharashtra! If you’re interested in learning more about doing yoga, we highly recommend trying it out for yourself. Yoga is a form of exercise that can greatly improve your health, and more importantly, can be done by people of any age. 

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