IN INDIA there are sacred places where yogis go to meditate in solitude, as prescribed in the Bhagavad-gita. Traditionally, yoga cannot be executed in a public place, but for kirtana mantra-yoga, or the yoga of chanting the Hare Krsna mantra: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare the more people present, the better.
When Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was performing kirtana in India some five hundred years ago, He organized in each group sixteen persons to lead the chanting, and thousands of persons chanted with them. This participation in kirtana, the public chanting of the names and glories of God, is very possible and is actually easy in this age, whereas the meditational process of yoga is very difficult.
It is specifically stated in the Bhagavad-gita that to perform meditational yoga one should go to a secluded and holy place. In other words, it is necessary to leave home. In this age of overpopulation it is not always possible to find a secluded place, but this is not necessary in bhakti-yoga.
In the bhakti-yoga system there are nine processes: hearing, chanting, remembering, serving, worshiping the Deity in the temple, praying, carrying out orders, serving Krsna as a friend, and sacrificing for Him. Out of these, sravanam kirtanam, hearing and chanting, are considered the most important. At a public kirtana one person can chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, while a group listens, and at the end of the mantra, the group can respond, and in this way there is a reciprocation of hearing and chanting. This can easily be performed in one's own home with a small group of friends, or with many people in a large public place.
One may attempt to practice meditational yoga in a large city or in a society, but one must understand that this is one's own concoction and is not the method recommended in the Bhagavad-gita.