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The best Yoga Teacher Training in India to experience an authentic yoga course

Why go on a Yoga Teacher Training in India?

Learn from some of the world’s best gurus and become a certified yoga teacher in the very place where yoga was born.

With ashrams, yoga schools, and Ayurveda centers in numerous sacred locations for Hindus, yoga teacher training programs can’t get more authentic than those in India.

From popular beach destinations to secluded towns in the foothills of the Himalayas, and from traditional approaches to more laidback programs, there are numerous choices for a yoga teacher training in India.

You can spend as little as two weeks on a 100-hour continuing education course or as much as two months learning yoga on an in-depth 500-hour training. Regardless of the length of the program, you can expect a truly immersive experience.

What can you expect from a Yoga Teacher Training in India?

A lot of time will go into correcting and perfecting your asanas – proper alignment, variations, modifications, how to make adjustments to your students. You’ll also practice meditation and pranayama, learn anatomy and biomechanics, teaching methodology, and yoga philosophy.

The majority of yoga teacher training programs in India offer accommodation is in ashrams. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect the luxurious conditions that are common in the West, only the basic amenities. Of course, this helps facilitate the process as you’ll learn how to live a simpler existence.

You’ll be served wholesome vegetarian and vegan meals as part of the Sattvic diet. Some training centers also include a variety of wellness activities and Ayurvedic treatments.

On your free days, most programs give you the chance to immerse yourself in the local culture and surroundings through various side activities. Depending on the location, these can be visits to temples, hiking, horseback riding, sailing, and more.

A yoga teacher training course in India is suitable for you if:

  • You’d like to start your yoga teaching journey in the birthplace of yoga.
  • You’d like to study the traditional styles of yoga (Ashtanga & Hatha)
  • You’d like to truly immerse yourself in all aspects of yoga, on & off the mat.
  • You’d like to have a quality yet wallet-friendly training experience.

What to expect from a yoga teacher training in India?

Whether you want to delve deeper into your yoga practice or become a yoga teacher, India, the birthplace of yoga, is one of the best places to embark on a teacher training course. Guided by well-renowned teachers, you’ll gain the knowledge, skills, and experience so you can achieve your personal goals.

With a strong emphasis on the spiritual journey, a teacher training course in India offers the chance to fully immerse yourself in the yogic lifestyle, on & off the mat. In addition, you may also learn the basics of Ayurveda, dive into sound healing, study meditation, and breathing techniques, or join various wellness workshops on themes such as Panchakarmas.

You can spend as little as two weeks on a 100-hours course or as much as two months learning on an in-depth 500-hours training. You can choose from various certification courses (e.g Yoga Alliance-certified) courses and a wide variety of styles.

How do I choose the right yoga teacher training program in India?

Choosing the right teacher training program highly depends on your goals. If you’d like to become a RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher), for example, the two most popular Yoga Alliance certifications are 200-hours and 500-hours.

The first step to becoming a yoga instructor is the 200-hour course. An introduction to yoga during which you’ll learn all the basics any teacher needs to know, it’s often enough to start teaching most styles anywhere in the world. Once you become a RYT 200, you can do a 300-hour course and complete the RYT 500. Or do a 500-hours at once.

The 500-hour course is for truly committed practitioners. It’s a life-changing experience that requires plenty of time and a genuine love for yoga. The curriculum is the same as the 200-hour one, but all aspects are studied more in-depth.

Furthermore, you can also choose between a multi-style course or specialize in your favorite yoga style. You should know that India is best for traditional yoga styles, such as Ashtanga and Hatha Yoga.

If you aren’t sure you want to teach but want to get a “taste” of what training courses are all about, you can also partake in shorter programs (30, 50, or 100-hours).

How much experience is required for joining a yoga teacher training in India?

Some yoga schools in India will accept beginners without any prior experience. But, most often, they require students to have at least six months of regular practice before starting the yoga teacher training course. Make sure to check the level and requirements with the school before you join.

Can I start teaching right after I complete a yoga teacher training course in India?

Yes! If you complete a 200-hour yoga teacher training course at a Yoga Alliance-certified school, you can register as an RYT and start teaching yoga. However, make sure to check the additional requirements or certifications needed in your area or at the studio you want to teach.

What areas of India are popular for yoga teacher training courses?

From the highest mountains to the laid-back beaches, almost every place in India offers top-notch yoga teacher training. However, yoga is practiced in different ways depending on the style of the region and the instructors in the ashram. This means, choosing the best city to become a yoga teacher will depend on your needs and preferences.

Considered the birthplace of Hatha Yoga, at the foothills of the Himalayas, Rishikesh is where you’ll find the purest form of yoga. Its yoga tradition along with its inherent spirituality makes it an attractive place for aspiring yoga teachers and advanced practitioners.

In Western India, Goa offers a more laidback approach to the practice, without losing authenticity. If you’ve always dreamed of practicing yoga by the beach, this is the place to be!

Other destinations that offer an equally immersive experience are Varanasi, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu.

When is the best time to go on a yoga teacher training course in India?

If you’re looking to make the most out of the weather, plan to visit India in winter, from December to March. By April, the weather becomes hot. The monsoon season generally lasts from June to September. However, given how big the country is and its diverse climate, you’ll be able to enjoy a yoga teacher training course in India any time of the year.

What type of accommodation options are available in India?

For your teacher training in India, you’ll have a variety of options for accommodation, ranging from budget to luxury.

The most common type is the yoga ashram. You’ll stay in the same complex where the classes take place. Ashrams typically offer basic facilities and often you can choose between private and shared rooms. However, it’s also possible to stay in guest houses, villas, or hotels, close to where the classes are offered. You’ll likely enjoy more amenities than at the ashrams.

What type of food & beverages are usually served at a yoga teacher training course in India?

During a teacher training course in India, special attention is given to food and beverages. In general, at least one daily meal is included in the price. Most often the foods are vegetarian or vegan and use highly nutritious ingredients. The menus are created to include fresh, local, and often organic, fruits and vegetables, offering well-balanced meals to nourish your body. Herbal teas and filtered water are almost always included in the package.

On non-training days, you may not be offered any meals. This allows you to explore the local cuisine and food culture.

What is the code of conduct at a yoga teacher training course in India?

The foundation of the code of conduct typically follows the principles of respect, discipline, and community.

While partaking in a teacher training course in India, you’re expected to respect your fellow practitioners, teachers, staff, and the ashram’s environment. Personal boundaries and privacy of others should also be respected at all times. Discipline is required to adhere to the schedule, instructions, and practice. Make sure to arrive at classes and lectures on time.

Ashrams foster a sense of community, creating an inclusive and supportive environment, where practitioners support each other in their spiritual journey.

Will I have time for other activities outside of the training?

While training courses tend to be quite packed with classes and lectures, you’ll still have some downtime to enjoy the surroundings. Typically at least one day during the weekend is an off day when you won’t have classes or lectures.

No matter where in India you go for a yoga teacher training course, you’ll spend some time in nature, going on walks, hikes, cycling, or even kayaking. You’ll also likely have the chance to practice yoga and meditation outdoors, on the beach, in the mountains, or in the ashram’s gardens.

In addition, visits to temples, markets, landmarks, and going on city tours may also be included in the package.

Are there any opportunities for cultural immersion or interaction with locals during the training?

Some teacher training courses in India are organized during International Yoga Day, offering the students the chance to truly immerse themselves in the practice and the local culture.

Even if you partake in intense training, you’ll have some days off to visit temples, local markets, or various landmarks. Unless you are in a secluded location, you can also explore the nearby area on your own.

Are there any cultural or religious holidays/events related to yoga in India?

Having one of the most vibrant and diverse cultures in the world, India is known for celebrating many religious and cultural festivals.

Without a doubt, International Yoga Day celebrated on June 21st, is the most important event for yoga enthusiasts. Originating in India, it aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga. You’ll be able to partake in celebrations by joining large outdoor yoga classes in public places.

Between mid-October and mid-November, India is home to one of its biggest festivals: Diwali. The Festival of Lights is celebrated with religious ceremonies, lights, and fireworks.

Known around the world, Holi celebrates the end of winter. Taking place on the last full moon of the Hindu lunar calendar month, it’s a joyful and colorful time when people put colors on each other and dance to cheerful music.

Some other significant festivals and celebrations in India include Dussehra, Durga Puja, Eid-Ul-Fitr, and Ganesh Chaturthi.

Is transportation to and from the airport usually included?

Most often, expect the transfer to/from the closest airport to be included in the price. However, in some cases, you’ll either have to pay an additional fee or figure out the transfer on your own, particularly if you choose to fly into a large international airport. You may also be offered a complimentary transfer to/from the closest train or bus station.

What are some must-visit attractions or landmarks in India?

A vast and diverse country, India is filled with world-famous landmarks. From the iconic Taj Mahal (in Agra) to the impressive Golden Temple (in Amritsar), the sacred Holi Ganges, and the majestic Himalayas, you’ll be mesmerized by the country’s beauty.

Each Indian state has a lot to offer, a true testament to the country’s rich culture. Make sure to visit the Red Fort (in Delhi), Charminar (in Hyderabad), Hawa Mahal (in Jaipur), or Mysore Palace (in Mysore).

If you seek to immerse in nature, the Himalayas, with the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, watch over the northernmost part of India. There’s nothing quite like doing yoga in Rishikesh, with the background of these majestic mountains.

Originating in the Himalayas and emptying in the Bay of Bengal, the Holi Ganges is considered sacred by the Hindus. The river represents the personification of the goddess of Ganga, who can cleanse sins and grant spiritual purity.

What are some off-the-beaten-path activities or hidden gems in India?

In South India, in the state of Karnataka, Bijapur and Bidar are two cities filled with gorgeous Islamic historical landmarks.

In West Bengal, Kalna is a picturesque temple town, situated on the banks of Hooghly. It’s packed with examples of the local famous terracotta architecture and a great place to try Bengali food.

If you’d rather relax by the beach, why not head to some hidden gems? In South Goa, Butterfly Beach is only accessible by boat or a scenic hike; while in Maharashtra, Guhagar Beach boats a long stretch of golden sand, ideal for those seeking solitude by the sea.

What is the local language spoken, and how widely is English understood?

While India has 22 official languages, Hindu, the world’s oldest language, is the most spoken. The second most spoken language is English. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as English was the official language during British rule. Even after the country gained its independence, English continued to be widely spoken.

However, some yoga teachers in India prefer to use the Sanskrit names of the asanas. So, you’d want to learn some basic terms in Sanskrit before you join a yoga teacher training course here.

What are some local dishes or foods I must try while visiting?

As much as 38% of India’s population is vegetarian, making the country an ideal destination if you want to treat your taste buds to some traditional plant-based food.

Well-known for its use of herbs and spices, Indian cuisine highlights the country’s diverse heritage. Portuguese, British, and Mughals have all added variety and fusion to the dishes. From biriyani and samosa to pakora, dal tadka, chaat, shahi paneer, and tandoori chicken, Indian cuisine has something for everyone.

What are some etiquette tips to follow when interacting with locals?

In some parts of the country, the culture is conservative, and you don’t want to send the wrong message when talking to the locals. Be as direct as possible, in a polite way. Show confidence and don’t try to make small talk. When asking questions, be as detailed as possible. Locals want to help you, but you want to avoid being on the receiving end of inaccurate answers.

Are there any specific dress codes I should adhere to in certain places?

It is important to pay attention to the local dress code. Particularly when visiting sacred places, wear modest & appropriate clothing. Women need to wear clothes that cover their legs and shoulders. Men shouldn’t wear shorts. Avoid wearing provocative clothing when visiting rural areas, where people tend to be more conservative.

Your hosts at the training center will be able to help answer any questions you may have about the local customs.

What is the tipping culture like in India?

Tipping is customary in India. While some restaurants include a service tax of 10-15%, the exact amount to tip depends a lot on the occasion, order size, and place. If you wish, you can tip your private guide or driver at most 5 EUR/USD per day. The recommended tip for the luggage porter is not more than 1 EUR/USD.

Do take the above as a guideline, though. You’re welcome to give more if you are happy with the service.

What other insights or tips should I know about when traveling in India?

India is a fairly safe place to visit even if you’re traveling solo. Make sure to take precautions with your money and valuables. In crowded areas, be mindful of your surroundings as pickpockets tend to take advantage of such situations.

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