27 Days 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in Kerala, India

  • Ganesha Palace Hotel, Kunnuavilla Temple Road, Kurakanni Cliff, Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695141, India

27 Days 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in Kerala, India

  • Ganesha Palace Hotel, Kunnuavilla Temple Road, Kurakanni Cliff, Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695141, India

Ancient Techniques Yoga Teacher Training India

Certified by Yoga Alliance USA, this yoga teacher training prepares you to teach yoga worldwide. Taking roots in ancient knowledge and making a bridge to modern life, this yoga teacher training will guide you through the practical, philosophical and mythological aspects of yoga. In a serene rooftop studio, surrounded by a tropical garden, you will deepen your self-practice and understanding of the true principles of yoga. By qualitative education in techniques, teaching methodology, anatomy, yoga philosophy, and practical teaching experience, you will ultimately feel safe and adequately prepared to instruct a general adult class.


  • 200-hour yoga teacher training
  • Daily yoga asanas and meditation practice
  • Daily teachings (yoga philosophy, anatomy, pranayama)
  • Bhakti yoga, Bhajans, and Puja ceremonies
  • Vegetarian meals six days per week
  • 26 nights of accommodation
  • Trivandrum airport pickup
  • Plenty of self-study time
  • 27 days with instruction
  • English
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During the yoga retreats, you will stay in a very comfortable twin bedroom with private bathroom, balcony, and kitchen facility surrounded by a beautiful garden with a large terrace. Ganesha Palace Hotel, with its ashram atmosphere, is an ideal yogi guesthouse, situated in a garden and secluded from the main roads, but only two minutes walking distance from the beach and Varkala cliff, numerous restaurants, shops, and Ayurvedic massage salons.

Special requests like air conditioning can be accommodated on request for a small extra charge.

Shiva Rishi Yoga at Varkala Cliff is happy to accommodate you one day before your program starts without any extra charges.

This yoga teacher training will guide you through the ancient techniques of classical Hatha yoga combined with Vinyasa flow in an unique and authentic way, as developed over the years by Sivayogi. By understanding the essence of classical Hatha yoga, you will be able to follow any style of your choice in the future and reap physical, mental, and spiritual fulfilment from your evolving practice.

Shiva Rishi Yoga at Varkala Cliff strives to train you with you great care and integrity and feel obliged to make sure that you are fully equipped with the right tools to become a great teacher. After all, yoga is more than physical exercise or stress release. These benefits all come as side effects of regular practice, yet the ultimate aim of yoga is to transcend the limited and egoistic self and connect with the unlimited eternal.

Beyond education, Shiva Rishi Yoga at Varkala Cliff will provide a proper spiritual environment for your journey. Several years of experience flowed into the shaping of a characterful, recreative accommodation atmosphere, and well-elaborated yogi diet to ideally assist your practices. Furthermore, Shiva Rishi Yoga at Varkala Cliff invites you to occasional spiritual trips into the gorgeous landscapes of Kerala in that you attune to nature by walks, mantras, music, and bhajan singing.

In order to be a good teacher, it is important to establish or deepen your self-practice. To do so, you will practice in the morning and evening together in a group setting supervised and instructed by lead trainers.

In the morning, you will practice Vinyasa Kriya flow yoga. It entails the practice of varying flow sequences uniting asanas with breathing and mantras followed by relaxation, pranayama, and kriyas. After each class, you will reflect, the lead trainers give individual feedback, and there will be question and answer sessions. By this way, you will get a practical impression of different Vinyasa sequences. In the beginning of the teacher training course, you will start with basic flow exercises that are gradually improved over time. You can experience its physical and energetic effects as also observe how different categories of asanas (bends, twists, and inversions that are investigated in theory classes) harmonize in a set.

Towards the evening when the sun sinks tranquility behind palm trees in the sea and climate cools down a little, you will practice classical Hatha yoga. In an atmosphere charged with peace and devotion, you will practice recreational Shanti asanas in the tradition of Swami Sivananda and his disciple Swami Satyananda Saraswati, who framed ancient yoga teachings in a modern language that incorporates both traditional and scientific understandings. By harmonizing all levels of human life and experience through practical means of asanas, pranayama, Kriyas, Bandhas, and Mudras, you start balancing the sun and moon energies (ha-tha), purify nadis, and chakras and you ultimately practice to gain mastery of prana in order to control the mind.

According to the standards set by Yoga Alliance, the training is divided into five blocks.

Techniques, training, and practice

Beyond practicing asanas, pranayama, mantras, meditation, and Kriyas, you will receive an analytical training of how to teach and practice the techniques by discussing key poses in different asana categories (standing, inverting, seating, twisting, bending, balancing, hip opening, and stabilizing) and examine similarities and differences, alignment practices for the following styles of yoga:

  • Vinyasa
  • Sivananda
  • Satyananda
  • Chakra
  • Kundalini yoga

Find some examples for this block outlined in the following:

Standing postures

Standing asanas stretch and strengthen back, shoulders, and leg muscles. This is especially important to face stiffness and back pain difficulties increasingly arising in modern times through long hours of sitting. In this section, you will learn common standing postures, how to explain their benefits, discover and correct common misalignments, understand similarities and exceptions to other asana categories, and experience balancing effects of standing asanas for the root chakra. You will further discuss how to provide effective verbal cues to direct practitioners coming in and out of the poses, how to verbally adjust them, and how to breathe properly.

Bending postures

Bending asanas loosen the back by separating vertebras and improve blood circulation around the spine. This brings vitalizing and overall health improving effects on all organs and the brain. You will receive analytical training by demonstration, conversation, and the use of the teacher training course guidebook in how to teach, practice, and adjust bending postures. The learning objects herein are to explain bending postures and their benefits, verbalize and demonstrate alignments, beware of common misalignments and risk factors, how to direct practitioners coming in and out, how to breathe in these positions, and understand similarities and exceptions to other asana categories.


Pranayama regulates prana flow in nadis of pranamaya Kosha. Through practice, observation, and discussion, you will learn most common breathing techniques, how to explain benefits, and how to direct practitioners through these exercises. You will also practice pranayama on occasional spiritual trips and breathe fresh air in the mountains or on the rocks at the shore.

Learning objectives: Get an overview and practice experience of multiple techniques about the four aspects of breathing (breathing in, out, holding breath in, and holding the breath out). How to incorporate pranayama in an asanas class. Which breathing exercises are appropriate for different ability levels, age groups, and practitioners with special needs (pregnancy, menstruation, etc.)

What kind of pranayama you will be taught

Prana has two aspects; cosmic and individual. Cosmic prana is very subtle and can only be perceived by the infinite mind, but individual prana related to the body is grosser and more tangible. In the order of creation, prana emanates from the unmanifest reality known as Hiranyagarbha, the golden womb or egg. The teaching of pranayama develops awareness of the manifestation and existence of prana within your own being so that you can come to realize its cosmic propensity.

  • Nadi Shodhana pranayama (three kinds of stages)
  • Abdominal breathing
  • Kapalbhati pranayama
  • Bhramari pranayama
  • Ujjayi pranayama
  • Surya Bheda pranayama
  • Bhastrika pranayama

Mantra Yoga Sadhana

According to Samkhya, one of the schools of Hindu philosophy, the very first element that manifested itself in this plane was sound and that the element of sound itself originated from Lord Shiva's drum. Sanskrit mantras are energy-based sounds that have the power to vibrate and resonate throughout the entire body. Sound travels five times more efficiently through water than through air, and as the human body is comprised of more than 70% water, it is, therefore, an excellent conductor for both sound and vibration. The regular practice of mantras balances the agitations of manomaya Kosha.

Mantras help balance the three kinds of bodies and consciousness.

  • Gayatri Mantra
  • Mahamrityunjaya Mantra
  • Shanti Mantra
  • Ganesha Mantra
  • Shiva Mantra
  • Soham Mantra
  • Pranayama Mantra
  • Mantra Japa

Tantric yoga

Every Sunday, there is Yajna yoga in the evening time with a puja with mantras, breathing techniques, and offerings. Every Saturday, there is evening Mantra Sadhana.

Teaching methodology

In this section, you will examine teaching skills in interactive theory classes. Topics are communication skills, the effective use of physical or verbal demonstration, class structure, management, and business aspects of yoga.

The teacher’s voice influences students to practice experience and thereby plays an important role. Moreover, a teacher needs to be able to effortlessly talk loud and clearly for longer periods of time. Next, to the experience of your voice, you will get in mantra chanting, you will be introduced to several speaking exercises to find your individual tone of voice and cultivate it for teaching.

Further classes in this section will address how to use verbal and physical hands-on adjustments, qualities of a responsible and empathic yoga teacher, how to deal with individual needs in a group setting, how to give clear and coherent instructions, adjustments and feedback to students, how to sequence classes, how poses interact and how to integrate breathing exercises.

Anatomy and physiology

Herein, you will not only learn about the physical anatomy of the human body but also get a broad overview into the yogic system of Gunas, Tattwas, Koshas, Nadis, Vayus, Chakras, Kundalini, etc.

Yoga philosophy / lifestyle ethics

In this part of the training, you can dedicate yourself to the vast treasuries of yoga philosophy. By studying traditional texts (such as the yoga Sutras by Patanjali), you will explore the eight limbs of Ashtanga yoga in more detail and take a glimpse beyond the first limbs towards the ultimate goal of yoga. Aside from getting inspiration from these sacred texts, it may help you recognize how important a firm foundation in these first limbs is a prerequisite to progress on this path of liberation and how you, as prospective yoga teachers, can assist other beings with that.

You are looking forward to inspiring conversations about the precept of non-violence (ahimsa), the concepts of dharma and karma, and finally the value of teaching yoga while being of service to others (seva).


In this section, you will be slowly prepared to lead a yoga class yourself. In the beginning, you will pair up and teach simple sequences to each other. In the progress of your training, you will then start to assist in a basic class, observe and correct, and finally practice teaching as the lead instructor, receive and give feedback, observe others teaching or assist other teacher trainees.


After becoming more established in yoga, automatically awareness will increase about one's diet, too. You will learn theoretical aspects of Ayurveda helping you to discover a diet fitting to your type of body and individual needs and intellectually understand the positive effects of the high qualitative yogi diet you are served throughout the teacher training program. If you like to relax from the training, you will be delighted to find the yoga studio surrounded by several skilled Ayurvedic massage salons.

Spiritual day trips

Next to a qualitative education with responsible teaching and care for your individual learning process, this teacher training is distinct in that Shiva Rishi Yoga at Varkala Cliff likes to make occasional spiritual trips on free days and explore the many diverse landscapes of Kerala like the backwaters, hills, and hidden beaches.

Sample daily schedule

  • 06:15 - 06:30 Kriyas and Cleansing
  • 06:30 - 07:00 Meditation
  • 07:00 - 08:30 Pranayama and yoga asana practice
  • 08:30 - 09:30 Breakfast
  • 11:00 - 12:30 Theory class
  • 12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
  • 14:30 - 16:00 Theory class or pranyama or self-study time
  • 16:30 - 18:00 Yoga asanas
  • 18:30 - 19:30 Dinner
  • 19:30 Occasional evening program

For the purpose of chanting and meditation, some excursions will be done on the Golden island, through backwaters.

  • Siva

    Siva's life is totally dedicated to yoga. He has been practicing yoga for more than 10 years and is sharing his knowledge and techniques in Varkala. As a Swami Satyananda disciple, his fascination for the teachings of Patanjali and his love for yoga practice have changed his life completely. He discovered yoga as a way of living, which is the perfect communion between mind, body, and soul. By placing practice within the context of Indian culture and philosophy, Siva's classes are an ever deepening experience of the true tradition of yoga.

  • Rajeev

    Rajeev is a certified and very experienced Sivananda yoga teacher from Cochin. He sincerely motivates and inspires students to explore their potential and connect with their inner Self through the power of yoga discipline.

  • Philipp

    Philipp is a yoga teacher from Germany. Whilst traveling through India after his psychology studies, he became fascinated by the Oriental approach to investigate mind and matter. Through yoga and Vipassana meditation, Philipp experienced how this ancient wisdom can be practiced, and he has worked with Siva ever since.

This teacher training will take place in Varkala, India. Varkala, a calm and quiet hamlet, lies on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram district. It has several places of tourist interests like a beautiful beach, a two-thousand-year-old Vishnu Temple and the Ashramam - Sivagiri Mutt a little distance from the beach.

The Papanasam Beach (also called as Varkala Beach), which is 10 kilometers away from Varkala, is renowned for its natural spring. It is considered to have medicinal and curative properties. A dip in the holy waters at this beach is believed to purge the body of impurities and the soul of all sins; hence the name 'Papanasam Beach'.

A two-thousand-year-old shrine, the Janardhanaswamy Temple, is a short distance away from the beach. The Sivagiri Mutt, founded by the great Hindu reformer and philosopher Sree Narayana Guru (1856 - 1928) is also close by.

The Samadhi (the final resting place) of the Guru here attracts thousands of devotees every year during the Sivagiri Pilgrimage days, from 30th December to 1st January. Sree Narayana Guru propagated the ideology; "one caste, one religion and one god", in a society torn by the taboos of the caste system.

Nearby places

  • Kollam, 37 kilometers
  • Papanasham Beach, 10 kilometers
  • Varkala Cliff - 2 minutes

You will be served full vegetarian Sattvic yogi diet (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) six days a week.

During your free time, you will be able to enjoy Varkala's sights, such as a boat tour and meditation on Golden Island. You will also explore the many diverse landscapes of Kerala like the backwaters, hills, and hidden beaches.

You cannot miss the elephant and dolphin watching, as well as a spiritual trip to Keralan backwaters and Golden Island, Jayattupara Mountain, visiting Amma Ashram Amritapuri (Amma is widely regarded as one of India's foremost spiritual leaders. Amritapuri is a huge complex, with about 3500 people living here permanently - monks, nuns, students and families, both Indian and foreign. It offers food, Ayurvedic treatments, and a daily schedule of yoga, meditation and darshan.)

  • 6 days a week full vegetarian Sattvic yogi diet (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
  • 26 nights' accommodation with bathroom and balcony
  • 27 days program with six days class and one free day per week
  • Bhakti yoga, Bhajans
  • Daily teachings (yoga philosophy, anatomy classes, pranayama classes)
  • Daily yoga asanas and meditation practices
  • Few sightseeings around Varkala (i.e. boat tour and meditation on Golden Island)
  • Free pickup from Trivandrum International Airport (TRV)
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Puja ceremonies

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Trivandrum International Airport (TRV). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Shiva Rishi Yoga at Varkala Cliff will pick you up from the airport.

  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 14 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 14 days before arrival.

Verified BookYogaRetreats.com reviews

  • F
    Review by Francesca Giustetti from Republic of Italy

    No yoga retreat but a spiritual awakening

    PROS Pros: I was aspecting a regular yoga retreat instead what this place gave me is much much more...priceless! Kerala is an amazing place if you like nature, it all sorrunded by sparkling green jungle-looking trees. The accomodation is cosy, super clean and has a fantastic yoga shala on the roof top which share all the energy of the sorrounding nature. The food is absolutely fantastic! The woman who is in charge, Shadi, cooks with the love that just a mum can do. Everything is fresh and light as a yogi diet requires.. just in a bigger portion! Shiva is not only an instructor but a spiritual guide. He is not just concern in teaching you the posture but guiding you trough the fantastic world of yoga. He shares his passion with his student and drives them through the enlightment. This is not a simple yoga retreat.. you will get much more than flexibility and a relax mind.

    Organizer response: We are very Please of your comments but not surprise this is exactly who we are not just a business center but truly dedicated to the yoga philosophy and applying the teachings In our daily life. The security, well being of our guess is our priority. We love what we do and we share our passion for the yoga life with others, making sure they have a memorable experience in our great Ganesha Palace house, super clean, with excellent unique home cooking, surrounded by our lush garden. I you have time dear Francesca, please write a review on trip advisor also. Have a wonderful trip in India Love and light Madeleine for Shivarishiyoga school

    2017-Aug-05 12:11:41


  • Review by Elke Witthuhn
    10 out of 10

    "In November 2015 I spent a great time in Varkala at Shiva-Rishi-Yoga School. For greeting we found some flowers in our nice and clean room. Our Yoga holidays startet with a puja. That gives a nice atmosphere to the group. The yoga lessons were perfectly explained and instructed. Shiva and Philipp did it with a lot of inspiration and enthusiasm. Very interesting were the philosophy classes, where we learned to understand why yoga works like it works. The guys took us through different kinds of Yoga, such as pranajama (breathing), asanas (physical work out), chakra balancing, mantra chanting. The yoga holidays included some trips through South India. We saw a lot of typical Indian life, ate tasty Indian food and heard many storys about Indian philisophy and culture from Shiva. We had a lot of fun by traveling with public buses and trains. The hotels were different, some with high standard, other really local but with a great view over the mountains (Munnar). One of the highlights was the houseboat trip. So at the end I can say, it was a very enriching time for me and I plan to go back to Shiva Rishi Yoga School in Varkala as soon as possible."

    Shiva Rishi Yoga at Varkala Cliff website, edited

  • Review by Felix Kaltner
    10 out of 10

    "I did a 200hour Yoga Teacher Training with Siva and I really enjoyed the time! Espcially the Philosophy it let me once more understand that yoga is way more than physical exercises. Also I became very flexible, my body relaxed and mind calm. The various kind of breathing techniques balanced my mind to a higher state of concentration for meditation. I recommend Siva as a good teacher and great Yogi, sharing the acient and secred knowledge with us students."

    Shiva Rishi Yoga at Varkala Cliff website, edited

  • Review by Philipp Meyrahn
    10 out of 10

    "It's been an unique experience to study at shiva rishi yoga school. Siva is a very professional and honest teacher who is devoting all his life to yoga and spirituality. Also Madeleine takes very good care of the guests, staff and hotel which contributes to the lovely atmosphere."

    Shiva Rishi Yoga at Varkala Cliff website, edited

Varkala, India

Shiva Rishi Yoga is a company that offers courses and yoga retreats with the objective of spreading the message of yoga and helping all participants to live a healthy and harmonious life.

  • Availability: The Yoga Retreats of this organizer are available 0% of the time.
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27 days / 26 nights

Thursday November 2, 2017
(27 days / 26 nights)

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