As I explain in my “Who am I?” page, during the last three years I lived in Istanbul, Turkey. A few months ago, I felt my relationship with the city was over and I decided to start traveling. As I wanted to start with something different, I decided to start my travels attending a yoga teacher training in India.
As you could imagine, Istanbul is a huge city where you can end up having a hectic life and crazy schedules in the middle of the chaos and people. As I felt I never disconnected from my work and routine, I found a yoga studio across my home and I began attending regularly Ashtanga yoga lessons. This became my moment of inner peace among this craziness.
If you are reading this, you might be thinking how to find the best yoga teacher training for you in India: where to do a yoga course? What is my budget? Which styles of yoga will I learn?
As you may know, India is the birthplace of this philosophy and it is very difficult to choose a school. There are a lot of locations like Rishikesh, Goa, Mysore, McLeod Ganj or Kerala, where you will find a wide offer of yoga schools.
Below I will give some tips about my experience which can help you to decide in case you want to do a yoga teacher training in India.
How to find the best YTT course in India?
It is very difficult to choose among the wide offer or course, at least it was for me. I think it is necessary to know in advance what are your needs and follow what you are looking for. For example, in my case, I didn’t want to go to a very hot place as I feel for me is better to practice yoga with less warm temperatures. That’s why I decided to research for a yoga school in the north of India like Rishikesh or Dharamsala.
In the second place, I wanted to follow a multi-style yoga course in which also Ashtanga Yoga was taught. Finally, the price was also important to me. Even most of the yoga courses in India are cheaper than in Europe, my budget was pretty tight as I wanted to travel during months after finishing it.
I sent inquiries to a lot of schools and finally, I made my mind and I booked it in Chinmay Yoga in Dharamsala.
Why Chinmay Yoga? The price was much lower than any other school I found on the Internet in those areas, they offered a multi-style yoga teacher training course and the weather seemed fine to me. Besides, after checking their website and contacting them, I liked their philosophy of “not becoming rich with yoga”.
Another key factor is our physical condition and our level of yoga practice. If you are a beginner, I totally recommend to start for 200-hour YTTC and, after a while, if you do want to be a yoga teacher, go for the 300-hour YTTC.
We all have different needs, so when choosing a yoga course we should always listen to ourselves: what do I want? What do I expect? In which climate I feel comfortable? Then, it will be much easier to make a decision.
How is a yoga teacher training course in India? How is the daily routine?
To me, practicing yoga in India is not the same as practicing in western countries. I have been practicing yoga with western teachers and I could say it has been always pretty chill, even in Ashtanga lessons. In India, the teachers push you to your limits and they try to take the best from you. This makes the course hard but challenging at the same time, and you can understand better what your body is capable to do and, at the same time, observe the changes you are going through.
In Chinmay Yoga School, we had 2 hours of yoga asanas in the morning from 7am to 9am, then breakfast and after, philosophy, and art of teaching lessons. In the afternoon, from 4pm to 7pm, we were doing yoga asanas and meditation. After the last lesson, we had dinner all together and we still had some free time to study or chill.
Days were passing very fast, especially at the end of the course when you have to prepare the theoretical and practical exams.
And… what about the food? Most of the yoga schools in India offer vegetarian (or vegan) food, homemade and using fresh ingredients. In Chinmay Yoga food was amazing!
What can you get from a yoga teacher training in India?
A lot! You get to know yourself physically and mentally, you meet people from all over the world, you will enrich your knowledge in Yoga, both physical and philosophical and you get to stay in an amazing country!
Most of the students travel before or after the course and I really recommend to do it. India is a beautiful country full of contrasts where you can visit wonderful places. Holy Varanasi, the beaches in Goa, the Himalayas in the north or the desert of Rajasthan are some of the most famous spots to visit. It is very easy to move around by train or bus, you will find cheap accommodation almost everywhere. It is a must to interact with locals in order to learn about the country, culture, language, traditions. For sure, India is a country which won’t let you be indifferent!
How to apply for a yoga course in India?
It is possible to book any yoga teacher training in India online. With Chinmay Yoga, you just need to fulfill the contact form with all the necessary information and they will replay very quick. Then, in order to book your place for the desired course, you just need to send a pre-payment of a small amount and… booked!
The school should send information on how to reach the place and other important stuff to know before going to India: VISA application information, the means of transport, the exact location when to arrive and materials supplied and/or needed.
In my case, Chinmay Yoga has been my first stop in my travels around Asia. It has enriched me a lot and I gained knowledge which allows me to practice yoga while I travel. For now, as I am moving quite fast, it has been difficult to find the time to practice regularly. Nevertheless, when I find the time I can practice by myself, adapting the asanas depending on what I want to work, which style and how my body feels that day without the need of an instructor.