Writing this article brought back many fond memories of my teacher training in Rishikesh. I am ecstatic for you to be thinking about and potentially traveling to India, the birthplace of yoga, for your teacher training!
Whether it is your first teacher training or your 27th, India always has more yogic wisdom to offer.
Here are 10 amazing reasons to take your yoga teacher training in India:
1. Lineage: Going to the Source
The Upanishads, a series of Hindu sacred treatises, literally mean “sitting near,” as in to sit as close as possible to the master.
Like the classic game of telephone, things get lost in translation; therefore, traveling to India is the logical course to learn from the source of sacred yogic wisdom.
2. Diverse Terrain: It Has Mountains and Beaches
Ranging from the Himalayan mountains to the Indian Ocean coastline, India is a beautiful country with diverse terrain.
Rishikesh has access to Mother Ganga and is considered the yoga capital of the world. Mysore is considered the place for Ashtanga practitioners to study. Dharamshala is tucked away in the Himalayan peaks and a great place to study if the mountains call to you. Furthermore, Goa has breathtaking beach views.
Yogi Tip: Be mindful of timing and temperature in various areas. For example, in the summer, the southern regions of India can be extremely hot and humid.
3. Affordability: Lower Cost for Teacher Training
Two months in India complete with six weeks of 200-hour teacher training, round trip flight, lodging, food, and travel after training cost the same for me as studying at any of my local studios. Additional food and drinks are low-cost.
In 2013, I remember sitting outside looking at the Mother Ganga treating myself to a delicious mango lassi with paneer tikka masala, all of which ended up costing about 600 Indian rupees, or nine US dollars.
4. Full Immersion: No PAUSE Button
If you are traveling to India for teacher training, it is likely not your home base. Therefore, there is no time to push pause and go back to your usual routine.
Being fully immersed in your training and surrounded by likeminded individuals helps integrate your teachings into your life.
5. Culture Shock: Sometimes Coming Home is Harder Than Leaving
Without having traveled prior to living in Rishikesh for six weeks, I was expecting a similar experience throughout the country. However, in Delhi, I experienced culture shock when beer and chicken were available at dinner. I was accustomed to Rishikesh, a holy city, where a vegetarian diet is the law and there is no consumption of alcohol.
Traveling within India provided an opportunity to reflect on my own personal practice and philosophy after the teacher training ended.
6. Letting Go: Buh-Bye Ego
There is something about the stark reality of living beside immense poverty that strips away the ego. Training in India not only teaches you the yamas and niyamas, it helps you live the yogic philosophy.
Considering aparigraha, non-greed or non-possessiveness -- in India, it is easier to strip away the ego that calls for expensive yoga clothes and competition for the perfect asana practice.
7. Ayurveda: Subscribe to the Good Life
Developed over 5,000 years ago in India, Ayurveda is a system of preventative medicine and health care. Ayurveda identifies a person’s ideal state of balance and offers interventions to reestablish balance.
While in India, learning more about Ayurveda from the source is a perfect complement to learning yoga.
8. Mind Over Matter: The Power of Patience
Continuous yoga and meditation practice invites inner peace.
Additionally, riding in a car in India helps increase your ability to stay calm and patient while dodging carts left in the middle of a bustling intersection and hearing honks from at least ten different drivers at the same time.
9. Connection: Gather Energy From Around the World
Not only will there be amazing teachers from India who can help you bring something new back home, you will likely have a cohort from all over the world who will help your practice flourish.
I trained with people from six different continents. I learned all sorts of new asanas, flows, and how studios from across the world format classes and build community.
10. Fresh Chai Lattes: Repeat Daily
Lastly, if no other reason on the list draws your energy to train in India, let this one help you decide: fresh chai lattes.
For a few rupees, you can lounge outside and sip the most refreshing chai latte in the world. If the idea of exploring stunning Hindu temples and palaces or swimming in the Ganga or connecting to the magnetic and powerful energy in India does not tempt you, go for the chai lattes; they are unforgettable.
Have you traveled to India for your teacher training? What reasons would you give for going? Share them with the rest of the community in the comments below!