If you're considering doing your yoga teacher training, India might be the place for you! Taking your practice back to the place where yoga started could bring a whole new aspect to your practice.
Here are three important factors to consider before taking your yoga teacher training in India.
1. What Kind of Training Do You Want?
Are you looking for an Eastern or Western style teacher training? What this means, is, do you want a more traditional style training run by Indians, or do you want to stay more in your comfort zone and sign up for a training run by expats?
The most important thing is that you find a training that fits you. If you want a more traditional training, Rishikesh or Mysore are the places to go.
Rishikesh is known as "The Yoga Capital of the World," so you're almost guaranteed to find what you're looking for there. Rishikesh Yog Dham is a traditional Hatha yoga school, where you can get you can get your 200 hour certification.
Mysore is where K. Pattabhi Jois, founder of Ashtanga yoga, studied with Krishnamacharya, who was largely responsible for the resurgence of yoga in the 20th century. Jois founded the Shri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, which would be the perfect place to go for Ashtanga training.
In the end, make sure to do lots of research before you go so that you're happy with your school and that it feels right for you.
2. Travel Plans
Obviously, India is super far away if you live in the States. If you're planning on traveling to the subcontinent for your teacher training, it's very important to make sure your travel plans are in order.
Because the flight is so long, make sure to have everything you need before you get on the plane. Extra snacks? Solid reading material? Make sure you've got enough to stay entertained until you get there.
Locking down your travel plans before you get there saves you a huge headache. There are lots of times when I travel where I only figure out how I'm getting from place to place once I land. However, it's probably best to figure all that out before you get there.
Another thing to consider is if your training include accommodation or not. If it doesn't, make sure to book a place to rest your head well in advance. You'll need all the sleep you can get before long days of yoga classes and workshops, and you want to make sure it's somewhere nice and comfortable.
Research places to stay in the area of your training, and see if you want to stay in a hostel or a hotel. And if you're looking to stay longer after your training, you can usually stay in an ashram for a little while (and for relatively little money) to expand your spiritual practice.
3. Consider India Itself
Before traveling halfway around the world, consider if India is the place for you.
India is a place that people either love or hate. There's not much in between. Between potential food poisoning, crowded spaces, and large cultural differences, it can be a trip with lots of challenges to overcome.
However, the magic of being in India and doing yoga where it all began could just trump any bad experience you may have. And if it's always been a dream of yours to go to India, then it might just be the place for you to take your training.
There's so much to see and explore in India: from the Taj Mahal, to the Himalayas, to the streets of Delhi and the beaches of Goa, there's always something to do. India is perfect for immersing yourself in one of the world's oldest cultures, and I really can't stress enough how cool and special it is to practice yoga in the place where it all started.
No matter what, do lots of research, plan ahead, and have a great time!