Why join an intensive Yoga Teacher Training Course (YTTC) in India?
When you consider going on the lengthy journey to undertake yoga teacher training in India, a lot of questions come up in your mind. This essay talks about the main worries and questions that most people who want to learn yoga in India have when they are starting to take their interest in yoga seriously. When considering undertaking an Indian yoga teacher training program, there are several common concerns and questions that arise:
Course structure of 200 hours Yoga teacher training in India.
A 200-hour Yoga teacher training in India typically includes a comprehensive curriculum that covers a wide range of subjects related to Yoga. Here is a list of some of the topics that may be covered in such a program:
Asanas (Yoga postures): Participants will learn the proper alignment, benefits, and modifications of various Yoga postures, as well as how to teach them in a safe and effective manner.
Pranayama (breathing techniques): Participants will learn the different types of pranayama and how to practice them correctly and safely.
Meditation and relaxation: Participants will learn various meditation and relaxation techniques, including Yoga Nidra, to help students achieve a state of deep relaxation and inner calm.
Yoga philosophy and history: Participants will learn about the history and evolution of Yoga, as well as the main philosophical concepts of Yoga, including the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Bhagavad Gita, and other ancient texts.
Anatomy and physiology: Participants will learn about the human body and how Yoga postures and breathing techniques can help to improve overall health and well-being.
Teaching methodology: Participants will learn how to effectively teach Yoga classes, including how to design sequences, cueing techniques, and how to adjust students in postures.
Practice teaching: Participants will have the opportunity to practice teaching Yoga classes to their peers and receive feedback.
Personal practice and self-study: Participants will be expected to maintain a personal practice and self-study during the course.
This is a general structure, the actual course may vary depending on the school, teacher or location. However, these are the main topics that are usually covered in a 200-hour Yoga teacher training in India.
Few common concerns and challenges
One of the main worries is the cost of the program. Yoga teacher training in India can be expensive, and many people wonder if the investment is worth it. It is important to research different programs and compare their costs, as well as the curriculum and qualifications of the instructors.
Another concern is the cultural and language barriers that may be present during the training. Many yoga teacher training programs in India are taught in English, but some may be taught in Hindi or other local languages. It is important to be aware of this and to ensure that the program you choose offers instruction in a language you are comfortable with.
Another question that often arises is about accommodations and living conditions during the training. Many programs offer housing options like dorms or shared apartments, but it’s also important to think about where the program is and what kinds of services are close by.
Additionally, people also wonder about the authenticity and quality of the Indian yoga teacher training programs. There are many programs available, and it can be difficult to determine which one is the best fit for you. It is important to research the program and its instructors, as well as to read reviews from past students.
Visiting India for the first time can result in culture shock due to the overwhelming crowds, noise, chaotic traffic, unfamiliar food and overpowering religion. However, as one becomes more familiar with the culture, these experiences will likely fade.
Lastly, many people also wonder about the job opportunities and career prospects for yoga teachers in India and abroad. While yoga is becoming increasingly popular, it’s important to be realistic about the job market and to understand that not all yoga teacher training programs will lead to immediate employment.
Yoga as a lucrative profession
There’s no question that yoga is the most popular and promising way to improve your health and fitness right now. Regular yoga practice not only improves the overall quality of your life and experiences, but it also confers a number of other significant benefits. Yoga practice has evolved over time, but at its core, yoga is about cultivating attention, gaining a more refined perception, and arriving at a state in which one can observe. The things that we pay attention to and the frame of mind in which we do so have a significant impact on the manner in which we generally experience life.
It has come as something of a surprise to see yoga achieve the levels of popularity, practice, and reach that it has in recent years. These days, you can find people who are interested in yoga in nearly every section and corner of the world. The ever-increasing popularity of yoga among the general public has also resulted in enormous opportunities being made available to yoga teachers, instructors, and professionals throughout the course of the previous two decades.
The practice of yoga may be traced back to India, where it was developed through the fervent efforts and divine contributions of enlightened Yogis who lived in India for thousands of years. Obviously, various schools of Yoga and ideas found their way to the masses within India and oriental geographies before everything could be fundamentally formed into the main forms of Yoga as we learn and study them today.
Indian vs Western Approaches to Yoga Study
Yoga studies in India and the West can differ in a few key ways. In India, Yoga is considered to be an ancient spiritual practice that is deeply rooted in the culture and traditions of the country. Yoga teacher training programs in India often focus on the traditional aspects of Yoga, including the philosophy, history, and spiritual practices that are associated with it. These programs often include in-depth study of classical texts such as the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Bhagavad Gita.
In the West, Yoga is often seen as a form of physical exercise or a way to promote physical and mental well-being. Yoga teacher training programs in the West often focus on the physical aspects of Yoga, such as asanas (postures) and alignment, and may not include as much emphasis on the spiritual or philosophical aspects. Additionally, some Western teacher training programs may be more oriented towards specific styles of Yoga, such as vinyasa or hot yoga, whereas in India, the traditional styles are usually emphasized.
Another difference is that the tradition of Yoga in India has been passed down orally from guru to student for centuries, while in the West, Yoga is taught mainly through books, videos, and workshops. This means that the training in India is often more personal and tailored to the student, and the teachers may have a deeper understanding of the subject matter due to their own personal experience and practice.
Overall, the difference between Yoga studies in India and the West can be summarized by the fact that in India, Yoga is considered a holistic practice that encompasses the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of the human being, while in the West, it is mainly seen as a form of physical exercise.
Ask few serious questions before joining an Indian Yoga teacher training
Here are a few serious questions that a future aspirant Yoga teacher or student should consider before deciding to join a Yoga teacher training program in India:
1. What are the qualifications and experience of the instructors? It is important to ensure that the instructors are qualified and experienced in teaching Yoga, and have a good reputation in the Yoga community.
2. What is the course curriculum and what topics will be covered? It is essential to ensure that the course covers all the topics relevant to Yoga teaching, including asanas, pranayama, meditation, philosophy, anatomy, and teaching methodology.
3. Is the course registered with any governing body or recognized institution? Joining a course that is registered with a governing body or recognized institution may increase your chances of getting a job as a Yoga teacher after graduation.
4. What is the format of the course? Will it be residential, non-residential, online or a combination? It is important to be aware of the format of the course and whether it will fit with your lifestyle and schedule.
5. What is the cost of the course and what is included? It is important to be aware of the total cost of the course and what is included, such as accommodation, meals, and study materials.
6. What is the schedule like and how much time will be required? It is important to be aware of the schedule and how much time will be required for the course, including study time, practice time, and teaching time.
7. What is the pass rate and success rate of the course? It is important to know the pass rate and success rate of the course and the school, to have an idea of the level of training and the quality of education provided.
8. Are there any additional costs such as transport and visa? It’s important to have an idea of additional costs such as transport and visa, if the training is in a different location of your country.
Last but not least the most important questions you should be asking yourself
Why do you want to go all the way to India to do an Indian Yoga teacher training course? Are you genuinely interested in learning more about exactly the western way but actually a traditional Indian way? What are your learning and spiritual goals? Is it just about earning a branded teacher training certification for career progression or learning traditional, authentic Indian Yoga? Are you prepared to learn from an Indian Yoga Guru or Master yet?
Asking these questions will help you to make an informed decision about whether a Yoga teacher training program in India is the right choice for you, and will also help you to be prepared for the course and the experience.
Why should you take courses to become a yoga teacher in India?
India is with no doubt the main hub of Yoga, not merely because Yoga originated in India, but primarily for the reason that learning Yoga in India is altogether a very strong and intense experience. Several reasons justify why India is the number one choice of aspiring Yoga students and teachers across the globe and few of them are here:
1. Cultural Advantage of an Indian Yoga Teacher Training
Cultural and deeper philosophical influence within Indian Yoga learning experience
Yes. Whether we believe it or not, it’s true! India is a different place to learn yoga, both in terms of what you learn and how you experience everything else. For most westerners, living and seeing a real Indian yogic tradition up close could be overwhelming, shocking, exciting, and very beautiful, depending on who you are and where you come from. Spiritual Vedic sciences, which mean learning by pushing your limits in formal classes and practical sessions, show that learning is not just about books. We all know that true learning isn’t easy, so learning in a completely new environment might be a big change for many people, unless they’ve been to India before and gotten used to the culture and other things.
What do you learn in a yoga ashram in India?
In any real traditional yoga school, the lessons are definitely very deep and based on yoga philosophy, a deeper understanding, and karma yoga. Now, this is something that really sets Western yoga studios apart, with very few exceptions. The way yoga is taught in traditional Indian yoga ashrams is different from the way yoga is taught in other parts of the world. In western settings, the focus is more on physical asanas, teaching skills, adjustments, corrections, physiology, and anatomy, and not as much on active, quiet, and meditative practices like Dharna, Dhyana, and Pranayama (yogic breathing). Yoga philosophy isn’t even taught seriously in most schools, let alone how it can be used in real life.
Yoga philosophy is the bible of yoga, per se. Practicing yoga without following the Patanjali Yoga Sutras is like claiming to play a professional football without following the rules of the sport.
Karma Yoga and Ashtanga yoga (eight limbs of yoga) is merely a symbolic display in the western world when it comes to real life understanding and practice. By contrast in traditional and non-commercial Indian Yoga schools, practice is focused upon all aspects of yoga and not just physical. Based on the aspirant’s spiritual consciousness and mental level, courses are being suggested. Learning Yoga in the Indian Yoga system is not fast and competitive. It comes slow and lives long within us. However, it doesn’t mean all Indian yoga schools and ashrams fall within this category, but that is a matter of selection and personal research.
3. Professional Value Enhancement and credibility
Students and yoga teachers from all over the world also think of their yoga training in India as a way to look more credible for their careers and for their own personal and professional growth. It makes sense that you would want to go to a certain country or place to get better at a certain skill in a short amount of time. In the end, it will be well worth your time, effort, and money because it will give you skills and qualifications that will help you shape and advance your career as a yoga teacher. But from what I’ve seen, a lot of students try to become teachers too quickly without enough training, practice, and experience. This is counterproductive. Courses alone will never make you a good professional teacher.
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4. Cost and Quality Benefit
Yoga teacher training (YTTC) programs in India are generally quite affordable without sacrificing quality. However, there are a few high-priced commercial yoga schools here where everything glitters like gold, and we have to pay for the gold in terms of costs if not for the quality and purity. Everything that is highly priced is not always of high value, and this is particularly true when it comes to yoga schools around the world, including India. According to ancient yoga ethics, yoga education should not be expensive.
If you are on a budget, don’t expect luxury, but if you are focused on your personal transformation, you will often find that the teachings are just as good, if not better, in the less expensive options. Costs and quality are relative terms and depend on your budget and your expectations of the teachers, yourself, and the school. Who’s involved in the equation? We find what we seek eventually, but the question is: do we always seek the right things and people in life? So that needs a bit of realignment and orientation before you venture out.
Watch out for Yoga schools in India offering commercialised form of education
Commercialization of yoga has been quite rampant everywhere, and India is not an exception. But by and large, there are many budget courses (from 1000 to 1500 USD) being offered by different yoga destinations and schools. Selection shouldn’t just be based on price, but also on the quality of the schools and courses, as well as the teachers’ experience and skill level. Other important aspects are their track record, course structure, and teaching methodology and philosophy.
Last but not least, determine whether everything fits and aligns with what you are looking for or not. Well, everything never fits perfectly, but at least it’s worth trying to find a place where people are able to guide you in your personal and spiritual transformation, while accepting that every place has its pros and cons. In the end, you need to do proper budgeting so that you can also manage everything: boarding, insurance, food, lodging, travel visas, living expenses, emergencies, and tickets.
Expertise of Indian Yoga teachers as compared to western Yoga Teachers
Indian Yoga teachers generally have more experience and expertise in the practice of Yoga compared to Western Yoga teachers for several reasons:
Cultural Heritage: Yoga originated in India and has been passed down through generations of Indian teachers. Indian Yoga teachers have grown up with the practice and have a deeper understanding of the cultural and spiritual aspects of Yoga.
Training: Many Indian Yoga teachers have completed traditional and intensive training in Yoga, including studying under experienced gurus and completing teacher training programs that are longer and more rigorous than those offered in the West.
Practice: Indian Yoga teachers have typically been practicing Yoga for much longer than Western Yoga teachers, and as a result, have a deeper understanding of the practice and its benefits.
Availability: There are more Yoga teachers in India than in the West, so there is more opportunity to learn from experienced teachers and to find a teacher that is well-suited to your specific needs.
Tradition: Indian Yoga teachers often have a deeper understanding of the traditional teachings of Yoga, such as the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Bhagavad Gita, which are less emphasized in Western Yoga teacher trainings.
It is worth noting that Yoga teachers from different parts of the world have different teaching styles and knowledge, and not all Western Yoga teachers are less experienced or knowledgeable than their Indian counterparts. However, on average, Indian Yoga teachers may have more experience and expertise in the practice of Yoga than Western Yoga teachers.
6. Community & support within an Indian Yoga teacher training course
Joining a Yoga teacher training course in India can provide a sense of community and connection for several reasons:
Shared Experience: Joining a teacher training course in India will bring you together with individuals from all over the world who are on their own personal journey of self-discovery and growth. This shared experience can create a sense of camaraderie and connection.
Cultural Exchange: Joining a teacher training course in India will give you the opportunity to connect with people from different cultures and backgrounds, which can be a valuable experience in terms of personal growth and understanding.
Support: Being part of a training community can provide support and encouragement throughout the course, which can be especially beneficial when facing any challenges or obstacles during the training process.
Networking: Joining a teacher training course in India can provide an opportunity to network with other aspiring Yoga teachers, which can be beneficial when it comes to finding work or building a community after the training is completed.
Lifetime friendship: Many students who have done a teacher training in India, have formed lifetime friendships with their classmates, and continue to support each other in their Yoga journey.
Sense of belonging: Being in an environment where everyone is there for the same reason, to deepen their understanding of Yoga and become certified teachers, creates a sense of belonging and understanding.
7. Serenity and yogic enviroment
Doing your Yoga teacher training in India can provide a serene and yogic environment that can enhance your learning and personal growth for several reasons:
Natural Setting: India is home to many beautiful and peaceful locations that provide the perfect setting for learning and personal growth. Many teacher training programs are held in locations such as Rishikesh, Dharamsala, and Goa which are surrounded by natural beauty and offer a peaceful and serene environment.
Yogic atmosphere: Many training locations in India have a strong yogic atmosphere, with ashrams, temples and Yoga centers, where the environment and ambiance are conducive to learning, practice and personal growth.
Spiritual Connection: Many training locations in India are also spiritual centers, which can provide an opportunity for deeper connection to the spiritual aspects of Yoga.
Disconnection from distractions: Being in an environment that is isolated from the distractions of everyday life, can help to focus the mind and provide an opportunity for deeper learning and personal growth.
How do I find out if an Indian Yoga school is serious for fulfilling my learning objectives?
Surprisingly, only a few students take the time to actually read websites in-depth, study what they will learn, and determine if it fits their requirements. You will be surprised to know that even fewer students actually take the time to call their teachers on Skype, video chat, or voice messaging to find out if the school they are selecting has the right, experienced teachers or not. If you choose yoga schools based on flashy websites and fake reviews written by people who were paid to write them, God save you! Best wishes! 🙂 Jumping into assumptions and drawing illusions is a habit, but not a good one! So take time to educate yourself about every minute detail through a questionnaire. Teachers and yoga schools who cannot or are too busy to respond to your questions are likely to not respond later, even in the middle of the course.
Not everything that glitters is a gold !
Not everything that glitters is gold. Don’t be blinded by fancy schools with glitter and gold. Look for authentic schools with a true mission and teaching philosophy. After all, you came this far to learn authentic yoga. Most importantly, choose an open school where teachers are easy to talk to and are happy to talk to their students on Skype or Messenger.
During your conversation, you’ll find out quickly if the teachers are qualified in their field, what they can offer you, and if it’s worth your time and money to travel this far in search of something you don’t know much about but could change your life. Also, if you were learning in a group of 20 (like in a big commercial yoga school) or 7, that would make a huge difference. At times, people think schools with large groups are better schools, but not necessarily. In reality, in most instances, what’s good is their marketing, brand promotion, and search engine rankings on Google, not necessarily other crucial aspects for one’s selection. So, don’t fall for big names blindly.
Do’s and Don’ts for planning and selecting an Indian Yoga teacher training for your Yoga teacher training course
Are you thinking about taking a yoga teacher training course in India? Here are the important dos and don’ts that you need to know in the process of selecting your yoga school and mentally preparing yourself for your inner journey.
Before you start searching on Google, you should talk to yourself about what you want to learn and how you want to learn it. You should also be honest with yourself about how ready you are for any yoga ashram or school in India.
1. Know your personal and academic strengths and weaknesses. This will help you stay grounded and on track.
2. Talk to your old yoga teachers and friends to find out what they think and what they think you should do.
3. India has more than 1,000 places where you can do yoga. Not every place is for you. Not every teacher is right for you, and the same goes for you. You are not prepared to learn from everyone either. Do research about schools online with an open mind. Ask teachers and friends for advice on how to check the track record of yoga schools. Visit these websites and read all of the information carefully to find out if this place is right for your heart and mind.
4. You can only learn from teachers, so talk to them directly. If you are connected to the Internet, you can talk to them live. Don’t be afraid to send out queries. Schools and teachers who are happy to help you all the time and talk to you directly during the selection process will also help you reach your yogic goals. Carefully check and read the requirements to get into a yoga teacher training course. Read the whole course syllabus and do a preliminary evaluation on your own or with the school’s team. Yoga schools that require assessments and interactions before registering are more likely to be the serious ones in the business, as opposed to the “flashy” ones that often don’t talk or act a little bit arrogant for no reason.
Do not deviate from your main goal and fall for other temptations like tourism once you have finalized everything.
Do not select commercially flashy yoga schools. If you were looking for a serious yoga ashram, then these might not be as famous or visible on the internet. Whatever glitters is not always gold, especially when it comes to finding authentic Indian yoga teachers and ashrams. Whatever is always visible right on top is not always the best, especially in the context of spiritual studies and places. You have to dig deeper and find the right place to find true knowledge and learning.
Do not select a yoga school keeping irrelevant reasons in mind like beaches, parties, crowds, and tourism. Most yoga students are yoga tourists rather than yoga students. In that case, double-check yourself and read the Dos in the blog above. Distraction is good for nothing.
Emotional Baggages and Expectations overload
Do not travel and reach your Yoga Ashram with a lot of baggage (emotional and mental) especially if you are enrolling for a professional Yoga Teacher Training course in India. Don’t merge Yoga Holiday and re-centering your mindset with your tasks in hand ahead.
Don’t over expect and be open minded. Nothing and no one is perfect including yourself.
Do not simply focus on your own expectations. Also, focus on the schools and your mentor’s expectations. Joining and doing a Yoga Teacher Training is not a financial transaction where you come and buy a course. You need to actively engage in the practical sessions, academic and philosophical aspects in order to pass your exams. Doing a Yoga teacher training course is neither a holiday nor an easy task. It is serious hard work.
Don’t expect everything around you is going to be perfect and to your standards, because at times we may find ourselves over expecting or our expectations are misplaced.
Don’t allow yourself to be negatively influenced by situations, events and people around you. Rather focus on your mentors, learning, and purpose, engaging in the group with a positive mindset and energy.
Don’t assume everything but ask and inquire. Approach your stay seriously and research thoroughly.
Joining an Indian Yoga teacher training can provide individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to become a certified Yoga teacher and gain a deeper understanding of the Indian Yoga tradition, culture and way of living. The pros include gaining a comprehensive understanding of Yoga asanas, pranayama, meditation, philosophy, anatomy and teaching methodology, and being able to register with Yoga Alliance as a RYT. However, some cons to consider include the cost of the training, the time commitment required, and the possibility of not being able to find work as a Yoga teacher after completing the program. It’s also important to consider the location and facilities of the training center and the qualifications of the instructors.
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