With the yoga industry booming around the globe, the market is saturated with yoga studios and teacher training courses. So why should one bother traveling all the way to India to learn yoga when one could just as well do it from home?
Because it’s the birthplace of yoga, India offers an opportunity to live and breathe true yoga. Nowadays, the real meaning of yoga has been lost in translation, sometimes even to the point that it becomes a purely physical exercise where everyone wants to push their bodies to unnatural limits.
If you want to learn something, it’s usually best to go directly to the source than learning through the grapevine. In India, there are many teachers who are well-versed in the Yoga Sutras, Bhagavad Gita and other philosophical texts.
Yoga is a holistic practice that includes all aspects of life, including diet as well as the study of philosophy. The focus is not only about being healthy and fit; it’s also about how you live. This is where philosophy comes in. It helps us not only find out who we are but also how to relate to others and live life to the fullest.
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how the whole phenomenon of yoga differs in India. After all, yoga originated there, but how many people there actually have a solid asana practice? However, although they do not practice asana, you can feel the yogic culture everywhere. The people in India are not what you would typically label ‘wealthy’, but they have big hearts and truly embody the concept of yoga. You will start learning yoga the moment you leave the airport!
Besides its yogic background, India is a huge country with vastly contrasting terrains, from the mountainous regions up North to the ocean side down South. Do you prefer a cold or hot climate? Where do you want to live for a month–by the beach, in the mountains, in a city? You are spoiled with choices.
Along with different regions come different cultural heritages as well. For example, in the North, especially in places like Dharamshala, the people and heritage are more similar to the Tibetan culture. You will experience a very unique side of India depending on your chosen location.
One of the biggest pros of doing Yoga Teacher Training in India is that it costs much less compared to other parts of the world. In addition, you also get food and boarding for a whole month, which makes it even more worthwhile.
Even after you factor in an additional cost for plane tickets and other miscellaneous transportation costs, it’s still worthwhile to do a teacher training course in India, because of the once-in-a-lifetime experience. In addition to getting certified as a yoga teacher, you also experience a new country. And how often do people have the chance to fully indulge in such an experience for a whole month?
With all the pros of doing a teacher training course in India, India draws an international crowd to her shores. You will most likely interact with students of different nationalities, all with their own unique, individual stories and experiences to share.
The people who meet during teacher training usually form a very special bond that lasts a lifetime. Even though they come from different countries, the fond memories they share together will be permanently etched in their hearts.
India sure sounds like the perfect place to learn yoga, right? However, there are a few points to consider before you sign up!
Things to Consider Before Doing Your Teacher Training in India
India is a country of extremes. You either love it or hate it–there’s no in-between.
India is organized chaos. It can get very crowded in certain parts of the country. If you want to live a systematic and predictable lifestyle, then you may want to reconsider going to India. Everything from the traffic to the marketplace can seem like havoc.
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Most food outlets in India serve vegetarian meals, so eating may be difficult if you enjoy eating meat. If you have never eaten Indian food, it may not be a good idea to do a teacher training in India, as your digestive system or tastebuds may not agree with it.
If you highly value the little luxuries of life that living in a first-world country has to offer, then India is definitely not the place for you. For the amount of money that a teacher training costs,it’s unrealistic to expect 5-star treatment. If you are looking for a 5-star treatment go to Bali.
Indian lifestyle is generally not luxurious, but it is very down to earth and will definitely make you rethink your own lifestyle back home!
Once you have decided to go to India, make sure to prearrange all your travel plans so you don’t get stuck in a rut once you arrive. Although India is the birthplace of yoga, do not spend time with strangers and do not accept food or drink. Always make sure you have your own supplies, and when you are buying from a shop, make sure they come in sealed packets.
Happy traveling and learning!