Yoga teacher training experience in Rishikesh, India
Yoga has been intriguing me for a long time. Over the years I got involved with other body-mind disciplines but yoga was something I always had in the back of my mind. Some of its aspects I practiced on and off and others I wanted to learn more about.
Like many of us interested in yoga, I thought it would be nice to learn it at the very source - in India!
It is such a nice idea! Go and have a nice vacation, see an exotic country, learn something you are interested in, meet some like-minded people, make new friends and get your yoga teacher's certification. All in one!
If you've never been to Asia, the additional bonus is that your accommodation, food, classes and transportation from the airport can be all taken care of and you have time to adjust and get to know the local reality. That's how I ended up in Rishikesh.
Well, if you're doing your research online you will very likely end up in Rishikesh as well because so many sources direct you there. They all claim: "Rishikesh is the yoga capital of the world". And so, there I was.
Of course if one has an interest in a particular style like Ashtanga or Iyengar yoga than the place to go to might be Mysore or Puna. However, if you're generally interested in hatha yoga, you are likely to end up in northern India where Rishikesh is.
So, what was my experience like? The experience was very good although my perspective changed and so did my expectations.
The curriculum was interesting. We would get up early in the morning and start our day with a few yogic cleansing shatkarma practices like nauli, agnisara or neti. Then we would have a couple of hours of asana instructions where we would learn how to achieve, develop and apply different yoga postures. After a simple breakfast, we would continue with more classes focusing on anatomy, teaching methodology, or meditation. After lunch we might have a bit of time off before another session of asana practice, then dinner and maybe some evening concert or a demonstration.
The classes were demanding. The theoretical part like philosophy, yoga sutra interpretations etc. was a bit vague and culturally flavored but good enough. Lots of practice. Lots of new friends. New perspectives, new ideas.
What I consider the most valuable part of my experience though is something that has more to do with the environment than with the actual yoga training. India is a different world for most westerners. It can be shocking and overwhelming on many levels. It can also be enriching and educating on many levels. For example: our perspective on life can drastically change, our appreciation and understanding of other ways can greatly increase and our ability to see what is important in our life can be significantly enhanced. We are learning patience and going beyond our personal physical and mental limits almost on every step of our stay in India.
Certainly, with the right attitude, we can develop these attributes wherever we are in the world but I doubt if we can do it having as much fun as we do in India!
We have to understand one thing - nobody is going to "learn" yoga or learn how to teach yoga in four or five weeks. It is like saying you will learn how to play piano in a month! Maybe you can learn a few tunes. Maybe you can learn how to continue studying. But you ain't gonna be a pianist yet!
It was certainly a nice experience. Not that one becomes a qualified teacher immediately but I think it is worth trying for this reason exactly - it can be an enriching experience.
And all the things that someone might find quite useless in terms of making you a better teacher, for example, aartis, pujas, mantra singing, meditations, cleanses; they can actually add to that experience. The experience of another rich culture, traditions, food, mindset, yoga.
The experience of India.
P.S.: If you want to get your teacher training in India, look through the list of yoga teacher training courses, schools, and teachers in our catalog, check the reviews, choose what suits you, and book your event right on our website!