Everything you should know about joining a Yoga teacher training courses in India
Surprisingly few people take time and energy to carefully scrutinize and select their Yoga School in India. Many often end up with superficial criteria. This article argues that you should not focus on glittery webpages, but on the depth of the schools. How will I know you ask? Though reviews may help you partly but the best way to truly find out is to arrange an online call and have a profound chat with your future teachers, so that you will know if the school matches your professional, personal and academic learning expectations or not.
What is intensive Yoga Teacher Training Course (YTTC)?
There are many questions that arise when you ponder upon making the long journey to follow Yoga teacher training in India. This article addresses those prime concerns and doubts that most Yoga aspirants have in the course of following their pursuit of learning Yoga in India seriously.
Yoga is undoubtedly the most promising and most popular way to address health and fitness these days. The practice of Yoga Provides immense benefits not only to overall health but also improves the quality of your life and experiences. The practice of yoga has always been evolving but essentially Yoga is the cultivation, attention and developing a refined perception and state of witnessing. What we attend to and the attitude with which we attend greatly influence our way of experiencing life by and large.
In the past few years, the fame, practice, and reach of Yoga has been unexpected, and nowadays you can find people being curious about yoga in practically every part and corner of the world. The ever-increasing popularity of Yoga among the general population has also created tremendous opportunities for Yoga teachers, instructors and professionals in past two decades.
Yoga originated in India through ardent endeavors and divine contribution of enlightened Yogis who existed within India for thousands of years. Obviously, many schools of Yoga and philosophies found their ways to the masses within India and oriental geographies, before everything could be essentially structured into main forms of Yoga as we learn and study in contemporary times.
Why Yoga Teacher Training Courses 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:
- Cultural and deeper philosophical influence within Indian Yoga learning experience.
Yes. It is true whether we accept it or not! Learning Yoga in India differs not only in terms of what you learn but also how you experience everything around it. Living and witnessing a true Yogic (Indian) tradition closely for most westerners could be overwhelmingly challenging, shocking but also exciting and extremely beautiful, depends who you are and where you come from??. Learning is not just academic, especially spiritual Vedic sciences which essentially means learning by transgressing your limits in formal classes and practical sessions. True learning never comes in an easy way as we know, so it might be a radical change for many to learn in a completely new environment unless you have been visiting India for other occasions in the past and got used to the culture and other aspects.
- What do you learn in a Yoga Ashrams in India?
Undoubtedly teachings in any authentic traditional yoga school are very deep based on Yoga philosophy, deeper understanding and Karma Yoga. Now this really separates Western Yoga places with obvious very few exceptions. The way people practice Yoga in other parts of the world is different from how Yoga teachings are being delivered in traditional Indian yoga ashrams. In western set ups, focus is more upon physical asanas, instructional expertise, adjustments, corrections, physiology and anatomy and very limited on energetic silent and meditative practices, such as Dharna (Concentration) Dhyana (Meditation) and Pranayama (Yogic Breathing). Hardly any school teaches Yoga Philosophy seriously forget about its relevance or application in real life. Yoga Philosophy is the Bible of Yoga per say. 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.
- Professional Value Enhancement and credibility
Students and professional teachers from all over the world also consider their Yoga training in India as a means to appear more credible for their career prospects, professional and personal value addition. It is natural that you seek a certain country or place for excelling in a particular skills in a short period of time, which in the end will be plentiful worth your time, efforts and investment as it provided you with skills as well as valuable qualifications for shaping and advancing your profession as a Yoga teacher. However, In my observation, many students try to rush into becoming teachers without adequate preparation, practice and experience. This is counter productive. Courses alone never make you a good professional teacher.
- Cost and Quality
Yoga teacher training (YTTC) in India are on average pricing, quite cost effective without compromising on quality. However, there are 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 which is high priced is not always of high value, well this is particularly true when it comes to Yoga Schools around the world including India. Actually Yoga education should not be high priced as per ancient Yoga Ethics.
Commercialization of Yoga has been quite rampant everywhere and India is not an exception. But by and large, there are many budget courses ( 1000 to 1500 USD) being offered by different Yoga destinations and schools. Selection should not simply be based on cost factors but also on the quality of the schools and course contents and experience and skill level of the teachers. Other important aspects are their past track record, course structure and teaching methodology/philosophy. Last but not least whether everything fits and aligns with what you are looking for or not. Well, everything never fits perfectly but at least it worth trying to find a place where people are able to guide you in your personal and spiritual transformation, accept 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 visa, living expenses, emergencies and tickets.
Don’t expect luxury if you are on a budget, but if you are focused on your personal transformation you will often find that teachings may be equally good or even better in the less expensive options. Costs and quality are relative terms and depends what’s your budget and what’s your expectations from 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 right things and people in life? So that needs a bit of realignment and orientations as well before you venture out.
How do I find out if a Yoga school is serious for fulfilling my learning objectives?
Surprisingly only few students take the proper time to actually read web sites in depth, and study what they will learn and if it fits in their requirements. You will be surprised to know that even fewer students actually take the time to call their teachers on skype or on video or voice messenger to find out if the school they are selecting has right, experienced teachers or not. If you select Yoga schools based on the flashy websites and believing on fake reviews of people who had been hired to write them , then God Bless you !! Good Luck!! :)) Jumping into assumptions and drawing illusions is a habit but not a good one though!! So take time to educate yourself about each and every minute details through a questionnaire. Teachers and Yoga Schools who can’t answer your queries or are very busy to answer them are most probably the ones who won’t answer later as well in the middle of the course.
Not everything that glitters is gold. Don’t be blinded by fancy schools with glitter and gold. Look for authentic schools with true mission and teaching philosophy. After all, you came this far to learn the authentic yoga. Most importantly chose a transparent school where the teachers are approachable and welcoming their students on skype or messenger conversation with you. During your talk, you will quickly know if teachers are qualified in their subject, what they have to offer you and if it is worth your time and financial investment to travel this far in search of something undefined, but that something which may change your life. Also, if you would be learning in a group of 20 ( Big commercial Yoga Schools) or 7, that makes a huge difference. At times, people think schools with big groups are better schools, not necessarily. In reality, in most instances, what’s good is their marketing, brand promotion and Search engine ranks 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 School for Your Yoga Teacher Training
Are you contemplating on doing a Yoga Teacher Training in India? Here are the important do’s and don’ts that you need to know in the process of selecting your Yoga School and mentally preparing yourself for your inner journey.
- Talk to yourself about your learning goals and objectives and make a realistic assessment of your preparedness for any such course in India before you start searching on google.
- Understand your personal and academic limitations and strengths which would help you to be grounded and focused.
- Talk to your previous teachers and friends in yoga and get their opinions and suggestions.
- India accommodates more than 1000 places of yoga. Not all places are meant for you. Not all teachers are meant for you and visa versa. Conduct open-minded research about schools online accepting suggestions from teachers, friends on checking the past track record of yoga schools. Visit these websites and take time for reading the whole content thoroughly to find out if this specific place fits your heart and mind or not.
- Engage with teachers directly as you learn from teachers only. Talk with them live if you are connected on the internet. Write queries without hesitation. Schools and teachers who are happy to assist you continuously and engage with you in direct conversation during your selection process are also the ones who will justify your yogic aspirations.Check and read the eligibility criteria for joining a Yoga teacher Training Course carefully. Read the course curriculum throughout and make a prior assessment individually or involving the school’s team. Yoga schools who insist on prior assessments and interactions as eligibility criteria for registration are more likely to be the serious ones in the business in comparison to other ‘flashy ones’ who often don’t engage in a dialogue or display an irrelevant tinge of arrogance.
- Do not deviate from your main goal and fall for other temptations like tourism once you have finalized everything.
- Do not select commercial flashy Yoga schools. If you were looking out for a serious Yoga Ashram then these might not be as famous or visible on the internet. Whatever glitters is not always gold. Whatever is always visible right on the top is not always the best, especially in context of spiritual studies and places. You have to dig deeper and find the right place for finding true knowledge and learning.
- Do not select a Yoga school keeping irrelevant reasons in your mind like beaches, parties, crowd and tourism. Most yoga students are not yoga students but yoga tourists. In that case, check yourself who you are, and read Do’s in this Blog above.
- 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.
Hope this helps !!
Pradeep K Krishna
Founder, Lead Yoga Ayurveda Teacher
Vishuddhi Isha Yoga
Good Luck for your search!!
Om Shanti !