Wednesday, August 10, 2016

How to Find the BEST Yoga Teacher Training in India for YOU

How to find a yoga teacher training in India

[Updated 2019] FFinding a yoga teacher training (TTC) in India is a real challenge. There are hundreds of TTCs all around India, if not more. Where to start? Do not worry, in this blog I'll share with you some tips to help you find and choose the best yoga TTC for you.

How to Find a Yoga Teacher Training Course in India

1. Listen to the omens

I'm sure you already know this but it's good to keep it in mind. There is no such thing as the best or the perfect yoga TTC. It doesn't exist. Don't search for it.

There is however a TTC that is meant for you. You just need to find it. Duh!

The question is, how to find it? Well, like I always say, listen to omens, or listen to your heart. Let it guide you cause it knows for sure where you need to go.

When I did my first TTC I was not thinking about becoming a yoga teacher.

I simply wanted to learn everything that I could learn about yoga. I wanted to dive as deep as I could and I wanted to have a real ashram life experience.

This motivation led me to the right places, although, like the masters say, “It is not you who have chosen to be here, it is the gurus who have silently guided you to them.”

Indeed, even from my early childhood, the masters were guiding me to them.

If you would like to know more about this experience you can visit my blog How the Search for the Ultimate Truth Led Me to Yoga.

2. Find out what you really want

But ok, let's get more practical. To find a Yoga TTC the first thing you need to figure out is what do you really want.

Ask yourself these few simple questions and then go in the direction where you feel the most joy:

  • What is your motivation to do a yoga teacher training course?
  • What styles of yoga are you interested in?
  • Do you want to start teaching right away?
  • Are you looking for a training focused on the adjustment of asanas?
  • Are you looking for a training that has a lot of theory?
  • Are you looking for a traditional training that has a guru lineage behind?
  • Are you looking for a residential training with everything included?

3. Decide what is your next move

What are you planning to do after your TTC?

If you do want to become a yoga teacher then my recommendation is to start teaching right away.

The best way to do this is by volunteering as a teacher at the ashram or yoga school where you are planning to take your TTC.

Teaching yoga at the same school where you have taken your TTC offers you a comfortable and safe environment to get started. Some yoga schools do offer this possibility to their students.

So if this is in your plans then this can be another criterion to find a yoga TTC.

After I completed my teacher training at the Sivananda Ashram I decided to stay as a staff member for one month.

This was the perfect opportunity to face my fears and start teaching yoga. It wasn't so hard because I had the support of the more experienced staff.

4. Ask for a recommendation

The best way to find a yoga TTC in India is by recommendation.

You can talk with your yoga teacher or with your yoga buddy that has completed a YTTC in India. Ask them about their training. Would they recommend it to you? Why?

If you can't find a recommendation from a teacher or friend then you can look for them online.

A good place to find yoga teacher training recommendations is in BookYogaRetreats.Com (affiliate link).

BookYogaRetreats has hundreds of yoga TTC listings in India, and most of them include customer reviews.

Find one that is appealing to you and read the reviews. Make sure the reviews are honest and objective though.

To make things easier for you I have also published a new article including some of the best yoga teacher training courses in India.

It includes ten yoga TTCs so far, in several different places around India like Rishikesh, Goa and Dharamsala.

These selection of YTTCs is based on my own personal experience, on friends recommendations and on online reviews. I'm sure you'll find it very helpful.

5. Get familiar with your school

If it is somehow possible, I would recommend that you get to know in person the school, ashram or yoga teacher with whom you intend to do your yoga teacher training course.

Pay a visit to their school and practice with them for a little while.

I know, this is a lot to ask, but it is the best way to get a good idea if this is the right training for you.

Every yoga training that I've taken I did them at ashrams or with teachers that I had previously visited or practice with. So I was already familiar with their teaching style and with the general atmosphere of the school.

Some of the yoga schools I have included in my Top 10 List of YTTC in India also offers different yoga retreats.

This can be a good opportunity to visit a school for a short period of time to get to know the teachers, their philosophy, and their yoga style, before signing up for a yoga teacher training program.

6. Don't let others opinions influence your decisions

Whenever you ask for feedback about a school or ashram, you will probably also receive negative comments about them.

Every organization, especially when they are big, has a dark side, and if you are looking for the negative you'll certainly find it.

Even gurus get a bad reputation. You can easily find online all sort of negative stories about all the best known Indian yogis.

Don't let other people negative talk get in your head and influence your decisions. Listen carefully to what matters to you but then follow your intuition.

There were several things that I didn't like about the Sivananda Yoga TTC, like for instance the price or the big group sizes. But there are many other things that I did like. I chose to focus on those things instead.

Many people have a very negative view of Mother Theresa's work and her true intentions.

Regardless of these comments, I had a great experience volunteering at her mission in Kolkata. I only experienced and witnessed positive things.

7. Don't consider it an expense but an investment

Yoga teacher training courses can be ridiculously expensive, and considering the cost of living in India, I'm sure most of them are overpriced.

My advice is that if you think you've found a good yoga TTC, and if you do have enough to pay for it, then don't let the price dissuade you from what you know feels right to you.

Think in abundance and remember that this is not an expense but an investment that you'll keep with you for the rest of your life.

I think the prices of the Sivananda TTCs are way too high. Especially today in 2019. But at the same time, I am so grateful that I was able to afford them.

That experience added so much to my life that I am really not able to quantify. Way beyond becoming a yoga teacher.

You can definitely find some reasonable priced TTCs though. I've included a few in What is the BEST Yoga Teacher Training in India? My TOP 10 List.

Do you have any additional tips to find a YTTC in India?

I hope you've found these tips useful. Do you have any other tips you would like to share to find a yoga teacher training in India? Please feel free to share them in the comments section below.

You can find some additional tips in a similar article by

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How to Find the BEST Yoga Teacher Training in India


  1. The Sivananda Course run by Swami Govindananda is also very good. They are in Varkala and in the Himalayas. Its the exact same as we did in Neyyar dam but on a much smaller scale and more personalised.

    1. Oh yes, I've heard many good things about him but I've never managed to meet him. He also does his TTC in Amboli, north of Goa. Thanks for sharing my dear Lakshyaji :-)

  2. Yes I think price too high for a non-profit organization especially. Is good path on your own tho

  3. I loved the teacher training with Vinay Kumar in the south of India, Mysore. His personal approach to each and one of his students opened my heart to my students as well. I will always be grateful for his unbending attitute and attention to the details and the willingness to crack us open to receive the real teaching of yoga. Check his website out for more info

    1. Thank you Yogassia for sharing. I haven't done the TTC with Vinay but I practiced pranayama with him for a month. He is amazing. Here is the interview that I did to him a while ago: A meeting with a master yoga teacher - Interview with Vinay Kumar

  4. Thanks Marco for the article. I agree that when the offer is big, it is often difficult to select the most appropriate training. Your article can help people to decide by themselves. I also made my first teacher training at Sivananda (in Tyrol, Austria) and just like you I did not do it to become a yoga teacher and I liked the rigid daily schedule and structure they impose to their students. It is all about training the mind. I remember that one student left the training at the end of the first day because she could not accept the fact that smoke, drink alcohol and eat meat/fish/eggs during the TTP was not allowed. I guess this is not an isolated case. Yoga is above all a life philosophy and to select well his/her training the student would benefit from reading Yamas & Nyamas of Patanjali, the mission and ethical principles of the organization.

    I found the TTP at HYT a great opportunity to learn about myself. Very grateful to have joined this training program. It is more that a hatha yoga teacher's training program. It teaches how to and the importance of being a life time student of yoga. It gives us the tools to start and develop a worth-to-live life. The in-campus training is intensive and the homework plan is even more. It reminds us to be patient and persistent... the goal is not to become a yoga teacher, but to become a sadhaka.

    1. Thank you Maria for sharing your experience and your insights, much appreciated.

  5. Hari Om, intresting approach! i like that you appreciated the yogic traditional path. I belong to Saraswati order, i have Guru, i am yoga teacher and after 25years, as i see all these 200hrs teachers, i feel a bit sad, because it's not that they are focusing only in Hatha yoga, but they are approchining it very superficaly!
    The questions that you pose, are very helpful for a new yoga aspirant, because is essential the MOTIVES! and every one who want to follow the yogic path, is good to know that is a self-evoloutionary path, and as you "grow" you influence your students more energetically rather physically. Om&Prem Io-Yogananda

  6. I just completed a 200h Hatha yoga TTC with Surinder Singh in Rishikesh it was very good !!! There is not so much emphasis on the building of sequences but rather on bringing the students inward during asana practice, the clarity in instructions, the confidence, the adaptation of the asana according to the level of the students : The tools necessary to start in the teaching path. He also attach a great importance in the spiritual aspect of the practice which I particularly enjoyed.

    1. Thanks for your comment Christelle :-) Surinder is such a wonderful teacher, I met him back in 2011 and I hope some day in the near future I'll have the opportunity to do a TTC with him. I wrote about him before in A good yoga teacher in Rishikesh? Try Surinder Singh's class