Monday, July 15, 2019

15 BEST Yoga Teacher Training Courses in India [My Curated List]

10 Best Yoga Teacher Training Courses in India

(updated June 2023) If you are looking for the best yoga teacher training in India then this blog is for you. I created this TOP 15 list based on my own personal experience, on friends' recommendations, and also on people's reviews. It includes 200-hour, 300-hour, or even 500-hour yoga TTC in Rishikesh, Goa, Varkala, and more.


Sharing my yoga journey


I've been visiting India multiple times since 2010.  More than a decade already! I have visited many ashrams, I have practiced yoga with many teachers and I have taken a few yoga courses here and there.

I have shared my whole yoga journey on this blog. That's why I often receive emails from other seekers asking for a yoga teacher training recommendation.

So I wrote an article in 2016 telling others how to find the best yoga teacher training in India. I originally included a couple of YTTC recommendations but people still kept asking me for more.

Finally, after all this emailing, I decided to create this new list with some of the best yoga teacher training courses in India.

I'm sure you'll be able to find something that suits your needs.

But if you don't find the right YTTC for you don't worry. I will keep adding more yoga teacher training courses to this list in the future, so make sure you pin or save this blog post for your reference.

Now, before we continue further, let's answer a few important questions.


Why You Should Do a Yoga Teacher Training


Whenever I talk with friends that are very interested in yoga and want to learn more about it, I always encourage them to do a yoga teacher training course.

Of course, that really depends on how much interest they have.

Let's say you just want to relax, have a good time without preoccupations, improve your health, and do some yoga. In that case, a yoga retreat is ideal for you.

If that's what you are looking for then you can find some recommendations in my curated list of the best yoga and Ayurveda retreats in Kerala.

But if you want to dive deep into the system of yoga, and you want to develop your own practice, then I recommend you to do a yoga teacher training.

Don't worry, you DON'T have to teach yoga afterward.

As a matter of fact, many people, like myself, do a yoga teacher training simply to learn as much as they can about yoga.

You can consider a yoga TTC more like an intense retreat or a yoga immersion program. You will learn so much in a short period of time.

Most importantly a yoga TTC will give you a routine of asanas, pranayama, and perhaps meditation, that you can follow regularly and with a good understanding.

This is a very important point.

A yoga teacher is basically a dedicated yoga practitioner that simply shares his/her practice with others. The more you practice the more you learn, the more you learn the more you will feel inspired to share it with others.

Once you start sharing what you already know, you will realize that teaching is also learning.


Why Do a Yoga Teacher Training in India?


You can do a yoga teacher training in many countries around the world. They are particularly popular in Southeast Asia, in places like Indonesia, Thailand, and Cambodia.

So, why would you do a YTT in India?

Well, on one side, India is the source of this ancient spiritual science and the home of the great masters.

So many great yogis have walked on this land. I have no doubts, their spiritual vibrations pervade every corner of this fantastic country.

In India, you can experience the spirituality that is talked about in the Vedas on the day to day life.

The rituals that you see in temples and during special events (like at the beginning of a YTTC) are the same rituals that have been performed in India for thousands of years.

When you experience these especial pujas you feel like you are been transported back in time.

In India, the teachings of the ancient yogis have been kept alive by the many different ashrams or monasteries, in a very traditional and authentic way.

Consciously or unconsciously many of these teachings also form part of the culture of this country.

For instance, the largest portion of the population practice ahimsa, non-violence by following a strict vegetarian diet.

In my opinion, no other country in the world can offer you all this.

Besides this, nowadays the offering of yoga courses in India is very abundant, particularly when it comes to traditional and authentic programs in an ashram setting.

Because of the vast offering and the low cost of living you can find in India more affordable yoga training programs compared to other countries.


How Much Yoga Do You Need to Know Before Doing a Yoga TTC?


No, you don't need to be flexible, have a good yoga practice, and know yoga philosophy before doing a yoga teacher training course.

This is a misconception many people have. As a matter of fact, you can be a complete beginner and still gain so much from this experience.

Regardless if you want to teach or not, all you need is the desire to learn, to practice, and to make yoga an integral part of your life.

Of course, if you already know some yoga, things might be easier for you.

I was already familiar with yoga philosophy when I did my first yoga TTC. I was able to follow the classes and prepare for the final test with ease, compared to others, but it was certainly not a requirement. Everybody did just fine.


Is One Month Enough to Become a Yoga Teacher?


Most of the yoga teacher training courses that you'll find in India are one-month intensive training.

Some people complain that one month is not enough to become a yoga teacher.

They are absolutely right, it isn't.

But with the proper training, in one month you can learn everything that you can possibly learn to help you get started on your teaching path.

Yoga teacher training courses don't make good teachers. To become a good teacher all you have to do is to teach.

A TTC simply gives you the tools to begin your journey. Your education will never end. You will definitely continue refining your skills with time, practice, and further education.

This means that eventually, after doing your yoga TTC, you will probably decide to do another TTC in a different school, tradition, or style of yoga. Or you might like to complement your education with workshops.

Keeping this in mind might make it easy for you to realize that you don't need to find the perfect TTC. This is just the beginning of your never-ending yoga education.

Believe me, once you start your yoga education you'll never want to stop.


What to Expect From a Yoga Teacher Training


Let's be clear about one thing, a yoga teacher training course is not a holiday, that's for sure.

You'll be very busy from early morning till evening, pretty much non-stop, and you will be challenged in many different ways.

You have to wake up very early in the morning, stick to the daily routine, attend all the classes on time, follow the rules, study and prepare for classes during your limited free time, and so on.

Oh, and by the way, you will also need to do your laundry somehow! Lol.

So a yoga teacher training can be a challenging experience. You will learn not only about yoga but also about yourself.

On the other side, a yoga teacher training can also be an exciting, rich, and fun experience. You will meet like-minded people from all over the world.

You will leave not only with wonderful and beautiful memories but also with new long-lasting friendships.


Where to Do A Yoga Teacher Training Course in India


The most popular location for a yoga teacher training course in India is Rishikesh, in the North of India.  It is known as the yoga mecca of the world, a must-visit place for anyone following a spiritual path.  

The advantage of doing a teacher training course in Rishikesh, in schools such as Swasti Yoga, Hari Om Yoga Vidya, and Yoga Vidya Mandiram, is that you'll also have the opportunity to discover many different ashrams, temples, bookstores, and cafes during your training.  

The problem is that Rishikesh can be chaotic, loud, and perhaps too touristy.

Luckily there are some ashrams and schools on the outskirts of Rishikesh, like Pratham Yoga, Triguna Yoga, and the Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama.  These places offer a fully immersive experience in quiet and isolated locations.  You can still visit the main Rishikesh areas on Sundays.

Another popular location for a yoga teacher training course is Varkala.  This is a beautiful beach town in Kerala, in the south of India.  The views from the main cliff are breathtaking.  It is also a popular destination for surfing.  

Don't expect to go surfing during your TTC though, you won't have time.  You might be able to go surfing on Sundays, the days off, but as I mentioned in this YouTube video, you'll need to be very lucky to find waves then.  The best would be to spend some time in Varkala before or after your TTC.  

Goa is also a popular destination because of its numerous paradisiac beaches, such as Palolem Beach, Patnem Beach, and Agonda Beach.


What Type of Yoga TTC Should You Choose? 


You'll also need to decide what type of training you would like to do.  Would you like to have a fully residential and immersive experience without any distractions, or would you like to be in a more flexible school that allows you to easily explore the neighborhood? 

Either option is good.  It depends on what you are looking for.

In a fully immersive course, you will spend the whole day at the ashram or school.  Usually, this happens in places that are isolated such as the Sivananda ashrams, Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, Triguna Yoga, and Pratham Yoga.  Also, since everything is included you won't need to leave the facilities.

The second option is an instructor course where you are free to go out of the school to explore the area.  Most of the courses in Varkala and in Goa are like this.  

You will naturally have the desire to explore the beach, especially if you are close to it like at Vrinda School of Yoga, or to visit the popular cafes on the cliff with incredible views.  They are within walking distance from Mathatitu Yoga Ashram and Shiva Rishi Yoga.  

But you will also feel the desire to go out since the facilities of the schools in Varkala might not have enough open spaces to stay in the whole day.  



Do You Really Need a YTT from a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School? 


I know, you are probably searching for a yoga teacher training course at a school registered with Yoga Alliance.  But, have you really asked yourself if you really need that?

It seems to me that many people think that Yoga Alliance offers a quality certification.  So if the school is registered with Yoga Alliance it means that the school or their YTT has passed a quality control.

That is totally not the case.  Yoga Alliance does not offer a certification, it is simply a registry or directory.  Yoga schools need to simply pay a yearly fee to be included in their directory.

As described by Yoga Alliance themselves:

“A Registered Yoga School (RYS®) is a distinction given to yoga teacher trainings that meet Yoga Alliance® Standards. A RYS must submit its training’s syllabus to Yoga Alliance, be verified by our credentialing team and be current with annual fees. 
Yoga Alliance does not certify teachers or accredit schools. Yoga Alliance’s credentialing system is a registry, not to be confused with other types of credentialing systems (such as certifications, accreditations, licensure, etc.).”
In other words, if you become a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School (RYS) or a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) does not mean that you receive a certification.  It is simply a credential that recognizes the inclusion in their directory.

Of course, the yoga school needs to fulfill the Yoga Alliance Standards for each different teacher training program, but nobody is gonna visit the school to do quality control or to certify that the information is correct.

“The spirit of the Yoga Alliance Standards is to include a school in the RYS® (Registered Yoga School) Directory only when its YTT (Yoga Teacher Training):
  • Has a definite, pre-defined curriculum that meets the Yoga Alliance Standards.
  • Is taught by yoga teacher trainers who are qualified to train teachers
  • Offers a consistent approach that is conducive to depth, rather than a survey of different approaches.”
source: https://www.yogaalliance.org/credentialing/credentialsforschools

More specifically, the application to become a RYS needs to include:

  • The name(s) and contact information of the school’s Owner(s)
  • A syllabus of your training that satisfies our Standards at the 200-, 300- or 500-hour level
  • If you choose to do a specialty designation school, they must meet our Children’s or Prenatal Standards.
  • The name(s) of your school’s Lead Trainer(s) – you must have at least one that is currently registered with Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT
  • The primary location of your school
  • A sample certificate of what your trainees will receive when they complete the training
  • Payment for the applicable fees

source: https://www.yogaalliance.org/credentialing/credentialsforschools

Now, I'm not saying that you shouldn't care at all if the school is a RYS or not.  I just think you should be well-informed before making any decisions. 

I also know that some yoga studios require that you have a yoga teacher certificate from a Yoga Alliance registered yoga school. 

Well, if you decide to go for a school that is not a RYS, then you can always talk with your yoga studio and explain to them what exactly the Yoga Alliance registry means and why your teacher training certificate is as valid as any other certificate.

That being said, most of the schools listed below are RYS, so you don't need to worry about this.

The second question to ask would be, do you need to become a yoga alliance registered yoga teacher?

I'm not a RYT, and I'm not planning on becoming one anytime soon.  The only reason I would do it is if I was a lead teacher at RYS YTT.  Otherwise, I see no reason for paying those fees.

Feel free to share your opinion about this subject in the comment section below.

I suggest you read Ask A Yogi: Do I Need to Be an RYT 200 to Teach Yoga? by DoYouYoga and Do Yoga Instructors Really Need to Join Yoga Alliance? by yogiapproved.com for more information.


The Best Yoga Teacher Training Courses in India


Here you can find my list of the best yoga teacher training courses in India.  As I said before, this selection is based on my own personal experience, on friends' recommendations, and also on people's reviews 

Best Yoga Teacher Training in India

For the schools that I've selected based on online reviews, I chose schools with at least 4.5 stars using mainly BookYogaRetreats (BYR) and Google Maps reviews.  I've read countless reviews to give you a good overview of the training, and to ensure that the reviews are real.

Believe it or not, I did find some fake reviews. Needless to say, I didn't include those schools in this list.

By the way, some of these links are bookyogaretreats affiliate links. If you book a course through these links you'll be supporting me to continue sharing awesome free content like this, via a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!



1. Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training Course: Kerala, Madurai, and Uttarkashi


Sivananda Yoga TTC

⇒ 200-hour Hatha Yoga TTC in Kerala starting at US$1,800

If you are looking for a Yoga TTC that is not only focused on a physical practice but also on the spiritual life then I think you might like this training.

The Sivananda TTC is probably one of the oldest yoga training courses you can find in India. Maybe 90% of every other yoga TTC in India is influenced by the Sivananda TTC.

Ok, that's just my own estimate, but if you go through any TTCs teachers' bio you'll notice that most of them have followed this training.

I did the Sivananda Teacher Training Course in 2010 at the ashram in Neyyar Dam, Kerala. A couple of months later I completed their advanced TTC at their ashram in Madurai.

To me, the most important thing about this training was the connection with the guru lineage.

Yoga asanas you can learn anywhere, but having a spiritual connection with a tradition, with the gurus, it's invaluable. They will accompany you along your path if you are open to it. Very few TTCs can offer this.

In my opinion, this training was very complete. It is a hatha yoga TTC including plenty of yoga asana practice, pranayama, and philosophy.

While you do this training you live in an ashram experiencing the ashram life and following the strict daily routine. So it was not just a yoga TTC but also a training for the mind.

⇒ Click here for program details and locations


2. Sivananda Yoga Vidya Peetham, Kerala (Kodakkad)


Sivananda Yoga Vidya Peetham

⇒ 200-hours Hatha Yoga TTC in Kerala starting at US$1,950

Sivananda Yoga Vidya Peetham (SYVP) is an ashram in Kodakkad, Kerala founded by Swami Govindananda Saraswati.

They offer a 200-hour yoga TTC (Yoga Teacher Training Course Level I) and a 300-hour yoga TTC (Yoga Teacher Training Course Level II) in Kodakkad.

They also offer different intensive programs like the Yoga TTC Level 2A - Yoga Sutras Intensive, the Yoga TTC Level 3 - Hatha Yoga Sadhana Intensive, and also Ayurveda and yoga therapy courses.

Between April and May, they use another venue, the Holistic Centre for Yoga & Vedanta, founded by Puja Swami Dayananda Saraswati, in Amboli. This is mainly for the Sadhana Intensive course.

Swami Govindananda is a direct disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda. He started his ashram life at the Sivananda Ashram in Neyyar Dam, Kerala in 1987.

He was a teacher for 23 years at the Sivananda Vedanta Centers in India and around the world, until he left the organization in April 2010.

That's why SYVP follows the lineage of Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda.  The ashram has the same structure and daily schedule as the Sivananda Ashrams.

This means that in this yoga TTC you will learn classical hatha yoga with an integral approach to yoga (incorporating all paths) and in an ashram setting.

Besides two yoga classes a day, you will also have satsang in the morning and in the evening which includes meditation, chanting, and a spiritual talk.

An advantage between this training and the training at the Sivananda ashram is that the groups are small. I reached out to Swamiji and he confirmed that they usually have around twenty students on their yoga TTC.

I've heard many positive comments from different friends recommending Swami Govindananda's yoga teacher training.

The first time I heard about him was actually while I was doing the Sivananda Yoga TTC at the ashram in Neyyar Dam back in 2010.

People usually talk about how kind, generous, humble, and approachable he is. Swami Govindananda himself, with the company of two other swamis, teaches all the classes during the TTC.

My friend Jakob did his 200-hour YTTC in March 2018. He told me that the training was very thorough and solid, and he would recommend it to anyone.

I also emailed Swami Govindananda a long time ago. I wanted to volunteer as a staff member for a couple of weeks. That was in 2012.

He was very friendly and welcoming in his response. Unfortunately, the minimum period required for staff life was three months, and all the spaces were already filled.

I still haven't had the opportunity to meet Swamiji, but I hope that will come sometime in the near future.

⇒ Click here for photos, reviews, inquiries or to check availability


3. Swami Krishnananda Hatha Yoga Vidyapeeth (Inteyoga), Mysore


Inteyoga Yoga TTC

⇒ 300-hour Hatha Yoga TTC in Mysore starting at US$400

Update:  Please note that since October 2020 this school is no longer operating.  However, Kadambari opened her own school, Praguna Yoga Shala, on the outskirts of Mysore.  It has become very popular in just a couple of years.  To join their yoga vacation program you can visit this link

Yes, you read that right. It's only US$400!

This is probably the most affordable yoga teacher training in India. It's so cheap that you can spend less doing their one-month YTTC compared to living for one month anywhere else in India, for real.

They are truly not focused on making money, like at most yoga TTCs, but rather on providing a life-changing experience. More than a TTC this is a personal yoga retreat.

A few of my friends have done this yoga TTC and they loved it. I was so curious about their excitement that I decided to visit this ashram for a day.

After meeting with the ashram directors and teachers, and realizing that they are indeed authentic, I have decided that next time I go to India I will do one of their yoga courses for sure.  I can't wait!

As a matter of fact, after I published a detailed review of this ashram and their YTTC, in March 2019, many of my friends have also decided to join this program.

This is a residential hatha yoga teacher training course with an emphasis on yoga therapy, following mainly the Sivananda yoga and Satyananda yoga tradition.

The ashram director and main teacher, Dr. Ashutosh, was a teacher at the Sivananda Ashram for several years. He is also affiliated with the Bihar School of Yoga.

⇒ Click here for photos, reviews, inquiries or to check availability


4. Surinder Singh, Swasti Yoga Shala, Rishikesh


Surinder Singh Yoga Rishikesh

⇒ 200-hour Hatha Yoga TTC in Rishikesh starting at US$1340 

I always recommend Surinder Singh's yoga classes to my friends. He is a very genuine yogi, and one of my favorite yoga teachers in India.

I joined his open yoga classes for the first time in June 2011 and again in October 2018 for a couple of weeks.

He teaches classical hatha yoga. His classes are the perfect balance between being gentle and challenging at the same time.

Surinderji offers a very affordable yoga TTC at his school Swasti Yoga Shala. If I was searching for a TTC this would be one of my first choices.

The TTC includes accommodation and food, but you can choose to pay only for the training (1,070 US$) to find accommodation and food on your own. I would suggest taking the whole package. It would be far more convenient.

Be aware that Surinderji likes to keep things simple and informal. He is definitely not business oriented and his website is very basic, so it might take him a while to reply to your inquiries. Like Cat Easterbrook mentioned in her blog:

“I was aware that organization and email communication were not his strong points. Although he is an ex-engineer, when it comes to planning and organization, he is more cave yogi than yogipreneur.

[...] His response to my request to study with him was a simple: ‘You’re most welcome ji’.

A deposit wasn’t necessary, nor was an application form – I just had to trust that an email saying ‘you’re most welcome ji’ was my official confirmation of being booked on a one month long intensive teacher training course.”

⇒ Click here to watch the interview that I had with Surinder Singh in Rishikesh
⇒ Click here for inquiries or to check availability


5. The Himalayan Yoga Tradition Teacher Training Program, Rishikesh


Himalayan Yoga Tradition TTC

⇒ 200-hour Hatha Yoga TTC in Rishikesh starting at US$1,400

If you are interested in meditation I can definitely recommend you to take the Himalayan Yoga Tradition Teacher Training Program (HYT TTP) at the Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama in Rishikesh.

This training was the perfect complement to my Yoga TTC at the Sivananda Ashram. That's because meditation was a bit weak at the Sivananda ashram, but it is the main teaching in the Himalayan Yoga Tradition.

On the other side, the hatha yoga at the HYT is way too gentle. I wouldn't recommend it if you are mainly interested in asanas. It is ideal as a second training though, to incorporate meditation into your practice.

Similar to the Sivananda TTC, what I appreciate the most about this training is the connection with a lineage.  All the teachers are dedicated meditation practitioners, disciples of Swami Rama and Swami Veda Bharati.

This is a long-term training. There are three levels and it takes one year to complete each level.

Unfortunately, I later realized that this doesn't work for me. I would have preferred a one-month intense training instead of a long-term program. I took the HYT TTP in March 2012 and I still haven't completed my TTP Level 1! Lol.

⇒ Click here to read my detailed description of the Himalayan Yoga Tradition TTP


6. Alpesh Yoga, Goa and Dharamsala


Alpesh Yoga TTC

⇒ 200-hour Iyengar Yoga TTC in Dharamsala and Goa starting at US$1,200 

Alpesh is a very friendly and approachable Iyengar yoga teacher based in Goa and in Dharamsala.

His classes are physically and mentally challenging though. Following the Iyengar yoga teaching style, he can be demanding with his students, but only with the intention to bring the best out of them.

I know because I was one of them.

I practiced with him for a whole month in 2016 and I really enjoyed his classes. I learned a lot about alignment, which is one of the strengths of the Iyengar style of yoga.

I have no doubts that you can learn a lot from his yoga teacher training, particularly when it comes to alignment and the use of props. But it also includes philosophy and anatomy with qualified teachers.

You can read all the teacher's bio here.

Alpesh yoga school offers 100-hour, 200-hour, and 300-hour yoga teacher training in Dharamsala or in Goa, depending on the time of the year.

⇒ Click here for photos, reviews, inquiries or to check availability.
⇒ Click here to read about my experience practicing yoga with Alpesh.


7.  Hari Om Yoga Vidya School, Rishikesh


Hari Om Yoga Vidya

⇒ 200-hour Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga TTC in Rishikesh starting at US$1,300 

This is a yoga school located in Laxman Jhula, in Rishikesh.  I met the school director, Pramod Sahoo, many years ago while visiting the Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG), an ashram on the outskirts of Rishikesh.

The last time I visited Rishikesh, in October 2018, as I was walking around Laxman Jhula, I noticed Pramod's picture on a poster promoting his school.

I had no idea he had his own yoga school, so I walked in just to say hello. I was naturally welcomed very warmly by him.

Pramod lived for seven years at SRSG, so he is very familiar with the Himalayan Yoga Tradition.  He is a disciple of Swami Rama and Swami Veda Bharati.

Like every other SRSG family member, he is a very grounded and serious meditation practitioner.  So you can be sure that at his school you can learn authentic yoga.

They don't teach only hatha yoga though, as they do at the SRSG.  His school also teaches ashtanga vinyasa yoga.  So this is a good place to start your yoga journey, which will give you a good view of the two main styles of physical yoga.

The school has a team of dedicated and passionate teachers who are very well experienced in specific areas like anatomy, yoga philosophy, meditation, ashtanga yoga, and hatha yoga.

The program includes accommodation at the same school, in comfortable clean rooms with private bathroom, and a balcony that offers a wonderful view of Rishikesh.  It is in a quiet area of Laxman Jhula so you can be sure to get a good sleep.

The building has also a rooftop with fantastic views of Rishikesh that is sometimes used for yoga practice and for mealtimes, depending on the weather.

The program also includes three very good vegetarian meals a day.  They will do whatever they can to accommodate your diet requirements, for instance, if you are vegan or want to avoid gluten.

If your finances don't allow to cover the full price of the yoga TTC you can also apply for a scholarship.

You should do that well in advance as they only have three places for scholarships during each TTC.  You can contact them using the link below to find out more about the scholarship.

⇒ Click here for photos, reviews, inquiries or to check availability.


8.  Yoga Vidya Mandiram, Rishikesh


Yoga Vidya Mandiram Rishikesh

⇒ 200-hour Hatha and Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga TTC in Rishikesh starting at US$1,980

Here is another yoga school under the management of serious and dedicated yoga practitioners. They offer yoga TTCs of 100 hours, 200 hours, 300 hours or even 500 hours, besides yoga and meditation retreats.

The school is located in a calm and peaceful area up in Tapovan, somewhere between Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula.

The rooms are clean and comfortable, the yoga hall is spacious and the views are breathtaking. Each room has a balcony with a view of the Himalayan mountains.

In the mornings, if the weather allows it, you might be able to practice in the garden.

Acharya Chandramani is the founder and the spiritual director of this school.

“Acharyaji was fully dedicated to the teachings and daily discipline of the traditional Sanskrit gurukulam from childhood to adulthood. Later in 2004, he was initiated by Swami Veda into a meditative lineage of yoga and meditation as passed down by Swami Rama of the Himalayas at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, Rishikesh India.”

I met acharya Chandramani at the Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG). At some point, when I joined the gurukulam program, I was actually living in a room next to his.

I remember with joy whenever he would answer my questions regarding Sanskrit and yoga philosophy. He is so incredibly knowledgable, not only intellectually but also experientially.

It makes me happy to know that some of his yoga teachers are also disciples of Swami Veda Bharati, like Sandeep Pandey and Priya Pooja, who I also met at SRSG.

Sandeep has been following the yoga path from early childhood. He is not only a master of yoga asanas, but also a serious meditation practitioner and sadhaka.

I don't know personally the other teachers but I think you will most certainly be in very good hands. They are all long-time dedicated yoga practitioners and they are all passionate about what they do.

Their yoga TTC focuses on hatha yoga and ashtanga vinyasa yoga, but you can be sure to receive excellent guidance on meditation, mantra chanting, pranayama, and yoga philosophy.

⇒ Click here for photos, reviews, inquiries or to check availability.


9. Kranti Yoga, Goa


Kranti Yoga Goa

⇒ 200-hour Vinyasa Yoga TTC in Goa starting at US$2,221

If you are interested in a yoga TTC by the beach, with a modern style of yoga suitable to teach in Western countries, then Kranti Yoga is an excellent choice.

Kranti Yoga offers yoga TTCs of 100 hours, 200 hours, 300 hours, or even 500 hours, focused either on Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, or Yin Yoga.

This is one of the most popular yoga schools and yoga retreats in India. It's located in Patnem Beach, a paradise beach in the south of Goa.

All the teachers are from Western countries. After completing their Yoga TTC at Kranti Yoga, they continued training with Kranti himself, in a long-term program by living at this school for most of the year.

I've visited this school a couple of times to join the open yoga classes. I really enjoyed the classes and the place. It is very chilled, the atmosphere is welcoming and the food is delicious.

All their meals are vegetarian, multicultural, and healthy, served buffet-style! The TTCs include breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus refreshments, but you can always explore the many excellent restaurants in Patnem or Palolem Beach.

Although this school also works as a yoga retreat, it might not be the best option for that.

The staff is mainly focused on serving their yoga TTC, and if you are a solo traveler it can be difficult to socialize with others as most guests will be in their TTC groups.

Btw, the cover photo you see at the beginning of this article is courtesy of Kranti Yoga, taken by Mohammed Salik.

⇒ Click here for photos, reviews, inquiries or to check availability.


10. Earth Yoga Village, Goa


Earth Yoga Village Goa

⇒ 200-hour Hatha Vinyasa Flow Yoga TTC in Goa starting at US$1,408

Earth Yoga Village is one of the most popular yoga retreats and schools in India. They offer 200-hour Vinyasa Flow Yoga TTC, 100-hour Yin Yoga, and Yoga Nidra TTC, and also different yoga retreats.

It is located at the north end of Palolem Beach, a paradise beach in Goa, just after crossing a small water canal (the backwaters of Palolem Beach) via a bamboo bridge.

This means that you can enjoy the beauty of this paradise beach (my favorite beach in India), while at the same time staying away from the tourist crowds.

If you love nature you will love this place. It is not only walking distance from the beach, but it is also located right in the middle of the jungle, in a beautiful and serene setting.

Do not expect luxury here, though. The facilities are simple and basic, they pretty much merge with the nature around, but they offer everything you might need.

One of the highlights for pretty much all the guests is the delicious vegan food. Some reviewers even say, "The food is divine!"

Besides two yoga classes a day and a philosophy class, the schedule also includes a one-hour meditation session in the morning. Now, that sounds like my kind of place.

I have never been to this place but I'm already hooked.  Sign me up, please! Lol.

The yoga TTC is given by dedicated and well-experienced teachers, and the staff is kind and supportive. People leave the course feeling confident and ready to teach.

Either if you come here for a yoga teacher training or simply for a yoga holiday program you will most certainly enjoy your stay. They have outstanding reviews for both, their TTCs and their yoga retreats.

⇒ Click here for photos, reviews, inquiries or to check availability.


11. Mathatitu Yoga Ashram, Varkala


Mathatitu Yoga Ashram

⇒ 200-hour Hatha Yoga TTC in Varkala starting at US$662

While surfing with my friend Fannie, in one of Varkala's favorite spots, I learned that this was her second time visiting Varkala.  The main reason she was back: to do the 300-hour yoga teacher training course at the Mathatitu Yoga Ashram.  

That immediately called my attention.  If she was back for the advanced training, that must mean that she really liked this school.  So I decided to dig in deeper over breakfast.

When I asked her how many starts she would give the 200-hour course she immediately responded, “Definitely 5 starts!”  

For her, the best thing about this yoga TTC is that Anil, the asanas instructor, is very professional.  “Until today he is the best teacher I ever had,“ she added.  

“He gives attention to everyone, the attention that is needed, and his verbal communication is very unique.  It's strict but at the same time, it gives you the space to go within your practice,“ she said.  

I actually did a drop-in class with Anil in 2021.  Two other friends in Varkala had been insisting for a while that I attend one of his classes. 

I was impressed, to be honest.  I enjoyed the class a lot, although it was pretty tough. I was very curious about his teaching style.  The sequencing and exercises seemed to be very unique.  Nothing that I had experienced before.  

Fannie also mentioned that the manager and founder, Anoopanand, is a very kind and warm person.  Even after four years he still remembers her!  Clearly, he is grateful for every person that comes to their school.  

She also believes that they are not so interested in doing business, but they do it mainly out of passion.  That's probably why this is one of the most affordable yoga schools out there. 

Mathatitu Yoga Ashram offers a multi-style yoga teacher training, including Hatha, Hatha Flow, and Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, within 200-hour, 300-hour, or even 500-hour programs.  The training includes adjustment and alignment classes, besides philosophy, anatomy, and more. 

The school is just a few meters from the Varkala cliff, so you'll be within walking distance from the beach and all the main restaurants in Varkala.  That can be distracting, but the training does include food and accommodation.  

The rooms are clean and comfortable but don't expect a five stars resort kind of place.  The rooms are located in different buildings adjacent to the main shala building. 



12.  Shiva Rishi Yoga, Varkala


Shiva Rishi Yoga

⇒ 200-hour Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa TTC in Varkala starting at US$1336
 
While walking by a popular restaurant on the Varkala Cliff, I noticed a group of girls sitting with their notebooks. 

“They must be in the middle of a yoga teacher training course,” I thought.  So I asked if I could join them at the table (they had already finished studying for the day).  

They were training at the Shiva Rishi Yoga school and all seemed very happy about it. So we shared contacts.  I wanted to meet them again after the end of their course to learn more about it.  And so we did.

My first question was, “How many stars would you give the training.” And they all (it was a group of five) answered simultaneously, “5 stars!”  

All of them agreed that the highlight of the training was the asana classes with Shiva.  His energy and experience made them fall in love with this course. 

And the online reviews agree.  He is known for being passionate, joyous, fun, positive, and professional, although sometimes very demanding. 

“Always with a smile, always talking with passion and energy [...]” says Hilarie from France.  And Thomas from the UK says “His passion is infectious.”

The girls were not very impressed with the other classes though, like anatomy, and philosophy.  They sounded even a bit disappointed, to be honest.  

They said that there can be a lack of structure and that the teachers should be more flexible in accepting feedback and making changes.  

But they were firm with their 5 stars review; all because of Shiva.  

The online reviews are more positive about the other classes though. They actually are one of the highest-rated schools on BookYogaRetreats (4.7).

Shiva Rishi Yoga offers 200-hour traditional hatha yoga and vinyasa training. The school is just a few meters from the Varkala cliff, so you'll be within walking distance from all the main restaurants in Varkala with a view of the ocean.

That can be distracting, but the training does include food and accommodation.  The girls said that the food was amazing, and the atmosphere and energy of the place were perfect.  The rooms are very clean, and the bedsheets and towels are changed regularly.  



13. Vrinda School of Yoga, Varkala


Vrinda School of Yoga

⇒ 200-hour Hatha Yoga and Ashtanga Vinyasa TTC in Varkala starting at US$520

People love Dr. Malathi's classes.  She is a very talented teacher, probably because she enjoys teaching so much, but also because of her experience and preparation.  She has more than 10 years of teaching experience, is a doctor in Yoga and Naturopathy, and has a Master's degree in Yoga. 

Her Ashtanga vinyasa classes are challenging but accessible, and her philosophy classes are always interesting.  You'll learn with her about the history of yoga, the overall yoga system, and you'll be delighted listening to her stories of Hindu Gods.

But she is not alone.  All the reviews mention what a great team, Malathi, Praveen, and Sanath are. 

Sanathanan (Sanath) teaches classical Hatha Yoga with a kind and non-judgmental attitude.  His classes are insightful and well-paced, and they perfectly complement Malathi's classes.  

And Praveen, the manager, and managing director, not only takes care of all the logistics and makes sure that you feel at home, but he also finds the time to offer Ayurvedic massages.  His massages are highly recommended, by the way.

Don't expect luxury though.  The rooms are basic (depending on the package you choose), but comfortable and clean.  And electricity, wifi, and water are not 100% reliable.   

But the location is great.  The school is surrounded by greenery, it is within walking distance from a quiet beach and there are several temples nearby.  So it feels very local and authentic.  

And the food...  

Well, although healthy and vegetarian, meal times are probably not going to be the highlight of your stay.  All the latest reviews give the food a consistent 3.5 stars.  

It can be bland, repetitive, and minimalistic.  But hey, this is a teacher training course, not a holiday retreat.  So you can consider it as part of your tapas (austerity) and vairagya (detachment) training. Lol.

Ok, don't be alarmed.  You'll be within walking distance of several local restaurants.  And whenever you crave Western food you can take a rikshaw to the main Varkala cliff.  That's probably going to be your Sunday treat anyway.

Vrinda School of Yoga offers different packages (including budget-friendly options) of 28 days 200-hour traditional hatha and ashtanga vinyasa yoga TTC.  The courses include four hours of asana practice, three hours of theory, three sattvic meals a day (except Sundays), and more. 



14. Triguna Yoga, Rishikesh


Triguna Yoga Rishikesh

⇒ 200-hour Hatha Yoga and Ashtanga Vinyasa TTC in Rishikesh starting at US$1280

As I was doing my research on BYR this training really called my attention.  It is remarkable the number of positive reviews this school has.  At the moment of updating this article (June 2023), they have 4.9 stars in BYR and in Google Maps.  

And trust me, they are real.  I read them all.  

You can sense how grateful each student is as they try to put into words what a wonderful and transformative experience they had.  

Many of them start by saying that this was a life-changing experience that exceeded all their expectations.  They describe it as “Life before Triguna, and life after Triguna.”

Everything was a highlight.  The teachers, yoga classes, philosophy classes, anatomy, chanting, and so on.  

It is also one of the few schools that actually pays lots of attention to meditation.  They even have a separate Meditation Teacher Training Course.  And the Yoga TTC includes an intense 4-day emotional detox program at the beginning of the course that everyone talks about.

All this makes this training very unique and complete.  

I can understand why the trainees feel that they've learned much more than just how to teach yoga poses.  The course has been carefully planned with love to give the students a holistic and spiritual experience above all.

The teachers are not just caring, humorous and knowledgeable but they do practice what they preach.  They are genuine yogis who are always there to support you on your yoga journey, with enthusiasm and energy.   

“The authenticity is next level, and so is the humor,” says one review.

And although they are very diverse in teaching style, they complement each other perfectly.  They have been able to create a very unique atmosphere for self-growth and learning.

The hatha yoga and ashtanga yoga teachers know how to challenge you.  They can make the classes strong, considering the students' level, but they also know when to give you a bit of lag.  

The food is delicious, healthy, and very diverse.  Some would even say it is also healing as it is prepared with love by the amazing kitchen staff.  

They include north Indian and sound Indian dishes, like curries, idlis, parathas, and more.  You won't get bored, that's for sure.  

And if you have special dietary requirements the kitchen staff will do their best to accommodate you.

And the location, couldn't be better.  It is away from the hustle and bustle of Rishikesh, but near enough that you'll be able to visit it during your days off, on Sundays.  Only 25 min by Rickshaw.

It is completely surrounded by trees and mountains, and it is just 10 minutes walk from the Ganges.  What else can you ask for?

They have four different spaces for the yoga classes.  The rooftop from where you can see the amazing sunrises, an outdoor hall in the garden protected with mosquito nets, an indoor hall, and a gorgeous marble dome.  

So regardless of the time of the day or the weather, you'll always have a comfortable space for all the classes. 

The rooms are basic but clean, comfortable, spacious, and with an attached bathroom. There is hot water (indispensable in Rishikesh during winter), and even a washing machine!  I never heard of that one before.  Lol.

Triguna Yoga offers 100-hour, 200-hour, and 300-hour yoga teacher training courses focused on hatha yoga and ashtanga vinyasa yoga.  They also have different yoga and meditation retreats.



15. Pratham Yoga, Rishikesh


Pratham Yoga Rishikesh

⇒ 200-hour Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga TTC in Rishikesh starting at $1,090

I thought I wouldn't mention this school.   They have 5 stars on BYR, but from only 23 reviews, at the time of updating this blog post (June 2023).  

In my opinion, that's not enough reviews to get a good sense of the school or their training.  But then I noticed they also have 5 stars on Google Maps from 62 reviews and 4.9 stars on Fb from 87 reviews!  That's very impressive.  

And yes, they are real.  I read all of them, except the ones on Fb. 

I'm glad I did because this place looks like another gem.  The reviews are overwhelmingly positive.  You will not only love the entire training but also the location and the small group sizes.

Many of the students mention that they've found a new family and a new home. They had an experience that goes way beyond just a regular teacher training course, and they believe that their focus is on spreading yoga and not just on doing business.

The location of this school is unbeatable.  Seriously, they probably have the best location compared to all the schools I've mentioned so far.  

It is completely surrounded by nature and it is a few steps from a white sandy beach by the Ganges.  I'm sure you'll enjoy the morning walks with the sunrise behind the mountains. 

If you get lucky enough you might be able to book one of the rooms with Ganga view! 

It is in the same quiet and peaceful area as Triguna Yoga, away from the traffic and crowds of Tapovan, Lakshman Jhula, and Ram Jhula in Rishikesh.  So you can really focus and immerse yourself in your yoga practice and studies.  

You can reach Tapovan in just 25 min by Rickshaw though, so you can easily visit it on your days off, Sundays. 

The next highlight is the small group sizes.  The groups are a maximum of 12 students at a time.  That creates an opportunity for deeper connections among the students and an almost personalized approach from the teachers.  

The teachers are not just generous, dedicated, and very well prepared, but you can also sense their love and devotion for yoga.  

They are always eager and passionate to share their knowledge with the students, not just through teaching but also by example.   They live what they preach.

They are always available and attentive to everyone's needs.  They try to do their best to make you feel at home.

All the classes are well structured and the curriculum is well thought out.  Anatomy, philosophy, mantra, meditation, pranayama, all the classes are enjoyable, interesting, and inspiring.

The morning asana practices are meditative and spiritual, while the evening asana classes are more physically and mentally demanding.

The Ayurveda and prenatal yoga classes with Caroline Chandra are particularly popular.  Always with a smile, she makes her classes really interesting.  

She also acts as the female support of the ashram, and she even runs the Pregnancy Yoga Teacher Training Course.

Everyone agrees that the food during the training is delicious.  It might be another highlight of this course.  Homemade, using always fresh ingredients with a lot of variety and flavors.  

The living conditions are simple though.  The rooms are basic, but clean and comfortable.  You'll get plenty of blankets so you won't get cold during the winter.  

There are no showers, so you'll need to use a bucket.  That brings back some sweet memories from my time at different Indian ashrams.  They do have hot water though. 

Pratham Yoga offers 100-hour, 200-hour, and 300-hour Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa Flow Teacher Training Courses in Rishikesh, including Ayurveda.  Occasionally they also offer a Pregnancy Yoga Teacher Training Course.



Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training Courses in Mysore


If you are interested in doing an ashtanga vinyasa yoga teacher training, then the place to go is Mysore.

There are many excellent ashtanga yoga teachers in Mysore and each one of them offers his own yoga TTC.

But I wouldn't recommend you to go straight for a TTC. If possible, you should first practice for at least one month with one of these teachers before you sign up for their training.

Most of these ashtanga yoga TTCs are not too expensive, but they are also none residential. Whenever you practice yoga in Mysore you usually need to take care of your own accommodation and food.

Be aware also that each training is different. Some TTCs focus only on asana practice and adjustments. Other TTCs give a more comprehensive training including philosophy, chanting, pranayama, and anatomy.

I would suggest you read about Chidananda and Ajay Kumar. I've heard they offer very complete training courses.

You can read about them in my list of the best ashtanga yoga teachers in Mysore.

I have interviewed most of these teachers in Mysore, so you can go through these interviews to find out who is the teacher that you would like to practice with.


What to Pack for a Yoga Teacher Training in India


To know what clothes to wear and what items to bring for your yoga TTC, and for traveling around India, you can visit my detailed India packing list.

You will find absolutely everything you might need in it, but if you think I'm missing any items, please do let me know.


Which Yoga Teacher Training do You Recommend?


Did you find this top 10 list of the best yoga teacher training courses in India useful? I would love to know what you think about it.  

Don't forget to visit How to Find the Best Yoga Teacher Training in India for You.  You will find in it very valuable information to help you choose a course from this list.

If you've already taken a yoga TTC in India that you would like to recommend please feel free to talk about your experience. You can share as much as you would like to.

How was the training? What did you like the most about it? What were the pros and cons? Why would you recommend it to others?

Btw, don't forget to subscribe to my newsletter so that you can follow me on my yoga journey. Once you subscribe you'll be able to download my free meditation eBook. 

To show your support for the work I do you could also visit my Patreon page and get access to my online yoga classes archive. Thank you!

35 comments:

  1. This will be a great support for most of the travellers who seek for a good Yttc in India

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes I hope other seekers will find this very helpful.

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  2. Wow, you've done it again. Thanks Marco, you are very appreciated.
    With love
    Damon.

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    1. Thanks to you Damon for reading all my blogs and for your encouraging words ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ™

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  3. Namaste,
    Thanks Marco for putting it all together under one topic. Very useful and detailed information. I hope it will help all Yoga aspirants.

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    1. Thank you Shailendra, happy you appreciate this work.

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  4. Swami Govindananada's courses are very thorough and deep. I have had many students who attended his TTC and came out as great teachers afterwards. What i really appreciate about his course is that they share authentic teaching of Vedanta as well, as per Swami Dayananda's teachings. It is a great mix of both physical and spiritual sides of yoga.

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    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience, that makes this article even more helpful. I hope one day to meet Swamiji and whenever I can afford one of the advanced courses I might do so.

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  5. Thank you Marco for taking time to list these schools and detailed information about them. I found it very useful.

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    1. Thanks to you Varsha, happy to know that you do value all this work. Namaste.

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  6. Do look into these as well
    Yoga institute Mumbai,
    Kaivalyadham,pune
    Yoga point,Nasik

    Less known,but very authentic and good places for deeper studies!

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  7. Its really very helpful post for me.Thanks for sharing your great experience.

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  8. A yoga teacher in one month? I was going to say that's quite a short time. Love doing yoga in the mornings with the family. Not planning on becoming a teacher but if I did, India has got to be the place to learn! Cheers

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  9. Hi, thank you for these recommendations very useful. One distantant friend also recommended Yogapoint in Nasik, however i read quite a few bad reviews. anyone else have been there? thank you very much! Anita

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  10. Thanks for sharing these amazing best yoga teacher training program with us

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  11. What are your views on Yoga Program offered by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

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  12. Thank you for amazing information. Can you please share how Sri Sri ( AOL) 200YTT course Its not mentioned here. Your insite and inputs would be beneficial to me. Look forward. Thanks Anubha

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  13. This Article is Awesome. It’s help me a lot. Please keep up your good work. We always with you and Waiting for your new interesting articles. we also provide Online Teacher training course. for more information visit on our website.

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  14. Hi Marco, just wanted to request you to update this list. Inteyoga, Mysore is permanently closed. I was scheduled to go this winter, but they refunded my booking fees. They did not offer a deferred YTTC for later in 2021.

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  15. Thanks for sharing such useful information Marco! This is really helpful. Life is all about giving something back to the society. Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I appreciate your kind and supportive words ๐Ÿ™

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  16. Thank u macro for such a knowledgeable article sharing with us. Keep sharing!!

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  17. Hey can you share a list of best online YTTC?

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  18. Thankyou so much author very informative post

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  19. Dear Marco, thank you for sharing the insightful post, do you feel the time has come for the west to look at Yoga as a way of being and not just a bunch of techniques being practiced on the mat?

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  20. Thanks for sharing this amazing information with us. It’s very helpful blog for yoga beginner.

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  21. Hi Marco, I am from India. Your information and experience is very good but most of them are from North India and Goa. Actually the less known but most authentic top 2 yoga institute in the world are "Isha Yoga Center" in Coimbatore (India) by Sadhguru and "The Yoga Institute" in Mumbai (India). Please check them once. If you want to master Yoga then join "The Yoga Institute" but if you want to learn both yoga and ancient Indian spiritual mystical science then check Sadhguru videos and his foundation named "isha Foundation". Thanks

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  22. Thank for updating this list

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  23. Thank you for updating this list.

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  24. Marco thank you for all your efforts and guiding us through your experiences. Thank you.

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  25. Hi Marco!
    Thank you sooo much for this very detailed and informative post.
    I would like to ask you whether you have ever heard about the Yoga Institute of Mumbai. Any opinions about it?
    I have tried to find online reviews, but I could find barely two of them.
    Anyway, thanks again :)

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  26. (Ops... just seent the post of somebody who mentions the Yoga Institute now)

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