“Even if you don´t wanna teach. Do a Yoga Teacher Training. It will change your life forever!” April said. She had just graduated her 200h Yoga Teacher Training in India and was now working in the surf camp together with me. And she should be right about that. Here is my experience during the Yoga Teacher Training in India as well as all the details about it.
It was during a cold November in Vienna, Austria. I had just returned to my home country a couple of days ago, with a completely different plan in my head. In fact, I had actually returned from my travels earlier than planned. But that´s another story. What mattered, was: I decided to sign up for a monthly yoga card in a studio close where I was living and working. Even though I just come back from almost 2 years of traveling with a little lack on my bank account. Because I wanted it.
Whenever I found the time, which was almost every day, I joined a class. And this is when I remembered, that I am here in this world to go my own way. The practice got me back to the urge of doing an intense month of Yoga. It reminded me of my original plan, which was, to do a Teacher Training before I would come “home” to Austria. And so I decided to still do it. To leave again and do what felt right.
I had looked up the diverse Yoga Teacher Trainings all over the world already during the time I was traveling in Central America. Somehow it just did not seem to suit my travel plans over there. I now think that I wasn´t ready to be with myself and work on me for a whole month. Once I traveled on to Indonesia, I was shocked by the prices of the Teacher Trainings there and in Australia, which would be my next destination. Once back in Austria I started researching again and came across one course, that suited my budget and also appealed to me in its style. The timing seemed just about right. So I booked a flight for New Year Eve and the Yoga Teacher Training, beginning on the 1st of January.
I met a lot of girls who did their Yoga Teacher Training in India, so I had some positive reviews already. Still, the traveling in India did not appeal to me that much, that was why for that time, I flew into Goa and back out of Goa a few days after the TT ended. India as such, as the root of all Yoga seemed the perfect place for me and I wanted to go back to somewhere warm as well. Moreover the courses are affordable and I did not have a specific teacher I necessarily wanted to do the training with.
The facts about my YTT200
The teacher Training took place in south Goa, India, in the area of Palolem Beach. The Yoga Centers name is Kashish Yoga. At that point, they had recently taken over the place from Green Yoga. I booked it via this platform, that I can highly recommend.
I paid 1000,- euro for the whole Teacher Training, including food and accommodation. I chose the 6 dorm at the Ashram, which was an ok choice I think. Double or single rooms are more expensive, staying in a house close by (where you have to bike 10 minutes from to the school) would have been even cheaper.
My Yoga Teacher Training was the 200h Yoga Alliance Certified one. It was a multi style (Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Yin, Areal) Teacher Training.
During the duration of 3 1/2 weeks, I had a fixed daily schedule. Monday until Saturday with Sunday off.
The daily schedule
- We started at 6:30 am with 30 minutes of self-practice, followed by a 60-minute lead class.
- 08:00 until 10:15 was time off & breakfast
- Then we had one hour of morning theory.
- After a 15 minutes break, we continued with the “asana clinic” which was – next to the lead classes and the meditation – my favorite. In these 2 hours/day we went through all the individual, primary asanas in detail.
- At noon we had two hours break – which I took off to eat and either have a nap or cycle to one of the close cafés to have a smoothie or juice.
- At 15.15 pm we continued with the afternoon theory for another hour.
- 90 minutes of asana class, Yin, Vinyasa, Ashtanga or Areal followed until 6 pm.
- Daily meditation was held 6.30 pm until 7.30 pm. Either Trataka, Yoga Nidra, Chanting or guided visualization.
- After that we had dinner and did our homework, daily journaling etc. and fell into a deep deep sleep!
- Sometimes we watched a movie and once we even had a talent evening, where I read out one of my poems.
My personal experience
I can only tell you: Even if you are not planning to teach Yoga, a YTT will change your life and you will get to know yourself a lot more. This was also my personal approach to doing the TT. Not to teach, but to experience, to feel, to listen and to heal myself, to be silent, to be loud, to be fully here and now. And I dare to say, that these three and a half weeks changed my life completely and turned my world upside down.
1st Week: Body.
The first week I felt like my body would hate me for being here. For doing this to myself. There was a pain in my body where I never expected to have a muscle, which could possibly hurt. I was tired. I was so tired, that I needed to nap after lunch. My roommates felt it as well and we all were happy, as one day of silence arrived, as we could not be asked to hear each other complaint about our aching muscles anymore. The weeks felt like a boot camp (plus so much new knowledge!). It probably was one of the physicly hardest weeks, that I had experienced so far.
2nd Week: Mind
The second week I was crying so much, I thought my body would dry out at one point. The daily evening meditation really got deep into my mind and opened up old wounds, that I had covered up. Thoughts and experiences that I had kindly put aside to ignore. Memories that I had covered deep down, hidden with layers and layers, everything not to be reminded anymore. These journeys through myself, the challenging asana practice combined with the guided meditation to my deepest roots, seriously got the rest out of me. So I sat there, almost every day after meditation, and cried and talked to my friends that I got to know there. I wrote it all down and when I reread these words in my diary, I still cant believe how intense it was.
3rd Week: Soul
The third week I finally started to enjoy. I tried to get out of the Ashram, even if it was just for a fresh juice or a nice tea at the cafe close by. I went to the beach with some others and we enjoyed Sundays without any Yoga. We worked on our sequence and studied for the exams. We laughed, we cried, we hugged, we danced.
After successfully finishing my exams and the closing ceremony I took my flight back to Austria. Full of peace and joy. At the airport, when I was all by myself again, I realized how light I felt. As if a part of me was left behind in India. The pieces of me, that I finally managed to look at.
My personal opinion
You really have to want it. I guess I was not ready before the travels. To me, it was perfect to do the Yoga Teacher Training before returning home. Not knowing that I would be back traveling within the same year again, but this time, also working. I would not have wanted it any other way.
Some Yoga Teacher Trainings are part-time, once a week, or every second week, with a longer duration. It was never a question to me to do the one month intensive course. I absolutely wanted to be with myself and only the yoga for a period of time. Also, it was too much commitment to one place/city/town to have it on a spread schedule over half a year or so.
I would highly recommend having a day off each week, to recharge your batteries, get your mind off and onto something different, to study, to chat, to go for a long walk, or do whatever you feel like doing.
The food is simple, but it will nourish you. I wasn´t there for a culinary experience anyway, so I was totally fine with that.
Books I would recommend reading before or even taking with you:
- Asana, Pranayama, Mudra and Bandha
- The Eight Limbs of Yoga: A Handbook for Living Yoga Philosophy
- Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga… B K. S. Iyengar
I personally also enjoyed reading the following books, because I am interested in those specific topics.
- Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System As a Path to the Self, Celestial Arts
- Yoga Nidra
- The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga: The Philosophy and Practice of Yin Yoga, Bernie Clark
If you have any questions regarding the YTT and my experience, don´t hesitate to send me a message! I am happy to read and answer it!
“Even if you don´t wanna teach. Do a Yoga Teacher Training. It will change your life forever!”