The Ultimate Guide To Yoga Teacher Training in India for 2023

yoga teacher training in india

As the birthplace of yoga and a deeply spiritual country, India is a dream destination for most yogis and it’s no secret that you’ll find the most affordable and authentic yoga teacher training in India.

Whether you’re thinking of changing your career and becoming a registered yoga teacher, or just simply want to learn authentic yoga, deepen your yoga practice or have a spiritual experience, studying yoga in India is the obvious choice.

With so many yoga schools in India it can be overwhelming choosing the best yoga course for you. I started my own yoga journey in India and have been traveling here for over 10 years so I’ve put together the ultimate guide to yoga teacher training in India to help you.

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5 Best Places for Yoga Teacher Training in India

Reasons to do yoga teacher training in India

India is famous as the birthplace of yoga and Ayurveda which makes the country one of the most popular places in the world to take an authentic yoga retreat or yoga teacher training (YTT).

Visiting India and being immersed in the rich history and spiritual energy of the country that invented yoga can be a truly transformational experience and a life changing adventure. India holds a very profound spiritual energy that is difficult to describe but can be life changing to experience.

In India, yoga is so much more than simply the physical practice, it’s an ancient science and a complex, spiritual practice and lifestyle. When you do a YTT in India you will learn all about the history of yoga in India and yoga philosophy.

You’ll be taught authentic and traditional yoga from experienced yoga teachers for whom the yogic practices are a way of life. You will not only gain a yoga teacher certification but also learn about the yogic lifestyle and deepen your own personal practice.

Not surprisingly there is a plethora of high quality yoga schools in India, many are registered with Yoga Alliance USA so, once qualified, you’ll be able to teach yoga all over the world as a registered yoga teacher.

It’s also very affordable and a lot cheaper doing a YTT in India compared to the West. Most YTT packages include accommodation and meals throughout the course.

yoga in ladakhYoga on a cliff at 3,500 m in Ladakh

The Best places in India to do yoga teacher training

India is an amazingly diverse country with so much to explore from the Himalayan mountains to deserts, exciting cities and tropical beaches.

There are many unique holy and spiritual places, temples and colourful religious festivals to experience in Mother India. If you can, allow extra time after your YTT to experience ashram life and travel around India.

Courses can be found all over India but the best places are:-

Rishikesh

Known as ‘the yoga capital of the world’ situated on the banks of the holy Ganges river at the foot of the Himalayas with many ashrams. Check out my Rishikesh Travel Guide for more.

Goa

A popular beach holiday destination with lively nightlife, colourful hippie markets and a unique fusion of Indian and Portuguese culture. Check my Goa Travel Guide for more.

Kerala

Laid back, luscious, tropical backwaters, beaches, jungles, tea plantations and wildlife sanctuaries in the far South of India and the birthplace of Ayurveda. Check out my Kerala Travel Guide for more.

Mysore 

A colourful town in South India famous for it’s flamboyant palace, vibrant markets and the home of Ashtanga yoga. Check out my Mysore Travel Guide for more.

Dharamasala

The home of the Tibetan government in exile in the Himalayan mountains. Many popular yoga schools from Goa run their courses up here in the summer. Find out why I love Dharamkot so much.

If you want to feel the inspiring energy of the Himalayan mountains then pick Dharamsala or Rishikesh, or if you’d prefer to train in a relaxing, tropical environment, then consider Kerala or Goa in South India.

Do some research (or click on the links to read my other India blog posts) and decide which destination you like the sound of and then start your search for the best schools there.

The best time to do yoga teacher training in India varies depending on your destination as it’s such a huge and diverse country. You’ll find more tips for planning your trip to India and when to visit at the end of this article.

kerala backwaters india

How much does yoga teacher training in India cost?

India has some of the cheapest and most affordable yoga teacher training courses in the world with prices ranging from only $600 – $2000.

The average cost for a 200 hour yoga teacher training in India is around $1000 for a 1 month intensive course with meals and accommodation included.

However, standards of facilities might not be the same as you are used to at home. In India the electricity, hot water supply and internet can be erratic, beds can be hard and food hygiene can be a concern. It’s all part of what makes India such a transformative destination but its often worth paying a bit more for more comfort.

Don’t forget that you’ll need an Indian visa too. (More about this at the end of the article.)

Tips for choosing a yoga teacher training course in India

There’s a lot of things to consider when choosing the teacher training course including the certification you’ll gain, the quality of the yoga education, style of yoga taught, the reputation of the yoga school, the instructors and facilities, destination, length and price of the program and how advanced you are in your own practice.

My top tip would be to consider what yoga style you want to teach, the destination you want to visit and research the reputation and reviews of the teachers and the school. Always make sure the school is a Yoga Alliance registered yoga school.

There are so many different yoga styles – from classical hatha yoga to ashtanga, vinyasa, yin, restorative and even aerial yoga, so whatever you are looking for you can find it in India.

If you’re unsure which yoga style to specialise in then go for a multi-style program or traditional classical Hatha 200 hour yoga teacher training program.

It’s generally expected that students undertaking India yoga teacher trainings should have experience of at least 6 months of regular yoga practice, although some schools will accept beginners while others have stricter entry requirements.

There are so many options of different YTT’s it can be hard to figure out which one is the best for you. Here’s the most common options;

200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Courses

The intensive 200 hour yoga teacher training certification is the most popular. Courses usually which takes place over 20 – 30 days, but I’d recommend taking the most time you can for the best experience.

A 200 hour India yoga teacher training course should contain daily meditation, pranayama and traditional hatha yoga asana practice as well as lectures on yoga anatomy, alignment, yoga history, the yoga sutras, yoga philosophy and teachings about the yogic lifestyle.

You’ll also learn about teaching methodology and get teaching practice, both one on one and leading up to teaching the whole class towards the end of your training. This is a really important element of a yoga instructor course to prepare you for being a registered yoga teacher. Some courses have written exams, others just have a practical exam where the students teach a class at the end of the course.

Successful completion of the 200 hour yoga teacher training course will give trainees a yoga teacher certification and the qualification to register with Yoga Alliance, become a certified yoga teacher and start teaching yoga.

rishikesh - the yoga capital of world in india

Advanced Yoga Courses

For those who want to go deeper, after completing the initial 200 hours, there’s also the option of the more advanced yoga course – the 300 hour YTT.

Or you could choose a 500 hour YTT this is a intensive combination of the 200 hour and 300 hour yoga program in succession and takes about 60 days.

Shorter Yoga Courses

If you are looking for short yoga courses you can opt for a foundation 100 hour yoga teacher training course and come back later to do another 100 hours to complete your certification. There’s also a few 50 hour options.

Remember that authentic Indian yoga teacher training course is not a relaxing yoga retreat holiday – it’s an intensive, challenging, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual life changing journey.

If you’d prefer a relaxing yoga holiday then you’d be better off going for a yoga retreat in India. There are also many amazing ashrams and meditation centres you can visit in India and even stay in if you want to experience ashram life.

Online India Yoga Teacher Training Options

If you can’t make it to India right now there is a still a way to gain your yoga teacher certification as some of the best Indian yoga schools offer online yoga teacher training courses nowadays.

One of the best is World Peace Yoga School in Rishikesh who offer a comprehensive self paced multi-style online 200 hour yoga teacher training where you can earn your Yoga Alliance certification to work as a yoga instructor anywhere in the world.

yoga teacher training in goa india

Tips for choosing a yoga school in India

There are a plethora of schools in India offering YTTs but not all are equal and choosing a good one can be difficult.

A lot of yoga centres in India are mostly focused on profit than providing the most authentic experience. Ones that show up high on a Google search are not necessarily offering the best yoga education, they are just good at SEO.

There are also many fake gurus out there and solo female travellers need to especially careful as there have been cases of sexual misconduct and the rise of #MeToo in yoga is a real concern, not just in India but all over the world. Women do need to be careful who they trust when traveling to India (check out my tips for women here)

A good way of checking out the schools reputation is to read real reviews and testimonies from past students on bookyogateachertraining.com to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable experience. You should also check that the school is a registered yoga school and approved by Yoga Alliance or the International Yoga Federation.

My Pick of the 5 Best Yoga Teacher Training Courses in India

To make it easy for you here are my recommendations for some of the best schools for yoga teacher training in India. This list is based on personal experience, recommendations from friends, years of research and reviews on www.bookyogateachertraining.com. I hope it helps!

The Best Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh

200 hours Hatha and Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training

Yoga Vidya Mandiram, Rishikesh

YTT in Rishikesh, IndiaImage courtesy of Yoga Vidya Mandiram and www.bookyogateachertraining.com

If you decide to do a yoga teacher training in India, why not go straight to one of the most popular programs in the world capital of yoga at Yoga Vidya Mandiram in Rishikesh.

This program offers a 22-day, 200-hour hatha, ashtanga vinyasa YTT on the banks of the holy Ganges River in the foothills of the Himalayas. This program focuses on traditional Hatha Yoga and Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga styles and is affiliated with Yoga Alliance.

As well as practicing your yoga asanas in the studio and on the banks of the holy Ganges river, you’ll learn all about Patanjali’s yoga philosophy, the eight limbs of yoga, anatomy, alignment, teaching methodology, pranayama, mediation and yoga nidra.

You’ll work with experienced and registered yoga teachers that have been steeped in traditional hatha yoga teachings from a young age and are eager to teach yoga and share their wealth of knowledge with you and get a lot of teaching practice yourself.

The program includes accommodation and three healthy vegetarian meals a day. You can stay in a single room or a shared double room, and all rooms have Wi-Fi connection available. You’ll also be able to visit local holy shrines and temples, go hiking or rafting, or go on a short walk to visit the town or the river ghats.

One of the reasons for Yoga Vidya Mandiram’s popularity is the range of yoga certification courses they offer. If you have limited time or you are just beginning your yogic practice you could go for their 7 day 50 hour Hatha and Ashtanga YTT, or the 11 day 100 hour Hatha and Ashtanga program.

If you’ve already done your 200 hours you can do an advanced 300 hour YTT over 28 days, or do your 200 and 300 together in one go with the epic 50 day 500 hour YTT.

See more details, dates, prices and reviews here

Read more about Rishikesh and the other Yoga Teacher Training Courses in Rishikesh I recommend here

 

The Best Yoga Teacher Training in Goa

200 hours Hatha Yoga Teacher Training

Earth Yoga Village, Palolem, Goa

earth yoga vilage yoga teacher training in india goaImage courtesy of Earth Yoga Village and bookyogateachertraining.com

The beaches of Goa are one of the most popular places for a YTT and Earth Yoga Village in Palolem is my favourite.

This Goa yoga teacher training course is held at a beautiful, laid back, eco village on Palolem Beach which is arguably the most beautiful beach in all of Goa for a yoga practice.

Earth Yoga Village runs an amazing 27-day, 200-hour hatha yoga teacher training set in a beautiful jungle by the Arabian Sea. The sea breeze, combined with the lush green scenery, provides a tranquil scene for your yoga classes.

You’ll participate in Hatha yoga and Vinyasa flow yoga classes and learn all about yoga anatomy, alignment, yoga philosophy, teaching methodology, pranayama, mediation and yoga nidra to receive Yoga Alliance certification following successful completion of the program.

Earth Yoga Village creates an intentional community atmosphere. You’ll be able to stay in a cute eco beach hut and have access to healing and chill-out spaces and a library. You’ll eat three vegan meals per day and have access to skilled yoga instructors and therapists throughout your stay.

Earth Yoga Village also occasionally host a special 13 day 100 hour mindfulness and meditation teacher training, a 13 day 100 hour yin and yoga nidra teacher training and, for those who’ve already done their 200 hours they offer an advance 27 day 300 hour holistic YTTC.

See more details, dates, prices, reviews and book here!

Read more about Goa and the other Yoga Teacher Training Courses in Goa I recommend here

 

The Best Yoga Teacher Training in Kerala

200 hours Hatha, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training

Vrinda School of Yoga, Varkala, Kerala

Vrinda School of Yoga Kerala, IndiaImage courtesy of Vrinda School of Yoga and bookyogateachertraining.com

Kerala is one of the most luscious and relaxing places in all of India and the home of the ancient life of science of Ayurveda making it the perfect destination for deepening your yoga practice.

This 28-day 200-hour Kerala YTT is located in the heart of the stunning holy beachside town of Varkala. This location gives you access to beaches, temples, nearby authentic fishing villages and countless outdoor activities.

The program at Vrinda Scientific School of Yoga features Hatha yoga and Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga training led by passionate, qualified doctors of yoga and nature cures with expertise in a wide variety of styles. The school is also registered with Yoga Alliance USA.

The lead teacher Doctor Malathi is a post graduate degree holder of yoga from Dr. MGR medical College Chennai with over 10 year experience in yoga training and one of the best yoga teachers. Female yoga teachers are not as common in India and her energy, empathy and enthusiasm was a real highlight for me and will put solo female travellers at ease.

Your included accommodation will give you access to beautiful scenery, and you will be able to participate in extra activities such as painting, cooking, and Sanskrit classes. You’ll eat three meals a day of fresh, delicious, vegan, Ayurvedic food perfect for a yogic diet.

Being in the birthplace of Ayurveda, Vrinda School of Yoga also offers a 28 day 200 hour YTT program with ayurvedic massages and treatments. 

See more details, dates, prices, reviews and book here!

 

The Best Yoga Teacher Training in Dharamshala

200 hours Multi Style Yoga Teacher Training

Sarvaguna Yoga, Bhagsu, Dharamshala

sarvaguna yoga teacher traning in IndiaImage courtesy of Sarvaguna Yoga and bookyogateachertraining.com

If you want to escape the heat of India and feel the magic and powerful energy of the Himalayan mountains head up to the Dharamshala area for a traditional yoga training.

An excellent choice for an authentic Indian yoga training in Dharamshala is Sarvaguna Yoga. Tucked into the mountainside at the base of the Himalayas in the serene village of Bhagsu close to McCleod Ganj – the home of the Dalai Lama and Tibetan government in exile.

The 200 hour YTT offered here takes place over 28 days and incorporates asana practice in classical hatha yoga, vinyasa yoga, restorative yoga, yin yoga and yoga nidra as well as mantra chanting, pranayama, daily meditation and spiritual therapy.

Classes are taught by experienced instructors, one of which is Dr. Keshava, a registered yoga teacher who has taught over 100 teacher training courses and the school is registered with Yoga Alliance. You’ll also be taught the yoga business skills you’ll need for a successful career as a yoga teacher or yoga studio owner.

Your modern and comfortable guest house accommodation will include Wi-Fi, 24-hour hot showers, and everything you need for a comfortable and relaxing stay including freshly prepared traditional Indian vegetarian meals.

On your days off you will be able to visit temples and monasteries and explore the mountains, participate in trekking excursions. Dharamsala is one of my favourite places to go in India in the Summer months and I’m sure if you go you’ll fall in love too.

The Himalayas are probably one of the best places in the world to meditate and Sarvaguna also offer a 15 day 100 hour meditation teacher training program. If you’ve already done your 200 hour check out their advanced 300 hour YTT held over 28 days.

Sarvaguna offer courses in Dharamshala from April till September and in the winter time from October – March you’ll find them on peaceful Agonda Beach offering their 200 hour yoga certification courses in Goa.

See more details, dates, prices, reviews and book here!

 

The Best Yoga Teacher Training in Mysore

500 hour Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training

Yogadarshanam, Mysore

yoga teacher training in mysoreImage courtesy of Yogadarshanam and bookyogateachertraining.com

Mysore is famous is the yoga world as Guru Pattabhi Jois developed Ashtanga yoga here. His world famous yoga centre, the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute, is now run by his daughter but it can be difficult to get into.

Luckily there are now other options for yogis wanting to immerse themselves in the Mysore yogic lifestyle. The intensive yoga program at popular Yogadarshanam is 60 days long and will give you a 500 hour yoga certification and prepare you to be an amazing yoga teacher.

The 200 hours and 300 hour courses are combined into one experience here with a focus on Ashtanga yoga and Hatha yoga styles. As well as practicing your yoga asanas and teaching style you’ll also study yoga philosophy, anatomy, teaching methodology and the yoga sutras so you’ll be super knowledgeable once you start teaching yoga. You will take yoga classes from an experienced instructor who trained under BKS Iyengar, one of the world’s most famous yoga masters as well as work on your own asana practice.

Mysore is a colourful and fairly large city in the south of India, so unlike more remote YTT locations, this program will allow you the option to explore urban Indian life and the many things to do and see in Mysore like temples, markets and flamboyant palaces.

Most yoga students in Mysore have to arrange their own accommodation near the yoga studio, but Yogadarshanam provide comfortable accommodation in Gokulam, the yoga area as well as three vegetarian meals a day during your program.

See more details, dates, prices, reviews and book here!

For more options check out the listings on bookyogateachertraining.com and remember to read the reviews!

Taj Mahal Agra India
Taj Mahal, Agra

Tips for Planning a yoga trip to India

The best time to do yoga teacher training in India

Generally speaking the best time to visit India is between November and March in the cool, dry, winter season where days are sunny and dry and temperatures are cool, by Indian standards.

April and May can be unbearably hot until the monsoon rains bring respite from the heat in June/July – September/October, depending on where you are.

But India is a huge and diverse country so the best time to do a yoga teacher training in India really depends on your destination:

November – March is the best time to do a YTT in Goa, Kerala and Mysore. After that it becomes too hot or too wet.

If you do a YTT in Rishikesh in December or January you’ll likely find it quite cold, especially during early morning meditation or yoga classes. Rishikesh is in the foothills of the Himalayas it gets pretty chilly up there in the winter and the buildings are generally not very well insulated and shalas (yoga studios) are often open air.

For Rishikesh, the best time to go is September/October or March – April. Dharmashala is even higher up than Rishikesh so gets even colder but is a perfect escape from the heat in May, June and July.

Getting to India

Mumbai (BOM) and New Delhi (DEL) receive many international flights from all over the world and will probably be your point of entry to India, although Goa and Kerala also have smaller international airports.

From Mumbai or Delhi you can transfer to a domestic flight to get closer to your YTT destination. Most yoga schools will be able to arrange a transfer from the nearest airport and I recommend you take this to ensure you get to your destination safely and stress free.

The quickest way to get to Rishikesh is to take a domestic flight from Delhi to Dehra Dun which takes about 1 hour. Then from Dehra Dun it is about 40 minutes in a taxi to Rishikesh. Alternatively the bus from Delhi to Rishikesh takes about 6 hours. The train to Haridwar takes about 7 – 9 hours and then you’ll need to get a taxi 30 mins to Rishikesh. Book your train well in advance as they get fully booked.

Cochin in Kerala and Goa both have well connected airports receiving some international and many domestic flights. Mysore is 3 hours from Bengaluru/ Bangalore which receives many international flights.

The nearest airport to Dharamshala is Kangra/ Gaggal Airport (DHM) which is a small airport with limited services 30 mins away from Dharamshala. You can also get an overnight sleeper bus from Delhi but this can be a hair raising ride through the mountains.

You can book buses and trains in India easily online at 12Go Asia.

Dalai Lama monastery McLeod Ganj Dharamsala India
Monks inside the monastery in McLeod Ganj

Visas for India

Nearly all nationalities (apart from citizens of Bhutan, Nepal and the Maldives) must apply for an Indian visa before travelling.

An E-Visa is available to 156 nationalities including the USA, Australia, New Zealand and most European countries, but you still need to apply online before you travel to India. Get your e-visa here.

E-Visas are currently unavailable for citizens of the UK and Canada. You need to apply online with VFS and attend an appointment in person to get a regular/paper Indian visa. The waiting time for appointments in the UK is currently about 1 month. So apply well in advance, but also be aware that the visa is valid from the date of issue, not the date of entry.

If getting an Indian visa is a problem why not consider Bali instead – it’s also a deeply spiritual Hindu island with many luxurious retreats and trainings.

India has reopened for tourism but all international arrivals still also need to submit an online self declaration form and upload either a vaccine certificate or negative covid test. Check the latest covid news and arrival guidelines here

What to wear for yoga in India

India is a conservative country and female travellers should dress conservatively to avoid unwanted attention. Loose fitting, light clothes are a good way to cover up and stay comfortable in the heat.

Tight leggings and crop tops aren’t really appropriate for yoga in India although you don’t need to cover up so much at the yoga retreats or beaches of Goa, the most westernised state in India. See more packing tips and what to wear when traveling in India here.

Also make sure your travel insurance covers you for all the activities you plan to do on your trip and for any covid related cancellations or illness. I recommend World Nomads

Read More India and Yoga Blogs:

The Best Yoga Retreats in India

The Best Yoga Retreats in Goa

The Best Yoga Retreats in Rishikesh

The Best Yoga and Ayurveda Retreats in Kerala

A Guide to Yoga Teacher Training in Goa

A Guide to Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh

Tips for Women Traveling in India

The Ultimate Itinerary for Traveling India

A Guide to Yoga in India by Breathe Dream Go

 

Did you do your yoga teacher training in India?

I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below the post and help out other yogis and travellers!

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1 comment

ansh April 20, 2020 at 11:48 am

thanks for the awesome blog this is so informative for me

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