Rishikesh is the yoga capital of the world so I had always planned to do do my YTT when I was in India & If I had done it anywhere else, it definitely wouldn’t have been the same experience at all. To be at the foothills of the Himalayas, next to the magical Ganga. Rishikesh – and Yog Dham -have such a special place in my heart. Contrary to other parts of the country, Rishikesh is well equipped for westerners, I would say it is the perfect combination of east meets West. You can walk everywhere and it’s right by the holy Ganges, which makes it a sacred place for many Hindus. Another good thing about doing your teacher training in beautiful Rishikesh is that it’s one of the cheapest places do it. Most 200hr courses are about $1500 US and that includes accomodation, 3 meals a day, course supplies and Sunday excursions.
Choosing a school.
There are literally hundreds of schools in Rishikesh that offer Yoga Teacher Training courses. I remember spending so long on google thinking how will I ever be able to choose!? When I thought to ask a friend who had been to a few different schools and she recommended that I go to Rishikesh Yog Dham. So, I stopped looking and booked straight away. My time at Rishikesh Yog Dham was exactly the experience I was hoping for. The classes are more intimate (some schools have 20+ students per course!!), all the teachers are super passionate, knowledgeable and their positive, relaxed energy made me feel comfortable in class everyday. The staff always went above and beyond to make sure we were getting everything we needed. I really couldn’t speak more fondly of this wonderful place!
Day in the life in the day of a YTT course:
- Wake up
- Herbal tea
- Morning Asana class
- Yoga anatomy
- Meditation + Mantra chanting
- Free time/Self study
- Yoga philosophy
- Evening Asana class + alignment and corrections
This was our schedule 6 days a week for a whole month! Having Sunday’s off to explore, relax and/or do the optional Sunday exertions.
Basically, you are doing 4 hours of yoga Asana per day. You do need to be fairly fit and really enjoy yoga to do it obviously but being super flexible or experienced is not necessary and trust me when I say this – you can be at any stage in your yoga journey to do a YTT. The intensity of the classes the first week were (or maybe just seemed) super intense and as time goes on, it gets easier as your body acclimatises. You also start focusing on alignments, corrections and teaching your classmates in the evening asana class. This is building you up for week 4, where you have your final practical exam: A full 1.5 hour yoga class including pranayama, mantra and guided Savasana. It’s super nerve-racking/exciting haha but everyone is in the same boat as you and you pick up on so much throughout the month that in the end, teaching your class is a lot easier than you think it will be!
We had an hour long anatomy, meditation and philosophy class everyday. My favourites were Yoga philosophy and Mediation. I looooved learning about and practicing various mantras and meditation techniques. Yoga philosophy was my absolute favourite – I could literally learn about it all day, it’s such an intricate and ancient philosophy. 1 month of study barley broke the surface! Yoga anatomy was also really interesting, we learnt so much about our muscles, digestion, heart, nervous system etc. As well as how different movements and Asanas effect our bodies.
Rishikesh is a vegetarian city, so all the food at the school is all veg, but they also cater for different dietary requirements, so if you are vegan or gluten free then you don’t have to worry at all. For breakfast we had a rotation of sweet & savoury dishes – oats, chickpea pancakes, rice, upama and more, always with fresh fruity goodness!! Lunch was different salads, rice & some sort of vegetables. Dinner was pretty much the same with a variety of curries, salad, veggies and chapati too! I pretty much had seconds everyday & still lost a bit of the extra weight that i’d put on from travelling; You really are exercising and learning so much that you need the extra fuel and substance. The cooks at Yog Dham are so good.
I loved every moment of my time at Rishikesh Yog Dham & am already looking forward to returning to do my 300hr!
Written by Kate Moore.