So you have decided to do yoga teacher training abroad? There are many great reasons for studying yoga in an intensive program in India or Bali or the many other locations you can find. At this point you have weighed the pros and cons and are ready to commit, but how do you know you have found the right place to go?
The most important thing to consider for your training is your school. There are thousands of them. Especially when you are investing in this large trip you should consider your school wisely.
- Verify that you go to a Registered Yoga School (RYS). Yoga Alliance, the association representing the yoga community, gives this designation to schools that meet their standards. By attending an RYS, Yoga Alliance can designate you a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). You will need this for teaching in studios afterwards.
- Review the syllabus or daily schedule. These intensive programs are fun but challenging. Make sure that you are prepared for and excited about what the school offers.
- Look at the teachers. Your teachers are sources of knowledge during the course, but the intensive experience creates a bond between you and your teachers that will last longer than the course. Consider the styles and philosophies of yoga they teach and determine if that is the path you want your yoga journey to take. Your teachers and fellow students will become longtime supporters of your practice.
- Confirm the school’s credentials. Finding a school on the Internet is easy, but make sure that it is legitimate. Transferring money to an offshore account and flying to an unknown destination can be scary, so do your research first. Read testimonials for the school on the company website or ask them if you can talk to a previous student. Find the school’s Facebook page and see if they have posted pictures of current students or trainings and whether the comments for the school are good.
Some schools offer different locations to study. And this may even be a main reason for picking a particular school. Your location is fundamental to your experience so you should consider the following things when making your location selection.
- Review the accommodation options. Often the school will include accommodation in the course package. If it does, look it up and try to find reviews and pictures to give you a better idea of what to expect. Are there other nearby options that are more appealing? With any travel, especially in India, the accommodation’s level of comfort will vary, so make sure you can spend a month there. You will be tired, homesick and sometimes sick, so the place you make your own should be restful and comforting.
If the school doesn’t offer accommodation or an option that suits you, look near the school to see what you can find.
- Will filtered water be available and will the food (if provided) match your dietary needs? Food and water are important to your daily practice. You will need to drink lots of water during the course (especially if you are in the tropical humidity of Goa or Bali), so make sure there is a clean source. Don’t forget to bring a reusable bottle!
You will most likely follow a vegetarian yogic diet while you are there. Are you comfortable with the cuisine that will be available both within the course and the location?
- Consider what there is to do during your off time. Though you will be busy and not have much time to be a tourist, there will be times for taking in the sights. What you want to see? Mountains, beaches, historical spots? Keep these things in mind as you make your decision. This is an amazing experience and you want to get the most out of it.
Where ever you go, you are in for a life-changing experience. So pack your bags and open your heart and mind to the journey!