Traveling to India, the birthgiver of yoga can be one of the most rewarding experiences of a person’s life and if you make the right decision in finding authentic yoga teachers and appropriate yoga school to study at, then you can ensure that the entire journey of yoga is rewarding.
Every year, several yogis, aspiring yogis travel to India in search of the right yoga teachers in India that they can learn from or attend a yoga retreat that they can benefit from and many of them reach the desired destination while some do not. Here are a few steps that can really help you arrive at the doorstep of the right yoga retreat and authentic yoga teachers.
Choose a Destination
India is the land of yoga and spirituality with traces of the yogic and Vedic science in almost every corner of the country in one form or the other. However, there are major places in India that are globally renowned for having the best yoga schools and for being the birthplaces of the greatest yoga masters. Hence, it would be a good idea to select from these locations first.
- Varkala, Kerala
- Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
- Mysore, Karnataka
- Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
Select What Kind of Teaching Process Do You Want
There are different programs, retreats, yoga styles, even program methods that matter when seeking the guidance of the right teacher or finding a yoga retreat. If you are travelling up north and have just a couple of weeks to immerse in yoga learning and also if you are a yoga newbie, you can pick someone who is apt with 100 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh or any of these places. If you have 4-6 weeks time, then you can take up more sincere practices such as 200 hour Yoga TTC in Rishikesh or 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh.
Beyond the type of program, the style of program also matters. Are you looking for a teacher who is more versed with contemporary styles or traditional styles such as Hatha and Ashtanga Vinyasa. For Ashtanga Vinyasa, it is better to come to Mysore under the guidance of a yoga teacher well-versed with the works of BKS Iyengar. If you are looking for a program that is non-linear, then you might want to go with a certified yoga instructor who takes independent classes or conducts smaller batches where the student can pick from where they left off. Try to avoid ashram hopping during the peak season in India which generally begins in October and lasts till March. Be sure to look into the reviews of the teacher, their academic credentials, for making an informed decision.
Seek Advice Before Deciding
While online reviews are helpful, it is equally important to seek advice about the teacher and their methods from other fellow students or travelers in person. It is a great way to know what kind of yoga style a particular teacher can teach better and vice versa. Other’s experiences with the teachers can offer valuable insight in deciding whether the teacher is right for you or not.
Take a Practice Session
If possible then take a practice session with the teacher rather than just blindly going after the most famed one. Yoga is an individual practice and everyone has different requirements that need to be personalised as well. For instance, a particular yoga pose might require a bit of adjustment and alignment for another yogi. Hence, it is better to know if the teacher you have an eye out for will be able to help you or understand your needs well enough to guide you to its solution. Another important thing is the language of the teacher. Is the yoga instructor able to comprehend your language to help you or better yet, are you able to decode the language of instruction that is being used by the said yoga teacher? If yes, then you are on the right track.
Safety Is Important
Yoga is personal and intimate and there is a thin line between getting too personal. You would need to observe if the teacher or whichever retreat you have chosen conducts safe classes with all the necessary vigilance or not.
Be Flexible & Open
Yoga is a powerful science that nudges you to crawl out of your comfort zone to explore fresh dimensions and perspectives which includes trying out a few options before selecting the right one. If the yoga program is able to tap into helping you become more mindful then you are on the right track.
If you aspire to learn yoga on a serious note and want to practice across the globe while ensuring that the education you have received is of the highest standard of yoga, then it is better to look into the kind of certification and the number of years of experience the yoga instructor has. Ideally, they should be certified or their program should be recognized by Yoga Alliance, the biggest governing body of yoga education.
Strive For Perfection
This one goes out to all those yoga instructors that you are trying to rope in. Is the yoga instructor helpful or not? Do they ensure to help you perform with the right modification or do they ignore the class and go about their own lectures?
There are many more ways to find authentic yoga teachers or yoga retreats to practice yoga in India which you would be able to unfold.