So you want to do your Yoga Teacher Training abroad? There are a ton of benefits to getting trained abroad — from exploring a new culture to getting out of your comfort zone. But before you pack your bags and head to the airport, here’s a few things you’ll want to know.
The Three W’s
What, where, and, when? First thing is first, decide what you’re looking for in a training. Where do you want to go? Or maybe you're choosing based on the type of yoga you want to learn. Start to brainstorm what you want to get out of your residential teacher training. I chose mine based on location first, then from there, I searched for a school that offered what I wanted to learn and when I would be available for the training. Compare curriculum, prices, locations, and more using a few key websites. I used resources such as Yoga Alliance, Book Yoga Retreats and of course Google for my research on different programs.
Always go to the program's main website for official information. Since Yoga Alliance is officially recognized around the world, it is important to make sure your program is YA authenticated if you plan on teaching. But remember, Yoga Alliance is an American company, where as yoga is thousands of years old, so there is definitely classic swami and guru trainings that you will have to search deeper for. There is no doubt that you will end up right where you are supposed to be in the end.
Start the Conversation
Time to reach out! Contact your top choices using the contact information on their website. Some programs might take a while to respond, and it's okay! A lot of these places are in exotic locations and the WiFi is in and out. You can inquire about scholarships available when you reach out, too. Make sure to ask all the questions you have so you’re well equipped with information about the training including a mock schedule, room details, and exact location.
Pay in Advance
Once you sign up, set up payments ahead of time so you don't have to travel with a lot of cash or get charged high ATM fees once abroad. Always, always, always keep proof of any payments and of total price of program to avoid any mix ups. Keep in contact monthly so that you feel comfortable with the company and feel they are reliable.
Be Prepared to Release Control
Traveling out of the country alone is challenge, but oh so rewarding! If you do choose to do your training out of the country, be aware that businesses abroad are not all like the ones here in the U.S. or other western countries. I was put into a "sister academy" in Rishikesh even though I spent weeks researching and choosing my specific course. But, in India for example, things happen like this a lot. So just be aware, and be open minded.
Our meals were also on a strict schedule that was based on strict yogic diets. While in the beginning I would get hangry, I bought plenty of snacks and learned to take it as part of the detachment process. Our bodies are capable of a lot, you just have to train the mind. I would not change a thing from my training — the amount of growth I experienced is indescribable. Be present and take it all in. You will get out of it only what you put into it.
Western vs. Eastern Yoga
If you are planning on going to India or Nepal, know that the core of these courses will be classic yoga teachings. Focused around Sivananda, Iyengar, Hatha, Ashtanga, Pranayama and a lot of meditation. I personally sought out this training while others prefer to mainly improve and focus on their asana. It's all personal preference. So once again, do your research first and give yourself time to figure out what you want.
School: Vyasa Yoga Perth
Style: Hatha, Ashtanga, Pranayama
Included: 200-hr certificate, 28 nights stay, 3x meals a day, waterfall adventure, white water rafting.
I hope this helps you or inspires you to take the leap and fulfill your dreams. As scared as I was on that flight by myself to India, it is the absolute best decision I have ever made!
About the Author
Katie Garcia is a YogaClub Tribe Leader from the Las Vegas area. She received her 200 hour residential training in India and loves to share about her experience! Follow Katie’s yoga adventures on Instagram at @yogalovinggypsy.