Last year around this time I had decided I wanted to go to India to become a certified yoga teacher. I was lucky I could make it at the beginning of this year and now I want to share my experience with you.
First of all, I started to do some research on yoga schools in India. As you can imagine, there are plenty of them and I didn’t know how to choose one. I knew I wanted to get an international certificate so I was searching in the list of registered schools on Yoga Alliance. It’s an organization that sets standards for yoga professionals and teacher training programs around the world. In India, there are schools all over the country. I decided to do my training in Goa because I wanted to be on the seaside. I also determined specific months for it – January and February. These were my requirements, but it was still hard to choose.
My research began by reading reviews of different school, checking the dates and prices of their trainings, reading various articles and recommendations on how to choose the right school. Nevertheless, I felt a bit lost and still had no idea which one to select. At the end I got a contact of a girl who did the training in India and she recommended me the Sarvaguna Yoga School. It made a great impression on me! The place seemed to be nice, the dates of the training were perfect, the price was reasonable, everything looked good. When I saw it and after I got answers to all of my questions, I knew that school was “the one”!
After choosing the right school, I was trying to find someone who would travel with me even without participating in the training. I was a bit scared to go to India alone since I also wanted to visit some places, not just doing the training. Anyway, at the end of November I decided to book the course even though I had no idea how I’ll get there and who I will go with. I just knew I wanted to go and I wanted to make it work somehow. I didn’t know how though.
Thanks to my travels and abroad adventures I have many friends all around the world and that was very helpful at that time. I got in touch with my old Erasmus friend Chandan from India and at the end, he was the one who helped me and made everything work.
Flying to India & Starting Yoga Teacher Training
On 18th January I took a flight to India. There I visited Delhi, Agra and Jaipur (I’ll tell you more about it next time.) and on 26th January I flew from Delhi to Goa airport. At the airport I got picked up by a taxi driver sent by the school. When I arrived to Agonda beach (that’s where the school was located), I dropped my backpack in the room and then I went to the welcome meeting. I met my schoolmates and we were told how everything will be organized. It was seven of us – two English, one Australian, one German, one Finnish, one Mexican and me (Czech). All of us got a “Sarvaguna Yoga Kit” – a bag with study materials, two T-shirts of Sarvaguna school and a stainless steel water bottle. The course started the following day with the fire ceremony and 6:30 and then regular daily schedule.
6:30 – 8:00 – Mantra Chanting, Pranayama and Guided Meditation
8:00 – 8:15 – Tea Break (ginger tea with honey and lemon)
8:15 – 9:45 – Asana Practice
9:45 – 11:00 – Breakfast
11:00 – 13:00 – Philosophy or Anatomy Class
13:00 – 15:00 – Lunch Break
15:00 – 16:50 – Teaching Methodology (Alignment, Adjustments, Student Teaching Practice)
16:50 – 17:00 – Tea Break (herbal tea)
17:00 – 18:00 – Asana Practice
18:00 – 19:00 – Student Teaching Practice
19:00 – 19:45 – Dinner
19:45 – 20:30 – Q & A Session (Wednesday, Friday)
As you can see we had quite a busy schedule. Once per week we met at 6:15 in order to go to meditate to the Rocks formation where we had to walk silently. It was an exceptional experience, on the way there it was still dark so we had to be careful where we stepped and then when we walked back on the beach, the sun was rising. It was really beautiful.
Every week we also did “Jala Neti” = nasal cleansing which we actually called “Neti Party”.
First two weeks we were learning and practising hatha yoga and the other two weeks we were doing vinyasa yoga. Every Saturday we finished at 13:00 and we also had Sundays free.
What was included in the training fee?
The training has a fixed price but you can get an “early bird” discount of 100€ if you book the course two months in advance. The fee includes:
- the tuition fee
- study material
- Sarvaguna Yoga Kit (yoga bag, two T-shirts of Sarvaguna school and stainless steel water bottle)
- accommodation with wifi (there are different options for the accommodation but in Goa it’s always a single room with private shower)
- vegetarian breakfast, lunch and dinner (except Saturday dinner and Sunday meals)
- two teas daily and unlimited filtered drinking water
- airport pick-up and drop-off
- boat trip
The accommodation is located either in the area of the school or just nearby. I chose the basic single room and it was very nice. It was spacious, clean, with a big bed, fan on the ceiling, private shower and also a balcony. They cleaned our rooms one per week. The wifi was working quite well but there were moments when the electricity went off for some time and we stayed without connection. When I arrived to India, I got an Indian sim card with datas. Unfortunately, the local operator didn’t have any signal at all in Agonda beach so I depended on the wifi of the school or local restaurants.
You have probably noticed that there was also a boat trip included. One Saturday, right after the first tea break we went to the beach, we got life jackets and hopped on the boat. The sun was rising, we were going along the seaside trying to see some dolphins. It was a nice escape from our daily schedule.
I also want to mention how delicious the food in the school was. Actually not just in the school, everywhere! We were eating just vegetarian food and I couldn’t have imagined how many different and tasty vegetarian meals you can make! In the school we always had a variety of the food and we usually ate a bit from everything. It was just so good! We even had sweets! When we didn’t eat at school, we went out to eat at some “safe” restaurants. We were very careful because we didn’t want to get our stomach upset. Anyway, we didn’t have any problems and we always enjoyed a lot any food we had tried!
At the end of the course we had to pass a practical and a written exam in order to obtain the yoga teacher certificate. We did practical exam from teaching hatha and vinyasa yoga and written exam from philosophy, anatomy and asanas (yoga postures). All of us passed successfully and at the final ceremony we received our certificates.
Overall I was very satisfied with the training and I feel like it was a life time experience for me. After getting back home, I still needed some time to “process” everything. I learnt a lot during the course, not just about yoga but also about myself and I think I’ll never forget it!