As the birthplace of yoga, India might seem like the obvious choice for your first yoga teacher training. With its ancient history, varied landscape and colourful culture, India is a country many fall in love with. If you’re set on furthering your yoga journey in this spiritual landscape, you will be pleased to know that India offers some of the most affordable yoga teacher training courses. But with so many schools, training programs and stunning locations to choose from, how do you go about choosing the right school for you?
To help make your research easier, we’re put together a handpicked list of our top 9 yoga teacher training courses in India. While there are hundreds of respected and established schools to choose from, our choices are based on research and personal recommendations from trusted sources. No matter where you decide to train, you are guaranteed a life-changing experience and a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself into the spiritual and cultural wonders that India has to offer.
Before we dive in, we’ll walk you through the origins of yogic practice in India and helpful guidelines for choosing your yoga teacher training.
The Origins of Yoga
Yoga in India dates back thousands and thousands of years. While there is no official recorded date of its birth, the first mention of yoga was found in the Vedas, a collection of yogic religious texts from around 1500 to 1000 BCE. Patanjali, a respected Indian sage known as the ‘father of yoga’, systematised the practice of yoga in a text called The Yoga Sutras. The sutras, meaning threads, are the basis of all modern forms of yoga, meditation and yogic practices. Many centuries following, yoga was spread to the rest of the world by devotees of the practice including B.K.S Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, Desikchar, and Indra Dhevi, who would go onto popularise the yoga that we know today.
Guidelines for Choosing Your Training
Yoga Hotspots in India
The most popular places for studying yoga in India are Rishikesh and Goa. Risihikesh, known as ‘Yoga Capital of the World’, is where yoga originated. The holy town in India’s northern state has countless yoga schools, trainings and yoga retreats, as well as an International Yoga Festival held every year in March. Goa, located in western India has coastlines stretching along the Arabian Sea and is a popular location for those who enjoy beachside living. Depending on where you stay on the island, you can enjoy tranquil beaches and laid-back vibes, or a more sociable setting with plenty of beach parties and friendly travellers to encounter. You will also find plenty of high quality yoga schools in Mysore (the birthplace of Ashtanga), Dharamsala in the Indian Himalayas and the surf and yoga town of Varkala.
Best Yoga Teacher Trainings in India
Decided that India is the place for you? Let’s jump into our recommend schools and what they have on offer:
|2.||Goa or Dharamsala||$1426-2304 (200hr)|
|6.||Rishikesh or Kerala||$1250-1700 (200hr)|
|7.||Rishikesh or Goa||$1200-1500|
Kranti is located on Patnem beach in South Goa. More upmarket than other teacher training centres in India, the school offers residential packages with apartments and cottages overlooking the beach and delicious traditional Indian vegan food. The spacious ‘village’ is a tranquil environment for full immersion in your yoga studies. The Ashtanga and Vinyasa focussed teaching course merges the traditions of yoga with western contemporary thought. Attention is given to learning how to teach yoga in a modern setting, with technical workshops, alignment and anatomy modules. What’s more, they are currently offering a 20% discount on courses booked more than 3 months in advance.
Style: Vinyasa Flow & Ashtanga/Yin
Offers: 100hr, 200hr, 300hr, 500hr
Trimurti is a well-established school with locations all over the world. In India, their schools are on the coast in Goa and in the Indian Himalayas of Dharamsala. Described as ‘a yoga laboratory’, Trimurti offers a well-rounded mix of traditional Hatha Yoga and modern styles of Vinyasa Flow, Yin and Aerial. Their multi-style 200hr course emphasises practical learning and working with diverse body types. Packages include healthy Indian food, and a range of lodging to meet budgets. Check out their generous early bird discounts on their website.
Location: Goa or Dharamsala
Style: Multi-style/Vinyasa Flow/Yin
Offers: 100hr, 200hr, 300hr
Located in a secluded ashram in the Indian jungle, SWAN is spiritual haven where you can experience a traditional yoga lifestyle and connect with nature. During the 200-hour yoga teacher trainings, students get to experience a holistic yogic experience as part of a community in an Indian temple. The Gurukula style of teaching is devoted to an authentic yoga lifestyle incorporating a yogic diet, meditation and chanting practices. SWAN is an ideal teacher training for those wanting to dive into an authentic yogic experience. Courses also include Ayurvedic knowledge and diet consultation.
4. Samyak Yoga
If you are serious about learning Ashtanga yoga then the most renowned place to study is in Mysore, India. Samyak is situated in an ashram on the banks of Cauvery River. Students learn traditional Ashtanga methods led by Indian masters in an idyllic setting with few distractions. The 200hr and 300hr courses cover a traditional basis of yoga, incorporating meditation and techniques of pranayama and kriya. The ashram also offers Hatha and Vinyasa courses. While you will be living Ashram-style, the location is far from basic, with comfortable rooms complete with wholesome Ayurvedic vegetarian food.
Offers: 200hr, 300hr
Founded by a yoga master from India and an entrepreneur from America, East+West is allows for an equal balance of practical teaching and traditional yogic philosophy. Incorporating ancient and modern philosophies, trainings are led by esteemed teachers from India and yoga instructors from the West. A significant amount of focus is given to transitioning into the modern world of yoga after graduation, with topics including the business and marketing of yoga. While costs may be higher than other schools in India, they do offer payment plans, early bird discounts and deals for friend referrals.
Style: Hatha/Vinyasa Mix
Offers: 100hr, 200hr
6. Rishikul Yogshala
With schools in Rishikesh and Varkala, Rishikul’s courses offer a variety of interesting and diverse elements including Ayurveda, Kalaripayattu (a form of Indian martial arts) and laughter yoga. In line with Ayurvedic philosophies, students also learn the art of yogic cooking and how to create a yogic balance in everyday life. One of the more affordable of schools in India, it offers a variety of accommodation options as well as scholarships for those who are eligible.
Location: Rishikesh or Kerala
Style: Multi-style (Ashtanga/Hatha/Vinyasa/Kundalini/laughter yoga)
Offers: 200hr, 300hr, 500hr
7. AYM (Association for Yoga and Meditation)
One of the most popular yoga schools in Rishikesh, AYM is highly praised for its experienced yoga teachers and thorough training program. Their 200-hour yoga teacher training offers classes in a wide variety of styles including the alignment focussed Iyengar. In addition, it’s also a well-respected Ayurveda centre, offering specialised courses in the ancient discipline. Students get to enjoy Ayurveda inspired nutritious vegetarian meals daily. For those who prefer beach to mountain, AYM also has a school in Goa near the trendy Arambol beach.
Location: Rishikesh or Goa
Style: Multi-style (Hatha, Iyengar, Ashtanga-Vinyasa)
Offers: 100hr, 200hr, 300hr, 500hr
8. Rishi YogPeeth
Rishi YogPeeth is located outside of Rishikesh town in the mountains of Garhwal Himalayas. Boasting serene surroundings, students live in a tranquil community with accommodation on-site. In addition, the school is also a great budget-friendly option. Course prices include shared accommodation, daily yogic meals and excursions. With drop-in classes also on offer, you can visit and try out the school prior to signing onto a course.
Offers: 50hr, 100hr, 200hr
9. Anadi Yoga Centre
The highly reviewed Anadi Yoga Centre in Rishikesh has small class sizes and a comprehensive syllabus of Hatha and Vinyasa yoga, anatomy and physiology. While it doesn’t offer early bird discounts, course fees include 3 meals a day, private accommodation with en-suite bathroom and sightseeing excursions.
Style: Hatha & Vinyasa Flow
Offers: 200hr, 300hr, 500hr