Once you know you want to do a yoga teacher training course the big question you ar probably asking yourself is where in the world do you want to do it? And out of all of the thousands of yoga teacher training courses abroad, how on earth do you go about finding the best yoga teacher training courses?
Lucky for you you found this post. As a 400-hour yoga teacher, I know a thing or two about how to find yoga teacher training abroad. So if you are thinking of going abroad to do your 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training this post is going to cover everything you need to know about finding a great yoga teacher training course before you part with your hard-earned cash or book that plane ticket.
I’m also going to give you the lowdown on my best countries to do yoga teacher training abroad and make some recommendations of the best yoga courses to consider.
Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that you need to be prepared for anything! Travel insurance has always been high my list of things to get before I travel but now more than ever its at the top of my list.
I’m pretty sure we have all had travel plans messed up because of COVID and not all insurers covered this. So when looking for travel insurance it’s important to check it covers travel disruption due to COVID-19, World Nomads, Safety Wing, or Travel Insurance Master all provide cover for this.
World Nomads is great for incidents that happen prior to your trip, so if you get sick or are unable to travel due to travel restrictions some of their policies will cover that as cancellation cover.
I also use Travel Insurance Master for some short vacation type trips as they are cheaper than World Nomads a lot of the time.
If you are doing shorter trips or a longer backpacking trip then WorldNomads or Travel Insurance Master are the best option. If you are a digital nomad or planning travel of at least 6 months then go for SafetyWing.
How To Choose The Best Yoga Teacher Training Abroad
What Is The Best Style of Yoga To Teach
This is a really important point to consider. If you want to study a more generic form of yoga then choosing an Ashtanga Vinyasa or a Hatha Yoga course are solid options. But there are so many different styles of yoga out there don’t be afraid to do some extra research and find the style of yoga that best suits you. So get out there and take lots of different classes or do a ton of online yoga classes, and see what style you feel most inspired by.
I personally practice Ashtanga yoga, however, my teacher training was in Ayurveda and Shivananda Hatha Yoga. It really was the perfect course for me and I had never even heard of it until researching teacher training. If you find something you like the sound of then see if there are any classes in your local area and go and try one out.
The Ratio of Practical to Theoretical Classes
Some yoga training courses are weighted more toward the practical aspects of yoga than others. If you already have a strong yoga practice and some teaching experience then you may want to consider a more theory-heavy course with lots of spiritual and philosophy classes. Ask to look at an example timetable before you make up your mind.
Many yoga teacher training now also offer an online yoga training program which can be done before you go to the retreat center. I love this option if you have limited time. What it does is allows you to study all the theories before you go so that all your time on the retreat is spent putting that theory into practice. It also means you have much more time to really digest all of the theory and you can go back and watch it ver and over again. I really wish I’d had that option when I did my first yoga teacher training abroad. It’s part of the reason I chose to do a second Yoga Teacher training, this one was 100% online and I LOVED being able to have all of those videos to watch over and over again.
Do you want to study yoga abroad or would you prefer to study yoga closer to home?
For most people this is the best option, it’s often cheaper and it offers you a completely immersive experience. This way you are away from all the normal distractions and able to be fully present. You can find some great flight deals on Skyscanner making studying abroad a great option. Take a look through some of the courses on Book Yoga Retreats to get an idea of where you could study.
How much time do you have to dedicate to a yoga teacher training program
Generally, Yoga Teacher Training is 200 hours over 4 weeks. My course was 200 hours in 3 weeks which was intense but if taking 4 weeks off work isn’t an option for you this is a good way to go. You can also find courses that offer part online and then just 2 weeks of on-site training. This is a great option for those with limited time. The online portion covers all of the theory so when you arrive on your teacher training you have 2 solid weeks of practical classes with just a few hours of theory.
What is your budget
This was a BIG issue for me. I was already teaching yoga and in Latin America where I’m currently based there isn’t a huge demand for certification. I didn’t need teacher training, I wanted to do it. But my bank balance said otherwise! Yoga Teacher Training costs anything from $2000-$5000 normally, depending on where you go and if you have accommodation and catering included.
What kind of accommodation do you prefer?
Is the accommodation included? If it isn’t then before you go any further do some research into accommodation in the local area and make sure that accommodation is available in your price range. Although back then I was mostly a dorm bed girl, I actually really (really) appreciated having my own room on YTT. Especially as I was studying Ayurveda and giving myself morning oil massages!
For me, it was worth paying a little more and being close to the school with my own bed. The hours are long and full, so having a good space to rest is essential.
My accommodation wasn’t included, I had to find it myself. I didn’t realize this before booking so I got a bit of a shock when I realized how expensive everything in that area was! Be sure to check this out before you book! All of the yoga teacher training courses on Book Yoga Retreats have accommodation included.
Do you want the food included with your Yoga Teacher Training Course?
If you choose an all-inclusive Yoga Teacher Training course abroad, then most likely food will be included. I would strongly recommend this option if possible.
My yoga teacher training in Mexico did not have food included. For me, this was the hardest thing as I was so tired I just didn’t want to cook! Be prepared to eat a clean Satvic diet (no meat, eggs, sugar, onions, or garlic!) for the whole course.
I actually felt fantastic for eating so well and continued to cut Rajistic foods mostly out of my life. I still eat garlic and onion when I’m eating out but I never cook with them now at home. But having to cook during those long days was THE WORST.
What are the teachers like?
Check out your yoga teacher, and their teachers.
Who are they, and where have they worked? What do they believe in, and most importantly what can they teach you?
You will be spending a lot of time with your teachers over the training so this is very important and a lot of people don’t think to check this.
When deciding on the best yoga teacher training course abroad, choosing the best country for you is key. There are a few things to consider.
- Is there a country that you really want to visit?
- Or somewhere you really don’t want to go?
- What are flight prices like?
- And how long a flight are you prepared to take?
- How much time can you take off work?
India is often the cheapest place to do yoga teacher training. However, if the flights are twice as much and it’s going to take you 2 days to travel there and back, then maybe it’s not the best option for you.
Whereas somewhere like Costa Rica could be a shorter and cheaper flight. So even though the actual course is a bit more expensive, you will save time and money on travel.
But maybe you follow a particular yoga teacher and as many yoga teachers work internationally it’s worth contacting the teachers you love to find out where they will be running teacher training. Then try and match up with a country you want to do your yoga teacher training in at a time you are available.
How to prepare for Yoga Teacher Training Abroad
Start thinking like a Yoga teacher
Speak to your teacher at your local studio and ask them if you can shadow or assist them with their classes. Just watching an experienced teacher teaching a class will help you to start seeing yoga from a different angle.
Start reading books on yoga and yoga philosophy
Set aside time each morning or evening to read spiritual texts. If you aren’t sure what to read I’ve put together my top 5 books here to get you started. If you want to teach yoga you need to know about the lineage and 8 limbs as a minimum. It’s important to start practicing the Yamas and Niyamas and understand the bigger picture beyond ASANA.
Know your Sister Science
Not all yoga courses cover Ayurveda. But they should! If you are practicing Yoga then you really should be practicing Ayurvedic principles as well, or at very least thinking about them. Yoga Veda offers a FREE online course called Sister Science, it’s an introduction to Ayurveda for yogis.
Start Yoga Self Practice, every day
If you don’t already have a self-practice it’s time to start now. Once you start teaching yoga it may be difficult for you to get to class often. This makes self-practice at home even more important, you need to practice what you preach.So start now.
Dedicate time and space each day to get on your mat and practice, even if it’s just 30 minutes a day. To be able to practice at home make sure you invest in a good yoga mat and establish a clean space for your daily practice.
Learn about Anatomy and Physiology
Most yoga teacher training courses either don’t cover much anatomy or they make you pass an exam before taking their course. Some may make you do an exam as part of your course. Regardless, it’s important for you as a teacher to have an understanding of the body. I strongly advise any prospective teachers to first take an online Anatomy and Physiology course. It’s one thing you will never regret!
Things to consider after you complete your yoga teacher training course
If you think after 3/4 weeks of teacher training you will be ready to teach yoga you are probably going to be in for a bit of a shock. I have 15 years of experience teaching dance, a solid understanding of Anatomy and Physiology and I did not feel 100% prepared to teach. What YTT gives you is a solid foundation on which you can develop your teaching practice. It’s important to think about how you can continue your development after your course.
What to Pack for Your Yoga Teacher Training Course Abroad
- 6 yoga tops/ bras
- 4 comfortable tops
- 4 pairs of yoga pants
- 2 pairs of yoga shorts
- 2 pairs of comfortable harem style pants
- 2 nice(er) outfits for evenings – whatever you are comfortable in
- White clothes – if you need them for your graduation
- Pashmina for meditation – Sitting still you can get chilly, I also like to wrap myself up so the mosquitos don’t get me!
- Warm layers for early morning practice – this will be depending on the climate
- Yoga matt – of course
- Yoga towel – to place over your matt when it gets sweaty!
- 3 washcloths – if you are studying somewhere with a tropical climate you are going to sweat! So be prepared and take some clothes to wipe yourself down.
- Yoga books – I recommend these as key texts for any yoga teacher training.
- Malas – for meditation practice.
- Incense – to use at home and during your classes.
- Essential oils – Great for you and also for Shavasana. I like to rub lavender onto my hands and hover my hands over student’s faces so they can smell me there…that way they don’t jump when I touch them haha
- Singing bowl/ tingsha bells – if you know how to use them.
- an infused water bottle
Also, think about any other props you might need for your classes. Remember you will be teaching the classes so it’s important to prepare for that. If you love it when teachers give small readings at the beginning and end of classes, find some before you go and take them with you. If you have a singing bowl and know how to use it, take it with you.
Yes, you may be able to find these things where you are but you are going to be busy so it’s a good idea to think ahead while you have time.
My Top 6 Countries To Do Yoga Teacher Training Courses
Yoga Teacher Training in Mexico
This is where I did my first yoga teacher training course. I chose Mexico because the course price was pretty cheap, and the flights were short and cheap. In all honesty, if you are living in the USA then flying to Mexico to do your toga teacher training abroad is going to be one of the best options.
There are lots of yoga teacher training courses all over Mexico, mostly in Tulum, Puerto Escondido, Sayulita, and Purto Vallarta. All of these places are by the beach and have good international airports close by, with the exception of Puerto Escondido as the airport is smaller and there are fewer flights. Sayulita is a short taxi or bus ride from Puerto Vallarta airport.
I’ve written extensively about things to do in Mexico so you will have plenty to read if you do choose Mexico and want to extend your stay in this beautiful country.
My Top Picks For Yoga Teacher Training In Mexico
- 29 Day 200-Hour Vinyasa OM Yoga Teacher Training in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas
- 15-Day Inspiring 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training On Beautiful Isla Mujeres
- 15-Day 200-Hour FitFlowYoga Teacher Training in Tulum, Quintana Roo
Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica
The Central American home of the yogi.
Costa Rica is full of Yoga Ashrams offering yoga teacher training courses with international teachers. The cost of living is higher compared to other places and transport is expensive. But it really is a beautiful place and if you do your yoga teacher training course here you must take at least a week to do some exploring on the coast or in the rainforest once the course ends!
Top Picks for Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica
- 18 Day 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in Uvita, Puntarenas
- 15 Day Intensive Yoga Teacher Training in Puerto Jimenez
- 36 Day Pranaluz 300-Hour All Inclusive Yoga Teacher Training in Pavones
Yoga Teacher Training in Guatemala
Now I know Guatemala might not be on the top of your list for yoga teacher training, but it should be! It’s a beautiful country. It’s cheap to travel around and I couldn’t think of a better place to study yoga than Lake Atitlan. Yoga in Guatemala is huge and there are many beautiful yoga centers around the lake.
It’s a short flight from the USA and if you book in advance you can get some great flight deals.
The added bonus is that you could also easily see the sights of Guatemala in a week after your YTT without needing to spend much money. Check out this post I wrote about yoga retreats in Guatemala too.
My Top Picks For Yoga Teacher Training Courses in Guatemala
- 30 Day 200-Hour Shamana Yoga Teacher Training at Lake Atitlan
- 21 Day 200-hr Transformational Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
- 31-Day 300-Hour Earth Medicine Advanced Yoga Teacher Training in Tzununa, Guatemala
Yoga Teacher Training in Thailand
I’m a big fan of Thailand, as are many yoga teachers thanks to its Buddhist roots. It’s an amazing country to spend time in and there is an abundance of incredible yoga teacher training courses in Thailand. Especially on the Island of Koh Phangan.
Check Out My Top Picks For Yoga Teacher Training Courses in Thailand
- 51 Day 500 Hours Hatha & Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training in Chiang Mai, Thailand
- 29 Day 200-Hour Tantra, Vinyasa, and Hatha Yoga Teacher Training in Koh Phangan
- 28 Day 200-Hour Multi-Style Yoga Teacher Training in Koh Phangan, Surat Thani
Yoga Teacher Training in Bali
The Oceanic home of Yoga. Like Costa Rica, Bali is also full to the brim of Ashrams offering teacher training with international teachers. If you know who you want to study with it’s very likely they will host a Yoga Teacher Training in Bali at some point during the year!
If it’s luxury you are looking for and money’s no object then you should definitely choose to go to Bali for teacher training as they have some of the most luxurious wellness resorts in the world at an affordable price. Check out this blog post I wrote reviewing the best yoga teacher training courses in Bali or this one on the best Bali yoga retreats.
My Top Picks For Yoga Teacher Training Courses In Bali
- 24 Day 200-Hour Vinyasa, Hatha, Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training in Ubud, Bali
- 36 Day 300-Hour Meditation and Yoga Teacher Training in Ubud, Bali
- 20 Day 200-Hour Life-Changing Multi-Style Yoga Teacher Training in Ubud, Bali
Yoga Teacher Training in India
The actual home of yoga. Traveling to India is something every Yogi needs to do at least once but not everyone chooses to do their yoga teacher training in India for many reasons.
Although doing your training somewhere like Rishikesh you are possibly going to get a more authentic experience the long flight, the expense of traveling so far, and the lack of basic amenities put a lot of people off.
You are going to have to forgo a lot of western comforts if you want to go to India. But a good alternative could be Goa which will offer a little more luxury, for a slightly higher price. This is where many of the luxury India yoga retreats actually are.
My Top Picks For Yoga Teacher Training Courses in India
- 28 Day 200H Holistic YTT: Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Naturopathy, Ayurveda in Rishikesh
- 29 Day 200-Hour Traditional Kundalini Tantra Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh
- 25 Day 200-Hour Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training with Ayurveda Session in Rishikesh
This post was proofread by Grammarly