“How often do you practice?”, my teacher asked on the very first day. Hmmm, well, that depends – sometimes six times a week, sometimes I don’t practice at all for two weeks. But there I was – in a yoga school (shala) in Mysore, India, where the roots of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga are, signed up for a 200-hour yoga teacher training course (YTTC). I knew that the six upcoming weeks would be hard. But also fun!

After leaving my last job in Casablanca, Morocco, I wanted to learn more about yoga. My aim was to improve my practice as well as gain better insight into the entire philosophy. So why not register for a YTTC? Daily guided practice by an experienced teacher and learning yoga theory – sounds like a brilliant plan, doesn’t it?

Finding the “right” training was a long, very personal process. I spent hours talking it through with yoga friends and teachers, reading countless blogs, personal opinions, reviews, homepages of schools offering YTTC, and decided for and against various courses over and over. In the end, it was between a Vinyasa YTTC in Bali, Indonesia with a very modern approach and a traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa YTTC in Mysore, India, and decided for the latter – best to learn where everything began, right?

All you Need to Know about Doing a Yoga Teaching Training Course

Bye, bye comfort zone – Namasté yoga teaching training course!

If you want to go on a relaxing vacation, don’t even think about attending a YTTC! Practice from 6 to 8am, two hours of yoga philosophy, basics of anatomy, sanskrit and ayurveda, one hour of meditation and breathing techniques (pranayama) and another two hours of teaching techniques for learning the alignments and adjustments of the postures in detail. All that six times a week, except on new and full moon days – I wouldn’t exactly call that a holiday! This pretty intense schedule allowed me to dive deeply into the world of Ashtanga Vinyasa, and into the world of yoga in general.

The first two weeks, I felt like I had never practiced yoga before in my entire life. I didn’t understand a word about the philosophy. I simply didn’t get the bigger picture. In the third week, everything changed. My feeling for the typical flow of breath and movement, the vinyasa, improved. This helped me better understand the philosophy and theory. And then, the setback in week 4: fever, an aching body and exhaustion forced me to stop practicing for five days. I was afraid to return, but my teacher was incredibly motivating and got me back on track in no time. Magically, me and my body hadn’t lost much of the knowledge absorbed in the previous weeks. In weeks 4 and 5, I was flying! It’s hard to find words to describe the physical and mental progress my colleagues and I experienced during those six weeks.

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Mysore, or “Yoga Disneyland”, as a friend lovingly called it, is a great place to improve your knowledge of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga with shalas on almost every corner in the districts of Gokulam and Lakshmipuram. Most of them offer amazing classes as well as trainings. Gokulam is a calm, green suburb with kind of a Western vibe. Lakshmipuram, located more central, has a more local atmosphere thanks to the fact that it’s a micro cosmos of yoga shalas and Indian day-to-day life. I feel very blessed to have made so many new friends with a similar mind set from totally different backgrounds. If you are looking for big parties, you surely would be surprised! No alcohol or loud music, but mouth-watering, home-made vegan food, candles, incense, coconuts, singing and chatting with beautiful souls. I know, it sounds extremely cheesy, but that’s how you party Mysore style!

If you are interested in yoga, I highly recommend attending a YTTC, even if it’s only for improving your self-practice and not for teaching. I learned so many new things no teacher ever explained to me before.

So, should you do a YTTC and how do you decide for the “right” one? Here my 7 tips, reflecting my own experiences:

1. You don’t have to be obsessed with yoga to attend and enjoy a YTTC.

2. Take your time to decide! I was very lucky to bond with my teacher immediately. I’ve heard stories from colleagues, who simply didn’t have any connection with their teacher. You will spend a lot of time with this person who teaches, guides, and adjusts you. It would be nice to have a similar vibe, right? So, before deciding for a specific shala, I highly recommend practicing a few times with the teacher in question. Some shalas even only let you register for the YTTC after having practiced with the teacher for a certain period of time.

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3. Do your homework before deciding on a specific type of yoga – it will influence your future steps on the path after the YTTC. Practice and research. Yet, don’t take it too seriously, you are not chained to one kind of yoga for the rest of your life!

4. Never forget that all human beings are different, minds are different, bodies are different. So please, don’t despair, don’t hate yourself and above all, don’t hurt yourself with forcing into a posture. Inhale, exhale, and the rest will follow.

5. You will never feel ready to actually teach. Improve your teaching skills on friends and family members. They will give you honest feedback. Another good way to gain confidence is shadowing an experienced teacher. And trust me, the feeling when you get compliments by your students is priceless!

6. Keep on practicing regularly after receiving your certificate. Yoga is an eternal learning process. Only who practices can pass on this specific feelings for breathing and aligning the body.

7. Enjoy the journey!

All you Need to Know about Doing a Yoga Teaching Training Course

Have you done a yoga teaching training course or is it something you’re interested in? Let us know in the comments below.


This is a guest post by Flora Maria Petri. 

All you Need to Know about Doing a Yoga Teaching Training Course Flora is a vagabonding mountain girl, she lives to discover! She quit corporate life and now she’s finding her way to make a living all over the world. In the past year, Flora lived in Morocco, India, Austria and the USA, but soon she’s headed to Malawi. She is addicted to nature and couldn’t live without skiing deep powder and surfing rough waves. Practicing and teaching yoga brings balance into her active life. On her blog fleurmaries she shares secret spots, which she discovers on her journeys, and updates about her personal path of yoga. Follow her on Instagram.