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World's Top Destinations for Yoga Teacher Training [2020]

by Cris Puscas

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Maybe you are interested in becoming a yoga instructor. Or perhaps you want to dive deeper into your yoga practice and take it to the next level?

Well, it sounds like you are looking for a yoga teacher training program

Something that you may be wondering is where you should do your training.

Unsurprisingly, many yogis choosing to do their training in less expensive, warmer, and culturally rich countries. They can focus on their yogic studies for 3-4 weeks at much cheaper costs than if they were to take their training in their home country.

However, there are many countries offer a wide array of yoga teacher training programs. So which are the best destinations to ensure you get the experience you dream of?

Read on to find out our pick of top countries to consider should you be planning to take your yoga teacher training abroad!

India

striking a yoga pose in India

What better place to enhance your yoga practice than in the country where it all started?

A yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, the birthplace of yoga, is different than what you’ll find in other places in the country. Everything seems to be related to spirituality and wellness here. You’ll be guided by experienced gurus who encourage you to take the knowledge beyond the mat.

You’ll understand that yoga doesn’t stop at just learning asanas and you’ll immerse in the yoga philosophy and all its 8 limbs (abstinence, observance, posture, breathing, withdrawal of senses, concentration, meditation, and absorption).

Doing your teacher training in Rishikesh or Mysore will provide a more authentic experience but you are likely to have to forgo many Western comforts. Don’t expect luxurious accommodations and amenities. The ashramas are rather simple but they still have all the basics covered.

A yoga teacher training program in Goa, however, will likely provide a bit more luxury. Made famous by the hippies in the 1960s, Goa has a different vibe than Rishikesh. Its northern part may still be all about partying, but the southern part provides some great Zen vibes. Most yoga schools are located in the south and the further south you go, the calmer it will be.

While you’ll still be able to find authentic and traditional yoga teacher training here, you’ll also get a chance to indulge in above-average meals, have access to swimming pools, and stay in clean and spacious villas.

Being a vast country, India’s climate is quite varied. In general, you should plan your trip between October and March, when the weather is more likely to be warm, sunny, and dry. Another thing to consider is the festivals. For example, in Rishikesh, the yoga festival falls in March.  

 

Indonesia

striking a yoga pose in bali, indonesia

Combining Zen-vibes with incredible natural settings, Indonesia offers some great places for amazing yoga teacher training programs.

For decades, the island of Bali has been growing as a mecca for yogis, who come here to practice, immerse in the lifestyle, retreat, and teach. The yoga teacher training courses in Bali are world-famous among those looking to deepen their practice. 

If you are looking for a luxury yoga teacher training program and have a larger budget, then Bali is a great option for you. Chances are, at one point throughout the year, your favorite international teacher will organize a retreat on the Island of Gods.

Before Bali emerged as a yoga destination, Ubud had already gained popularity as a special place for spiritual practice. The green jungle, healing springs, waterfalls, and cooler air make for a picture-perfect destination to work on becoming a better yogi.

Vinyasa Yoga is growing rapidly here, so don’t be surprised to find some of the best Vinyasa teacher training in Ubud. The style is already very popular in the Western world and with Ubud so popular among international travelers, it only makes sense to have so many options available to indulge in their favorite style.

That said, all styles of yoga can be found throughout the many yoga studios open in Indonesia.

When planning your teacher training in Indonesia, you want to avoid the peak travel season (July & August) and the hot, muggy weather. The best months to do so are May, June, and September, when the weather is great and the islands aren’t over-crowded.

 

Thailand

yoga on the beach in thailand

Already known as a spiritual destination, the abundance of retreats and teacher training courses make Thailand an excellent choice if you want to elevate your practice.

If you are looking for more than just the standard teacher training, here you can integrate Thai massage, natural healing, meditation, and Ayurveda into your program.

“The land of smiles” combines joyful energy with tranquil beaches, stunning mountains, and exciting jungles to create a unique vibe ideal for your training.

Located in Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is considered the cultural capital. While it lacks beaches, that is well compensated by its mountains and mystic vibes, making Chiang Mai a great choice for a yoga teacher course. Combine the workshops with becoming specialized in emotional healing.

The tropical island of Koh Phangan is quickly turning into another yoga mecca. You can opt to have your teacher training right on the beach; but if you also fancy the jungle, you can train in stunning places, located far from the hustle & bustle of any city, deep in the jungle, and have stunning views of the ocean.

A yoga teacher training in Koh Samui offers the chance to train in equally enchanting places, whether you prefer the beach or the jungle. Being incredibly popular among international travelers, you can easily find programs taught by teachers from abroad. 

You can train in various yoga styles, but Ashtanga and Vinyasa are more prevalent.

The best time to visit Thailand is during its cold & dry season, between November and April. But don’t be fooled by the word “cold” as the temperatures still range between 29C / 84F and 34C/93F. However, the climate varies throughout the country and you can easily plan to join a teaching training any time of the year.

Costa Rica

practicing yoga in costa rica

With both a Pacific and Caribbean coast, lush jungles, and the national slogan of “Pura Vida”, Costa Rica is an excellent choice if you are looking to deepen your yoga practice.

The American center of yoga teacher training, Costa Rica is home to many of the world’s best yoga teachers. They regularly offer courses with a variety of yoga styles across the country.

If it’s tranquility what you are after, then you’ve chosen the right place. Between practicing yoga on the beach, learning yoga philosophy, eating delicious home-cooked meals, hiking, meditation, and surfing, you’ll fall in love with Costa Rica in no time.

While generally more affordable than Europe or North America, Costa Rica is suitable for any budget. Still, if you are looking for a luxury yoga teacher training, head to Guanacaste Province.

Deciding when to plan to go on a yoga teacher training in Costa Rica depends on which coast you are heading to. On the Pacific coast, the weather is drier from December to April; while on the Caribbean coast, you want to arrive between March and September.

 

Guatemala

yoga in guatemala

Photo credit: Kula Collective

Stunning scenery and affordable flights & cost of living recommend Guatemala as a great option for a yoga teacher training.

Most of the retreats take place around Lake Atitlan, with its gorgeous setting surrounded by volcanos. Many times, you’d be staying off-the-grid in eco-friendly locations.

On a yoga teacher training here, you won’t just focus on learning asanas, you’ll also be able to understand the greater meaning of yoga and learn how to live & integrate the yoga lifestyle into your own life.

Learn how to be a better teacher, challenge yourself with poses, and increase your energy with breathing techniques.

Various yoga styles are taught here, with Vinyasa and Ashtanga being the most popular.

A tropical nation, Guatemala is best enjoyed during the dry season: from November to April. The clear, blue skies are ideal for outdoor exercise, whether you prefer to strike asanas in the open air or want to go on a hike.

 

The USA

yoga teacher training in the USA

Photo credit: Harmony Yoga School

In recent years, yoga teacher training programs have exploded in the USA. If you want to change your career path and become a yoga teacher, there are plenty of courses where you can learn the foundation of yoga and start teaching right away.

Whether you prefer the beach, mountains, or city, you won’t have any problems finding the right program for your goals.

Without a doubt, if you are looking for a hip place to enhance your yoga practice, choose a yoga teacher training in California. You can learn from world-renowned instructors in a setting that promotes relaxation and mindfulness. Doing an intensive training is a great decision as you’d be able to focus on the practice and embrace all its benefits.

For a colorful atmosphere, great weather, and arguably the best beaches in the country, opt to do your yoga teacher training in Florida.

If, however, you prefer a more secluded place, head to Hawaii. There’s something magical about practicing asanas surrounded by lush vegetation while dipping your toes in the fine sand.

When choosing the best time to travel for your teacher training, you need to consider the destination. And you’d want to avoid both the crowds and the rainy weather. California is at its best from May to October, while Florida is best visited from mid-November to mid-March. If you are heading to Hawaii, only April – May or September – October are good.

 

Spain

yoga by the sea in fuerteventura, spain

Ever-sunny and quite exotic, Spain is a great choice for your yoga teacher training.

Between the sandy beaches, charming islands, great food, and incredible architecture, you’d be having the time of your life while adding new layers to your yoga practice.

Yoga has a long tradition in the country, having been introduced here in the first half of the 20th century. It grew exponentially and, nowadays, it’s a well-established form of physical and spiritual exercise in Spain.

Part of the Balearic Islands, Ibiza has been attracting yoga instructors for a long time. Practice your asanas in stunning locations, learn new ways to offer traditional poses, and enrich your variations. You won’t be focusing only on your yoga practice, you’ll also learn various meditation techniques.

The jewel of Spain, Barcelona, is a sight for sore eyes. In between courses, you can explore world-class museums and landmarks. The yoga teacher trainings usually take place in the hills surrounding Barcelona an offer a great mix of both urban life and off-the-beaten-path places, yet having access to the city life if you wish.

Various yoga styles can be learned here, including Hot Yoga, Yin, and Vinyasa.

A country blessed with a Mediterranean climate, Spain enjoys excellent weather year-round. You may want to avoid the peak travel season (July & August), though. Choose to attend a retreat in spring (May-June) or late summer / early fall (September-October).

 

Greece

yoga by the pool in Greece

Photo credit: YogaUnion

Known for its gorgeous weather, sublime beaches, amazing food, friendly people, and historical sites, Greece is also a lovely choice if you want to improve your yoga practice abroad.

The country has been an important center of spirituality since ancient times, with a huge tradition of offering people the tools to find themselves. The temples and oracles stand testament to this.

There’s even evidence that meditation has been practiced here since ancient times, so it should come to no surprise that you’ll find excellent yoga teach trainings throughout the mainland and the islands.

Crete, the largest of the islands, is the mythical birthplace of the minotaur. Featuring a world-renowned healthy cuisine and being part of the Blue Zone (where locals constantly live long, healthy lives), the island is filled with great beaches and amazing hiking routes. You can strike asanas, learn about anatomy, and attend daily meditation practices.

One of the Cyclades, Paros is well-known for its traditional villages and beaches. Superb yet not overrun by tourists, it is a great place to relax and enjoy a dream-like yoga teacher training. Aside from theory, asanas, and pranayama, you can also participate in healing sessions, sound meditation, and chanting.

Summers can be brutally hot on the mainland. On the islands, however, there’s a gentle breeze that provides a great respite. Avoid the peak travel season (July & August) and plan to join a retreat in late spring (May-June) or early fall (September-October). The weather is gorgeous and there aren’t as many travelers heading for the country.


Looking to enhance your yoga practice but don’t want to break the bank? Go on an affordable yoga teacher training in one of these amazing locations!

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