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27 Days 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in Pondicherry, India

Sharanya Holiday Villa, Auroville, Pondicherry, South India, India

Yoga Teacher Training India

Practice yoga outdoors while enjoying the views and scents of the tropical flower garden surrounding the villa, the song of exotic birds and breathe the pure sea air as you prepare for a lifelong journey of discovering and sharing the manifold benefits of yoga and meditation.

You will leave this teacher training course feeling exuberant, full of joy and enthusiasm, highly inspired to put into practice what you have learned, ready to pass on the practices of yoga to your future students. At the same time you will leave with the tools to prepare and teach intelligent classes generating energy as well as relaxation, strength as well as calm.

An ancient scripture, the Svetasvatara Upanisad, cites:

"The precursors of perfection in yoga are lightness and health of the body, the absence of desire, a clear complexion, a beautiful voice and a fragrant odour of the body.”

Auroville near Pondicherry, is the ideal place to devote yourself to the practices and experience these results for yourself. The Himalayan Yoga Institute offers an authentic approach to yoga. While providing a thorough training in asana, mudra, bandha and kriya it probes beyond mere physical practice into the realm of higher yoga and meditation. Most importantly you will come away with a broad palette of tools and skills to develop yourself as a yogi/ni and to teach others with confidence and competence.

A unique feature of our training is our approach to asana practice: the asanas are practiced and taught in the Rajadhiraja tradition of Tantra yoga, offering ancient knowledge on the deeply transformational effect of asanas with regards to our hormonal and chakra system - rarely taught in other yoga schools.

You will learn how you can balance your endocrine glands, your hormones, your chakras, and your emotions in order to experience a profound sense of well-being and happiness. You will receive detailed insight into the practice of more than 60 asanas, along with an in-depth understanding of good alignment, benefits, contraindications, hands-on-adjustments, and special applications. You will also learn how to use these asanas in a variety of yoga styles, such as Hatha, Vinyasa and Yin yoga.

Another unique feature is lifelong personalized mentoring offered by Ganga Devi, the principal teacher on this course, to those who wish to receive guidance after the completion of their training. Ganga has taught and practiced yoga and meditation for more than thirty years.

She has also trained and performed as a professional dancer of Bharatanatyam – the classical dance of India. Her philosophy classes are captivating and fascinating, as she skillfully simplifies complex subjects, teaching them in a down-to-earth manner, while weaving in personal experience and storytelling. Our aim is for you to experience that, and a lot more.

Meet the instructors

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  • Daily yoga practices and workshops
  • Daily meditation and pranayama sessions
  • Asanas, kriyas, bandhas, mudras, and other practices
  • 26 nights accommodation
  • Tea, snacks, and water
  • 3 daily meals

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced


27 days with instruction
The maximum participants in the group is 20
Airport transfer available:
Chennai International Airport (US$20 per person)
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  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Yoga studio

The villa is built in the traditional Kerala style using rammed earth. This eco-friendly method of construction results in a structure that is naturally cool throughout the year. The large central courtyard acts as a focal point of the villa allowing for natural light and ventilation. The villa is simply decorated yet has all the comforts of home. The house is sufficiently away from the main road to keep out the noise and ensure almost total silence.

You may choose to have shared accommodation for up to five people of the same gender sharing a room, triple accommodation for three people sharing one room, or double accommodation for two people sharing one room.



The syllabus covers every important aspect of yoga and will equip you with an amazingly wide array of skills and knowledge which will support you in any situation, whether you decide to teach yoga classes, workshops or organize yoga retreats.

Students who complete their subsequent trainings are eligible to register with Yoga Alliance as Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT®).

Asanas (yoga postures)

Two types of asana classes will be conducted:

  • One daily asana practice class which will provide you with the opportunity to practice your asanas and will help you to develop a strong personal practice of asanas, and
  • One daily teaching practice class devoted to understanding how to teach the asanas - you will start learning how to teach asanas from day two. of the course. %Hence you will have plenty of time to practice teaching throughout the entire course. The daily in-depth practice with individual corrections comprises:
  • Effective warm-ups and how to incorporate them into the class - various categories of warm-ups
  • Sun salutation and its variations
  • 66 basic yoga postures
  • 100 asana variations, from beginners level to advanced
  • Postural alignment
  • Guided deep relaxation and yoga Nidra
  • Release of blocked energy and deep healing
  • How to develop flexibility and strength
  • Helpful instructions for alignment in the asanas and how to self-correct as well as adjust students

The practical training (asana practice class) allows you to learn asana (Yoga Posture) in detail. You will understand the benefits of each and every asana on the physical, mental and spiritual level, besides that, you’ll also learn which asanas to prescribe to people with various physical and mental problems. Warm-ups, self-massage, meditation and relaxation techniques are also covered.

Teaching methodology (teaching practice class) will prepare you to conduct a yoga class in real life with confidence; you will learn how to demonstrate and describe asanas, perform adjustments and assist the students in class and also help them to avoid injury during the practice of asanas.

Benefits of asanas

Achieving emotional balance by regulating the glandular system

  • Balanced mind
  • Improved power of concentration
  • Ridding the body of excess fat
  • Enhanced physical fitness
  • Relief of chronic ailments such as constipation, rheumatism, stomach complaints
  • Massage of the inner organs
  • Improved circulation
  • Stabilised thyroid functions
  • Muscles and joints remain youthful and supple into old age

Pranayama and breathing exercises

  • Expands breathing capacity
  • Relaxes the nervous system
  • Balances the two hemispheres of the brain
  • Purifies the nadis (subtle energy channels)
  • Stores energy in the chakras
  • Calms the mind
  • Ujjayi, Surya Bheda, Sitali, Sitkari, Bhramari
  • The ten Vayus (Pranas) and pranayama

Kriyas, bandhas, mudras, and other practice

  • Neti, Nauli, Kapalabhati, and tongue cleaning - classical yogic purification techniques for the nose, lungs, abdomen, and tongue which will be demonstrated and practiced
  • Bandhas: Jalandhara, Uddayana, and Mula Bandha
  • Bandhatraya yoga: Mahamudra, Mahabandha and Mahavedha
  • Mudras
  • General health rules
  • Yogic secrets for a long life
  • Lymphatic drainage massage

Yoga anatomy, physiology and bio-psychology

  • Introduction to the major body systems
  • The effects of yoga on: the cardiovascular system, respiration, digestion, skeletal and muscular systems, endocrine system
  • The science of asanas: their physical and mental benefits
  • Yoga and physical culture
  • Yogic diet, nutrition and the principles of Ayurveda

Human anatomy and yoga physiology are important aspects of yoga study, but another relatively unexplored aspect of yoga is Bio-Psychology. Bio-Psychology is the study of glands and hormones and their profound effects on all physical and mental (psychic) functions like growth, digestion, energy levels, emotions, etc.

The history of yoga

  • Various Definitions of Yoga
  • A brief history of Tantra
  • From Shiva to Krsna
  • Patanjali
  • The Nath lineage
  • Astavkra Muni
  • The Kriya Yoga Lineage (Lahiri Mahasaya, Paramahansa Yogananda, etc.)
  • Ramakrsna and Vivekananda
  • Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya and his students: B.K.S.Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, T.K.V. Desikachar
  • Shrii Shrii Anandamurti

Karma and reincarnation

  • The law of action and reaction
  • Karma and Samskara (Samskara means reactive momenta to past actions and is not to be confused with the term Samsara, which means the wheel of birth and rebirth)
  • Life, death, rebirth and liberation
  • Destiny, Prapatti Vada and self-effort

Teaching practice

What qualities should a yoga teacher have? This module will focus on the qualities of a good yoga teacher with an emphasis on teaching methodology, e.g. how to communicate with students, how to demonstrate, observe the student in the class to avoid injury during the practice of asana. We will also discuss the personal and professional ethics of a yoga teacher.

Besides, you will receive sample templates for a Hatha, a Vinyasa and a Rajadhiraja class. You will also be given a fully designed beginner's course which you can apply in real life as soon as you have completed the course.

  • How to teach the basic postures, breathing exercises and elementary meditation to beginners and intermediate students
  • Setting up of a proper environment for class
  • Mindful Sequencing
  • Use of voice and presentation skills
  • General pointers on teaching a class
  • The Basic Rajadhiraja class
  • The Dynamic Vinyasa class
  • Beginners' Course
  • Advanced Postures
  • Yoga for Children
  • Yoga for Older Citizens
  • Yoga for Pregnancy
  • Relaxation
  • Detailed correction workshops

In the second half of the training course, participants will teach each other under the guidance of an experienced instructor

Yoga nutrition

  • Vegetarianism for ethical, spiritual and health reasons
  • How diet affects the mind
  • Proper balance of the main nutrients
  • Ayurvedic principles of nutrition
  • Healing effects of fasting


  • Guide to meditation
  • What is meditation
  • Why meditate
  • Experiences in meditation
  • Mantras as powerful sound energy healing and purifying the chakras, nadis and body cells
  • The science of mantra
  • The three qualities a mantra must possess
  • Mantra initiation (if desired)

Rajadhiraja yoga

  • Ashtanga - the 8 limbs of yoga
  • Ethics and moral principles
  • Hatha Yoga
  • Koshas – the five layers of the mind
  • Kaoshikii and Tandava: dynamic yogic dances for women and men
  • Concentration and meditation
  • The six lessons of Sahaja Yoga
  • 16 points of yogic life

Kundalini yoga

  • Understanding Kundalini Shakti
  • Macrocosm and Microcosm
  • The Tantric theory of creation
  • Nirguna and Saguna Brahma
  • Shiva and Shakti
  • The 7 Chakras
  • The awakening and raising of Kundalini Shakti

Bhakti yoga

Kirtan: devotional chanting of Sanskrit mantras

Chanting opens the heart and purifies the mind. With daily chanting, you develop a strong feeling of devotion and a very pure inner vibration. In devotional chanting correct pronunciation, devotional attitude and awareness of meaning (ideation) are all-important.

Creativity and artistic expression for spiritual development and upliftment

Mandala Art workshop - you will create your own mandala in this workshop

Bhajans (devotional songs)

Prabhat Samgiita (devotional music for mental expansion)

Indian Classical Dance

Karma yoga

  • Karma yoga in the Bhagavad Giita: relinquishing the attachment to the fruits of our actions
  • Karma yoga is also the practice of selfless service. It maintains physical and mental health, counteracts depression and refines your mind and heart.
  • The spirit of service in daily life
  • The law of cause and effect
  • Samsara, the wheel of birth and death - exploring how Karma yoga allows every person to be free here and now.

Jinana Yoga

  • Yoga philosophy
  • The History, Science and Philosophy of Tantra
  • The Intuitional Science of the Vedas
  • Upanishads
  • Contemporary Yoga philosophy: Brahmachakra
  • Conquest of death and immortality

Bhagavad Gita

Krsna and the Bhagavad Giita

Bhagavad Dharma and the concept of dharmaas given by Shiva

Considered one of the greatest spiritual texts of the world, the Bhagavad Gita contains subtle and profound teachings and has a universality which embraces every aspect of human activity. It symbolises the solution to the eternal struggle between the spiritual and the material in every human being

Study of the text and commentaries

The Business of Teaching Yoga

  • Secrets to becoming an exceptional yoga teacher
  • Marketing yourself and your services
  • How to set up a successful yoga teaching business
  • How to establish a powerful personal practice
  • How to set up classes

  • Himalayan Yoga Institute maintain small class sizes for maximum personalized attention. At the end of the training, you will be centered, calm, superbly inspired, beaming with joy and empowered to skilfully guide others into the sacred landscape of their bodies, minds, and hearts, and teach powerful, uplifting, and intelligent classes infused with joy
  • Eat delicious vegetarian meals and fresh teas sourced from our organic gardens
  • Connect with your inner self while spending time in the lush tropical garden filled with birdsong, resting in the hammock, by the stream or pond
  • Practice yoga in beautiful natural indoor and outdoor spaces surrounded by exotic trees with stunning views of nature
  • Shop for beautiful Indian textiles and handicrafts in the local villages and Auroville
  • Experience authentic martial arts performances, Indian music, and dance during the local festivals of Tantric art
  • Receive personalized instruction in meditation and receive a daily routine of asana prescription individually tailored just for you, that will allow you to advance your practice back home
  • Learn the secrets of Tantric Rajadhiraja yoga, a long-forgotten, yet highly powerful approach to yoga, which will completely rewire your body, clear your mind and awaken your soul
  • The yoga instructor certification courses are of outstanding quality, marked by excellence and attention to detail. They are the most thorough and comprehensive ones you will find
  • You will start practicing and learning how to teach asanas from day 1 of the training
  • The intensive daily schedule includes two meditation sessions, two yoga classes, in-depth study of yoga postures, two lectures and workshops. One day a week is lecture-free
  • The training is not only suitable for aspiring yoga teachers but also for those who simply want to learn more about yoga and develop a stronger self-practice
  • There is limited space for all Himalayan Yoga Institute courses

When choosing a yoga certification programme make sure that plenty of time is given to developing your teaching skills. On our yoga teacher training courses, you will be provided with the opportunity to teach single asanas from day two and you will teach classes very early on into the course. You will be given insight into how to give verbal cues, how to demonstrate, observe and correct students with hands-on adjustments.

Daily class schedule

  • 06:30 Pranayama, chanting, and meditation
  • 07:30 Asanas
  • 09:00 Fruit and tea
  • 09:30 Workshop or lecture anatomy and physiology
  • 10:30 Karma yoga
  • 11:00 Lecture or workshop
  • 12:00 Lunch
  • 12.45 Main lecture (philosophy, theory, or history)
  • 14:15 Snack and leisure or self-study
  • 16:30 Asanas, asana techniques, and teaching methodology
  • 18:30 Satsang (meditation, kirtan, and chanting)
  • 19:30 Dinner
  • 20:00 Free time and study
  • 22:00 Lights out


Students who complete the training are eligible to register with Yoga Alliance as Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT®).


Satsang literally means “good company”, it means being in companionship with the truth and with the wise. The course Satsang consists of half an hour silent meditation, half an hour chanting and talk or reading on aspects of yoga philosophy. It will help you to develop a strong and steady meditation practice and show you the way to peace and happiness.


A high degree of self-motivation is required for all aspects of the course. A basic knowledge of yoga postures and philosophy is helpful but not essential. A sincere desire to learn and openness to the teachings of yoga is required. Training to be a yoga teacher requires dedication and faith in the process of yoga.

The practice and especially the teaching of yoga demand a high degree of self-discipline and purity. To ensure the success of the program, participants are required to attend all spiritual activities, meditation sessions, lectures, and asana classes.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to cater to personal dietary preferences beyond the yogic-vegetarian meals.

The teacher training modules serve to educate yoga health professionals, yoga instructors, yoga students or anyone with an interest in the science of Yoga.

The trainers are internationally recognized teachers and are highly skilled and experienced in the field of yoga education.

Activities and excursions

One day per week is lecture-free to enjoy some leisure time and excursions specific to the area and to deepen your study.


Ganga Devi


This yoga teacher training is held in a beautiful villa near the model community Auroville in South India. A long private driveway leads you to the villa set in grounds of 1.5 acres.

Nearby places

  • Auroville Beach, 3.22 kilometers
  • Mamallapuram (Unesco world heritage), 90 kilometers



  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Yoga studio


The price of the retreat includes three daily meals, snacks, tea, and water.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Yogic
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Visit to Mahabalipuram

You will have a chance to see Mamallapuram (or Mahabalipuram) on the way from Chennai to the venue. Mamallapuram is a UNESCO protected heritage site, displaying gorgeous stone carvings and temple structures of great beauty. Mahabalipuram is an ancient historic town and was a bustling seaport during the time of Periplus (first century CE) and Ptolemy (140 CE). Ancient Indian traders who went to countries of South East Asia sailed from the seaport of Mahabalipuram.

By the seventh century it was a port city of the South Indian dynasty of the Pallavas. It has a group of sanctuaries, which was carved out of rock along the Coromandel coast in the seventh and eigth centuries: Rathas (temples in the form of chariots), Mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air reliefs such as the famous 'Descent of the Ganges', and the Shore temple, with thousands of sculptures dedicated to Shiva.

Excursions to Auroville, Pondicherry and Tiruvannamalai

You will visit Auroville (City of Dawn), an experimental township in Villupuram district mostly in the state of Tamil Nadu, India with some parts in the Union Territory of Pondicherry (Puducherry) in South India. The city is dedicated to the vision of Sri Aurobindo.It was founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa (known as "the Mother") and designed by architect Roger Anger. As stated in Alfassa's first public message in 1965,

"Auroville wants to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity." (Mirra Alfassa)

Pondicherry will be another destination. Pondicherry, called Puducherry in the local language, is a unique town, which used to be a French colony, hence it combines French and Indian architecture. The town is divided into two sections: the French Quarter (Ville Blanche or 'White town') and the Indian quarter (Ville Noire or 'Black Town'.) Many streets retain French names, and French-style villas are a common sight.

In the French quarter, the buildings are typically colonial style with long compounds and stately walls. The Indian quarter consists of houses lined with verandas and with large doors and grilles. These French and Indian style houses are preserved as they are considered heritage buildings. The French language can still be heard in Puducherry. We will visit temples, the promenade and the Aurobindo ashram in Puducherry.

The second excursion will be to the little town of Tiruvannamalail, which has a longstanding spiritual history and inhabits the famous Arunachala hill, considered to be the heart centre of the Earth. Here the legendary sage Sri Ramana lived and guided many spiritual seekers. One of the largest temples dedicated to Shiva has been built here.

Annamalaiyar temple

Shiva is worshiped as Annamalaiyar or Arunachaleswarar, and is represented by the lingam, with his idol referred to as Agni lingam. His consort Parvati is depicted as Unnamulai Amman. The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam. The 9th century Saiva saint poet Manikkavasagar composed the Tiruvempaavai here.

The temple complex covers 10 hectares, and is one of the largest in India. It houses four gateway towers known as gopurams. The tallest is the eastern tower, with 11 stories and a height of 66 metres (217 feet), making it one of the tallest temple towers in India.

The temple has numerous shrines, with those of Annamalaiyar and Unnamulai Amman being the most prominent. The temple complex houses many halls; the most notable is the thousand-pillared hall built during the Vijayanagar period.


This ashram is dedicated to the contemporary sage Sri Ramana. As a boy of sixteen in 1896, he challenged death by a penetrating enquiry into the source of his being. Later hailed as Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi he revealed the direct path of practice of Self-enquiry and awakened mankind to the immense spiritual power of the holy Arunachala Hill, the spiritual heart of the world.

An ashram did not spring up immediately. At first there was only a shed with bamboo poles and a roof of palm leaves. Through the ensuing years the numbers grew, donations came in and regular ashram premises were built - the hall where Ramana sat, the office, the bookstore, the dispensary, the guest room for male visitors and a couple of small bungalows for guests who made a longer stay. A group of sadhus made a colony at Palakottu in a grove to the west of the ashram.

Over the years the ashram has seen a growing number of visitors. A special highlight is the room where Sri Ramana used to spend most of the time - today it is open for those who want to meditate or simply sit there in silence.

Ayurvedic massage

What's included

  • 3 daily meals
  • 26 nights accommodation
  • 200-hour yoga teacher training program
  • Snacks, tea, and water
  • Teacher's manual
  • Certificate of completion

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Excursions

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Chennai International Airport (MAA). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request. If you arrive by 12:00 p.m., you can be part of Himalayan Yoga Institute's pick up, which they will organize from Chennai to Pondicherry. In case you are arriving later on that day, you would have to make your way to the yoga house on your own, however, Himalayan Yoga Institute can help with contact details of a taxi company they use.

You can also fly to Delhi - Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) and then take a domestic flight from Delhi to Chennai International Airport (MAA). You will have to get to the domestic airport from the international airport, which is easy as both airports are next to each other. If you would like to be part of the pick up organized by the Himalayan Yoga Institute, the airport transfer fee will be no more than 15 GBP.

Airport: Chennai International Airport Airport transfer available: Chennai International Airport (US$20 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.

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Arrival: Saturday February 22, 2020
Departure: Thursday March 19, 2020

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