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Introduction

Now that you have been practicing yoga for a while and are keen to learn the finer intricacies or nuances of this ancient philosophy, a yoga teacher training program is just apt. Also, accredited yoga teacher training courses can empower you to make teaching yoga as a career option. Yoga is quite popular worldwide; hence, teaching yoga professionally can be a lucrative and fulfilling career option. You will not only gain knowledge and skills for enhancing your own health and well-being but also empower many others to enhance their quality of life. This can be a deeply gratifying experience.

History of Yoga in India

India is the birthplace of yoga. However, not many of you might be aware of the fact that yoga is a deep science that transcends beyond its physical realms of asanas and breathing techniques. It's a deep, time-tested science that dates back to BC times. Many ancient Hindu texts and scriptures such as the sacred Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads and the Vedas have mentions of yoga.

The very first mentions of yoga date back to as early as 1500 BC and can be found in Rig Veda. It's difficult to unearth the exact period of the origins of yoga as knowledge of yoga through Vedas was passed on orally and written mentions came much later. However, the excavated fossils and seals dating back to 2700 BC of the Indus Saraswati civilization showcased figurines in Yoga Sadhana. However, it was the Upanishads that decrypted the Vedas and touted mantras and meditation as modes to attain salvation. There are about 20 yoga Upanishads from a pack of 108 Upanishads that delve into various methods of pranayama and meditation.

Similarly, the art of meditation proliferated through the teachings of Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavira in the classical period. The profound dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna scripted in Bhagavad Gita talks about centering the mind to keep it focussed during challenging times. This state of mind is actually yoga.

However, it was only in the second century BC that yoga was organised in its entirety by Sage Patanjali. Also known as the father of yoga,  Maharishi Patanjali wrote the Yoga Sutras. He was also instrumental in developing the 8-limbed Ashtanga yoga practice.

Later on, the legacy of yoga was carried forward by saints and philosophers like Adi Shankaracharya, Purandaradasa and Tulsidasa. These people worked tirelessly towards the development and proliferation of yogic knowledge. Hatha yoga was popularised in this period. Today, yoga, as we know it, has many elements of Hatha yoga to it.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, yoga gurus such as Swami Vivekananda travelled the world and popularized yoga in Western societies.  The 1920s and 1930s saw the popularisation of Hatha yoga by yogis like Krishnamacharya and Sivananda. Many yoga books were written during this period and yoga ashrams as well as yoga centers began mushrooming in India and abroad. Krishnamacharya had trained three students amongst many other disciples in Hatha yoga namely, Pattabhi Jois, T.K.V. Desikachar and B.K.S. Iyengar who gave further impetus to yoga in their own way. For instance, K. Pattabhi Jois opened the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore in 1948 while B.K.S Iyengar developed his own unique Iyengar yoga now practiced worldwide.

Today, many contemporary styles of yoga are being followed like Bikram yoga or hot yoga, Forrest yoga, Restorative yoga, Yin yoga and other yoga forms. Similarly, meditational styles like Movement meditation, Transcendental meditation, and progressive relaxation are becoming popular due to their therapeutic and calming effects.

Types of Yoga TTC in India

 

From the above account, one can easily gauge that yoga evolved through several millennia in India and hence attained varied forms and styles. Today, although Hatha yoga is the most popular form of yoga, there are other styles of yoga that can be imbibed as part of different types of yoga TTC in India. Some of these yoga TTC styles are elucidated below:

Multi-Style Yoga TTC


Multi-style yoga TTC is for those who are relatively newer to yoga and want to experience a variety of yoga styles. Usually, Hatha yoga, Ashtanga and Vinyasa styles are combined to gain overall fitness, strength, relaxation, flexibility as well as a deep awareness of self. This TTC can be usually availed in the 100-hour and the 200-hour yoga TTC programs.

Hatha Yoga TTC


This form is by far the most preached and practiced style of yoga worldwide. As Hatha yoga is a gentler form of yoga involving holding poses and breathing, it is most suitable for beginners or older folks who lack flexibility. This style of yoga is all-encompassing where students learn the finer nuances and other elements of yoga in a graded manner as part of the 100-hour, 200-hour, 300-hour and 500-hour Hatha yoga TTC.

Ashtanga Yoga TTC


Ashtanga yoga is a structured form of yoga that was developed by Sri T. Krishnamacharya and later on popularised by his disciple, L. Pattabhi Jois. If you are looking to ace the Ashtanga yoga style, then an Ashtanga Yoga TTC might be just right for you. Ashtanga yoga is a universal form of yoga as the same set of sequences is followed every single time. This 8-limbed yoga includes 6 series of sequences including one Primary series, one Intermediate series and 4 advanced series. This form of yoga is physically demanding and it takes years of practice to simply ace the Primary series. Since the sequence is the same across the board, each yoga student practices the Ashtanga yoga sequence at their own pace, but in a group class.

Your yoga teacher will decide whether you are ready to move on to the next level as part of a holistic Ashtanga yoga TTC.

100 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in India


This is a beginner-level short-duration course spanning about 10 days to a fortnight and delves into the basic foundations of yoga. The course curriculum usually includes subjects of pranayama, asana practice, basic level understanding of yoga philosophy and yoga anatomy, Yoga Nidra and meditation.

200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in India


This is by far the most popular beginner-level fundamental yoga TTC program in India. Taken up either to learn various aspects of multi-style yoga or learn the finer nuances of individual forms of yoga, the 200-hour yoga TTC is a residential course that offers detailed teachings of yoga asanas, meditation, pranayama, yoga anatomy and physiology, yoga philosophy, alignment-adjustment as well as a teaching methodology. Also, the fundamentals of Ayurveda and their importance in following a yogic lifestyle are delved into in the program.

300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in India


The 300-hour yoga TTC further builds upon the knowledge gained at the 200-hour yoga TTC program. This is an advanced residential program spanning about a month that delves into perfecting your asana practice and delving deeper into other elements of yoga. Also, a lot of emphases is laid on teaching methodology and dedicated modules and regular monitoring of varied teaching aspects is an important aspect of this program.

500 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in India


This level combines both the 200-hour yoga TTC and the advanced 300-hour yoga TTC levels in a comprehensive schedule spanning 8 weeks. You will gain detailed knowledge of teaching methodology and methods, modifications and instructions for doing yoga poses, and an in-depth analysis of yoga anatomy and physiology vis-a-vis yoga asanas along with various Bandhas and advanced breathing techniques.

Before you enrol yourself in any of these above courses, make sure that they are Yoga Alliance certified from accredited institutes like Yoga Vidya School so that you can register yourself as an RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) with the governing body so as to teach yoga at a professional level worldwide.

Sample Curriculum Of Yoga TTC India

Since the 200-hour yoga TTC forms the crux of all basic as well as advanced levels of yoga TTC programs, here we will enlist the broad subjects that are usually a part of most yoga TTC programs in India.

The major subjects are as follows:

●       Hatha Yoga (Philosophy and asana practice)

●       Ashtanga Vinyasa (Mysore style Primary Series)

●       Pranayama techniques ( Theory and Practice)

●       Yogic Physiology and Anatomy

●       Asana Adjustments and Alignment 

●       Yoga Darshan (Philosophy)

●       Mantra Yoga ( Meaning and Purpose of Yogic Mantras)

●       Dhyana (Meditation- Practice and Theory)

●       Pratyahara - Yoga Nidra (Practice and Theory)

●       Shatkarma (Yogic Cleansing Theory and Practice- Neti, Tratak, Kapalbhati)

●       History of Yoga (Ancient Purpose of Yogic Practices)

●       Yogic Lifestyle (Yoga as a life)

●       Sanskrit (Language of Yoga and Vedic scriptures)

●       Teaching Methodology (Core of Yoga Teacher Training Course)

●       Ayurveda (Food and Natural)

Why is the Indian Yoga TTC is Different from Western Yoga TTCs?

For those unversed, India is where yoga first originated. India has a rich legacy of yoga dating back almost 5000 years. Naturally, there are many forms of yoga that have their roots embedded in ancient Hindu texts and religious scriptures.

Also, just like yoga, Ayurveda is a complementary, ancient branch of natural sciences. In India, the yoga teacher training program curriculum lays emphasis on interventions of Ayurveda and how they can complement and elevate your yoga routine. This know-how can be gained profoundly only in India where it originated.

Furthermore, since yoga is considered a time-tested philosophy that has been around for the past several centuries in India, it has graduated into many different styles and forms. So, you will get the opportunity to undergo yoga teacher training in any yoga style that suits your needs. For instance, if you have been training in Hatha yoga, you will find many good yoga schools that train students in Hatha yoga. Besides, you can undergo yoga TTC in India in Iyengar yoga, Ashtanga yoga, Vinyasa yoga, and other yoga forms.

Lastly, when it comes to looking at the overall budget of undergoing a yoga TTC program, compared to many Western countries, India can be a less expensive proposition. The yoga shalas and Ashrams in India where you will be undergoing yoga TTC charge less fees than their Western counterparts. So, either due to currency differences or affordability, India is the best option to choose for your yoga TTC especially if you have budgetary constraints.

Best Yoga Destinations in India for Yoga Teacher Training

Rishikesh


Rishikesh is a sacred city located at the foothills of the mighty Himalayas. Rightfully called the “yoga capital of the world”, Rishikesh is dotted with many yoga shalas and yoga ashrams teaching authentic and traditional yoga. It was in Rishikesh that the world-famous rock band ‘The Beatles’ learnt transcendental meditation putting this holy place on the world map of yoga. Also, if affordability is on your mind, then Rishikesh offers a plethora of budgetary options for all kinds of aspiring yogis.

Kerala


Kerala, an Indian southern coastal state known for its lush greenery and pristine backwaters is another yoga destination that you can explore for your yoga TTC in India. The verdant forests, frothy waterfalls and other natural wonders offer an ambient environment for all kinds of spiritual practices including yoga. Besides, Kerala is home to many exotic species of flora and is known as the spice capital of the world. The ancient techniques of Ayurveda are deeply entrenched in this coastal state’s customs and culture. So, you stand to gain deep and immense knowledge of ancient Ayurvedic practices while on a yoga TTC sojourn to Kerala.

Mysore


Mysore, a laid-back royal city in the Indian state of Karnataka is known for the Ashtanga style of yoga. Conceived and popularised by K. Pattabhi Jois, the Mysore Ashtanga style of yoga got an impetus through the establishment of the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in 1948 by K. Pattabhi Jois. So, if you are keen to undergo yoga TTC specifically in Ashtanga style, then Mysore is the place to be.

Goa


Although known for its beaches and nightlife, Goa is replete with many yoga schools and yoga studios that offer yoga teacher training programs. South Goa, especially with its green escapades houses several yoga retreats entailing a holistic wellness holiday.

Dharamshala


Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh is yet another place you can explore for learning the ancient art of yoga. Surrounded by cedar forests, Dharamshala is known as a meditation center and hence houses many temples and monasteries. There are several yoga retreats and accredited yoga teacher training course centers in this hilly region. McLeod Ganj, a  Tibetian settlement town and a suburb in Dharamshala is particularly regarded as a watering hole for all yoga-related activities.

Travel Information for Yoga Teacher Training in India

India has an extensive network of trains crisscrossing all parts of the country. Besides, both state and private operators run regular bus services traversing different cities within the state as well as across the state boundaries. Also, low-cost budget airlines are another smart way to travel long distances across the country. Moreover, all the destinations mentioned above for yoga TTC are well connected by air, road or rail.

Why Choose Yoga Vidya School TTC in India?

Yoga Vidya School in Rishikesh is an authentic and traditional Vedanta Yoga school that imbibes the yogic traditions of

●   Swami Satyananda Saraswati (Bihar School of Yoga)

●    T Krishnamacharya and K Pattabhi Jois (Ashtanga Vinyasa)

The yoga TTC curriculum is inspired by Shankaracharya Vedanta’s Vedantic philosophy. Plus, the curriculum amalgamates profound philosophies of ancient Hindu texts and scriptures such as Patanjali Yoga Sutras and Hatha Pradipika. Also, the training modules are designed in a way so as to gain practical as well as profound philosophical knowledge pertaining to  Hatha yoga and Ashtanga yoga Vinyasa styles.

Besides, Yoga Vidya School offers a plethora of yoga courses suitable to all kinds of aspiring yogis. So whether it's just learning the basics or fundamentals of yoga through the 100-hour yoga courses and other short-term courses or undergoing the more intensive and rigorous 300-hour or 500-hour yoga TTC, Yoga Vidya School caters to all kinds of yoga training requirements.

Furthermore, the teaching methodology and other learning techniques adopted at Yoga Vidya School help to increase willpower and confidence among its students to teach yoga at a professional level. Lastly, the Yoga Vidya School enables camaraderie and meaningful connections in a community of like-minded people.

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