Where to study Yoga in India

Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Hatha Yoga

Where to study Yoga in India

Whether you want to teach yoga or deepen your own practice, 
training in India can’t get more authentic. 
Camilla Marsh spent some time at a yoga centre in India and 
we are delighted to share her experience, 
her tips and recommended yoga training schools.

He was clad in nothing but a loin cloth. His grisly grey beard and wild wayward hair framed his gaunt but youthful face as his eyes shone with the wisdom of a thousand stars. I knelt on the blanket before him as the perfumed steam from a nearby pot mingled with smoke from his hand-rolled cigarette, sending secrets trailing to the universe above. Perched on top of a wild mountain summit as a South Indian summer night swooped in, he touched my head, muttered a blessing, and dropped a small banana into my outstretched hands. It was the single most powerful experience of my life.

And my time in India had been plentiful with such moments of magic.

India is like no other place on earth. Since returning, I’ve had many people ask what it was like to live there for four months. My only real reply -   “you have to experience it for yourself”. India is a powerful, vigorous country. She is majestic and menacing all at once. She forces you to confront your fears and challenge your beliefs, not to mention any notion you may have once held regarding personal space. You will share overnight train rides with four generation families, sip sweet chai on street corners bustling with traffic and livestock, and talk cricket with tuk tuk drivers as you try not stare at their missing teeth and bloody betel-nut-stained gums. 

In India, you’ll lose your senses and find your soul.

My trip there had been a purposeful pilgrimage to complete my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training. Shortly after touch down in Bangalore I’d caught a train to a small village 40kms away where I attended Shrimath for 21 days. Shrimath is one of the lesser known yoga schools but has earned an excellent reputation through word of mouth. There is no greater testament to its excellence than those who have been through its doors. And since attending in February 2016, I have become one of its greatest advocates.

At Shrimath, I didn’t just learn to teach yoga, I learnt to live yoga. Every day for three weeks we lived a yogic life. From our morning mantras that sung in the dawn from its sweet slumber, to our daily asana sessions, sharing time at the village school and meditatively minding the vast garden in the late afternoon glow. It was at Shrimath I learnt to eat with my hands and think with my heart. I learnt about the reign of the stars and the moon over our earthly existence, I became privy to a select few of the treasured Sanskrit secrets. I learnt about the power of thought and the service of selflessness.

It’s difficult to put into words the wisdom our teacher bestowed to us beneath the cool canopied respite from the Indian sun. As I listened, my gaze would follow the deep crevices of the overbaked ground as slowly the patterns of my life started to shift together. The way I viewed myself had changed forever. And this eruption of epiphanies was all before the spiritual excursion to the living saint who blessed my existence with a baby banana and a handful of dates.
In India you’ll quickly discover that what is too commonly known in The West as the latest way to slim down and show off, is in fact a sacred blueprint to life, passed down from ancient traditions. You will soon see the intimate connection between body, mind and spirit, and acquire simple, lifelong processes to help uncover your true purpose and key to happiness. Come with no expectations and an empty mind, and you will walk away with all the answers to the questions you’d never even thought to ask.

If you are thinking of doing your Yoga Teachers Training in India, here are some of the schools I can personally recommend.

Recommended yoga schools in India

Shrimath  in Gurukrupa - Hatha
Padmakarma  in Kerala - Hatha and Ayurveda
Kranti Yoga In Goa - Ashtanga
Sivananda Ashram in Kerala -  Hatha
Vinyasa Yoga School  in Rishikesh - Vinyasa

There’s no need to be nervous about travelling to India. As long as you are cautious and alert, you’ll be fine. It’s an intimidating country and it’s got a bad rap, but just keep your wits about you, embrace the craziness of its culture, and you’ll soon fall in love with its characterful chaos.

My top tips for travelling India

  • Don’t drink the tap water!
  • To be safe don’t drink the water placed in jugs on restaurant tables.
  • Always carry wet wipes and hand sanitizer with you.
  • Don’t pay for a hotel room before you have gone up to see it (unless you have pre-booked online).
  • If a hotel bed looks particularly unclean, lay down a sarong and cover the pillow.
  • Book train trips as far in advance as possible, seats get booked up fast.
  • Settle a price with tuk tuk drivers before you get into the vehicle.
  • Solo female travellers, always say yes when asked if you have a husband. A fake wedding ring doesn’t hurt.
  • Don’t travel alone on the public busses at night.

This article has been written by Camilla Marsh, a yoga teaching, hula hooping, free writing nomad who trails the earth in search of beauty, magic and adventure. She writes about all things holistic, health and happiness related.

Tip: There are also many wonderful studios offering yoga teacher training in Cape Town.

Comments

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

Wonderful Experience at Shrimath Yoga

Thank you for this wonderful article! I found the yoga school I choose because of this blog. I personally recommend Shrimath Yoga School. I did their 200 hour yoga teacher training and I learned so much while I was there. Months later, I am continuing to benefit from the knowledge and experience I acquired during this time. I had never been to India prior to attending this school. It was a wonderful way to start off my trip to India. I felt very welcomed, safe and at home at Shrimath Yoga. The instructors were kind, warm and knowledgeable. They answered every single question I had and even helped me develop a personalized routine for my own practice upon leaving the school. I learned a lot about practicing and teaching yoga- not just the poses but about meditation, pranayama, and the other more spiritual and inner aspects of yoga as well as overall health. As someone who had practiced yoga for years, I didn't realize I was missing so much foundational information and practice and I was very glad to receive that at Shrimath. I can't speak highly enough about the food. It was some of the best food I had throughout my 4 months in India and I missed it so much when I left (and still do)! You will get plenty to eat and you will probably overeat because the cook is so talented! The supporting staff are very kind and helpful. The environment is quiet and very beautiful with lots of trees and flowers. The experience of visiting the local school almost every day to help with teaching was a really wonderful part of the course. Thank you so much to everyone at Shrimath Yoga! :)
TKS's picture
TKS

Shrimath yoga YAI 200hrs course

I chose Shrimath yoga to do the YAI 200 hours teacher training, primarily for my own learning as a yoga novice. I chose this program because of the opportunity to teach in a local school. The team are knowledgeable, attentive and approachable. The teaching is structured, easy to follow and provokes intellectual thought, humility and respect for the tradition of yoga. The course itself is comprehensively structured and manageable. The grounds are beautiful and are a perfect setting to encourage reconnection with ones inner self. The meals were tasty and nutritious (if you like chilli spice), the rooms basic and clean. There is opportunity to go on a spiritual pilgrimage also and perform 'kriya' - the cleansing practices of yoga. I arrived as a complete beginner, but after three weeks of training and practice I can now say that I feel confident in my own practice and understanding of yoga and meditation thanks to the team at Shrimath. My body feels stronger, lighter and more flexible. But above all, I came home feeling more at peace - with a sense that I had experienced something personally profound and special in rural Bengaluru.
Teju Belawadi's picture
Teju Belawadi

My take on shrimath

I have been an Ashtanga Yoga practitioner since 2008. But that was something that I did as a routine. A rather inconsistent routine. But I knew I loved practicing asanas. I loved the way my body felt after every practice. But I was never particularly inclined towards Pranayama. It wouldn't be wrong to say that I hadn't developed stability to practice Pranayama. I had always been confused about which career path to take. It was in early 2019 that I decided that I wanted to be a yoga teacher. Full time. I trained under my guru Prahalad Kulkarni. I felt confident.. Asana wise. I was able to do Pranayama for longer durations now, but I knew I needed more practice and orientation. Also, I needed a certificate from a reputed institute. I checked out a few places at mysore. But the options were too many. I felt confused. The fees at all these institutions were on the higher end for me, a middle class, non working Indian. If I was going to pay that much, I wanted it to be worth it. That's when I contacted Mr Arun Seetharaman, from Transdisciplinary University. Without a moment of hesitation, he suggested Shrimath. I trusted his word and enrolled myself for the 200 + the 500 hrs program. And I'm definitely glad I did. I completed the course in December 2019 and I'm more confident about my career choice. Thanks to Shrimath. At Shrimath, you are guaranteed a holistic approach to yoga, covering the 8 limbs of it. If you are looking for a place to learn asanas, this may not be the one for you. But if you're looking for a place to understand yoga, and why your body and mind needs it, this is definitely the place. Meditation, yoga nidra and theory classes are meaningful and in depth. If you are serious about learning the real meaning of Yoga, come to Shrimath. You will not be disappointed.
Revana 's picture
Revana

Yoga

I am so thankful for my time at Shrimath. One of my many memories was our trip to Tiruvannamalai. It was so special being able to visit such an ancient and sacred place. It was so wondeful how many of our knowledge classes got to be held outside under the tree and in the beauty of nature which feels like such a natural way to learn and a way of learning I resonate with. I feel so much lighter since I completed my training and all of the cleansing processes done on the course helped me a lot. Yoga has changed my life in so many positive ways and I absolutely LOVE yoga. The Ayurvedic meals were all very delicious. It is so lovely how everything at Shrimath is natural and cares for the environment and the cows are very dear to me. I got to meet Rudra when he was four days old. Thank you to everyone at Shrimath.
Subha Priya's picture
Subha Priya

Shrimat Yoga

Perfect place for learning Yoga. Very pleasant surroundings, very good teaching. . Decent accommodation, mild and tasty vegetarian food, friendly staff. Interesting activities keep us busy all day. Planning to visit again
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

Shrimath yoga was awesome!

I highly recommend Shrimath yoga in the Bangalore area. I participated in the two-day 'tiny experiences' yoga retreat and it was awesome! One day I hope to return for the 21 day course.
WeeRosie's picture
WeeRosie

Couldn’t agree more!

Your piece about Shrimath is so beautifully written and so true! It is a very special place indeed. Well worth a visit...
Camilla 's picture
Camilla

Thank you

Thanks so much WeeRosie, I really appreciate your kind response :) Camilla xxx
Madhu's picture
Madhu

Wonderful post

Hi, I liked how you expressed so beautifully in a simple manner about Shrimath. I also did the 21-day program at Shrimath and felt the same way as well. It is truly a life-changing experience, and I am looking forward for doing the next course in Shrimath.
Camilla 's picture
Camilla

Beauty in SImplicity

Hi Madhu It truly is such a profound place, I would say because of its simplicity! Shrimath lays bare the building blocks of life and encourages you to build yourself the way you have always dreamed to be. Enjoy your course!
Heather's picture
Heather

Beautiful

Beautifully put and from the heart! X Heather
Camilla 's picture
Camilla

Thank you

Thanks so much for your kind words Heather! Camilla xxx
Deepa's picture
Deepa

beautiful write up

Its nice to see how beautifully words just weave a sentence so apt and so full of emotions. Wonderful!. I am.glad you liked your experience in India.
Camilla's picture
Camilla

Thank you

Hi Deepa Thank you for your kind words, I'm so happy you enjoyed the article! Camilla xxx
Sharmila's picture
Sharmila

I also went to Shrimath

Hi Camilla! Lovely article. I also completed my 200 hour yoga teaching training at Shrimath and you've described it so beautifully and honestly.
Camilla's picture
Camilla

Kindred spirit

Hi Sharmila I am so happy you found my article! Shrimath truly is an incredible place, it gave me the tools to change my life forever. I am sure your experience was just as profound. Camilla xxx
Camilla 's picture
Camilla

Thank you

Hi Sharmila Thank you so much for your lovely response! Shrimath is such a special place, it was seamless to transfer this energy into words :) Camilla xxx

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