Why I did a yoga teacher course in Rishikesh

Why I did a yoga teacher training course… and 8 reasons you should too.

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If you have been practicing yoga for a longer time already, maybe you have thought about doing a yoga teacher training course. Read here why I decided to take yoga teacher training!

How I discovered yoga

Like many people I discovered yoga in a fitness centre. In between the body pump and kickboxing classes an Ashtanga yoga class was scheduled and I thought: “Why don’t I give this a try.” Oh boy, I didn’t know what happened to me… Ashtanga is one of the most dynamic forms of yoga, you work with your body weight, making push-ups, arm balances, lunges, deep stretches and backbends and you move between the postures at a very high pace. Afterwards I could not walk or lift a cup of tea without pain for 3 days.

But it was exactly the type of class I liked then: working those muscles and flexibility at the same time. People often tell me they can’t do yoga because they are not flexible. Well, that’s just like saying you can’t have a shower because you are dirty! Practising yoga will eventually make you stronger and more flexible and it doesn’t matter what point you start from…

Through the years I discovered other types of yoga and started thinking about doing a yoga teacher course, but it wasn’t until I was made redundant this year I thought I would just do it and see what happens after. So I travelled to Rishikesh in India (“the world capital of yoga”) to attend a 200 hours yoga teacher course, the basic course for becoming a yoga teacher. This is what I’ve learned:

8 reasons you should attend a yoga teacher training course

1. You don’t have to have the ambition to become a yoga teacher to take a yoga teacher training course. Of course you are prepared to teach…, and maybe afterwards you won’t want to do anything else! But you can attend it to deepen your knowledge and practice.

2. Before the yoga teacher training (YTT) I’d never practised by myself. I always went to classes and while the social element in a class is fun, sometimes the timings didn’t work out and I would not practise. I just didn’t know how to structure a class for myself. Now I have the confidence that I can practise yoga anytime, anywhere I want. I’ll still attend classes though, because you learn something new from every teacher you meet.

3. It has taught me a lot about correct alignment, benefits and limitations of each posture. You collect some of this knowledge when you practise a few years with different teachers, but is was so good to review it all together. It gives you a better overview and in your practise you can choose the postures that are best for you.
Usually the ones that are best for you are the ones you hate :-D – they do get easier though. I remember in the beginning I used to loathe downward dog and wouldn’t believe it’s actually a resting posture. Now I do ;-)

4. Yoga is not only about exercise. If you only care about exercise, then only exercise is exactly what you get, but there is a whole philosophy of life connected to it which is so interesting. Especially for us Westerners who are running around like crazies and forgetting how to breathe…

yoga teacher training course Ganga river yoga class Rishikesh
Yoga class at the Ganga river

5. Practising yoga 1,5 hour every day for 1 month has really stepped up my game. I’m more powerful (108 sun salutations anyone?), flexible and generally I feel so good in my body right now.

6. I’ve learned so much about the anatomy of the human body, how it functions, what you need to do to keep your body healthy. But also what you can do when you have an injury, pain or illness. Even if after just one course you can’t know everything there is to know about yoga therapy, it’s a start and it motivates me to learn more.

7. You meet people from all over the world who will become friends for life. How grateful I am for the people that came into my life! I love you all!

8. And also… you get to wear the most beautiful clothes for the graduation ceremony….. :)

Rishikesh yoga teacher training course group foto

I am so grateful to my teachers, Dr. Neetu Singh and Dr. Vinod Kumar – Neetu and Vinod – for sharing their knowledge with us, their hospitality, kindness and friendship. You have given us an experience we will never forget…

For more information about the school, visit Ayuskama Ayur Yoga School.

Are you considering taking a yoga teacher training course?

Ask me anything about my experience in the comments below :)

Related: Read here about how I organised my first yoga weekend retreat

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