Indian winter Yoga teacher training

So you are wondering what a one-month 200h Indian winter yoga teacher training is like? I have spend mid-Janury until mid-February in Rishikesh completing my first 200h Indian winter yoga teacher training. I’m happy to share my experience with you, so you’ll know exactly what to expect. Below you’ll find the detailed daily schedule.

07H00 – 008H00 PRANAYAMA

Due to the harsh winter weather, the regular schedule is changed in order to avoid the cold as much as possible. So instead of getting up at 5’o clock in the morning, you get to sleep in to start the first class at 7h00. But don’t be fooled, it will still be freezingly cold. In January we did the morning pranayama class dressed in all the layers we could find. And took extra blankets with us to keep up warm. We were not loving out Indian winter yoga teacher training at all during those cold morning sessions.

winter yoga teacher training india - Pranayama

Last pranayama class in February – Extra blanckets are no longer necessary. And I even took off my jacket for the picture!

Have a look at the yoga teacher training courses in Rishikesh!

08H30 -10H00 HATHA ASANA

Most of us did the morning asana class with a sweater on. Some of us were able to do it in only a t-shirt. I personally started the class with socks, 2 pairs of pants, and 2 sweaters. As the class progressed I took layer per layer off. winter yoga teacher training india - hatha asana

10H00 – BREAKFAST

You’ll count the minutes until 10h00. Finally time for breakfast!! Most schools will provide fruit, oatmeal, and toast for breakfast.

11H30 – 12H30 PHILOSOPHY

Did I already mention there is no central heating nor room heaters in India? And buildings are designed to keep the cool air in when it’s hot outside. As a result during wintertime, it often is colder inside than outside during the warmer midday hour. So had out philosophy class out in the garden.

Do you notice the caps, scarfs, sweaters, and jackets..?

winter yoga teacher training india - philosophy

13H00 – LUNCH

Time for a healthy yogic lunch. I’m not going into what the yogic diet is exactly but most of us struggled most with the lack of garlic and onion. Of course, the no meat and no alcohol thing is hard for some too!
This is the warmest time of the day. This means it’s the best time to take a shower! Don’t expect your bathroom to be warm though. It just won’t be as cold as it is in the morning or evening. One of the hardest parts of my Indian winter yoga teacher training was taking a shower in that freezingly cold bathroom. And I am somebody who is used to taking quite cold showers in general…

 

 

14H45 – 15H45 ANATOMY

The first afternoon class of the day is anatomy. Unfortunately, this class required a screen for projection. So we had to sit in the cold downstairs yoga hall. We didn’t once do yoga here, because it was just too cold.

winter yoga teacher training india - anatomy

16H00 – 17H30 ASHTANGA ASANA

The first week or so the afternoon ashtanga asana class was held in the same hall we had morning asana class. But towards the end of January, it got warm enough to have this class up on the roof.
winter yoga training india - ashtanga asana

The picture was taken mid-February when we were teaching class ourselves and the weather was starting to turn around.

18HOO – 19H00  MEDITATION

Seeing it gets dark before 6h00, I was never able to take a decent picture of our mediation class. But I can tell you it was cold until the last day. Downstairs in the cold yoga hall, we sat in the dark covered with blankets, trying to meditate.

19H00 – DINER

After yet another yogic meal together, you now have the evening all to yourself. Some of us used to go out and find some nice things to eat we weren’t allowed to have according to the program. Others studied in their rooms, read a book, or watched some Netflix 🙂

SUNDAY

Most schools arrange outings on Sundays. Our first Sunday we did a 20K hike to a nearby waterfall. It was stunning, and it was exhausting.

Yoga teacher training india - hike

The last Sunday, when the weather started to change for the better, we went rafting. We were offered the short track, which was great seeing it was still rather cold. FYI the water of the holy Ganga river is always freezingly cold, even in summer.

yoga teacher training india - rafting

Conclusion

Most of us got horrible colds during the first weeks of the training. All of us went out and bought more warm clothing. When you read the weather reports, you’ll probably see temperatures around 20°C which looks alright. But in reality, it only is about 20°C for an hour or so around lunchtime when you are sitting in the sun and out of the wind. After which it starts to cool down again.

A winter yoga teacher training is for sure doable, but take A LOT of warm clothing with you. After your training you can give the items you won’t be taking with you to your next destination to a poor local family in need.

Would I recommend doing an Indian winter yoga teacher training?

NO, having done it myself I would not recommend anybody to attend an Indian winter yoga teacher training (Nov-Jan), it’s just tooooo cold!!

But I am very happy I did that training though because I met the most amazing people from all over the world.

yoga teacher training group

Meet my super cool YTT possy 😀

I did a 2nd yoga teacher training mid-February until mid-March, which is probably the best time to do a YTT. at this time weather is just perfect, not too hot for yoga and not too cold anymore. I had the best time doing this 2nd training which made me feel totally prepared to start teaching yoga myself.

 

Tips to survive and thrive at an Indian winter yoga teacher training

  • Are you only able to travel to Indian during wintertime? Avoid the northern region, and go for the south instead. I would recommend a yoga teacher course in Goa. 
  • Don’t be fooled by the weather reports. I also thought days would be sunny and about 20°C. It was sunny, but oh so cold most of the day and night.
  • The temperature starts to rise in February.
  • If you do go to Rishikesh in the winter, take a lot of clothes with you. Clothes you are ready to donate during/after your training. Once the temperature starts to rise again, or you continue your travels donate the clothes. Your yoga teacher school will know where your clothes are sure to help a family who really needs them.

 

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Lara
Corporate Marketing Manager turned Personal Yoga Coach | After over 750 hours of intensive yoga and coaching courses, Lara now helps female professionals to replace stress and its negative impact on your body, with balance, energy, and well-being.

7 Responses to “Indian winter Yoga teacher training

  • Sounds like a nice experience, but freeeeeezing cold! Good to hear you did meet so many wonderful people from around the world!

    • It was indeed a nice experience Femke, all dueto the great people I met. But to cold to reccommend to others :p So If interessted in a yoga teacher training, avoid Nov-Jan!!

  • Ik zou ook graag de yoga teacher training doen. Maar dan ga ik toch liever in de hete zomer. Wel fijn om te lezen wat ik kan verwachten! 🙂

    • Hi Sabine,
      Wat leuk dat je ook een training wil gaan doen!! Goed idee om deze in de zomer in te plannen 😉
      Als je nog op zoek bent naar een goede school, ik kan je Pratham Yoga (waar ik mijn tweede training volgde) aanraden. Ik heb echt genoten van mijn yoga training daar 🙂

  • It sounds sooooo cold! A good experience though!

  • very cool! Do you teach yoga now? I actually work for YogaFit. It is modular based training. Check it out when you have time?

    • Hi Ivana,
      Yogafit in Rotterdam? Looks amazing! I’ll be back in Europe (Belgium) in august, if they are interessted in doing a collaboration with herbackpackbliss.com you know where to find me 😉
      Have a blissful day,
      Lara

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