Review: Pratham Yoga 200hrs Teacher Training, Rishikesh India

For me, it was a somewhat impulsive decision to register for a yoga teacher training (YTT). Although I always love to attend yoga classes on my travels, and sporadically attend some classes at home too, becoming a yoga teacher was not a life long dream. It was something I quite spontaneously felt I had to do right now.

If you want to become a yoga teacher, or just want to attend a training for yourself, here’s a complete overview of the course I attended, how I found it and why I choose for Pratham Yoga.

How and why I decided to do a YTT?

The day I decided to quit my job to go backpacking through Southeast Asia, is the day I decided to do a yoga teacher training. I don’t really want to become a yoga teacher at home, but it might allow me to stay in places for free during my trip in exchange for teaching some yoga classes.

Although the real reason for doing this is twofold. First I wanted a month of me-time, to invest some time in my mental, emotional and physical health. Secondly, I want to be able to practice yoga by myself, not to rely on organized classes for my practice.

Why did I go to Rishikesh India?

There are very attractive looking yoga teacher training courses in Thailand, Indonesia, … With tropical vibes, luxurious accommodation, a sunny poolside and a beach nearby.

There are two possible downsides to these places. First the price tag, they tend to be on the more expensive side. Secondly, I feel like the drop in classes I have taken in these countries are very much exercise focused, they have strayed away from the essence of yoga.

For me, yoga is not only a way to get a strong and flexible body. I wanted an authentic yoga teacher training and felt like Rishikesh, the capital of yoga was the place to have this.

Also, I have spent some days here in Rishikesh in 2016 when I was traveling in India with my big brother. I fell in love with this town, and even at that time, I felt like I would have to come back and stay for a longer period of time.

Are you going to India in March? Join the Holi Festival celebrations

What made me choose for Pratham Yoga?

If you are ever in Rishikesh (which I sincerely hope you will), you’ll see that there is a huge offer of yoga teacher training courses. You can’t walk for one minute on the main road without seeing at least 10 yoga teacher schools. Some of them are good, some of them are not that good. Most of them have a very professional looking website making you think they are amazing. Unfortunately, this makes it very hard to find a good school on the internet.

Pratham Yoga- Opening fire ceremony

Opening fire ceremony

Most schools offer a very similar package, 90 minutes of Hatha asana class in the morning, and 90 minutes of Ashtanga asana class in the evening. This package is promoted as a Hatha only yoga teacher training, and as an ashtanga only yoga teacher training and as a multi-style yoga teacher training. I wanted a Hatha only yoga teacher training, making the search a bit more difficult.

Pratham Yoga- Opening ceremony

Vijay founder and our wonderful Hata teacher – Opening ceremony

Lucky for me I was already in Rishikesh, so I was able to search for schools online, and then go pay them a visit. When I found Pratham Yoga I reached out and was able to grab breakfast with the founder Vijay Ji. He has been teaching yoga teacher training courses all over the world for years. Now he and his Austrian wife Carolin (who also teaches yoga) just recently founded the school. We talked about the training, my experience, and life in general. The passion with which he talked about the school and about yoga made me decided there and then that I was going to learn from him.

Do I need to be an experienced yoga practitioner to join the training?

No, you don’t. I wasn’t doing regular practice either before I came. However, I do recommend to practice at least 3 times a week for a couple of weeks/months before starting your training. This way your body won’t be as shocked by the sudden start of the intensive program. Decreasing the risk of injury and you probably also progress quicker. Don’t expect to become all flexible overnight though. If you’re anything like me, the intense daily practice is more likely to make your muscles sore and tight!

Pratham Yoga- Hatha asana class

Hatha asana class

We also had some more experienced students in our class who were progressing immensely (or at least way quicker than I was) and deepening their practice.

Do keep in mind that this IS NOT a yoga retreat. The goal of the training is to prepare you to become a professional yoga teacher. It’s not about relaxing, exploring the city and doing some yoga from time to time. You are expected to attend all classes from 5h45 in the morning until 7h30 in the afternoon. We’ll come back on the schedule later.

Where did I stay?

The accommodation and meals were provided by Pyramid Cafe, just off the main road. The location of this place is amazing! You are surrounded by nature, and almost feel like you are in the jungle. But it’s only a short 2-minute walk down to the main road. You are in a nice and calm space for your practice, while also close to the shops, cafés, massage salons, …

You”ll get 3 vegetarian meals a day, vegan on request(eating meat and drinking alcohol are against the law in the entire town). And they are all soooo good. Every night after dinner, I was already looking forward to breakfast again!

Pratham Yoga- Breakfast by Pyramid cafe

Breakfast by Pyramid cafe

Pratham Yoga- Lunch by Pyramid cafe

Lunch by Pyramid cafe

Pratham Yoga- Dinner by Pyramid cafe

Dinner by Pyramid cafe

What are the teachers like?

A big plus is that we had both western as Indian teachers. Philosophy, mantra chanting, meditation, asana practice, pranayama were thought by amazing Indian teachers.Pratham Yoga- Anatomy class
Anatomy, student-teacher relationship workshop, pregnancy workshop, additional mediation workshop were taught by exceptional western teachers. All of them were wonderful and passionate to share their knowledge.

Pratham Yoga- Philosophy classThey were also interested and concerned about our wellbeing, so if at any time in your training you are not feeling well or have an issue you need to discuss, don’t be afraid to reach out to one of your teachers.

What does the schedule look like?

We get up a 5 o’clock in the morning and start the day off with some cleansing. In general, this means jala neti (nose showering). After which the day really starts. We have asana (posture) classes with alignment and adjustment techniques, anatomy, philosophy, mantra chanting, and meditation. Sometimes we also have some (multiple days) workshops on different topics, like Ayurveda, teacher-student relationships, pregnancy yoga, teaching methodology, …

Onze planning

Classes are being taught from Monday until Saturday and you are expected to attend them all during the 4 weeks of the training.

Will I get a yoga teacher training certificate?

If you successfully finish the training, you will get a Yoga Alliance certificate, which you can register if you wish. Keep in mind that to obtain the certificate, you need to pass the theoretical and practical examination.

PRATHAM YOGA - certificate

Vijay makes you do adjustments on each other from day 1 and from day 4 you start teaching yourself. In the beginning, you teach for 5 minutes, and you built up from there. This way, you get used to standing in front of the class and feel comfortable teaching a 45-minute class by the end of the training. So don’t worry about that too much. You will have to study for the theoretical test, but you are provided with great books and have your own notes to study.

Did I find the training hard?

Yes! I can’t say it was a breeze and time flew by. The schedule is hard. And your body gets tired, sore and tight. As I said this isn’t a retreat, it’s not meant to be relaxing.

There were days I didn’t want to go to the early morning class, or I wanted to skip an asana class to give my body some rest. But in the end, I’m happy I powered through even when I thought I could do any more.

Do remember to listen to your body. If your body says stop, just stop, you don’t want to do any (permanent) harm to your body. Keep attending the classes and take notes.

Are there any downsides?

Of course, there are. For starters getting up at 5 o’clock every morning!

Also, there is a strict sense of discipline. You are expected to attend all classes, in a respectful and interested manner. Which can be quite challenging at 6h00 in the morning (meditation class) or 7h00 in the evening (mantra chanting class). When your body and mind are tired, and your stomach is demanding food!

You don’t have that much free time as you might think. The lunch break is essentially for self-study of both asanas and the theoretical classes. And after dinner, you are too tired to go out to town. And seeing you’ll want to go to bed at about 21h30 at night, you won’t have enough time to go and so something anyways.

Would I recommend Pratham Yoga?

Well, I think you can guess from the general tone of this post, that the answer is “YES!”. I loved my time at Pratham yoga in Rishikesh! It was a calm yet stimulating environment to learn how to become a yoga teacher. Their approach makes me feel comfortable to start teaching small groups of (beginner) students and slowly become a real yoga teacher.

And even if I don’t decide to teach, I have learned everything I need to continue my practice on my own, without injuring myself.

So I wouldn’t hesitate for an instant in recommending it to any of my friends or family members looking to get their certification. That’s why I feel 100% comfortable recommending it to you too!

Namaste!

 Pratham Yoga

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Summary

  • 4 weeks, 200hrs Hatha Vinyasa flow teacher training, check availability on the website
  • Yoga Alliance certified
  • Nice and peaceful location, but still close to the action
  • Highly experienced, professional teachers who are passionate about sharing their knowledge. And adapt their classes to the group’s needs
  • Alignment and adjustment classes from day 1
  • Start to teach yourself from day 4
  • Small groups of 5 to 10 students
  • Price $1.500, ( early bird $1.400, earliest bird $1.300). Including:

Please note I received a modest discount in return for my honest review. But rest assured all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are honest and my own.

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Lara
Budget backpacker | Solo travel enthusiast | Asia Lover |Newbie Blogger

3 Responses to “Review: Pratham Yoga 200hrs Teacher Training, Rishikesh India

  • Weekend Yoga Teacher Training Intensives also require a bit more homework and should meet regularly. Do not fool yourself into thinking that you will learn to become a competent Yoga teacher in a single weekend. It just does not happen that quickly.

    • I could not agree more! For both a long term weekend training as for a 200 hours intensive training. You get your basics, and after the real learning starts. It’s all about the practice!

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