Choosing a Yoga School: Becoming part of a Community

Namaste and welcome to our first blog, you’ve arrived at the perfect place to start your journey. Below is the must-knows to choosing the right school to start your life changing experience with yoga. So sit back, grab a cup of chai and enjoy the ride.

Chances are that you have stumbled across this blog because you have had the realisation that yoga will and can help you in your life. Whatever adversities or struggles you may be currently facing, you want to change your life for the better. Or perhaps you have no adversities (because you are already well versed in yoga) and you want to deepen you practice and share this gift with others. Whatever your motives are you need, want and desire yoga in your life.

Maybe you are also reading this blog because you want to travel to a country that will test your boundaries and welcome you to a new culture and spirituality like you have never seen or imagined. Experience the true form of yoga, not the westernised version that you will have tried before. In the East your yoga will be mixed with philosophy, meditation, healing, pranayama and anatomy.

You are pondering the idea of a Yoga Teacher Training (YTT), which if you have any form of love with yoga is a really good idea an immersion into yoga in a far off land to connect your body, mind, and soul. To do this you need to find the perfect vessel to cultivate you dreams and impart wisdom and knowledge.

There are many routes that you can take to learning yoga and becoming a teacher, from an intensive 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training to a year long part time study course. I took a 200 hour course in India and really immersed myself in the practice.

Here is what I learnt and you should expect from a 200 hour Yoga

Teacher training:

  • The history behind yoga and the ancient lineage
  • Learn the Sanskrit names of asanas and the meaning
  • Teaching methodology and how to align postures correctly
  • Breathing techniques through the study of Pranayama
  • Meditation and relaxation techniques
  • The power of mantra
  • Understanding of Ayurveda- the sister health science to yoga

On an unexpected emotional level I also discovered:

  • How to connect my mind body and soul
  • A deeper more intense practice
  • A true understanding of yoga
  • A way to cope with life’s ups and downs
  • A new community of like minded people
  • A way to do something for me
  • A life changing journey to cherish

I took this yoga teacher training in August 2015 and yes, it was a true life-changing experience. All be it a very intense experience; waking at 5.30am every morning and classes running through to dinner at 7pm. But this was just what I needed and I quit my job, gained the courage to continue traveling in India and the east; teaching yoga along the way.

I then joined up with the school again in the south of India in Kerala and I am now one of many who have stayed and

continue my karma yoga with the school; developing my skills and my network beyond my wildest dreams. I have a true family; a family in those that have studied alongside me in the YTT and in the amazing, kindhearted staff.
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Rishikul Yogshala is a traditional yoga school. Based in the ‘world capital of yoga’, Rishikesh, India. A place where yoga enthusiasts from all around the world gather to immerse themselves in spirituality and follow the path that the popular yoga gurus like Sivananda or celebrities like the Beatles made famous. Here you live in a yogic culture where you can take a dip in the holy Ganga, pray and chant with Baba’s and Sages and capture photos at the ruins where the Beatles, and the Beach Boys meditated in the 1960’s.

One of hundreds of schools that offers yoga teacher training, yoga retreats and workshops in this crowded landscape. But dig below the surface and there is so much more to this school and its reputation than the others. Rishikul Yogshala sits as the highest rated yoga school on Trip Advisor and has a following of past students who have formed a yoga community and support network. Many of these past students return to study and connect online with the teachers- their gurus on a daily basis. It is this quality found in the teaching alumni that speaks volumes as to why Rishikul stands out above the rest.

But what is Rishikul Yogshala all about and how can you tell that it is the place to take your training? Their offering to the world is to spread health and contentment through the traditional art of yoga. As the popularity and expertise of  the school has grown the reach has developed to offer training across other beautiful locations in the East. The renowned yoga teachers running the courses have dedicated their lives to spreading the true meaning of yoga with a modern twist to their trainees, creating a Rishikul family across the globe made up of students who have become a contented version of themselves through the experience.

Students receiving Yoga Teacher Training Certification
Students receiving Yoga Teacher Training Certification

So who are the school’s teachers, the ones that I now call my Gurus being so privileged that they have shared their knowledge with me? They are well renowned names known for their skills and techniques in developing their students. A well balanced team who compliment each other’s styles and practices, they all have a great sense of humour and catch phrases Such as Bipin’s “Hari Om Baba”.

The team is made up of asana teachers Bipin Baloni and Prashanat who can heat up your body with intensive asana practices. The school’s spiritual gurus SwamiAtma and Swami Devatamananda who will calm your mind and body with their spiritual and mindful lessons. The meditation and pranayama lessons of Gangesha and PranaJi will add prana or life with their knowledge of proper breathing techniques.

If you crave laughing, healing or Indian dresses and smell of Indian food, Deepa’s enthusiasm, smile and experience is contagious. Sushil who will heal your body with his Ayurvedic treatments then work it out with the addictive yoga dance classes (a must try for anyone). During my yoga journey with the school there is one phrase that has cropped up again and again: “Your vibe attracts your tribe”

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This is no truer than taking a yoga teacher training course or retreat. At the yoga school you are surrounded with around 20 other like-minded people from whom I have truly found true lifelong friends across the globe. Over a year later we are still talking daily and encouraging others in our journeys. We laughed and cried together saw our bodies and minds transform and really connected over our talks on philosophy and life and this amazing experience we were on. The vibe we created has cultivated a true tribe. The school cultivates the power of mixing the old with modern traditions. This is evident with the use of social media the school has a very active Facebook group so that we can always share news and ask any questions. An everlasting support.

Please do join me and the others in our yoga community, visit this blog, we will share our students stories, practical tips on how to teach yoga and what to do both before and after a yoga teacher training. So whether your journey is just starting or you have had the life change experience welcome to our tribe, we are honoured to have you, enjoy the ride.

Aditi Roy

Aditi Roy, a travel blogger and a yoga enthusiast, has been practicing yoga and meditation and blogging about her experience for the last 3 years. She has been associated as a blogger with Rishikul Yogshala, one of the most sought-after yoga schools headquartered in Rishikesh, India for the last couple of years. During her time with the school, she has had the opportunity to attend some amazing and life-changing retreats and yoga sessions and travel to other centers of Rishikul Yogshala. At present, she sits in her comfortable room, practices yoga and meditation, reads, and writes about the various things she is learning during her journey with Rishikul Yogshala.

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