It’s really an age old question isn’t it? (Or at least it is for us 20-50 year old westerners hey?)… Where in the world will I choose to pay an, in the end insignificant amount of money in comparison to what it gives me, that will allow me to further my own self and emerge into a possible new career, as a Yoga teacher?
The answer I now know, should NOT be India…
Never have I EVER been so disappointed in something that I have paid money for, something that I was totally ready to fully immerse myself in, something that I had SO much positive hope for.
A YTT (Yoga teacher training) in India. Where else would one go, than the Holy Mother, for such an intense training?!
This is what I initially had been thinking the past say, oh I don’t know, 12 months… As my personal journey with yoga keeps growing and my heart aches to be legally able to teach in the Western world, I found myself stuck between a place of, wanting to do a YTT so bad, and wanting to find the cheapest place possible, to do it in. And so the final outcome, was inevitable.
Put A and B together. A+B=India.
I was sucked into the world of cheap TTC’s, and I was thrown around and spat back out onto the streets of Rishikesh, pissed of and frustrated at what I had gotten myself into.
I was shocked my first week of training when it seemed as if I knew more than my yoga alignment teacher did.
I was horrified when I was drilled by the owner of the school to be “On time” each day to all our classes, when our “gurus” were showing up 20, 30, even 45 minutes late. When our Anatomy teacher didn’t show up at all for our afternoon class, without so much as a call, I was pissed.
I’m sorry, but this isn’t high school. I PAYED to come here, I WANT to be here to learn… or at least I did before your condescending teachers walked into the classroom to teach me irrelevant lectures on absolutely nothing to do with what we are ACTUALLY suppose to be studying.
For those of you thinking that India will be a great place to thrive for your eager body to learn. Then you are half right… You will learn that after 3 hours of hard yoga a day, it makes it near impossible to wake up at 5am the next morning for your next class, you will learn that your money, is probably not going to where you think it is going, and you will learn that India’s way of teaching and training yoga is outdated, over-rated and comes with an extra attachment of ego.
If you are inclined to purely learn more about yourself in yoga, do not sign up for a teacher training, find a course that suits you personally!
It is safe to say this month has been challenging and fundamentally life-changing, but not for the reasons you think.
Challenging yes. Because I have had to shut my mouth for the past three weeks to arrogant students AND teachers, wrongfully taught postures, an anatomy class where I have seen ZERO skeletons and learnt way too much about how to fucking inhale and exhale (even though we were already taught this in extensive detail during our morning pranayama classes), I have had to wait in class for teachers that never showed up, I’ve dealt with the rudeness of a condescending money making wife of the man who owns the yoga school, because of course, he is not willing to escape his “Shanti shanti” euphoric appearance and deal with certain problems himself.
All the while, I have a class full of women that when I walk into the room I get stared at because, how DARE I pay for a course, and take a picking as to when I want to twiddle my thumbs in class waiting for something informative to spring into my ears, and when I choose to not show up to classes, because I can learn more life lessons from reading a children’s book.
I refuse to sit and suck up to teachers who are just trying to fill in 200 hrs with space.
Guys, I love yoga, I love India, but unless you plan to be teaching 50+ year old Indian men a traditional yet unstructured yoga class where you have the nerve to tell them on certain poses they are performing them “wrong” and you wish to adjust them with no worries of getting sued for pushing and pulling them into a pose poorly, therefore causing injury, then sure do a TTC in India…
But I urge you to reconsider before you place payments, because you really DO get what you paid for. The western world may hold YTT’s that are double, triple the price than what you pay for here, but I believe it would be worth it, and really to us, whats an extra 3 grand hey? You think I’m joking, but I’m not… 3 grand to us, is something… but it’s also easily earned back again once it is gone (at least for those of us in Australia!).
Because really, how can one come out of a mere 28 day intensive BOOT camp of Yoga, a qualified yoga teacher? Especially those who have literally come across a YTT in passing and thought to themselves; “Why not? I could teach Yoga.” and a month later find themselves qualified.
Also, consider in what time frame you want to take in all this information. A month is simply not enough time to train to become a yoga teacher and to ingest all the information you have been thrown.
So how has this been life changing?
Well at the end of it all, I finally realised I never needed a stupid piece of paper that water could falter, (which regardless of my lack of attendance I am of course still receiving), to teach a yoga class. Because whilst I am stating that teaching yoga is a serious and complex life choice that shouldn’t be taken too lightly, I can see that I am ready to start doing this due to my own journey with yoga that goes much beyond the past 28 days.
I have a passion and a great tendency to take hold of a room filled with empowering people, I know much more than I thought I did about performing poses properly and about correcting people properly, I found myself correcting and explaining further complex information that our own teachers could not answer… and the other night when I thought I was eating a regular brownie, I was actually eating a hash brownie which then led to an unexpected 16+ hours that showed me I can handle even my deepest fears (I fear nothing more than the effects of marijuana)…
That was a bit off course but you get where I am going with this… Anyway my final point is, how are we suppose to practice a selfless, egoless yoga class when our teachers are egotistic, our fellow students practice what their teachers preach, and the students such as myself who stand up and walk out because they see through all this, end up with the certifications ANYWAY, regardless of how many classes they have attended. (Not complaining about that last part because, out of all of this I am thankful that I am intact walking away with this certificate).
Why would one come to a place where silence is practiced in the midst of a hurricane to try and train themselves to be a qualified yoga teacher? It’s madness!
But that is India… utter madness. I should have known better than to partake in a course, where the standards are so vastly different in comparison to my own country…
They say it’s a Yoga teacher training, but the only thing I have trained the past few weeks is my temper.
** NOTE TO ALL THE YOGIS WHO ACHIEVED THEIR YTT IN INDIA:
I am so proud of all you guys and this is NOT a dig at you! Whilst it is a bit of a personal dig at the yoga school I attended in Rishikesh, I totally understand that there are BETTER courses than what I attended in India! But this blog post is a personal insight into my own experience… Something as small as having a better group of people to do it with could have made my experience all the better, so please don’t take this post as me thinking that you are all incapable of teaching yoga!
Like I said, my own personal experience is that there a better, more professional places to do such a course!