Rishikesh News Updates
Rishikesh News Updates
Rishikesh is one of the favourite places in the world for taking a yoga teacher training programme. Perhaps rightly so given the many places you can sign up for one around Rishikesh. It can be found in almost every corner of the city at prices competitive to those you can find outside of India. Yes, this is true. Even when cost of living is substantially lower than elsewhere. The allure of a total immersion programme in the yoga capital of the world has driven demand and prices of TTCs in Rishikesh way higher than you would expect. Besides, anyone with or without yoga experience, is allowed to sign up for a yoga teacher training here! So the barriers to entry is almost non-existent except the weight on your wallet. In 4 weeks or less, you could become a certified yoga teacher with a fully recognised certificate from the Yoga Alliance, practice experience and teaching ability aside. That’s certainly a very short cut to being a yoga teacher.
So if this is what you want, here is what you can expect from a TTC in Rishikesh. These programmes are almost always full-time programmes. This means an early morning start, at say 6am, for meditation and breathing classes, followed by asana practice before breakfast at 9am. Then it could be followed by lectures on anatomy and asanas before lunch and lessons on yoga philosophy in the afternoon. More asana practice classes are scheduled for late afternoons/evenings before dinner followed by meditation before bedtime at 9pm. Sundays are often off days with no classes and when some form of excursions around Rishikesh could be offered by the center at extra charge.
Such a schedule is standard everywhere in Rishikesh. The main difference is in the quality of the teachers you will be taught by. Class sizes are not fixed and are completely dependent on demand. Don’t be surprised by a TTC class with just 2 to 3 students, it can happen.
What not to expect: full-on-sweaty asana classes. TTCs are for gaining knowledge on how to teach, on learning about the asanas in details and understanding the non-asana aspects of yoga. Therefore, the focus is not on getting you a strong workout. The classes will tend to be slower so that teachers can share more details. And the teaching styles in India may be different from what you are used to; lots more talking is expected from the teacher, not the other way around. Understanding the teachers is a matter of luck, depending on whether your teachers speak clearly and good enough English.
So don’t go to a Rishikesh TTC expecting it to be like your classes at home or you would be in for a disappointment. Find out more about the school and the teachers instead of signing up online for one randomly. Many teachers in Rishikesh have some form of yoga degree (it is not surprising that the nearby university has a focus on yoga), but this doesn’t necessarily make them good teachers or practitioners. If you have the time, go and take some casual classes at the school first before deciding if you should sign up with them.
Photo by Ilya Mauter
Events in the last 3 years have changed how we think about travelling to our favourite teachers. Live classes have gone online, satsangs have gone online and so have kirtan sessions. So what happened to the normally full season in the months of February and March in Rishikesh? Where are the popular gurus who once attracted international crowds of hundreds during this season when guest houses are fully booked and eating at popular restaurants are a long wait every meal time? A check on the schedule says that not all of them are coming back to Rishikesh yet; some retreats and satsangs, like those with Mooji Baba and Shanti Mayi Ma, are now only held around Europe and online. Those of you who still want to attend live sessions in Rishikesh this season, there are a few good news: Prem Baba, Krishna Das, Kirtan Fest and the International Yoga Festival are back in town. Check out their schedules:
Prem Baba satsangs and silent retreats – 1 Feb to 8 March, Dhyan Mandir
Krishna Das concert – 19 February, Swami Swatantranand Ashram Sheesham Jadhi
Kirtan Fest – 1 – 20 March,
International Yoga Festival - 8 – 14 March, Parmath Niketan Ashram
Perhaps the less crowded atmosphere in Rishikesh this year is a good change too? It certainly will be for long term stayers at least.