I did my first Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) course in Doi Saket, Thailand over 4 years ago after 9 years of practicing yoga. Then after teaching for 2 years, I did my second YTT in India.
I’ve also attended a few retreats myself and numerous workshops around the world. There is something very beautiful about setting the time aside to be in a training and something even more beautiful to be in a foreign land with new people about to embark on the same journey with you.
Here are my top 5 reasons on why you should do your yoga teacher training in Asia.
#1 The Cost
The total cost of the training is comparable to doing it back home in Canada where the trainings are about $3000 over 2 or 3 months depending on how the programs are structured. Except, it doesn’t include your accommodation and food.
My expenses in Canada at the time were $1500 a month ($900 for rent and the rest for food, transport etc). It was more like $1800 on the months where I went out more. So if I were to do a training in Canada over 4 months it would be cost of living plus the training which is (1500 x 3 months) + 3000 for the training = $7,500.
It sounds crazy but, if I flew to Asia and did the training it would be cheaper.
1,200 for a flight (you could get cheaper with some flight deals) + 3,000 for the training = $4,200.
Now, you would need to take the time off work and have someone taking over your lease while you are gone but even if you fronted up your own lease for a month, you’d still save money from cost of living (food and expenses). So it would cost you 4,200 + one months’ rent = 5,100 in my case. Still a savings of $2,400 plus a holiday!!
Now, of course this option isn’t for everyone if your rent is high and you are not willing to quit your job.
#2 Combining Your YTT with a Holiday
You have that time off work and you need a holiday anyway! So why not combine the two? These destination trainings are often retreat-like in nature and you will have spare time to explore and relax when you are not committing sutras to memory.
Why not get your training done in the warm tropical sun, detach from work and allow yourself to completely focus on your studies.
If you can’t take the entire 25 days off to do a training, lots of schools (like this one) allow you to do the trainings in segments (in 50-hr or 100-hr segments), eventually accumulating to the hours you need.
#3 Experience a Spiritual Culture
There’s something quite different about eastern cultures. The spirituality there is unparalleled to that in the west. Watch as monks walk barefoot in the morning begging for alms. Let the temples teach you how mankind continues to built structures to house the deities.
Yoga after all comes from India. I would recommend everyone visit India at lease once in their life. But if you are sensitive to extreme poverty and suffering, then Thailand and Bali are your next best bets, both of which has excellent infrastructure and facilities. It’s a good transitional travel destination before India and Nepal.
#4 Immersion into Yogic Community
There is something beautiful about immersion into a routine and schedule, especially when it comes to yoga teacher trainings. I loved the fact that I saw the same people everyday for a month.
It gave me a sense that I was completely immersed into the yogic community and lifestyle. From meditation every morning with them, eating all my vegetarian meals with them, and exploring together. It felt like a family.
#5 Long Lasting Friendships and Memories that Will Last you a Lifetime.
And that family brought amazing memories that I cherish until today. The first and second trainings are events that I will never forget and will do it again in a heartbeat.
I’ve made life long friends, some whom I’ve seen again (some more than once) and some who I am planning to see.
These friends are so special to me and we connected at such a pivotal moment in all our lives, this connection is unparalleled to any other. A group of 20 or so individuals all wanting to be “yoga teachers.” Oh boy! Some of us never actually wanted to be teachers but wanted to experience the immersion, which also worked out well.
So if you’re on the fence whether you should do a training in North America, Australia, NZ or Europe, I hope this article helped and I hope you do your training in the East. You will not regret it.