15 Reasons to take your Yoga Teacher Training Abroad

If you’re thinking of getting certified as a Yoga Teacher, you should consider going abroad for the experience! IMG_20151116_080042289

Before you leave, you have to decide what type of yoga teacher training is right for you.

Will you start with your 200 Hour certification, or jump right into 500 Hour? What type of yoga practice will you train in? There’s schools offering Yin, Restorative, Ashtanga, Hatha, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Kundalini… the list goes on. Deciding on the type of school is most important, since it will shape your yoga practice and career afterwards, but if you to go abroad, you’ll have a lot more options to choose from than if you stayed at home.

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The biggest difference you’ll probably find is that when you go abroad, you get a full-on, intensive month of teacher training. I found that most schools in my area at home only offered weekends in-class, over a 10-month period. I needed something to totally immerse myself in; so I could take in a lot of information and learn all this cool new stuff, without being distracted by “home life”.

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Once you have an idea of what type of training you want to take, pick a country! There’s probably lots of schools to choose from in the country you’re from, but it’s an amazing experience to go abroad and explore a new country while learning something new! Lots of tropical countries offer training year-round, which is great, because you will be leaving home for about a month. Think Costa Rica, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia and of course India… but lots of European and North American countries offer training in amazing locations as well, so don’t rule them out!

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I chose an Ashtanga Vinyasa training in Bali, Indonesia for my certification. I practice this type of yoga, and after reading through All Yoga Bali‘s brochure, I decided this school offered the course I was looking for. I chose Bali because it’s really far away from home, and I’d never been to Asia, or the Southern Hemisphere before… and Bali is amazing.

Here’s 15 reasons why you should travel abroad and become a yoga teacher

1. Cost-effective

A big reason I chose not to take my training in Canada is because it’s very expensive here. For the same price as most 10-month, weekends-only training in my area, I got meals and accommodations in Bali, on top of the intensive 24-day course. This was the biggest selling point for me. I still had to pay for airfare, but the experience paid for itself.

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2. Traveling to a new, exciting country!

This is obvious. But, honestly, nothing is better than travel!

3.  Going to class is awesome

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Even if morning meditation is 7am, you know the only reason it isn’t any earlier is because the sun hasn’t come up yet! Wherever you choose to go, the setting will be beautiful and you’ll be running to morning practice with your tea still in hand!

4. New best friends!

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When you first arrive at your training, it can be a little overwhelming to suddenly be living with 20 strangers. Don’t worry though, after your first intense yoga class together (and certainly after that first week), you’ll all be feeling the same way and will be bonding in no time.

5.  You’ll practice a LOT of Yoga

We practiced asana 3 hours a day and meditation and pranayama for another hour or two, on top of 3-4 hours of practical class work. It was always a long day, but it was so exciting and there was so much to learn with all my new friends that the days started to blur by.

I practiced a lot more often that I would at home, and it was great to get in 2 practices every single day.

6. Your Yoga practice will deepen

Now, I’m not saying you will improve and you certainly won’t be walking out of there on your hands. Because before you can deepen your practice, you will probably fall apart and won’t even be able to do Paschimottanasana II for a few days.

This is more yoga than you’ve probably ever done, and you will be physically exhausted.

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But after you cry a little and collectively complain with your other yogis, you will all find that tomorrow is a brighter day, and your muscles got the rest that they needed last night and you can actually even fold yourself into Padmasana this morning! You cheer each other on and share in others successes, because even though Yoga is a personal practice, it is meant to be shared and enjoyed, just like life 🙂

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7. You will learn to TEACH! [all kinds of students!]

When you go abroad, lots of others are headed where you are as well! When you start teaching, you learn that your students are your own best teachers. Different students have different needs, and being thrown into a mix of people lets you learn how to work with all kinds!

Learning to teach, developing sequences, measuring my own breath and pace were all amazing, and I cherish these new skills I’ve developed.

8. Homework is just that much easier

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You still have homework in paradise.

But it’s okay, because it’s yoga homework, you’re sipping tea, munching granola and bananas, and you have 23 friends to ask for help on which muscles are working in Navasana.

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9. Study breaks are taken in the pool

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In between practice and anatomy can jump in the pool and cool off. Can’t do that at home.

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10. The food is amazing and healthy

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Grab a bite to eat before jumping in the pool!

My retreat offered vegetarian-only meals. For me, it was a change, but I found a ton of new things I liked!

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I ate healthier here than i would have at home, that’s for sure. I also took healthier habits back home, too!

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I still snuck into town for Bacon on weekends…

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11. You’ll have some extra fun

We had a beach day. It was a blast trying acroyoga and handstands, playing in the waves and bonding over silly yoga jokes.

12. You really immerse yourself

It’s All Yoga, all the time, here. After a full day of practice and classes, you have a bit of homework to do as well. You’re half-way around the world from home, so you don’t have to think about anything else, it’s perfect.

13. Graduation is really neat

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The morning of your graduation ceremony is what everything you’ve been working for has built up to.

Everyone is excited and relieved… until we learned there’s just 108 more Sun Salutations left before we can get our hands on our certificates.

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Nothing beats getting your 200 Hr certificate in the jungle, surrounded by beauty.

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14. You’re already here… why not explore?

Take day trips, wander around town, hit the beach… make it your vacation! You’ll be busy with your training most of the time, but take advantage of your Saturdays off, and don’t immediately head home after your course is finished!

15. Coming home to teach!

Coming home is a great feeling, especially if you have something new to share with everyone! I was sad to leave Bali and its warm weather, but it’s nice to be back in Hamilton too.

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1 Reason not to take your training abroad?

You have to say goodbye to all your new friends you just made… and none of them live in the same country as you. IT’S REALLY HEARTBREAKING, but now you have 23 couches to sleep on around the world 🙂

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