500 hours of yoga teacher training in India: her experience:

A 9-5 job, far too many commitments, pressure and then briefly meeting friends or falling asleep on the sofa in the evening. Do you know the feeling when you are totally in the stress of everyday life, do not even have time to look left and right, and just think “there must be more”?

This is how I felt in my first jobs after my studies. I was somehow trapped in the hamster wheel and didn’t really know where it would lead me. When my work colleague took me to yoga, it kind of clicked and I realized that I had to change something.
I longed for more peace, inner stability and strength.
So intuitively I decided to go to yoga more often and somehow the weekly yoga lessons helped me enormously. My tiredness got less, there were more and more moments when I could switch off and everything felt easier.
One evening, I was riding my bike home from work and reading at a bus stop, “If not now, then when?”.
Wow, I needed that sign. Suddenly something was clear to me: I wanted to do a yoga teacher training course. My research into yoga training (also known as yoga teacher training) began and led me relatively quickly and safely to Rishikesh, India.

But why India?

India is the country of origin of yoga, this is exactly where yoga originated around 5000 years ago. Unfortunately, western yoga has less and less to do with traditional yoga, and that’s exactly why I wanted to learn yoga at the source of the origin, from the most authentic teachers who really live this art and science.
I decided on the yoga school Gyan Yog Breath because a friend of mine had already studied there and was very enthusiastic.
Gyan Yog Breath is a traditional yoga institute in northern India (Rishikesh) with a beautiful ashram area and garden directly on the holy Ganges and Himalaya mountains. Pictures, reviews and the first email contact were very positive and informative; So I felt in good hands and ready for my India adventure! A 500 hour yoga teacher training course seemed like the right place to start.

500 hours of yoga teacher training in 2 months: my journey of transformation

In the morning at 9 I landed in Dehradun at the airport and my airport shuttle was already there. A little tired, but very astonished by the new impressions, we went to the retreat center. I was warmly welcomed with a flower mala (necklace) and hot chai.
The surroundings and the whole building were just a dream and a tear rolled down my face with happiness.
Me, all alone in India, far away from everything and still, or perhaps because of that, so content and calm.
When I got to the room, I first went to my balcony, looked at the National Park and let everything sink in.
On the first evening there was an introduction where all teachers introduced themselves. We received our books, yoga mats, T-shirts and course materials and then we went to dinner.

The first day of training began at 6 o’clock with a Hawan (fire ceremony). Mantras were chanted, we got a point on the forehead and the energy was “purified”, a beautiful ritual that is always carried out in the yoga school at the beginning of a course.
Then the courses started.

A typical daily schedule during my 500 hour yoga teacher training in India

Course / program
Shatkarma (Kriyas)
Herbal tea / fruit salad break
Pranayama (breathing exercises) or meditation
Yoga asanas
Brunch (vegetarian / vegan)
Yoga philosophy or anatomy
Ayurveda or yoga therapy
Karma yoga
Learning break
Yoga asanas
Emotional blockage treatment
Dinner (vegetarian / vegan)

Describing each day individually probably wouldn’t even fit in a book, but what I can say: each day has been a real challenge and a blessing. With every day I noticed how I found more to myself, got stronger and the old burdens fell away. The combination of routine, physical practice, intellectual demands, cleaning and the delicious vegetarian meals helped me to get to know and love a new “Me”. Naturally, I started to wake up very early in the morning and feel 100% fit (I was usually really grumpy in the mornings).
The asana lessons became easier and easier for me and I noticed day by day how I became more flexible, more energetic and more positive.
It’s amazing what you can learn in just less than two months.

The entire science of yoga is so great and extensive. Yoga is not just asana (position), there is so much more to it than complete philosophy, meditation, detox techniques (Shatkarma) and, and, and. The Ayurveda lessons were also a real enrichment and I learned how to better balance my personal body constitution. At Gyan Yog Breath, we also learned about the Emotional Blockage Treatment (emotional blockade solution), which was really heart-opening and head-opening at the same time. I was able to let many tears flow, finish with old things and become “more free”.

Do you know the feeling when you realize that you are in exactly the right place at the right time?

I had this feeling during my entire 500 hours of yoga training in India. Sometimes I thought I should have done this much earlier, but maybe I had to get to such a personal point first to understand that there is more to it than the crazy stress of everyday life.

What surprised me very positively during my yoga teacher training course was the warmth, openness and hospitality of my yoga school and the Indians in general. I felt completely “at home”, understood and looked after. I was supported, I was listened to and I was challenged. From the receptionist to the teachers, management and cooking team, everyone was so warm and positive.

In conclusion, I can say that my adventure in India was a journey to myself: I was able to develop, grow and gain inner clarity, which still helps me to achieve more balance and calm in everyday life. I can heartily recommend such a yoga training in India to everyone, even if you are new to yoga or if you don’t want to become a teacher for the time being. It is a real enrichment for personal development and beneficial for body, head and heart.

Due to Covid, I was unfortunately not able to fly to India again, but I am already planning my next visit and hope that my next trip will enrich me so wonderfully again!

About Anki:
Anki studied media communication and French in England and came to yoga by chance or fate. She completed her yoga teacher training in India and has been teaching yoga in Hamburg and online ever since. Her passion for yoga also brought her to Ayurveda and meditation, which she integrates into her classes.