Why Take a Yoga Teacher Training Abroad at an Exotic Destination?
by Alexander Berger, eryt500 @bergeryoga
Through the trees, bird songs slowly stir you awake. The air, moist with morning dew, is clean, refreshing, and invites kind of positive state of health that most modern cities have long ago lost. You’re waking up for a day of YTT, not in your own bed, but in a temporary bed, your home for a few weeks, in a far way place, where foods, animals, insects and sensations of all kinds are new and at times, unusual or even uncomfortable. Whatever they may be, they are most certainly different from your “normal” life, where you live, work, play, and call home.
As a yoga teacher, who has been a student at two trainings 200 and 300 hour both in far way lands, one immersion style in my home town, and acted as a teacher in 7 RYT 200 hour trainings both immersion style and “night & weekends” style, some in Boulder, one in Shanghai, and the rest in Costa Rica, I feel uniquely suited to discuss why you should opt for an immersion style yoga training in an exotic destination, over the stay at home alternative. So here are my top 5 reasons why to go for the immersion destination yoga teacher training.
Create a sacred space for transformation
- A yoga teacher training in its best form, not only prepares you to teach great yoga, it molds you into an amazing human or “yogin”. Giving yourself a container for this transformation is essential to proper digestion and assimilation of the information and skills you gain during the process. If you were gonna learn how to be new and enhanced human, wouldn’t it make sense to go to a new place where you can literally taste, feel, and bathe in new sensations, that is tempered, contained, and supported.
Double your experience by traveling and learning at the same time
- If you compare the pricing of a normal stay at home nights and weekends YTT to that of an immersion destination training you get so much more value for your money. Clearly if you’re going to YTT you’re an intelligent consumer and you care about how you spend your hard earned money, so of course you want to get lodging, food, and the intangible cost of an amazing atmosphere included in your tuition. On average stay home YTTs are 2800$ and immersions are about 3800$, and that includes everything you need, plus your traveling! It’s like vacation meets education in the best way possible.
Get out of your patterns and comfort zone
- Yoga, as I understand it, is all about building up new and better patterns in our lives, until one day we live our life free of the habituated tendencies that control our decision making. Until then, the best way to break old, unwanted patterns is to break out of that comfort zone that perpetuates those patterns, than to dive head first into a new space with a new schedule and feel firsthand how changing physical patterns changes mental, emotional, intellectual patterns as well.
Experience it all with a group of new friends
- You’re never alone in your immersion group. While you may come from different countries and cultures, you’re all in it together and are experiencing the same changes, learning the same material, and exploring your selves in new ways. Everywhere you turn, you have people to talk to, relate to, grow with, and develop deep spiritual connections. Compare this to being at home, you go to yoga training, have an amazing, emotional, vulnerable experience and you come home to your roommate watching reality TV, it’s hard to feel supported by that, to feel like you can really relate what you are going through to someone who has no idea what you are processing.
Immerse yourself in the practice
- Rather than trying to do your job, maintain your social relationships, walk your dog, and do a teacher training, you get to just dive into your yoga. Whatever that looks like for you, an immersion training allows you to let everything else pause, and just focus on you. This is the nature of a spiritual retreat and is the ideal format for a YTT. It’s a lot of information to download into your mental memory bank and we need a certain amount of stillness, of quiet time to really take it all in, time you might just not have in a stay home style training.
Sure, not every training situation will be as simple as what I have described here, but over my time, these are the keynotes that I believe we should take into account when we are searching for a good YTT. If your ready, if you have the time, then what are you waiting for, make the move now, invest in yourself and go on that fairy tale YTT in a far away land.