- Why do I need to fill in a personal application beforehand?
- Based on what criteria is the selection process being done?
- How long before I want to come should I apply for and book a teacher training course?
- Schedule: a day in the life of an Ashtangi at Nirvana Yoga sthal
- What subjects are being covered during a TTC?
- How experienced in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga should I be?
- Can I do work trade for TTC course?
- What do we expect from you?
- I do not know which program would be best for me. What do you suggest?
- Do I need to prepare myself before taking the course?
- Can I take the teacher training course if I am pregnant?
- What exams do I need to pass in order to graduate?
- What if I need to switch my course dates?
- Can I extend my stay or programme?
- Is there a way to join the program even for a few days?
- What kind of people are here?
- Is Nirvana Yoga sthal an ashram?
- Are all of the Nirvana Yoga sthal YTTC certified by the Yoga Alliance?
- Will I be qualified to teach in the UK or Australia?
- How do I register as a teacher once I’ve graduated?
- What does the tuition fee include?
- What options do I have to pay for the course?
- How much is the Deposit?
- Do I need a Visa for India?
- When should I apply for my Indian visa?
- Which airport should I fly to?
- How do I get to Rishikesh?
- Do I get a private room and shower?
- Can I share a room with a friend or significant other?
- Can I choose my own room?
- Can I change rooms?
- Can I stay if I arrive a few nights early?
- If I extend my visit, will I be able to stay in the same room or will I be asked to change rooms?
- Am I free to come and go as I wish?
- Why are only two meals per day served?
- Are the meals unlimited or portioned?
- What if I’m vegan, lactose-intolerant, or have allergies?
- Is there internet and Wifi capability?
- Do you have laundry facilities?
- Is Accommodation and meals included in the Ashtanga Intensive course?
- Inoculations/Immunizations – What shots do I need to get before coming to India?
- Is Rishikesh safe?
- Is Rishikesh safe for women travelling alone?
- Is Nirvana Yoga sthal located safe?
- How is Rishikesh weather like and what clothes should I pack?
- Is there any cultural dress code for foreigners?
- How much money should I bring?
- What should I pack?
- Money Questions!
- Do I need to bring a yoga mat?
Yoga Course Information
We request you fill out a personal application before arriving so we have the chance to get to know you before you arrive.
All participants must fill out a registration form in order to participate. We try to understand your background in yoga, the different motivations you might have to become a teacher, and to ensure you are in a good health.
The most important factor we look for in an applicant is the openness and willingness to learn. Yoga is for everyone, regardless of age, body, gender and background. At Nirvana Yoga sthal we welcome everyone to come and learn. Our teacher training programs, however, are rigorous and we take a few points into consideration when looking at our applicants to make sure you have a rewarding experience. Points we look at are how long you have been practicing, your level of interest and dedication, your style of practice, your exposure to yoga, your motivations for teaching, and your overall health condition.
For our 200 hour and 300 hour Ashtanga Primary Series courses we welcome all levels of students, though strongly recommend previous experience with Ashtanga yoga. When reviewing your application we look primarily at your level of interest and yoga background. For you to get the most out of the course we ask that you come prepared. Ashtanga yoga is a demanding style of yoga that requires hard work and commitment. When we consider our applicants we welcome all levels and style of yoga practitioner, however, we highly suggest you arrive with an established practice and some knowledge of the Ashtanga yoga system so as to optimise your experience with us.
For our 300 hour Ashtanga Intermediate Series courses we require that you already have an established Ashtanga Primary Series practice and at least 200 hours of previous official Primary Series training either at Nirvana Yoga sthal or another Yoga Alliance recognised school. Ashtanga yoga Intermediate Series is a highly demanding and dynamic practice requiring high levels of endurance and determination. We ask that the applicant have a strong foundation in Primary Series and optimal health before doing Intermediate Series training to ensure that you get the most out of your training and to prevent injury or over exertion.
The most established your practice is before arriving the deeper the benefits you will reap, the more complete your understanding of adjustments will be, the more enjoyable pranayama will be, and the more rewarding your whole experience will be.
Again, our most important criteria is your openness and dedication to learning and the experience of yoga!
As all of our training courses are first come first serve, so we generally recommend applying and reserving your spot sooner rather than later. The longer in advance you apply, the better chance of getting a programme that suits your needs. Availability fluctuates according to season, the chosen length of your teacher training, and the programme. We also strive to keep our classes moderately sizes in order to ensure adequate individual attention for each student, so please bear this in mind when timing your application.
If, however, you spontaneously decide to jump into this unique experience and join one of our teacher training courses, we will do our best to accommodate you!
Days start bright and early at Nirvana Yoga sthal , with classes beginning at 6:30am, and end quietly around 9:00pm following meditation. Schedules vary according to the course, so please check material covered in each course for more detailed information. Asana practice and Pranayama class are held during the morning, followed by brunch. Afternoon classes consist of philosophy lecture, yoga nidra practice, and adjustment workshop. Dinner is served in the evening followed by meditation class. Days are busy and exciting, so silence is typically held from meditation until morning.
Once a week and on moon days, students get to enjoy their well deserved day off. Whether you are looking for outdoor adventures, cultural sightseeing, relaxing spa treatments, a shopping excursion, or just to relax and take in the vibes, Rishikesh has it all! Surprise adventures and activities are also occasionally planned for off days, making your experience at Nirvana Yoga sthal more exciting and diverse.
Example of Daily Schedule:
- 06:30 – 08:00 — Pranayama/ Meditation / Mantra Chanting
- 08:30 – 10:15 — Asana Practice Ashtanga Vinyasa Mysore Style
- 10:30 – 12:00 — Breakfast / Brunch / Free Time / Study Time
- 12:00 – 13:30 — Yoga Principles / Philosophy / Yoga Sutra Lectures
- 14:00 – 15:00 — Yoga Nidra meditation/ Rest Time / Free time/ Refreshing time
- 15:00 – 16:00 — Workshop/Study Time/Guest Lecturers
- 16:00 – 18:00 — Asana practice / Art of Adjustment / Body Alignmen
- 18:30 – 19:30 — Dinner Time
- 19:30 – 20:30 — Rest Time/Free Time/Study Time
- 20:30 – 21:30 — Silence Meditation
- 21:30 – 06:00 — Mauna / Silence
This schedule is an example only. Schedules may change depending on the season, course, and any improvements that may have been implemented.
All of our training courses cover the following subjects at varying levels of depth according to the length of the course.
Practical and theoretical study of asana
Practical and theoretical study of pranayama
Practical and theoretical study of meditation
Anatomy and physiology
Alignment and the art of adjustment
Safety and modification
For a more detailed description of our course material please refer to our course information page.
We understand that people have different expectations for the course. Take everything as an experience!
Also always feel free to talk to your teachers and the staff so you can get the most out of your personal yoga journey.
The practice of yoga is a lifelong journey and there is no such a thing as a competition of the self. You are unique and so is your personal practice and experience.
We do not expect our students to be on the same level. Everyone’s practice is an individual journey. However for your benefit we suggest that you have a foundational knowledge of the Primary Series as well as an established practice for at least 90 minutes per day over a period of three months prior to arrival for your course. This will ensure you get the best from your experience with us.
We do not offer a work trade option for our teacher training courses. As the courses are highly demanding, you will have little time to do any kind of work. We recommend coming and participating as a student. After your training we will determine if you qualify to continue on as an assistant, which is the work for trade program we offer.
Aside from your openness and eagerness to learn, we expect a few things from you when you come to join the teacher training course. The applicant should understand basic English language as the yoga teacher training course is conducted in English. Prior experience or knowledge of yoga is important for 100 hour and 200 hour training courses, and is necessary for 300 hour and 500 hour courses. The applicant should be in a good physical condition. Please come healthy and in relatively good shape! The course is a demanding program with at least 6 to 8 hours a day. Therefore, we advise students establish an Ashtanga Vinyasa practice prior to arriving for the course.100% attendance at all classes is mandatory. Students must follow the schedule and attend all classes and activities to get the full benefit of the course. We’re good, but we can’t read your mind! Please talk to us anytime if you feel something is amiss.
We recommend to read through the various program details and get a sense for what attracts you most. Feel free to contact us any time. Our 200hr courses are beneficial for all level of practitioner. Those wishing to take our more advanced courses should be sure they have a firmly established practice in Ashtanga Primary Series so they can get the most out of the experience.
We recommend doing some preparatory reading and practice before your arrival in Rishikesh for the course. Try to get your body ready for the training by maintains a 90 minutes daily practice of Primary series the three months before the course begins. Make a daily practice your ritual and physically prepare for our course to get the very best out of your personal journey. Practice practice all is coming! To give your mind some exercise, here is some recommending reading to get you prepped and inspired.
- The Yoga Mala – Sri K. Pattahbi Jois
- Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha (APMB)
- Yoga Darshan – Swami Niranjanananda Ji
- The Heart of Yoga, T.K.V. Desikachar
- Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Swami Venkatesananda, Motilal publications
- Perennial Psychology of the Bhagavad Gita
- The Science of Breath- Dr. M.L. Ghorole
As Ashtanga yoga is a rigorous practice and our training courses are very intense, we strongly recommend that pregnant women consider taking our courses at a different time instead. Ashtanga yoga is not a suitable Prenatal yoga practice unless you are already a well established practitioner. This is to ensure you get the most out of your course. Please note traditionally in Ashtanga yoga women are not meant to practice for the first three months of pregnancy or the first three months after giving birth. If you already have a well established daily Ashtanga yoga practice of over a year, you can come take the course and modify accordingly. If you come and find you’re pregnant, that’s fine too, we’ll do our best to accommodate you.
The classical combination: a practical and written examination are required to graduate. Examination generally includes teaching your fellow students in a yoga class. Also, shine some light on yoga philosophy in your written exam to demonstrate your understanding of what yoga means.
Yoga teaches us to be flexible, not only in body but also in mind! Changes are possible, but please bear the following in mind:A student can transfer from one course to another at least one month before the start of that course to attend a different course instead. We allow this transfer only once. Under extenuating circumstances you can be considered for a refund of course fees. If you are unable to come you are able to send someone in your place or contact us so we can let those waitlisted individuals know. If only the deposit has been paid, the new participant should pay you the deposit directly and you both must notify us of the name change.
Programme extensions are possible by mutual agreement and are dependant on room and course availability. If you feel inspired to stay longer and practice with us, you are more than welcome to! Please bear in mind that this is not included in the initial course fee.
We are happy for you to join our program without committing to the entire training course. Typically we ask that you join for a minimum of one week to get the full benefits of the course. If you would only like to come for a few days we recommend that you try our drop in classes instead.
Yoga brings people together! At Nirvana Yoga sthal you will meet people from all over the world coming to share and learn together. There is a range of students from all backgrounds, ages, experiences and cultures, all with their own unique practice and approach to the yoga experience. They say that everyone is guru, and at Nirvana Yoga sthal you are certain to learn something from everyone that you meet.
No. Nirvana Yoga sthal is a yoga school dedicated to the study of yoga. Though sometimes it can be experienced like an ashram as we try to deliver the complete yoga experience, it is not, however, a traditional spiritual hermitage.
Yoga Alliance Certification
Your teacher training certificate will be recognised internationally. Nirvana Yoga sthal is both a certified Yoga School (RYS200) by Yoga Alliance and is also certified by the government of India. Our teachers are experienced registered yoga teachers (ERYT-200).
For more information on Yoga Alliance designations please check out their link here:
Yoga Alliance ( https://www.yogaalliance.org)
Yes! The doors of the world are open to you.
The Yoga Alliance USA is recognised internationally. Please note that though your certificate is Yoga Alliance recognised, once you receive your certificate you must register with them separately. Registering as a member with Yoga Alliance USA does not register you as a member of Yoga Alliance UK/AU. For more details please visit their website.
More on the Yoga Alliance accreditation here:
Tuition and Payment
Your tuition at Nirvana Yoga sthal includes the course fees, accommodation, two meals per day, one snack per day with chai, and any excursions or activities set on the itinerary. For more detailed information please refer to our course description page.
Your tuition fee does not include other expenses such as meals outside, transportation, or any other miscellaneous expenses. No part of the package price is refundable due to non-participation.
Information and Instructions for payment procedure will be sent to you with your letter of acceptance. We ask that you please submit a Deposit payment prior to arrival of 25 % of the cost of the course. This will secure your placement in the course. The balance of the payment may be made on Orientation Day upon arrival in Rishikesh.
The Payment methods we accept are Bank Transfers and Western Union. Payments may be made in any Currency, as we will receive all payments in Indian Rupees.
Please note that Bank Transfer payments must be made at least a month before the start of your course. Afterwards all payments must be made in cash. It will not be possible to make bank transfers while in India.
We ask you to send us a Deposit of 25 % of the course price to secure your space in the course.
For all of our travel information please look at our “Getting Here” page on our website
For all of our travel information please look at our “Getting Here” page on our website
For all of our travel information please look at our “Getting Here” page on our website
For all of our travel information please look at our “Getting Here” page on our website
January is definitely the coldest. When it comes to clothing, think layers, socks and sweaters! The sky is partially clouded and mornings can be very foggy.
It gets pleasant in February and a lot of blue skies dominate, but days can be still a bit chilly. Especially sightseeing and adventure activities like trekking can be enjoyed during this month. Long sleeves, trousers, and warmer clothes for nighttime.
Moderately hot during day and night with a slightly cool breeze. March in Rishikesh is the best time for enjoying rafting and other adventure sports. Especially a good month for yogis as the international yoga festival takes place during March. Lighter clothing items.
It’s getting hotter in April outdoor activities can be still enjoyed as the heat is still within most tourists comfort zone. Shorts sleeves and skirts, but please remember to keep your shoulders and knees covered. Take a dip in the Ganga: The clear skies and plenty of sunshine make it ideal conditions!
It gets a bit hot in May and is often considered to be the hottest month of the year. May be not the best time, but we think that Rishikesh is always worth a visit throughout the year.
Hot weather during June in Rishikesh. Ice begins to melt in the northern region, feeding the streams of Rishikesh and raising the water levels.
Monsoon season starts in July. Some coolness is given to the atmosphere. Cloudy skies most days and increasing humidity, but still manageable. Perfect month for nature enthusiasts, but do not forget to bring your rain gear.
The wettest month, August especially good for people enjoying loads of rain. Stunning shades of green for our rain lovers during monsoon. The days are warm and the evenings are pleasant. Bring your rain gear!
September is moderate month. The month is ideal for outdoor travels. Enjoyed by most tourists because of clear skies and plenty of sunshine. Days can be hot, so light clothing items.
Humid and cool, October is one of the best months to visit Rishikesh. You will love doing yoga during this time. Warm during the day and evenings begin to get cooler.
Pleasant feelings during November, but it starts to get cozy by the end of this month. November is perfect for enjoying indoor and outdoor activities. Winters starts at the end of the month but plenty of sunshine. Plan to layer yourself, especially in the mornings and evenings.
Nights are getting cool in December and winter is coming to town. But still, days are pretty comfortable. Again, think layers and keep yourself warm. Mornings and evenings get cold!
Accommodation & Food
Depending on availability, you can request to have a private room. This is not included in the price of the course and will cost a little extra. Otherwise all room are shared accommodation with two people to a room with two twin beds and an ensuite bathroom. Shared rooms are included in the price of the course. All rooms have private bathrooms and showers.
Can I share a room with a friend or significant other?
Please request in advance if you would like to share a room with a friend or significant other and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Rooms are typically assigned based on availability. If you would like to choose your own room please request in advance and we will do our best to accommodate you.
You can request to change your room if you are not pleased with your accommodation and we will do our best to find a better room for you. Changes are allowed based on reason for change and availability of other rooms.
If you wish to arrive a few nights early, please let us know in advance so we can check the availability of rooms according to your intended arrival. Otherwise we can provide recommended guesthouse options if needed. Accommodation with us is free of charge one day prior to your teacher training course start date as well as an additional night at the end of the course.
This will depend on room availability and how much advance notice you give of your wish to extend.
We need your full attention as ashtanga yoga is a challenging practice which requires determination and commitment. Students will have a very busy schedule with little free time, but are allowed to come and go as long as they attend all scheduled classes. To ensure everyone stays safe and gets enough rest, students will not be allowed to stay outside after 9pm.
We serve two vegetarian meals daily plus a snack with tea during our afternoon break. Please note that there will be no meals provided on your day off.
To fully experience the benefits of the yoga practice we try to keep the stomach empty for practice times. The schedule does not allow for more than two meals to be served in the day. You will find that your body will easily adjust to the two meals as you will be doing a lot of other energising practices. No one has ever been left starving!
It may happen that you like to eat outside once in a while, if so, please let our kitchen know at least one night prior to the meals served as traditional Indian food needs a lot of preparation time. Please bear in mind that eating out may increase your chances of getting sick.
All meals are freshly cooked with love and are unlimited.
If you have a special dietary requirement please let us know in advance and we will be happy to make sure that there is a suitable option for you. We try to our best to provide a variety of food and serve mostly a sattvic diet. If you have a special dietary need we can exclude milk products, honey, etc.
The food in the Rishikesh is vegetarian, but not vegan. Eggs and meat are not provided. Please do not bring meat or alcoholic beverages from outside to fully experience the good effects of the yogic lifestyle.
Yes, we have internet available at all of our residencies. However you will spend most of the time at the Shala, so your internet time will be limited to evening and meal times. There are also Wifi spots at the local cafes and restaurants in Rishikesh that you can use. Don’t expect anything too fast, as this is India, but you will have enough connection to download emails, browse the web, and on a good day make calls back home.
If it is critical to have Wifi you may want to consider purchasing a data plan when in India.
Facilities for laundry are not included. Students may hand wash their clothes in their rooms. We can also recommend laundry services nearby.
Accommodations and meals are not included in the Ashtanga Intensive course. But contact us and we will be happy to provide you with recommendations for nearby guesthouses and places to stay.
Health & Safety
Most health authorities recommend that you have your regular inoculations against polio, typhoid, and tetanus up to date. Many people do not have other inoculations and simply take care to eat well. You may want to consider malaria protection if you plan to travel other parts of India, for example, but most people staying in Rishikesh simply rely on mosquito repellants.
Rishikesh is considered a safe city. However, it is always wise to exercise and maintain the usual level of awareness of responsibility for your own safety. Rishikesh is a very safe area against the statement that India might be sometimes rough for travellers.
Rishikesh is a holy city, and less crowded on average than other cities in India. The people here are very welcoming and friendly. Rishikesh is a great place to transition into Indian culture as you still get the culture, friendliness, and vibrancy of India, but less of the poverty, crowdedness, and other potentially overwhelming features.
One crime you should be more worried about is getting attacked by cheeky monkeys. It is much more likely to have your food stolen (keep fruits in your bag where they are invisible to the monkeys) than it is to be harassed or have your valuables stolen.
In terms of safety at night, the streets start emptying at 9-10pm as storekeepers close up shop, but it is still safe.
On days off you can go find the hidden waterfalls and enjoy trekking that can be done around Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula. There is also the famous Beatles Ashram just at the edge of Ram Juhla and several temples are spread around both villages.
Women travelling solo is not a problem. There are many young western women traveling alone to Rishikesh and enjoying it. Crime is incredibly rare in Rishikesh. As with anywhere, we recommend dressing appropriately and maintaining a discrete appearance so as not to attract unnecessary attention. Please respect public decency and try to adhere to India’s modest dress code. Women should be sure to keep their knees and shoulders covered.
Ram Juhla is a beautiful, peaceful and safe village area, happily situated right next to mother Ganga and split by her into two parts connected by a rope bridge. Charming environment all over, people are friendly and helpful all around. However exercise caution and maintain the usual level of awareness of responsibility for your own safety.
Is there any cultural dress code for foreigners?
Please respect public decency and try to adhere to India’s modest dress code. Shoulders and knees should be covered.
Daily expenses amount roughly around 5 USD, based on buying water, snacks and toilet paper if needed. There are plenty of corner shops and restaurants less than 5 minutes away.
Get an idea of what might be essential when packing your bag…
- Comfortable clothes to practice yoga in (please note we provide you with a Nirvana Yoga sthal shirt upon arrival)
- Underwear and swimming gear for Ganga dipping. Women please don’t plan to wear a bathing suit but instead bring some clothes you don’t mind to get wet.
- Sweaters, jacket, and warm clothes if you’re here in November – February. Rain gear if you’re here in June – August.
- Your yoga mat. Otherwise we have many for you to borrow.
- Toiletries, personal care and hygiene items. Most are available here as well.
- Electronics, laptop, tablets and chargers
- Universal power converter
- Deposit/Fee transfer receipt
- ATM card and some cash (Dollars/Euro)
- 2 Passport size photographs
- Copy of 200-Hour Certificate (for students registered for 300-hour TTC)
- Torch or headlamp can be very useful due to power cuts
- Shoes: flip flops and closed toed shoes for outings.
- First aid kit and prescription medicine
- Mosquito repellant (March – May)
- Medicine/ first-aid kit
- English translation dictionaries, if needed
- Sleeping bag (optional)
- Water purification system: iodine tablets, UV light, other (optional)
The most important thing to arrive with is an open mind! Remember you don’t need to bring too much! The following are readily available in Rishikesh:
Soaps, shampoos, conditioners, toothpastes, etc.
Books from the suggested reading list
Notebooks, pens, pencils, etc.
Foreign currency exchange shops
Yoga mats, straps, bags, bolsters, etc.
Please bring your deposit Receipt with you and be prepared to pay remaining amount for your course upon arrival.
You can withdraw money from ATM machines in Rishikesh. ATMs charge a standard fee. Money can be withdrawn a maximum of 4 times per day. Each transaction is limited to 10,000 rupees. ATM’s are freely available no more than 5-10 minutes’ walk from our school. Nonetheless, it is always advisable to bring some cash, just in case and exchange it. Exchange is also available at reception and many other places just around the corner.
The exchange rates are better in Rishikesh than in Delhi. So do not exchange lot of money in Delhi airport. If you need a little money you can ask your driver to take you to an Exchange bureau. You may also exchange money at the Nirvana Yoga sthal reception desk.
A cup of chai comes between 20 – 40 rupees. Meals in restaurants vary but start around 100 rupees. Fresh juices are on average 60 rupees. Books can be bought for anywhere between 100 – 600 rupees. Yoga mat cost about 200 – 300 rupees. Yoga bags will be anywhere from 100 – 500 rupees. Clothing varies from 100 – 800 rupees.
Do I need to bring a yoga mat?
Home is where the mat is! You are welcome to bring your own mat for a personal touch and cleanliness.
We do provide yoga mats and towels. There are also plenty of shops in Rishikesh where you can buy a mat once you arrive. These mats are a great reasonably priced option. However the quality might not be up to the standard that you prefer.