Namaste. Ready for your yoga retreat? Freaking out because you’re so excited and don’t know what to pack? Sweet. I gotcha covered. You basically need nothing except a great attitude, but I’ll round out the list with a few other essentials.
Ever since posting about my experience at Rishikul Yogshala’s 200hr Yoga Teacher Training in Nepal, I received emails from prospective students asking, ‘WTF do I pack?!’ and the answer is so simple. You don’t need much. Imagine what you take to a yoga studio each time you go to practice. Imagine all the things you leave at home. Now pack accordingly.
Yoga Teacher Training / Retreat Packing List:
- Yoga mat
- Drink bottle
- Hand towel
- Full sized towel / yoga towel if you use one
- Light blanket or sarong (this is really more of a travel in general must, but it’s very useful if your retreat is going to incorporate Yoga nidra or if you get cold during savasana.)
- A few yoga outfits – whatever that means to you.
- Slip on shoes – flip flops or something similar since you’ll be slipping in and out of your shoes each time you enter the studio.
- A notebook and pen
- A light read or an ipod with some calming tunes. Sometimes you’ll need to fall asleep (teacher training starts early!), but you’ll still feel energized from all the asana so bring a tool that drifts you off to dreamland.
- A snack to quell hunger at inconvenient times. I usually take raw pine nuts, almonds or walnuts or a box of these fig bars.
Things To Leave At Home:
- Extra Work (including your blog, sorry!)
- Social Media & Your Love of Wifi
That rounds out the essentials. Here’s the complete Yoga Teacher Training Packing List that I used specifically for the Rishikul Yogshala 200hr YTT in Pokhara, Nepal.
If you are contemplating a yoga teacher training, I highly recommend Rishikul Yogshala.
PEOPLE! I’m officially a yoga teacher. What does that mean? Well, last night I registered and paid my dues with the Yoga Alliance. The Yoga Alliance is the largest nonprofit association representing the yoga community. Basically registering with the Yoga Alliance gives you credibility because they review your certificate of completion of course work and all that other good stuff. It’s a seal of approval and something to make you sound super official when you prance into a studio looking for a job. I haven’t started that part of the process yet, even though if you recall, one of my New Years resolutions was to teach a class by the end of January. Lay off, I have one more week!
Should I pursue a yoga teacher training?
With that mini hurdle (shelling out $105.00 for a figurative stamp of approval) out of the way, I’m feeling pretty official over here and I wanted to share my experience beginning to end with you just in case you’re contemplating a 200 hour course. First you have to ask yourself all those hard questions like, “Am I willing to put my body through mild forms of torture for 28 days?” “Am I that into yoga?” “Do I plan on teaching?” “Do I value my self practice enough to pay upwards of $2,000-$4,000 to improve it?” All these extremely valid questions that honestly, I did not ask myself until after I put down the $200 deposit with my school. I just went for it and then my mind threw all these questions at me immediately after I confirmed my payment method. That’s how I handle life altering decisions, you too?
What type of yoga? Which school? When?
Okay, so you’ve decided to pursue the training. The next step is figuring out the type of yoga, the school, and scheduling that’s right for you. What type of yoga do you enjoy and value most? What would you like to pass on to others? For me, this was simple, I absolutely love vinyasa flow yoga, which also falls under the ashtanga title. Basically it means linking the body movements with the flow of one’s breath. It’s fluid and beautiful and it’s the right type of yoga for me so there was no question that I would pursue a school specializing in ashtanga/vinyasa. Then I thought about scheduling, you can either take a course that meets every weekend for a few months (most U.S. schools offer this type of scheduling), a split course where you practice hard for two weeks, take a break, and then gather again for the final two weeks, or you could do it all in one shot, which is what I did, with a 28 day intensive 200 hour program. Scheduling comes down to your personal way of life; I knew I wanted to focus completely on the course, so I knew weekends wouldn’t be best for me. Last, but surely most important, you should think about where you’d like to be trained and who your yoga gurus will be. Do you have an allegiance to a specific studio? Have you been inspired by a particular teacher over the years? I knew I wanted to learn from people who lived a yoga lifestyle every.damn.day. not simply a fit individual who practices asana (the physical/exercise portion of yoga) three times a day. I was firm in wanting my yoga teachers to be of Indian decent, the birthplace of yoga. I wanted an authentic eastern experience so that the yoga I was being taught was as close to the source and truth as possible. Continue reading
Take a look inside Rishikul Yogshala’s 200 hour yoga teacher training in Pokhara, Nepal.
Sarah here :
Today marks my fourth full day of yoga teacher training in Pokhara, Nepal. Only one more day and then I have a whole half day to myself on Sunday! Because we’re squeezing a 200 hour training into 28 days, the schedule is absolutely packed. I thought it would be fun to share it here to give you an idea of what I’ve been up to the past week.
- 5-5:30AM Morning Tea
- 5:30-7 Hatha Yoga
- 7-7:15 Tea Break
- 7:15-8:15 Pranayama aka breath work
- 8:15-9 Yoga Nidra
- 9-10:30 Breakfast
- 10:30-11:45 Yoga Philosophy
- 11:45-noon Tea Break
- noon-1PM Mantra Yoga aka chanting sanskrit
- 1:15-3 Lunch & Rest aka Lunch and shopping at my new favorite store
- 3-4 Yoga Anatomy
- 4-6 Ashtanga Yoga
- 6:15-7:15 Meditation – Today the theme was self love. It was so amazing.
- 7:30-8:30 Dinner
So that’s that. Lots of learning, practicing and tea all day long. Each teacher is inspiring and full of knowledge. I feel extremely lucky to be here and that feeling carries me through the long days. If you’re wondering how we fill three and a half hours of asana practice, just imagine holding each pose for an excruciating amount of time and then repeating that four or five times. As much as I hate holding wheel for ten breaths, it’s kind of nice to go into each pose slowly with so much detailed instruction. Today we worked on handstands and arm balances in the morning and in the afternoon so. many. down. dogs.
I’m pretty sore, but as of today, I can honestly say I’m having the best time of my life. The days are long, but they’re powerful and magical and I cannot say enough wonderful things about my teachers. Each and every session I am reminded why I chose to train in the east with Indian teachers, my new yoga family. I can’t wait to share more about this trip, if you have any questions, just ask!