A Guide to Doing Yoga Teacher Training Abroad

Many people choose to combine the adventure of traveling and exploring a new destination with the transformative experience of doing yoga teacher training abroad.

Whatever your reasons for doing yoga training, whether you’re looking to change your career and become a certified yoga instructor, or simply want to deepen your personal yoga practice and be immersed in the yogic lifestyle, doing a yoga teacher training (YTT) offers countless benefits.

There are many ways to become a certified yoga teacher and doing an intensive 200 hour yoga teacher training program is one of the most popular options and the basic requirement to be certified to start teaching yoga.

While India, the birthplace of yoga, used to be the go-to destination for a YTT, there are now numerous options available all around the world. Courses are often held in beautiful and deeply spiritual locations, there’s so many amazing places to do yoga teacher training abroad to choose from!

My Guide to Doing Yoga Teacher Training Overseas

I did my yoga training in Bali and Goa, India where I now live. In my experience, doing an intensive yoga teacher training abroad was the best way to get my yoga teacher certification quickly and affordably, benefit from authentic, expert tuition and immerse myself in an inspiring spiritual destination and lifestyle.

I know it can be quite overwhelming trying to choose the right destination, course and plan everything, so hopefully this post will help you on this exciting next step of your yoga journey.

In this post, I’ll guide you through what to expect when doing yoga teacher training overseas, the advantages of doing the course abroad and highlight the top destinations.

Contents hide 1My Guide to Doing Yoga Teacher Training Overseas 2What to expect from a Yoga Teacher Training Course 3Advantages of Doing Yoga Teacher Training Overseas 4The Best Places to do Yoga Teacher Training Abroad 5How to Choose the Right Yoga Teacher Training Course 6Final Thoughts on Yoga Teacher Training Abroad

What to expect from a Yoga Teacher Training Course

While a 200 hour YTT is an amazing experience on so many levels you should know that it is far from a relaxing retreat. Your days will be packed with learning the physical, theoretical and spiritual aspects of yoga.

When choosing a course, make sure it is with a registered yoga school and approved by Yoga Alliance. While there are numerous different programs and different yoga styles to choose from all Yoga Alliance approved 200 hour courses have to cover a basic core curriculum.

This should include twice-daily yoga sessions, pranayama and meditation sessions, as well as classes on yoga philosophy and the history of yoga, anatomy and physiology, alignment and adjustments and teaching methodology.

The best yoga teacher trainings will also include plenty of practice teaching yoga so that you feel confident and ready to teach yoga after the course.

When you do a YTT overseas you’ll also be immersed in the yogic lifestyle, develop healthier habits, make new friends, and have the opportunity to explore an exciting destination.

However don’t expect you’ll have the time or energy for much traveling during your course. I recommend allowing time to travel after completing the training as intensive yoga teacher training can be demanding.

Before signing up for my course I worried that I wasn’t ready to do a YTT or good enough as I couldn’t do every advanced pose but I didn’t have to worry as there were yogis of all levels on my course.

Some yoga schools even accept beginners, but I would recommend having a regular yoga practice for at least 6 months before to have the best experience otherwise the whole process would probably be too overwhelming.

If you want to deepen your practice even further you can do an advanced 300 hour yoga teacher training after you’ve completed the 200 hour program.

There are also opportunities to do 50 hours or 100 hours but these won’t qualify you to teach although some yoga schools will let you do two 100 hours if you can’t take enough time off work to do the whole 200 hours in one go.

Advantages of Doing Yoga Teacher Training Overseas

For most people doing a YTT abroad is a life-changing experience, not only do you get to explore a new destination, but you also gain the knowledge and skills to become a certified yoga teacher.

Yoga teacher training retreats can be physically, emotionally and mentally challenging, but it can also be a truly life changing and transformative experience. By going abroad, you’ll be able to take a break from your normal routine and reconnect with yourself and your body so you can go deeper into the process than if you stayed at home.

One of the main advantages of doing a YTT abroad is the cost. The 200-hour course is the basic requirement for becoming a certified yoga instructor, and doing it overseas is often more affordable than in your home country. However, you should also factor in the cost of flights and, if required, entry visas.

The cost of yoga teacher training overseas typically starts at around $1000, in the cheapest destinations like India and Nepal, and can go up to $4000 or $5000 in more expensive places like Costa Rica or Europe.

Most programs take between 2-4 weeks to complete and only have 2 rest day each week. The majority of courses include accommodation and food in the package. As yoga instructor training is an intense process I recommend going for a course with the longest duration you have time for.

The Best Places to do Yoga Teacher Training Abroad

Many YTTs are held in beautiful places, yoga hotspots and spiritual destinations, giving you the chance to visit temples, ancient sights, beaches, spas, vegan cafes and indulge in other healing therapies and meet like minded people during your time off.

While you can find YTT’s all over the world nowadays, here’s my pick of the very best places to do your yoga teacher training abroad.


India, being the birthplace of yoga, is still the obvious choice for those looking for an authentic yoga teacher training experience. Additionally, YTTs in India are among the most affordable options in the world.

By learning from traditional yoga teachers for whom the yogic lifestyle is a way of life, you’ll get a real insight into yoga as a spiritual practice. You’ll also be immersed in India’s rich culture, religion, and traditions. Ayurveda, yoga’s sister life science, is also commonly taught in YTTs in India.

There are many destinations to do yoga teacher training in India. Rishikesh, situated on the sacred Ganges river in the Himalayas, is known as the “yoga capital of the world,” and offers a wide variety of ashrams, yoga schools, and temples.

Mysore, the birthplace of Ashtanga yoga, and Dharamshala, home of the Dalai Lama and Tibetan government in exile, are also popular options. Those looking for a beachside location can consider Goa or Kerala in the tropical south.

For more recommendations, read my guide to yoga teacher training in India and if you want to travel afterwards here’s the ultimate India backpacking route for more inspiration.

It’s important to be aware that facilities in yoga schools in India can be basic and traveling in India can be challenging, especially for solo female travelers. It’s recommended to check reviews from previous students before committing to a YTT in India, or consider neighboring countries such as Sri Lanka or Nepal for a similar experience.


Bali, known as the “island of the gods” due to its numerous temples, is a highly spiritual place and a top destination for yoga teacher training. Bali offers an easier, cleaner and safer experience for solo female travelers.

The Hindu island, specifically the town of Ubud, is a hub for healing and wellness retreats, featuring beautiful temples, rice terraces, and a sacred monkey forest, as well as a variety of yoga studios, affordable spas, a thriving vegan food scene and yogi community.

Bali offers the biggest selection of YTT’s in the world. If you want to practice with views of the lush jungles and rice terraces choose a retreat centre in Ubud, or, for beach front retreats, check out courses in Canggu, Ulu Watu and on the island of Nusa Lembongan. For more read my guide to yoga teacher training in Bali.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is an ideal destination for yoga training, as it offers a variety of luxurious eco-friendly jungle retreats and programs lead by world class instructors. 

The country is known for its natural beauty, biodiversity, unique wildlife and commitment to sustainability. Being immersed in the unspoilt rainforests, national parks and beaches while you practice yoga allows for a deep connection to nature.

When participating in a yoga teacher training in Costa Rica, you will also be immersed in the “Pura Vida” philosophy, which emphasizes contentment and simplicity, similar to the concept of santosha in yoga.

Some of the top yoga centers in Costa Rica can be found in the Nicoya Peninsula and Guanacaste Province.  The beach towns of Tamarindo and other nearby areas offer a vibrant yoga and surf scene to explore when not on the mat. Check out my recommendations for the best yoga teacher training courses in Costa Rica.


Thailand is a popular destination for yoga teacher training due to its beautiful beaches, islands, temples, and warm, tropical weather and affordable prices.

The country’s Buddhist culture and friendly people provide a serene and Zen-like atmosphere, making it an ideal location for immersing yourself in your yoga practice.

There are yoga centers located in the jungles and mountains of northern Thailand near the town of Chiang Mai, as well as on tropical islands such as Phuket, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.

Among these, the island of Koh Phangan is particularly renowned for its yoga teacher training programs. Despite being known for its Full Moon party, the island has a spiritual side as well, with many yoga retreats and tantra workshops available in Sri Thanu, making it one of the world’s top yoga hotspots.

If this sounds like the perfect place for you check out my recommendations of the best yoga teacher training courses in Thailand and if you want to travel around after here’s my Thailand 2 week itinerary.


For lovers of history and old world charm, or those in the UK looking for a yoga training in the sunshine that’s just a quick budget flight away, there is a wide range of options for yoga teacher training in Europe.

While you can find courses all over Europe, the best countries with the most options are Spain, Portugal and Greece. All these countries offer stunning locations, great weather and the chance to be immersed in the vibrant cultures, history and relaxed way of life of southern Europe.

Spain has the widest range of courses available, from urban trainings in the trendy city of Barcelona to island retreats. The Balearic Islands, including the island of Ibiza and Mallorca, are particularly renowned for their luxurious yoga centers. The Canary Islands, located closer to Africa than mainland Spain, offer year-round warm weather, making them an ideal location for a sunny and warm winter teacher training. See this article for my recommendations for the best yoga teacher training courses in Spain.

Portugal offers the chance to combine a yoga training with learning how to surf and exploring some of the most charming and unique historic cities in Europe. Check out the best options for yoga training in Portugal.

For those who want to combine exploring ancient ruins and relaxing on beautiful beaches, the stunning islands of Greece also have some great options. Read this article for the scoop on the best yoga teacher training programs in Greece. 


Mexico is an increasingly popular destination for yoga teacher training, with an array of options available on the country’s beautiful beaches and islands. Beach destinations like Tulum and Sayulita and Baja California are popular but you can find centres all over the country.

In addition to learning yoga, students can also take advantage of traditional healing therapies like temazcal and cacao, as well as explore Mexico’s rich cultural heritage, from ancient ruins to colorful colonial towns and lively festivals, and enjoy the delicious local cuisine.

Check out this article for more on yoga teacher training in Mexico and if you want to travel around afterwards here’s the Mexico City and Oaxaca itinerary I made for my trip.

Whichever destination you choose check the climate. Most tropical destinations have a hot season and monsoon or rainy season which aren’t ideal for practicing yoga outdoors.

Also be aware that Rishikesh can get pretty chilly in winter and most buildings do not have heating. Take this into consideration when booking your trip and pack accordingly for the weather.

How to Choose the Right Yoga Teacher Training Course

Choosing the right course can be a daunting task, but by following a few key steps, you can ensure that you find the course that is right for you. Here’s some things to consider when choosing a YTT.

Yoga Style

The first step when considering a YTT is to think about which yoga style you want to teach. Some programs focus on traditional hatha yoga while ashtanga and vinyasa yoga are also very popular. These courses also offer relaxing restorative or yin yoga classes to wind down in the evening.

If you’re not sure yet and want to keep your options open go for a multi style course which will allow you to try multiple different styles and sometimes includes ariel yoga, acro yoga and yoga nidra.

Yoga Alliance Approved

When looking for courses ensure the program is with a registered yoga school that is approved by Yoga Alliance. This means that the school’s curriculum meets all of the basic requirements and that upon completion, you will be eligible to register as a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance.

It’s also important to check what the course covers. All 200 hour YTT programs should cover yoga philosophy and history, alignment and anatomy, meditation and pranayama (yogic breathing techniques and exercises), teaching methodology, and include plenty of teaching practice.

Check What’s Included

Most yoga teacher training retreats will include accommodation and meals in the course price. So before you sign up you’ll want to check the quality of the accommodation provided. Some of the cheaper YTT’s offer shared accommodation in dormitories and you may have to pay an extra supplement for your own private room.

Also check that the school can cater for any dietary requirements you might have. Many yoga schools only serve vegetarian food, and many will not serve alcohol.

Some programs will also include text books, airport transfers and extra activities like massages, spa treatments and local excursions on your days off. It’s a good idea to check exactly what’s included so that you can budget for anything that isn’t.

Check Reviews

You should also research the reputation of the school, the qualifications of the yoga teachers, and what kind of accommodation and food is included.

A good way to know what to expect is by checking real reviews from previous students on an unbiased site like bookyogateachertraining.com. This will give you a sense of the standards and facilities of the yoga center and teaching quality and help you make an informed decision.

Final Thoughts on Yoga Teacher Training Abroad

There’s a lot to think about and prepare for when you do your YTT overseas. With so many options you need to take the time to carefully consider your intentions and preferences so that you can choose the right destination and the best course for you.

While most YTT courses are amazing and often life changing experiences there still are some fake gurus out there, Always do your research, read the reviews and get personal recommendations if you can to make sure your course is a memorable experience for all the right reasons!

I hope this blog has helped you choose where to do your yoga teacher training abroad. If you need recommendations on the best yoga teacher training courses check out my other articles on these top yoga destinations:

  • India
  • Bali
  • Costa Rica
  • Mexico
  • Thailand
  • Europe
  • Spain
  • Greece
  • Portugal