Frequently Asked Questions
Helpful information to plan your trip to India and to learn more about Vinyasa Yoga School
How much does tuition cost and what does it include?
Here are our tuition rates for each program:
200 hour: $1900 USD
300 hour: $2300 USD
500 hour: $3500 USD
The tuition covers the following: over the span of 30 days, our students participate in intense and immersive days of classes starting at 6:30AM and ending at 8:00PM, familiarizing themselves with the fundamental aspects of yoga. On Sundays, we take all of our students and faculty out for some fun in the sun to explore local culture (temples, ashrams, etc) and outdoor adventures (rafting, hiking, etc). Every student gets a private room and bath, and 3 vegetarian meals per day for the duration of the course.
What subjects do you cover in your curriculum?
To give you a brief overview of the core subject areas we cover in our classes:
1) Mantras – We learn the significance of several important mantras, how to recite them, and how to employ them in our classes and daily practice.
2) Hatha Yoga – We practice and understand the major Hatha asana sequences.
3) Pranayama – We learn various breathing techniques and how they affect our ‘prana’, or vital energy.
4) Philosophy – We study the underlying theory of yoga, and we analyze two of yoga’s foundational texts: Bhagavad Geeta and Yog Sutras.
5) Anatomy + Physiology – We study 5 of the major physiological systems and their relationship to yoga
6) Yoga Therapy – We learn how to use pranayama, asanas, shatkarmas, and meditation to treat a wide array of psychosomatic problems. We also touch on some aspects of Ayurvedic medicine, although it isn’t a major focus of our course.
7) Vinyasa Yoga – We practice and understand the major Vinyasa asanas and series.
8) Meditation – We practice various meditation techniques and how to properly guide and practice meditating
9) Shatkarmas – We learn and practice various introductory cleansing techniques
How experienced in yoga do I need to be?
The only prerequisite for our students is that they have an open mind and an appetite for learning and growth. Our teachers are wonderful at balancing varying skill levels – we have had students with no experience taking the course alongside students with more than a decade of experience.
Do I need to study anything beforehand?
In general, it isn’t absolutely required to prepare and study beforehand. However, if you’d like to learn more prior to our course, you can read up on these books:
Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha
We will study the most important sections of the Bhagavad Geeta and Yog Sutra, and the Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha book is a well-known overview of proper yoga practice and anatomy/alignment.
What do you do for your Sunday excursions?
Every Sunday, we give our bodies and minds a well-needed rest, and we bring our students and teachers on a trip to explore Rishikesh and India. In the past, we’ve gone to local safaris, hiked through waterfalls, white-water rafting through the Ganga river, visited mountain-side temples and ashrams, and more.
Note that the cost of these excursions are provided to you by us as an additional bonus for attending our school 🙂 Also, of course, if you feel like relaxing and doing your own thing, you are more than welcome to as well.
What exams do I need to pass in order to graduate?
In order to pass you will need to teach your own Vinyasa and Hatha class. In addition each subject will have either a written or oral examination.
Health & Safety
Is India safe?
India sometimes has a bad reputation for being rough to its travelers. However, to calm your concerns, it’s very safe! Goa and Rishikesh are holy cities, and less crowded on average than other cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Varanasi, etc. Many of our students venture out on their own during evenings to explore shops and the many concerts and festivals that take place every week. The people here are very welcoming and friendly, and you could easily strike up conversation with locals and storekeepers.
In our opinion, Goa and Rishikesh are great places to transition into Indian culture, because you still get the tradition, friendliness, and vibrancy of India, but less of the poverty, crowdedness, and other potentially overwhelming features that other cities might offer.
Is India safe for women?
There are many western women that travel alone to Goa and Rishikesh (and many that decide to live here indefinitely), and it is arguable that there are more female tourists than male tourists. In Palolem Beach and Laxman Jhula (where our schools is located), there is an equal balance between the amount of tourists and locals, and a significant amount of foot traffic throughout all hours of the day/evening.
As we mentioned previously, Goa and Rishikesh are holy cities, and crime is incredibly rare here. As long as you adhere to India’s modest dress code (clothing that covers the knees and shoulders), you will blend right in with the rest of the female tourists. The only crime you should be worried about is from monkeys – it is much more likely to have your food stolen by 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. We should also note that our school and accommodation is located entirely under the same roof, so unless you feel like exploring, it isn’t necessary to venture outside after our yoga classes finish at night.
Is the water safe to drink in India?
To be safe, you should never drink water that comes straight out of a faucet, nor should you brush your teeth with it. Showering is fine (as long as you don’t gulp mouthfulls of the water 🙂 ). You should check if restaurants/cafes use filtered water for their ice and drinks.
For meals served at our school, we provide filtered and purified water. Our students usually buy bottles of water at nearby stores.
If you’d like to potentially save money (and the earth!), you can also buy a CamelBak UV purifier.
Some of our previous students carried this around with them during their travels, and it was a really impressive and helpful solution to drinking clean water. It is $99 USD, but it might be a worthwhile and convenient investment for you to have.
Is the area prone to mosquitoes?
We do have some mosquitos but it is less of a problem in the colder months (and you will generally be wearing more layers as well). You should be fine with regularly applied bug repellant.
Which vaccines should I get?
We should note that we aren’t officially medical professionals (in the western sense of the word 🙂 ), so you should exercise your own judgment and research as well before deciding whether or not to get vaccines.
This article has also great coverage on medication/vaccines for India. Not all are required, but you should check with your doctor as well.
Should I get malaria medicine?
You shouldn’t have to worry about malaria in Rishikesh or Goa, and/or taking any sort of anti-malaria medicine, as they aren’t in a high-risk zone for malaria. Click to see a map of malaria rates across India
Malaria medicine can sometimes be the source of vivid nightmares, and taking it for an extended period of time (i.e. 30 days) is generally not recommended. Some travelers have the medicine on hand, just in case, but you likely won’t need to take it in Goa/Rishikesh. However, take our advice with a grain of salt, as we are not medical professionals, in the western sense of the word.
Should I get a vaccine for Japanese Encephalitis?
No, it is generally found in rural areas and in rice paddies (none of which are in Rishikesh or Goa). Unless you plan on staying in a rural area for a long period of time afterwards, you probably shouldn’t have to worry about Japanese Encephalitis. General mosquito repellant should be okay (as it is transmitted via mosquitoes.)
Should I get a vaccine for Typhoid?
India in general has a higher risk for Typhoid, so you should consider getting this vaccine.
Should I get a vaccine for Hepatitis A?
Another recommended vaccine by the CDC. You should get this due to lower sanitation standards across India.
CDC information on India
Should I bring any medicine?
Many people bring basic first-aid (bandaids, antibacterial cream, etc). You should definitely bring any prescription medicine that you’ll need to take during your course. We also recommend bringing diarrhea medicine in case you eat food in restaurants or accidentally drink unfiltered/tap water. All of our food and vegetables are washed and cooked with purified water, so you won’t have to worry about getting sick during your daily meals.
Is your course certified by Yoga Alliance?
We are a certified Yoga School by Yoga Alliance, and also certified by the government of India. Yoga Alliance is internationally recognized as a certifying organization for both schools and teachers, so your teacher training certificate will also be recognized internationally.
You can check out a list of all the represented countries here:
Will I be qualified to teach in the UK or Australia?
Yes! The Yoga Alliance USA is recognized all over the world. Note however that registering as a member with Yoga Alliance USA does not register you as a member of Yoga Alliance UK/AU.
How do I register as a teacher once I've graduated?
For the Yoga Alliance accreditation, you can go here and follow their instructions:
Which airport should I fly into to get to Rishikesh?
In general, we recommend flying into the airport in New Delhi, as it is the closest international airport to Rishikesh.
You can also fly into Dehradun, a domestic airport that is much closer to Rishikesh (although it is generally much more expensive to fly there.) It’s worth checking the price to see if it would be cheaper than flying into Delhi.
Which airport should I fly into to get to Goa?
Goa International Airport, which is about 60km from our school.
How do I get to Rishikesh?
In terms of getting to Rishikesh from New Delhi, the two cities are roughly 250km apart, so there are several transportation options.
1) There is a public train system that runs between Delhi and Haridwar (a neighboring city of Rishikesh). After Haridwar, you can take a bus or taxi into Rishikesh.
If you decide to take the train system, we recommend getting the AC 2 Tier. This is a wonderfully informative article on the Indian train system – our students have had some luck with these instructions.
2) We can provide a private taxi from the Delhi airport to Rishikesh for roughly $73 USD (4500 Rupees). There’s a maximum of two students that can share a taxi (our taxis are a bit smaller), and you would split the total cost with the other student. The drivers’ rates are generally stable, but they occasionally cost more depending on festivals and seasons.
If you’d like to reserve one, please let us know what your flight airline, number, and time of arrival is 🙂
3) You can also fly into Dehradun after landing in Delhi, and then take a taxi into Rishikesh (1300 Rupees).
How do I get to Goa?
1) We arrange for many of our students to be picked up directly from the airport and driven straight to their comfy room at Vinyasa Yoga School.
The drive is about 1-2 hours depending on traffic, and it’s about 2900 Rupees (or roughly $45 USD). A lot of our students also choose to split the cost of their ride with another student (and bond before the course starts as well.)
2) Buses are a great way to meet locals and strike up great conversations. There is a public bus system that runs between the airport and Palolem Beach. Once you arrive at Cancona, you’ll walk about 2km (or 1.3 miles) away from the bus stop.
The bus routes can be found here on Google.
When should I book my arrival flight?
If our course is the first activity that you are doing in India, you should book your flights so that you arrive one or two days before the scheduled start date, which would give you some flexibility in travel time to arrive here. When all of our students arrive we have a short orientation session one day before the course begins, and classes begin on the morning of the scheduled start date.
When should I book my departure flight?
If you aren’t planning on exploring more of India, you should book your flight so that you leave one day after the scheduled end date of the course. We have a graduation ceremony in the afternoon of the last day, and while you are free to leave right after, you’ll most likely want to celebrate with your classmates and teachers afterwards 🙂
Do you provide transportation to/from the airport?
Yes, we can provide a private taxi from the Delhi airport to Rishikesh for roughly $73 USD (4500 Rupees). There’s a maximum of two students that can share a taxi (our taxis are a bit smaller), and you would split the total cost with the other student.
Our private taxi from the Goa International Airport to Palolem Beach is roughly $45 USD (2900 Rupees).
If you’d like to reserve one, please let us know what your flight airline, number, and time of arrival is 🙂
The drivers’ rates are generally stable, but they occasionally cost more depending on festivals and seasons.
What if I need to switch my course dates?
Once students have officially applied, are accepted into our program, and have placed their reservation deposit, we are generally fine with them switching which month they take the course for. As long as we have the availability for a particular course, several students have asked to switch their dates in the past.
Accommodation & Food
Do I get a private room and shower?
Yes, every student gets a private room and bath
Can I stay if I arrive a few nights early?
Definitely! Unfortunately, we can’t afford to cover the cost of accommodation for students outside of our actual course dates, so our nightly rate is about 13 USD. As long as we have the space (with housing our other guests and students from other courses), we can provide a room for you before you begin your course. If we don’t have space, we can help you find another room as well 🙂
Are the meals unlimited or portioned?
We serve 3 vegetarian meals per day (and a cup of chai during our tea breaks) for the duration of the course.
Our meals are unlimited. Generally, you’ll get a plate of food with all of the various vegetarian Indian dishes appropriate for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (according to a yogic diet.) We always make a surplus of food for our students, which is usually placed on the dinner tables for our students to grab from if they want more of a particular dish. You can also always feel free to talk to our kitchen staff if you’d like your meals prepared a certain way or if you’d like extra food.
What if I'm vegan, lactose-intolerant, or have allergies?
Dairy products are common in the culture of India’s food – so while our meals are vegetarian, I believe the use of dairy would disqualify them from being strictly vegan. However, many of our students have special requests and/or allergies, so we can definitely prepare your meals specifically for a vegan diet and exclude side dishes that contain dairy 🙂
Actually, it’s almost impossible to find meat (and alcohol) in Rishikesh. Rishikesh is a holy city, and that aspect definitely manifests itself into our diet here. Our school also serves only vegetarian food for our 3 daily meals as well, and it wouldn’t be too difficult for us to prepare strictly vegan meals either.
In general, please remind us once you arrive how you would like your meals prepared if you have any specific dietary needs 🙂
How fast is your internet?
Our internet speeds are usually about 50-200Kb/s, which is generally enough bandwidth for video streaming and calls back home, although the internet/power providers can sometimes be unreliable. Sometimes our regions won’t have internet for a few hours or days, so we just want you to be aware if you have any time-critical deadlines/tasks up against a lack of internet. This doesn’t happen often, but it’s better to be on the safe side.
India will occasionally implement nation-wide rolling power blackouts to distribute their energy load throughout the country. If it is absolutely critical to have a constant connection, you might consider purchasing a data plan when in India (and tethering with your phone) or purchasing an international 4G data plan.
Can I share a room with a friend or significant other?
Yes, you can 🙂 Some yoga schools and ashrams require that men and women use separate quarters, but we are fine with you sharing a room. Contact us to find out more about our discount for sharing a room as well 🙂
Do you have laundry facilities?
Yes! We do have laundry facilities which you can use for free 🙂
What to Bring
What should I pack?
In general, you can buy most things that you might need here for cheaper than in western countries. But to start you off with a list:
1) Enough clothes for a week (or two). Check the weather to determine what type of climate to prepare clothing for.
2) Any regular pair of shoes for walking around, shoes/sandals if you want to do any sort of water-related activities on our Sunday outings with the rest of the school and staff.
3) Standard toiletries, shower sandals, a towel
4) Electronics (laptop, tablets, cameras) are fine – our hotel has a security camera system and a front desk, so your items are safe. Unless you want to unplug from electronics, we have free WiFi as well so you can stay up to date on social media and keep in touch with loved ones back home via Skype.
5) A backpack (meant for backpacking and hiking). While it’s not absolutely necessary if you want to save money, the ground in India isn’t always paved, so it’s not as friendly to luggage bags with wheels.
6) Sunscreen, bug repellent
7) A headlamp or flashlight
8) Any necessary medicine. Many people bring basic first-aid (bandaids, antibacterial cream, etc). We also recommend bringing diarrhea medicine in case you eat food in restaurants or accidentally drink unfiltered/tap water. All of our food and vegetables are washed and cooked with purified water, so you won’t have to worry about getting sick during your daily meals.
9) Feminine hygiene products, if necessary.
Is there a dress code?
In India, the general dress code is that men and women wear clothing that covers their knees and shoulders. We don’t really enforce any specific dress code outside of the cultural standard, as long as you can perform all the asanas in unrestrictive clothing.
How much money should I bring?
We would actually recommend obtaining an ATM card that doesn’t charge / reimburses international fees. This is very convenient for travelers, and often the transaction limits for ATM machines are about $100-150 USD, so if they need to pull out money across multiple transactions, they are charged with a fee every single time.
That being said, you should probably bring about $200-400 in USD or your own local currency just in case.
Do I need to bring a yoga mat?
Every time you practice your asanas you generate energy that goes into the mat, for this reason we recommend that you bring your own mat.
If space is an issue, there are plenty of shops where you can buy a mat once you arrive. These mats are a great, reasonably priced option, however the quality might not be to the standard that you prefer.
If for whatever reason you choose not to bring your own, we have plenty of mats for you to borrow.
Tuition & Payment
How do I reserve a spot?
When is the remaining tuition payment due?
The full payment is due at your course orientation.
What options do I have to pay the remaining tuition?
You can pay in cash, and we ask for cash payments in our own currency, INR or USD
You can pay via credit card at our facilities
You can pay via PayPal online