In 2018, I completed my 200-hour Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training in Bali. Today, I want to tell you a little about how it all started and how I choose the “right” yoga teacher training for me.
How my decision for a Yoga Teacher Training in Bali came together
It all started when I decided to take a 3-month trip to Bali. I don’t remember exactly why I chose Bali. The desire to travel was just there one day, I think it was in November 2017. So, I started making plans to quit my job and to move out of my apartment.
Seems pretty radical for “just” a three-month trip, right? Well, I think I already felt then that I actually wanted much more than a three-month trip, but back then I didn’t dare to admit that to others and especially to myself.
Because it was too big a step. (More about this in my journey after the yoga teacher training in Bali here.) So, I started to do a lot of research about Bali and the things I could do there. A yoga teacher training didn’t come to mind at first. But three months was quite a lot of time for just hanging out in Bali, wasn’t it?
Why a Yoga Teacher Training in Bali?
At some point, after hours and days of research, the subject of yoga came to my mind. Again, I don’t really know how or why, it was just there one day. I was already practicing yoga at that point, but not that regularly. Back then, I used to mostly practice yoga at home with my Hatha Yoga DVD or some YouTube videos. Sometimes. Sometimes I didn’t practice at all.
During my research, I suddenly somehow noticed that there were a LOT of yoga teacher trainings in Bali. So, I took a closer look into it. As I started reading all about it and looking closely at every single yoga teacher training (yes, every single one! And there are a LOT of them), I realized that I wanted to do THIS! I wanted to do a yoga teacher training in Bali!
Why not? After all, I had three months time, more than enough to include a yoga teacher training in Bali. That would still give me about two months to travel around. Now it was decided! The only thing left to do was to find the right training for me. Which was not that easy…
Why do a yoga teacher training at all?
By the way, I didn’t do the training with the intention to work as a yoga teacher afterwards. I just wanted to do it for myself, to deepen my yoga practice and to learn more about yoga. Because you don’t get that amount of knowledge and insights about yoga in a “normal” yoga class, a YouTube video or even a yoga workshop. Not even a fraction of it. And I’m not just talking about knowledge in general.
Sure, you can learn certain yoga foundations and basics in workshops. Or through YouTube. But I’m also talking about deeper insights, also about yourself. About your personal yoga. For your body. And for your life. Yoga is not just about asanas (yoga poses). Living in a yoga community for almost a month, learning yoga, breathing yoga and being yoga is not comparable to anything else. For that alone, I think it’s already worth the investment.
Why not do a yoga teacher training in India or your home country?
I did not want to do a yoga teacher training in my “home“ country. Firstly, because 95% of the yoga teacher trainings there are not intensive trainings, meaning they are not being conducted within a short period of time such as a month like a 200-hour training usually is, but rather spread over one to four years. Additionally, these trainings are set up in a way that you get to go there mostly on the weekends only and continue with your “normal” life during the week. This was not for me.
Of course, I understand that this is a good alternative for people who have to work or people who do not want to quit their job just like that. However, my course in Bali lasted a little longer than three weeks. Therefore, I think that even with a job, you could manage to take this time off and go for this option.
Immerse yourself into the Bali Yoga Bubble
Secondly, I find that such a “compact” training has the unbeatable advantage that you are totally immersed in this beautiful yoga bubble. From morning till night, you live and breathe yoga. And, there is almost nothing else during these weeks but yoga. By that I don’t just mean the physical aspects of yoga – yoga asanas, but also related topics like philosophy, anatomy, and meditation.
I believe that this is also where the transformation is strongest. By that I mean that this training is transforming. It’s incredible how much changes in these few weeks. Not only physically, but mentally as well. You’ll not be the same person at the end of your yoga teacher training!
What is the most important thing to look for in a yoga training in Bali?
Of course, India is the destination for yoga teacher trainings par excellence. But since I had never been backpacking alone before, this country was out of the question for me at that time. Too unsafe. Now, with some solo backpacking experience however, I would love to go to India 💚.
When I chose my yoga teacher training, the most important thing for me was to find an authentic training. Authentic like in India, only not in India. Does that make sense? That’s why the Yoga Teacher Training in Bali with East+West Yoga was exactly the right thing for me!
How do I find the “right” yoga teacher training for me?
Finally, after what felt like a thousand websites and offers I had looked at, I found a training that somehow totally resonated with me. But the timing of my trip to Bali and the time in which the yoga teacher training took place for this particular training did not match at all. Alright, so I kept searching, because I was not to change my travel dates because of this, after all.
At the end of my research, which took what felt like weeks (and I mean weeks), I found it. This site. This training. I knew it immediately. I read through the website carefully, multiple times, and soaked up all the content and watched the YouTube clips about the teachers and the founder of the program. YES, THIS WAS IT!
Meeting the founder of East+West Yoga
At some point, I went to the page that said “book now,” but I did not complete the booking process. I hesitated. “Hmmm, should I really go for it? Are you sure about this? I’d rather wait and see first“. That was typical for me, at least back then. I was often unsure about such “big decisions”. “Was this the right thing to do?“.
However, I had already entered my name, email address and phone number into the “application form”. That is why the next day, Adam, the founder of East+West Yoga in Bali, emailed me and asked if it would be okay if we jumped on a short video call. I thought “sure, why not?”. I was curious.
A few days later, Adam and I had a WhatsApp video call one morning and he told me a lot about himself, his life and why he had set up this special Yoga Teacher Training in Bali with these fantastic teachers. I was able to ask him all kinds of questions and also talked about my doubts openly.
I liked him and his story immediately, and this conversation solidified my desire to make this decision for myself, for a change in my life. This is why right after the call, I knew that I would do my yoga teacher training in Bali with East+West. How exciting 😁 !
Preparation is everything!
I then began to prepare myself as best I could for the Yoga Teacher Training. Therefore, I read as many relevant yoga books as possible and I started practicing yoga more than ever before. A lot more. I even watched YouTube tutorials (how to do downward dog right? And sun salutations?) and even went to some yoga workshops in Hamburg. Something I hadn’t done before. Now I could hardly wait to learn everything about yoga and proper alignment.
I finally arrived in Bali at the end of April 2018. Finally! I arrived a few days before the start of training, because I was in desperate need for a few days off after all the stressful work (bye-bye, start-up life) and the stress of moving out of my apartment. Hence, I felt like I wanted some time to just relax on the beach and recharge, before the training would start.
I highly recommend doing this to anyone, if you have enough time. In my class, there were many people who could not afford to travel around for months and who had to go back to their home country and work right after their training. I can understand this, of course. But I would advise to plan a few days of rest into your trip, especially after the yoga teacher training. Because you will have a lot to process and digest (also in a positive sense!).
Arriving in Bali: off to the beach! And then: explore Ubud!
During my first days in Bali and before the start of our yoga teacher training, I relaxed by the beach of Sanur, went to a yoga class at “Power of Now Oasis” and ate delicious vegan food at the Genius Café right on the beach. It was simply wonderful! The day before the course started, I arrived in Ubud and met with a girl who was in my Yoga Teacher Training group.
You see, we had a Facebook group so we all could get in touch with each other before the course started. Mary-Ann was a little younger than me, from the US and very nice. She had rented a beautiful Airbnb and invited me to stay with her (for free!).
Another girl from our course had joined us as well. I thought it was nice to meet some of my classmates even before the training! We had a fun day in Ubud and such a beautiful house to stay in. Of course, when in Ubud, you can’t miss a visit to the fabulous and world-famous Yoga Barn, especially for a soon-to-be-yogini!
The next day, after a delicious breakfast at a local nearby café, we were picked up by a driver and headed to the retreat center, where our yoga teacher training would take place. Yay, finally! I.CAN.NOT.WAIT.
The Yoga Teacher Training in Bali begins!
The beautiful place, where our almost one-month long yoga teacher training would take place, was about 20-30 minutes away from Ubud center. As we drove up there, we passed by the incredible nature of Bali. Palm trees, rice terraces, and the pure, lush green jungle of Bali, everywhere I looked. Simply beautiful. Indescribable.
Our rooms at the retreat center were large and comfortable, with beautiful outdoor bathrooms (you get used to the bugs!), plus it had two pools on the grounds. The resort itself was huge and spacious and also surrounded by rice fields and palm trees, it was magical!
On a Sunday at 4:00 p.m. our Opening Ceremony began. We all sat in a big circle in the Yoga Shala. Flowers were spread out in the center and our teachers introduced themselves. Next, we proceeded to do the same.
While the first ones in the circle kept their introductions quite short, as time went on, more and more of my classmates began to open up and talked about the big events in their lives that had led them to this very point and to be here in Bali. They were completely honest and open. Listening to their stories almost made me cry at times. Because I could identify with so many of them, their stories and challenges.
Then the next day, we started our Yoga Teacher Training. It was three amazing weeks with the most incredible humans, the best vegan food, the world’s best yoga and meditation teachers and of course, lots of yoga and learning!
My yoga teachers Deep (l) and Gurumukh (r)
Do I recommend the yoga teacher training in Bali? Absolutely! My tip: Take enough time to check out the many options and different trainings that are being offered in Bali. Pay special attention to the quality of the teachers. Where did they do their training(s)? How much experience do they have in teaching and training?
Nowadays, yoga teacher trainings are being offered by almost every yoga school in every country around the world. There are millions of yoga teacher trainings around the world! (And recently, since 2020, a lot of it has moved to online, too). Why? Because it is currently the most profitable branch in the yoga universe. And everyone wants to get in on the action. It is a million-dollar business, after all!
That’s why I would advise you to choose your training carefully. Contact the yoga schools or yoga studios beforehand, and ask them all kinds of questions that are burning under your fingernails. Read through all of the Facebook and Google reviews. I personally find the stories and resumes of the teachers most important. As well as the philosophy of the school (you can usually find it on their website as well). After all, you are paying a lot of money for the course. You should expect something in return for it.
And listen to your gut
You will find the “right” yoga training for you. By the way, Yoga East+West now has a very helpful listing of the yoga teacher trainings offered in Bali on their homepage, including a list of the costs and included services, which sometimes differ greatly between teacher trainings. This way, you might save yourself the days of research and can have a comprehensive overview of the essential Yoga Teacher Trainings that are being offered in Bali.
If you have any questions about my Yoga Teacher Training in Bali, please feel free to contact me 🙂
Yoga Teacher Training Bali Update 2023
Please be aware that my beloved yoga teacher Deep is offering his own yoga teacher trainings in Bali now, which you can check out here at Yoga New Vision Bali. Also, my meditation teacher Gurumukh is currently not available for East+West’s Teacher Trainings. He started his on group, which you can read more about on Gurumukhs website.