I think we can all agree that the Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) industry is oversaturated.
In fact, I think we can all agree that calling it oversaturated would actually be an understatement.
It can certainly be daunting and downright overwhelming when it comes to picking a YTT- especially after you’ve heard the horror stories, right?
As most of you know (or at least those who follow me on social media), I’ve been in India for the last month completing a 300 hour training with Trimurti Yoga.
And, based on my posts- I think it’s pretty obvious that I’ve been really happy with my experience.
Since I’ve been here, I’ve had a TON of inquiries about the school itself.
Well, to be honest, even before I was here- I would get regular messages from both friends and strangers, alike, asking about YTT recommendations.
Your questions have been the inspiration for this post.
Plus, like I said before, I know how overwhelming the process can be when it comes to picking just one school.
Because, let’s be real, YTT is expensive.
So, why would you want to part with such a large chunk of change if you’re not going to get the experience you really want?
I get that.
Which is why I hope all this blog will alleviate even just a bit of that stress.
Before I get started, I think it’s important to note my background in the industry as far as the previous trainings I’ve done, the style I’m interested in, and my general teaching philosophy- so that you’ll understand why I’m reviewing my experience with Trimurti Yoga in such an enthusiastic way.
My Yoga Background and Past Trainings:
I was first introduced to yoga around the age of 12, as my mom was a yoga teacher at the time.
I went to her classes irregularly throughout my adolescence, but it never really resonated with my completely- it was more of a physical outlet and something fun to do with my mom over anything else.
I continued to practice pretty regularly once I left for university.
But, again, I had a purely physical focus in that it was something to keep me flexible and open despite running and playing other sports.
It wasn’t until I was 24 that yoga began to resonate on a deeper level than just the physicality of the practice.
I’m not going to go into my revelation of breath here, because that story deserves an entire separate post.
Needless to say, I signed up for my 200 hour YTT shortly after my 26th birthday.
I had just come back to the States after living abroad for two years in Kenya and Indonesia, and was having a really difficult time settling back into Western society.
My disconnection and discomfort grew to the point that I fell into a pretty deep depression.
So, I did what a lot of people do- and I signed up for YTT at my local studio (CorePower, Encinitas).
If you live in the States, then it’s more than likely you already know about CorePower.
However, if you don’t- then allow me to fill you in.
CorePower is a corporate yoga studio chain around the US.
The philopshy and sequences are Baptiste inspired Vinyasa, as well as Bikram inspired hot classes, and I think there are even a few Yin classes sprinkled in there nowadays, as well.
My training was the 200 hour Vinyasa intensive, which means I didn’t focus on any of the other styles they offered (they had separate trainings for each one).
If you’ve practiced with me, you’ll probably find this all quite surprising- as I don’t teach at ALL like someone who works in a corporate chain studio.
But here’s the thing, this training helped me realize exactly that.
Although there are many elements that I didn’t agree with throughout the course- I also give full credit to this place for helping me become a clear, articulate teacher by only using my words.
I also really value the fact that I did the training at home over the course of several months.
We would meet three times per week for lectures, teaching practicum, and test- but otherwise, our hours for asana practice were up to us to fulfill in our own time (it worked out to about 5-6 classes per week, which was pretty typical for me anyways).
I felt that I was able to really soak in the information in a more complete way, rather than it all being crammed into four weeks and 12 hour days.
I also felt that we had a TON of teaching experience throughout the training- even starting from the very beginning.
The real emphasis of CorePower 200 hr is to teach people how to teach by using their words, instead of using their bodies to demo the whole time.
There was also a huge emphasis on alignment and anatomy, so I left feeling really confident in this area, as well.
That being said, there WASN’T a huge emphasis in the roots of the practice.
Sure, we had philosophy lectures, we learned the 8 limbs, and a bit about chakras- but, let’s just say, it was definitely a Western approach to an Eastern practice.
I started teaching right away (not at this studio, because the teaching method didn’t resonate with me), and I found my authentic voice as a teacher simply through experience and exploration in my self-practice.
Again, I could (and I probably will) write an entire post about this concept of finding your voice as a teacher- as these nerves and apprehension of a new teacher are also something I commonly get asked about.
Moving on- three years after my 200 hour, I decided that I wanted to learn more about the origin of the practice- so, what better way to do so than to venture to India and learn from the source?
I had never been to India, so I had never practiced “real” “traditional” yoga before, but I did it anyways.
I did tons of research, picked a school, and started my 300 hour training at Om Shanti Om last April in Rishikesh (one of the country’s yoga capitals).
During my time there, I also had quite a few messages flooding in asking about my experience and whether or not I’d recommend here.
Here’s the thing- there’s a reason I’ve never written about the school publicly before.
I don’t want to sit here and bag on it, because I don’t think that’s fair.
What I’ll say is, I did get what I needed out of it in that it was a completely 180 difference from my 200 hour- which was a really interesting contrast to notice.
However, I will say that the biggest disappointment about this school (as well as many others in Rishikesh, especially) was that it was much more focused on making money, rather than the quality of the training.
For instance, there 300 hour course was combined with the 200 hour- only you just do an extra 100 hours at the end.
This means you’re reviewing a ton of information you already know, and you’re learning with students who have never taught and are completely new to a lot of these concepts.
Also, they allowed students who signed up for 100 hours to simply jump in and join at any point of the existing trainings.
This means that new people can just show up on random days, and they also get to pick and choose the classes they want to learn- which generally gives it a completely different dynamic to a typical training where you have a group of people learning and growing together over a certain period of time.
That being said, although I was learning a lot of familiar information- considering it was coming from such a different teaching perspective, it was definitely interesting to digest.
Also, it was a Hatha Yoga school, which is clearly a much different style than Baptiste inspired Vinyasa in an American yoga studio chain, right?
I mean, our Anatomy classes at Om Shanti Om didn’t mention one muscle or bone in the body like we did at CorePower- instead we talked about the internal lunar cycles of humans in relation to the external lunar cycle, and how that effects us energetically.
So, like I said- I felt that I got what I needed out of it.
That just doesn’t mean that I would recommend it to others, especially when 200 hour students were telling me that they felt they were leaving knowing just as much about teaching as they did before they came.
I felt so bad for them when they told me this that I used to give them private lessons (not physical lessons, but teaching methodology lessons) during our breaks, and in the evenings after class.
However, I’ve also met people who have trained there and loved it.
And, if you look it up, I’m sure you’ll see plenty of great reviews, as well.
So, I guess just take this information as nothing more than simply my opinion.
This pretty much brings us to the present.
I’ve been teaching for nearly four years, and I just finished my second 300 hour course in India- although this time in Dharamsala instead of Rishikesh.
I mention the locations, because (for me) this is also an important factor in where I choose to train.
Again, this is my opinion- but I found Rishikesh to be a bit of a circus.
I called it Yogi Disneyland.
There is LITERALLY a studio or school on every corner, and it’s PACKED with yogis from around the world.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely a special energy to place like this.
However, I just found it a little hectic at times, and definitely not as peaceful as I’d imagined the Himalayas to be.
The plus side is that it is incredibly beautiful.
It was great to swim in the Ganga every evening after class.
And there are tons of talented artisans, teachers, and beautiful shops.
Dharamsala, on the other hand, is much more rustic and serene.
There are areas in the main towns which can be loud and crowded, but if you’re staying around Dharamkot or Bagsu, it’s the perfect balance of a variety in cafes and shops, but still quiet enough to be enjoyable.
Don’t worry, I’ll dedicate a section to the location later on.
Lastly, I just want to note my teaching style and philosophy, as I believe this is important in understanding why Trimurti resonated to deeply with me.
People often ask, “What kind of yoga do you teach?”
A question to which I often answer, “I just teach yoga.”
I find it really difficult to label my classes (like how you might see on a studio schedule), because they don’t fit into one certain box.
First of all, you should know that my classes are usually two hours long- unless I’m teaching in a place that only allows 90 minutes.
I find it really difficult to offer a COMPLETE session in anything less than an hour and half (and even that timeframe is a struggle for me).
This is usually because I like to open with a 10-15 meditation, and close with a long savasana, as well.
Most people see my practice on social media and assume I’m Ashtangi or into Power Vinyasa, because I’m flexible and strong.
They couldn’t be more wrong.
I move, and teach SLOWLY on the mat.
I want people to take time to actually FEEL the postures, rather than rushing through them and missing those micro-moments of release (another reason why my classes are long).
There is undoubtedly a Vinyasa element to my sequences in that they flow from one section to another, and I have a huge emphasis in transitions.
However, I typically start with two long-holding yin postures (hence the extended mediation in the beginning).
And I tend to close with a long cool down as well (not really yin in this case, as I don’t want people to overstretch considering they’ve just done a complete practice).
When I’m teaching full time, I don’t usually theme my classes- because, for me, the exploration of yoga is a theme in and of itself.
I encourage introspection through slow, mindful movements- and closing the eyes throughout.
I’m also a huge advocate for intentions/mantras/affirmations, as I believe the breath binds the mind to this internal focal point.
My biggest aim is to simply create a safe space for my students to explore themselves.
I don’t feel a need to cram that experience into a box labeled one particular thing other than just YOGA.
Because, for me, this is my yoga- which is why I want to share it with others.
How is this relevant to my most recent training?
You’re about to find out.
Trimurti Yoga and Their Philosophy (through my eyes):
One of my good friends and fellow yoga teachers in Siargao recommended Trimurti to me last year when I told her that Michael (my boyfriend) wanted to do his 200 hour in India.
She did her 200 hour with them several years back, and wanted to go back for their 300 hour at some point.
I hopped on their website to check it out for myself, and I was super interested by their 200 hour option for multi-style.
This means that instead of focusing on just one lineage, they learn Hatha, Ashtanga and Vinyasa over the course of the month.
Then, I got super distracted when I started looking at their 300 hour course option with Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the Five Elements.
I’d done a 100 hour course with an Ayurveda doctor in Tamil Nadu last year, and had Ayurveda theory lectures in each of my prior trainings- but I still felt like I was only scratching the surface.
I loved the fact that the course offered a variety of styles (Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and Yin), but the overall focus was on the healing and philosophies of Ayurveda, TCM and the Five Elements above anything else.
Michael and I already knew we wanted to go to Dharamsala at some point, simply because we’d heard amazing things about the place- and we didn’t have a chance to make it up to the Himalayas during our India trip last year.
When I checked out the dates each course, I was immediately drawn to the May option because it fell over my 30th birthday, and I thought what better way to ring in a new decade than with my man in the mountains doing and learning about what I love?
We signed up five months in advance, which qualified us for the early bird discount (I don’t remember the exact pricing, but you can check out their website to find out exact numbers).
Although I don’t remember the total I paid given the conversion rate and all that, I do know that it was a super reasonable price- and I feel that I received the full value of my payment through the teachings and classes.
I’ll get into logistics of booking later as far as recommendation for the various packages, but for now, I’d like to focus on Trimurti’s focus, philosophy and approach to our classes.
Trimurti (in my opinion) serves as a bridge- connecting the Western approach to an ancient Eastern practice and philosophy.
Considering the diversity in my past training, and the fact that I value elements of both Western and Eastern practices of yoga- this was perfect for me.
Just to give you an example about what I mean as far as the physical practice goes- there was one morning where we had a very traditional Hatha sequence taught by Vamsi (an Indian teacher).
And then the same evening, Vamsi co-taught a partner/acro yoga class with another teacher (from Spain).
(I note where the teachers are from simply to show the diversity in the team as far as their backgrounds and styles.)
To give you an example beyond the mat- we’d learn about ancient practices of Ayurveda and TCM according to old texts, but then we’d learn how to apply this knowledge to modern day needs.
For instance, meridian points that are useful for standard physical ailments for those sitting at a desk all day.
Or yoga sequences that are useful for those suffering from anxiety and depression (two epidemics which seem to always be on the rise in our society).
I can’t tell you how much I truly appreciate this approach to teaching, in that it’s incredibly useful for me.
I love the idea of making ancient practices RELEVANT to our modern day students.
I love the idea of also serving as a bridge- connecting the East to the West in my own teaching.
The other important thing to know about Trimurti as far as teaching methodology goes is their view on anatomy and alignment- as I know this may or may not resonate with everyone the way that it resonated with me.
Trimurti believes in the functional approach to each posture, rather than strict traditional alignment being the ONLY way that the asana is “right.”
For instance, they drive home the point that everyone’s skeletal system is different- meaning certain shapes are simply inaccessible to certain people depending on compression in the bones.
This will either sound like common sense to you, or be totally foreign- and either way, it’s okay.
Here’s the thing, we definitely touched on this idea in my first training.
However, the focus there was still definitely always on the deepest expression of each pose- striving for something that might be physically impossible for some people.
My second training didn’t acknowledge this concept at all.
Some of you might have heard this about Indian schools in that there’s not a whole lot of mercy that comes with adjustments and alignment.
To give you a better idea of what I’m talking about, let’s just say that five- yes FIVE- people left my training with knee braces at Om Shanti Om.
Teachers would sit on you to push you further, or stand on your inner thighs to press them to the ground- as they were really focused on that traditional expression of each pose without really understand the physical restraints we’ve created with our Western lifestyles.
Trimurti could not have been more different in that their emphasis was the function of the pose.
What are you supposed to be feeling, and where?
If you have to take a certain modification or variation to get there- then that’s cool, do your thing.
Your body, your yoga.
I think we see this more often when it comes to beginners, understanding their need to use props and all that when they’re starting.
But what about hyper flexible people, or those who are double jointed/hyperextend their joints?
Where do we draw the line?
This is the beautiful thing (in my opinion) about Trimurti’s philosophy- they put that responsibility on the student.
After all, like I just said- your body, your yoga, right?
What I mean is- if you see a student pointing their toes instead of flexing their feet in seated forward fold, you wouldn’t tell them that’s WRONG, therefore it’s not even a yogic version of forward fold (according to Trimurti).
You would tell them the intention of the pose- are you opening the hamstrings, or releasing the low back, are you strengthening or stretching, or a little of both?
Tell them what you want them to FEEL, and let them figure out the best way to arrive in that sensation.
I’m telling you all of this because as yoga teachers, or aspiring yoga teachers- I know this might be controversial for you.
I think this is especially true for practitioners and/or teachers of certain lineages.
And here’s the thing- that’s completely fine.
I’m not here to change your mind, and I know that Trimurti isn’t here to change anyone’s views either.
This is simply THEIR approach, which is certainly an interesting and not-so-common way to lead a training.
If it completely rubs you the wrong way, this might be a good indication that the training isn’t the best fit for you.
However, you could also think of it as a challenge in the sense that it will certainly broaden your mind, and has the opportunity to solidify your beliefs one way or another.
Lastly, I’d like to note Trimurti’s belief in diversity.
I think this is already pretty clearly illustrated with the bridge metaphor, as well as their vast teaching team, and variety of styles.
But, I think it’s another important concept to drive home in considering to sign up with them depending on your preference for practicing.
Again, if you’re a dedicated Ashtangi- I would say this training might not be the best choice for you, given that all of the asana classes are quite different from one another.
This doesn’t just go for Ashtanga, but any style- if you’re really only about one certain practice, that’s great.
However, you might feel disappointed with this training then- because it’s so broad, and offers a little bit of each, rather than a lot of just one.
That being said, although I could also see how this training would be challenging to some because of this- I could also see how it might be super beneficial.
How do we know for sure what we like and don’t like until we actually try new things?
Maybe you’d leave knowing you don’t want to dive deeper into one of the styles offered- but maybe you’d leave with a new inspiration.
Trimurti Yoga Logistics with Booking:
If you’ve checked out their website already (linked throughout), you’ll see that there are a variety of packages and prices with each training.
I just wanted to let you know what Michael and I decided here, and our experience with our choices.
I chose the option that did NOT include food nor room, only the training fee.
Michael chose the complete package, which DOES include food and room.
First of all, we knew we were going to share a room- so there was no point for us both to book a room if we would only use one.
And, based on my training in Rishikesh- I knew that I’d be ordering off of the menu even if I had food included, so what was the point of paying double?
Also, we wanted to try to have some meals together- so I could always run down and have lunch or dinner with him and just pay out of pocket, no problem.
I’m super happy with my choice, because I like getting to choose what I eat.
There are tons of great cafes in this area, so it was nice to try new places and not feel like I had to eat the same thing every day for a month.
Don’t get me wrong, this choice is absolutely a luxury, and something that’s also relative to the location.
If you’re looking at a certain school, I’d highly recommend to do some research about the area it’s in before deciding on a package- because it’s possible that it won’t have a lot around to choose from anyways, and it’s better to just have it all within the school.
It’s important to note that sometimes it’s difficult to eat just anywhere in India, especially if you have a delicate stomach.
Even if there are street vendors close by, you should consider your chances of getting sick based on sanitation.
You wouldn’t want to miss days of your training, just because you wanted to save a few bucks on food.
It’s not worth it.
However, it’s also important to note that this same food issue can even happen at the cleanest and most consistent places.
It’s so common here, which is all the more reason to be a bit more conscious at least during your training, so you get through it feeling as good as possible.
Because Dharamsala is more touristy- there are a lot of great cafes that are catered to vegans and vegetarians which are relatively “safe,” so I had no problem.
Although when I asked Michael if he was happy with his package that included food- he said he was.
This is mostly because his school was a bit more isolated than mine.
Not hugely, but it’s about a 10 minute walk to Bagsu (a place with good cafes).
And, 200 hour students only have one hour breaks for meals- whereas we had one hour for breakfast, and two hours for lunch.
You might think that’s plenty of time to eat- but you need to remember, this is India.
If you got your food in less than 30 minutes, that would be a damn miracle.
If he had two hours for lunch, he might have reconsidered- but trying to rush a meal into one hour is actually pretty tough here, so having it all provided there at the school was convenient and less stressful.
Plus, he said the food was really good- and he was pretty happy with the portion size, as well.
As for the room- we were super happy with our room.
Keep in mind, you don’t spend a lot of time there given that you’re at school about 12 hours a day- but it’s still nice to have a decent place to lay your head at night.
I think our worked out to be about $12/night.
I know, I know- that doesn’t sound like a lot, and it’s not.
But, you should know that there are also places to stay here that are half the price (or less) that are the same quality.
So, if you’re a confident traveler and happy rocking up to a place and then searching for the cheapest room on foot- then you could absolutely do that here for a lot less than what you would pay in the included package price.
If you go that route, I’d recommend you arrive at least a few days early, though- because sometimes it’s tough to find a place that has availability in one room for a whole month given that this is high season in the mountains.
If you’re happy with it being taken care of for you, then I’d just go with the included rate.
Know that any additional cost to the training (food and room) are paid directly to the restaurant and the guesthouse- meaning Trimurti does not profit from this at all, and you would pay the same price to those same places should you book them independently.
I think it really just depends on your how comfortable you are traveling, and whether or not you’re already familiar with the area, or not.
Please keep in mind- this is my experience from Dharamsala only, so I cannot vouch for the quality of the rooms and food with any of the other trainings.
Day to Day in Trimurti Yoga YTT Training:
A few people asked me for an example of my day to day with the school, which I’m not going to go into too much detail about considering their sample schedule is on their website if you want to look it up.
But I will offer a little sample of both mine, and Michael’s typical day- as well as the overview of each of our courses.
I’ll start with myself:
Our mornings technically started at 6 am, but this first hour of the day was dedicated to our self practice.
This means that the shala would be open already if you wanted to go there as early as 6 am, but if you prefer to practice in your own room- you can do that do.
They made it clear that self-practice doesn’t have to be physical- it can be meditation, journaling, or it could even just mean sleeping in a little extra.
It’s basically an hour to help us maintain a sense of balance throughout the month so that we can operate as our best selves.
We all meet in the shala by 7 am for the morning asana practice, which is two hours.
Because we were studying the Five Elements in both Ayurveda and TCM- our morning practice would be relative to whichever element we were studying at the time.
Regardless- morning classes were often strong and energizing.
9 am, we had one hour for breakfast, which we usually just got across the street at Trek and Dine because it’s close, and relatively fast- which is important for only a one hour slot.
We met back in the shala at 10 am where we would have some sort of theory lecture for either an hour, or an hour and 20 mins (depending on the subject).
We’d have a short 10-15 minute break, and then another theory lecture for roughly an hour or so, until lunch.
Essentially, 10 am – 1 pm is carved out for theory, which was often divided into two different classes with a break in between.
I think there were a few times we had the same subject for the entire 3 hours, but we still always got a break about half way through.
1 pm – 3pm was lunch, where we were also expected to study and work on homework considering we had such a long break.
We met back at 3 pm – 5:30 pm for another theory class (or two), again with a break about half way through.
And then, 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm we had an evening practice, which was usually Yin.
If it wasn’t strict traditional Yin, then it was Yinish- and certainly mellow/restorative nonetheless.
Our classes were Monday through Saturday, and then Sunday was our day off to do whatever we wanted.
Michael’s schedule was almost the exact same, except they were required to be in the shala at 6:30 am for 30 minutes of mantra chanting before their asana practice at 7 am.
And, like I already mentioned, they had only one hour for lunch- so they had an extra hour of theory, and less time for self-study.
As far as the big picture timetable- Michael’s course covered Hatha during the first week, Ashtanga during the second week, and Vinyasa during the third week.
The fourth week was dedicated to the student teaching practicums where they were allowed to choose which style they wanted to teach for their certification.
During this final week they also covered an intro to Yin, Prenatal, and Yoga Nidra.
Our course was a bit different because we had a different focus.
If you’re familiar with the Five Elements in Ayurveda in and TCM, then you’ll know that they’re actually not exactly the same- making 7 Elements in total.
Our first week covered the intro to the course and Earth.
The first part of the second week covered Water, and the second half Fire.
The third week covered Air, Space, Wood and Metal- as they have a lot of overlapping qualities.
The fourth week was Yoga Therapy, where we taught our teaching practicum of a yoga therapy class designed for a super specific group of people (ie people with mental or physical disorders, or people from a certain location, or generally anyone with a specific need).
During our time, we had every kind of asana practice- Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Yin, Restorative, Acro/Partner.
We also covered a few meditation techniques like Yoga Nidra, candle and eye gazing, etc.
Our practices incorporated acupressure points from TCM, as well as physical postures from Ayurveda depending on the element we were focused on that day.
And then we also learned a bit of Thai Massage, dove into Dance Therapy, and a few other healing practices other than yoga.
Now that I’m done, I can say with confidence that the schedule and overall layout of the classes built one another in a really easy and complimentary way.
When I asked Michael about his feedback- he said that although he’s enjoyed the training, he also found it pretty overwhelming at times.
To be honest, this doesn’t surprise me- given that when you’re starting 200 hours, it’s pretty likely that all of this information is brand new to you.
This means you’ll probably have more to retain in a pretty short amount of time.
When you’re doing 300 hours, you already have this foundational knowledge, and probably even a basic understanding of other topics through your own self-study and teaching experience, as well.
Sure, it was still a lot of information in a short amount of time- but I personally found it totally manageable.
I’m really happy, and super grateful for my teaching and my training journey thus far- as it seems every experience has served its purpose at the appropriate time.
I wouldn’t change my choice in trainings, even the ones that didn’t fully resonate with me- because each of them still brought powerful aspects to my current teaching.
I’m glad that my first course was local to where I was living at the time, and I had several months to digest an overwhelming amount of information.
However, I know that not everyone has access to quality trainings in their hometown.
Also, I know a lot of people who say they’re happy they went away for a month intensive course rather than staying home, because they felt they wouldn’t have been as immersed in the training if they were still living their regular day-to-day life in between.
Plus, a lot of people use trainings as a reason to travel to a new place- and even get a holiday out of it before or afterwards (don’t expect the training itself to be a holiday- you literally have NO time to yourself).
I completely understand both sides of the coin, so I think it really just comes down to YOU.
What are you looking for?
What’s important for you?
What do you need?
And then also the logistical question of simply what’s available, and what’s your budget?
These are all things I highly recommend knowing before choosing anything.
Location (Dharamsala, India):
I’m going to keep this part brief, as this isn’t a travel blog, nor the focus of this piece.
However, as I mentioned before- location is also a part of the equation if you’re choosing any intensive training abroad.
Dharamsala is known to many as the home to the Dalai Lama- which creates a beautiful energy to the place, as a whole.
It takes about 12 hours by bus from Dehli, or just over an hour by flight (also from Dehli).
The bus is not a sleeper, but it does have big reclining seats, which are WAY more comfortable than you’d find on a long flight.
Plus, traveling by road is obviously much cheaper- but that really depends on your budget, I suppose.
We took the bus, so I can’t speak much regarding the flight.
But I do know that the airport is about an hour away from where the schools are- so that’s also something to consider with your timing.
The 200 hour and the 300 hour shalas are about a 15 minute walk from one another.
Keep in mind, we’re in the mountains- so although the distance isn’t far from one to another- it’s important to note that you’re either going up or downhill for entire walk back and forth.
Because Michael booked the complete package including a room, our guesthouse was at the bottom of the mountain closer to his school.
This meant I had to walk up the mountain every morning to get to class- which I was fine with.
This was also something that the owner told me beforehand, so that we could decide who would do the walking.
I was happy to have nice little warm up before class, but I know this could also really bother someone who isn’t as into walking.
The 300 hour shala is in upper Dharamkot, and the 200 hour shala is in Lower Dharamkot.
The closest major towns are Mecleod and Bagsu.
Mecleod is quite busy (a little hectic for my liking), although it’s nothing in comparison to the rest of the country.
It’s about a 15-20 minute walk from Upper Dharamkot, and you’re going downhill the entire way.
This means that it’s an uphill journey on the way back, which is pretty steep.
If you absolutely don’t want to deal with all of this breathlessness and booty building, then you can always take a tuk tuk or a taxi.
Bagsu is very nearby Lower Dharamkot (in fact, some people don’t even Lower Dharamkot as a place at all, and just group it together with Bagsu).
It takes about 7 – 10 mins to walk here from Lower, and about 15 – 20 mins to walk here from Upper.
I much prefer going into Bagsu when I need something from the shop, rather than going into Mecleod.
There are a quite a few cute shops in the here, and some great cafes as well.
Because my training was in Upper Dharamkot- I was able to explore quite a bit in this area as well.
There are also some really nice cafes here (I say here, because that’s where I’m writing right now!), but not the same quality selection in shops.
This entire region- from Mecleod to Bagsu- is known for a backpacker hub for yogis and other spiritual seekers.
There are quite a few yoga schools here, although not the overwhelming amount that you’ll find in Rishikesh.
It’s not the best place for those standard Indian good which you’ll find in other parts of the country (like jewelry and textiles), but it is a great place to get lost in the great outdoors.
There are tons of beautiful walks just outside your doorstep.
I haven’t had a chance to do the more touristy things just yet as I only finished school a few days ago, and Michael is finishing today.
We plan on doing an overnight camping mission on Triund mountain (overlooking the snowcapped Himalayas), and checking out some of the bigger temples.
We went to one of the waterfalls already, but still want to see the one in Bagsu.
Keep in mind, it is summer here now (late May), so the water isn’t exactly pumping- but the weather is perfect.
The mornings and evenings are cool, and the days are pleasantly warm.
We had weird weather when we first arrived, in that it was complete monsoon- and freezing (it was hailing!).
This is not typical for this time of year (thanks global warming), but if you come at this time, I’d definitely pack warmer clothes regardless.
Because it’s high season here (as the rest of the country is sweltering hot, so everyone flees up to the mountains), it can get super busy on the weekends, especially.
That being said, it’s best to do the hikes on weekdays (if you can) to avoid crowds.
Which leads me to the point that it would be great to arrive a few days early, and leave a few days later than the training if you want to have a chance to also experience the place beyond the four walls of the shala.
All in all, I love this area- as it offers a sense of peace, which most of the country can’t really claim.
I am feeling homesick for the ocean, but the mountains and 50 shades of green certainly offer a soothing sort of energy whenever I’m feeling low.
Being here as also made me feel pretty grateful for those after class swims in the Ganga during my training in Rishikesh- which is something I definitely took for granted at the time.
I know I’m a water baby, and am sensitive to my surroundings and weather- perhaps even more so than others.
So, as much as I’ve loved it here, I don’t see myself rushing to get back here anytime soon- mostly for the fact that I just really crave having some sort of body of water nearby if I’m going to be in one place for an extended period of time.
I know that if people are drawn to the Himalayas for their YTT, then they’re usually torn between Dharamsala and Rishikesh.
I’d definitely recommend trying to at least GO to each place, even if you only train in one.
They’re so different from one another, and each offer a vibrant energy that shouldn’t be missed.
Constructive Criticism about Trimurti Yoga:
Look, I don’t have a whole lot to say here- but also, let’s be real- nothing is perfect.
I know I’ve said this a million times already, but keep in mind these points are all my opinion- which means something that might seem like a downfall for me, might actually be a highlight for you.
I really don’t have a whole lot I’d change about my training.
There were, of course, a few teachers who I resonated with more than others- but I wouldn’t say that as a strength nor a weakness, as that’s just personal preference.
Overall, I was super impressed with the teaching team- and I definitely learned something from each of them.
I think the thing I appreciated most about the training was that a lot of our lectures were more like discussions.
We were a group of 21 people, most of whom are already experienced teachers (we had a few people who had only recently finished their 200 hour), which meant we all had something to offer.
I loved how the teachers opened up the space for us to talk openly about our opinions, approaches, and experiences based on our own studies and teaching.
That being said, I don’t think it’d be the most beneficial environment for someone who has not done a 200 hour training yet to learn in.
I say this because there was one girl there who hadn’t done her 200 hour yet, and she told us how lost and confused she felt.
I don’t blame her!
I couldn’t imagine being in her shoes.
I think that could simply be fixed by asking a student beforehand about their past training- as it does already state on the website that you must have already done a 200 hour course.
I suppose this puts the responsibility on the shoulder’s of the student, and I really don’t know if the girl was asked and lied, or what.
So, that’s just a small thing to note.
I also think that the theory lectures in the last week fell off a bit.
What I mean is, it felt like some classes were put in there to fill time slots, rather than functionality- and they didn’t feel as fulfilling as others where we were really learning new things.
It was kind of nice to have a bit of a break with these filler classes, as our brains were pretty damn tired.
I think it just started to bug me when we were then getting out late, and missing breaks- yet we were having filler classes, instead.
Those are really the only main points I’d change in mind- which, like I said- are not that major anyways.
I want to tell you a bit of Michael’s feedback, and then also my brief glimpse of his course from my eyes, as well.
First of all- he really liked the concept of multi-style, because he not only learned a lot, but he also honed in on exactly what his interests in teaching are.
Like I mentioned before, he did feel that it was a bit overwhelming at times- but I don’t think that’s a fault of the school, but rather the timing of the course (something that would likely happen with any 200 hour intensive).
He (and his classmates) had a big problem with the philosophy teacher.
The man is a gem of a human.
He's an older Indian male who is the epitome of a TRUE yogi- qualities that I think are relevant to that bridge metaphor in East meets West.
I completely understand how including someone like him in a course would be beneficial, in that students can see the more ancient (and dedicated) ways of the practice.
However, although he’s a great person- he’s really just not a great teacher.
He doesn’t let you write any notes during his classes, and he sort of just talks in circles for hours on end (I know because we also had two lectures with him).
We only had two hours total with him, which I already found difficult enough.
However, we had the foundational knowledge to understand his circular talking a bit- whereas in 200 hour, they were often completely lost as to what the hell he was even talking about (as I would be too if I were in their position).
When I asked Michael on Week 3 if he knew what the Yamas and Niyamas were, he said yes- although not because of the teacher, but because it was in the book.
I find that to be a real shame as a new teachers first exposure to philosophy.
And I know it put a pretty bad taste in their mouths about the subject.
Like I said, I can see how someone of his stature would be valuable to the students to an extend.
However, for him to be the sole teacher of philosophy seems to be a bit of waste- especially when there’s another Indian teacher on the team who can teach these same concepts in a much more relatable way.
As for my observations about Michael’s course- I only had a small glimpse, and that was during his teaching practicum.
I was already finished with my course, so I went to his class to support him.
First of all, I think it’s important for a new teacher to be required to teach a full-length 1 hour class as their final.
I think this would give themselves, and their teachers a better indication for their ability to structure and hold space for an entire class.
Because they had 31 students (which I also think is WAY TOO MANY people for a YTT), their final classes were 2 hour sessions, split between groups of 5 people- meaning they taught about 30 minutes each.
Actually, I shouldn’t say this is because they have 31 students- because this might be what the do regardless of the number of students.
I don’t agree with this method because it’s completely different to teach a 30 minute section of a class, versus putting together an entire sequence from beginning to end.
For instance, think about how different it would be if you only taught savasana for your final, versus teaching the peak posture.
I think to see a student’s true capability, and to be able to accurately critique/help them as they prepare to transition from student to teacher- you have to see if they can actually teach an ENTIRE class.
The other thing that I found extremely problematic was their feedback, which I stayed to listen to after the class.
They’re brand new teachers, of course they’re going to have a LOT of things to work on- so, please don’t think I’m ripping on them.
I’m always super proud of anyone who puts themselves out there, and offers a piece of their heart through teaching.
It takes major guts- so I do appreciate that.
However, I also think it’s imperative to point out areas that could use work, rather than only showering them in praise- because that’s not realistic.
Plus, this means they’ll walk away from the training thinking they don’t have ANYTHING to work on because they never got any constructive feedback- and that’s how they’ll continue to teach real students in real life.
I mean- c’mon- wouldn’t you rather hear these critiques from your peers and your teachers that you’ve been learning from for the last month, rather than getting a bad review from an angry student.
Or worse- getting sued, or accused of something horrible (because that’s the sad reality we live in nowadays).
I think it’s important to prepare teachers for the reality they’re stepping into- and that means pointing out the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I found this super surprising when I sat in on their feedback, because ours was completely different.
First of all, the owner of the school leads 300 hour- and only teaches one theory class for 200 hour.
So, I’m not sure if something has been lost in translation somewhere along the way there.
Because when she would give us feedback, she would even say how she was always the one looking for at LEAST one thing to improve- even when people’s classes seemed damn near perfect, and none of us could think of anything to change- she’d still find something.
Not in a nitpicky, nor malicious way- but in a way that wanted us to always strive for MORE.
And in a way that showed us we could always grow and improve.
I personally find this endless possibility for growth to be so much more inspiring, rather than the false safety of hand-holding.
But again, that’s just me.
I know not everyone appreciates direct communication the same way that I do, and they might need a bit more nurturing- which is fine.
I just don’t agree.
I don’t agree, because I believe it hinders the future teacher’s growth, and because it can also be problematic- or even dangerous- for their future students.
Lastly- there’s one thing that both Michael and I were a bit disappointed in with both of our trainings.
This is something that is more universal, than it is specific to this school- but I think it’s something worth pointing out either way.
We didn’t like the idea that if you pay for the course, then you’re just about guaranteed a certificate regardless of your performance.
We didn’t notice much of a divide in my group, as all of us were very eager to be there, and eager to earn.
There was one couple who separated themselves from the group, who was late to just about every single class, and who just blatantly missed entire sections- which was a bit disheartening considering the community and support with the rest of our group, but at the end of the day, it was their choice.
Michael’s group had a bit larger divide (probably because they had more people), with people who were on time and went to everything- versus people who (to put it plainly) slacked.
Like I said, it’s their choice- and the experience is what they make it.
However, it doesn’t seem right that those same people will receive qualification in the end when they did half the amount of work.
I want to clarify something here- I’m also grateful for this flexibility in that I missed several days when I was sick and hospitalized.
I assumed this meant I couldn’t get the certificate because of the hours I missed, which I was actually fine with considering I didn’t go for the piece of paper- I went for the experience.
When I voiced this to our head teacher, she told me that I could make it up with other homework- and we could work together to come up with something fair on both ends- which I definitely appreciated, because I felt supported.
So, who knows- maybe she had the same conversation with the couple in my group who also missed a lot (although by choice, not by illness- I may add).
I really have no way of knowing, and I’m not interested enough to pry about it.
I do know that Michael was much more bothered by this in his group, and I can see why it would be not only frustrating, but also scary to think that those people can teach classes to real people now.
But, as I mentioned- this happens with just about every school.
Overall Feedback for Trimurti Yoga:
As a whole, I can say with confidence that Trimurti seems to value quality over making money, and cranking out ill-equipped teachers.
I do honestly believe that each member of their team (the ones who I met anyways) enjoys their position, and puts their entire self into what they share- which I really appreciate.
I also appreciate the size of the team, in that none of them are burnt out, and offering half of themselves as a result.
In fact, the owner told us that most of them ask for MORE hours each day/week- which is not something you hear with most jobs.
Despite the large groups, I felt adequately supported with an appropriately sized teaching staff.
And Michael felt the same way.
None of this negates my constructive feedback, as I still stand by these critiques regardless of the many highlights.
However, I would absolutely recommend Trimurti for anyone doing their 200 hour or 300 hour training.
I can’t speak for the quality of their shorter courses, as I haven’t done any of them (yet)- but I can imagine they’d be equally satisfying.
As I’ve said countless times throughout this post, I think it’s important to recognize what YOU want in a training first and foremost before listening to my recommendation.
I wrote this using as much detail as possible so that you would know WHY I liked it.
Based on the WHY, you can decide if those qualities resonate with you or not.
I can say that overall, the good UNDOUBEDTLY outweighed the bad (to put it in the most black and white terms as possible) in my experience.
But the reality is that life isn’t black and white.
There are plenty of gray areas.
And, it’s usually within those gray areas where the WHY’s and the HOW’s and the ROOT of these seemingly simple answers really live.
At the end of the day, only YOU know what works best for YOU.
Maybe you’re still in the process of figuring that out, and maybe you’ll only figure that out once you experience something you really DON’T like.
The most I can say is to try to accept each of these experiences as teachers.
Even the tough ones have a chance to shed light on what we DO want in contrast to what we DON’T want.
The only way we’ll ever really learn is through our own personal experience, as other’s people’s second-hand opinions and recommendations can only get us so far, right?
The best advice I can give you right now is to simply take the leap.
If you’re drawn to YTT, and you feel that it’s the right time for you to dive in- then I can tell you with confidence that it IS.
Do your research, but try not to get lost in the endless stream of reviews, and blogs, and outside opinions in the process- because these overwhelming factors just might stand in your way of taking the leap at all.
Remember, regardless of your experience- it WILL be teacher if you let it.
So what are you waiting for?