Learning yoga is a journey. Questions arise. And Shanti Yoga is here to help.
What is Shanti Yoga’s vision?
Shanti Yoga wants to see true yoga spread across the world. Once everybody in the world is a yogi suffering will end and there will be no war.
Where are you located?
We alternate locations based on seasons so our students see the best India has to offer. From October through April we are in Om Beach, India. From May through September we are in Boston, USA.
What languages are used?
We teach all drop-in classes, trainings, retreats, videos, and e-courses in English. We can not offer trainings in other languages at this time.
If your English is limited come anyway. You will be surprised how effective our training programs can be, even if you have limited English knowledge. Because yoga is an immersive and energetic experience your other senses and intuition will kick in and help you get something out of the training. Do not let your lack of English language skill deter you from joining a program, but be sure to set your expectations accordingly. You will get a lot out of the training, but there will be moments where you may not fully understand what is being said.
Do I need a Visa to travel to India, and how do I get one?
Yes, you need a Visa to travel to India from most (if not all) foreign countries. Click here for a guide to applying for an Indian Visa from USA. There are links from that page to instructions if applying from the UK.
This information changes all the time. Please check online for the latest information about Indian visas. Contact the Indian embassy in your country for information on obtaining an Indian visa.
Can I join a training if I have no yoga experience?
This question is, on the one hand, impossible to answer without seeing you in-person and having a long, in-depth conversation. It truly depends on you. Your health, your willingness to learn, etc. On the other hand, the answer is simple. The short answer is yes, you can join any of our trainings because they are for all experience levels. We can tailor the program to you based on your current abilities and your future goals. All of our programs are appropriate whether you’re brand-new to yoga, a beginner just starting out, intermediate, or advanced. That’s the beauty of yoga: it adapts to you.
How can you have different experience levels in the same course?
Each student is an individual. They come to us with their own past experience, training, and abilities. What we provide out to our students will be the same. However, our students’ current situations shape what they are able to take in.
Our instructors are able to modulate difficulty so all students will gain from the experience.
How do I sign up for the program?
Visit our enroll page here. We typically reply within 48 business hours with next-steps. If it’s been over a week and you haven’t heard back please reach out again (it’s likely we are on a vacation/break, though sometimes email is dodgy).
What is a typical schedule?
Here’s a typical schedule:
7 – 7:30 AM: Shatkarmas (cleansing)
7:30 – 8 AM: Tea and fruit
8 – 11:15 AM: Asana (physical yoga), Teaching Methodology
11:15 AM – 12:30 PM: Brunch
12:30 – 1:30 PM: Karma yoga, break
1:30 – 2 PM: Mantra Chanting
2 – 3 PM: Class 1 (philosophy, anatomy, Ayurveda, etc.)
3 – 3:30 PM: Tea and fruit
3:30 – 4:30 PM: Class 2
4:30 – 5:30 PM: Self-study
5:30 – 7:15 PM: Pranayama, Chikitsa (healing, Nidra (deep relaxation)
7:15 – 8:30 PM: Dinner
8:30 – 9:30 PM: Kirtan/Satsang
10 PM: Suggested lights out
Are food and accommodation included?
For trainings, accommodation is included but not food. To keep costs as low as possible we offer training and accommodation only. Food is highly variable as some need more than others.
For retreats, you can purchase with food and accommodation included – either a single or room for 2. See packages page here for full details.
How much should I budget for food?
To keep costs low we do not offer food. Meal costs are variable – some people need to eat more, some less. We find it’s best to let our students buy their own meals so we can focus on running the best training. Meals are available at many restaurants close by. We recommend budgeting $10 USD/day for meals. If you eat light, you’ll find sticking to this budget easy. If you eat more you might spend more. We provide two complimentary fruit and tea breaks during the day.
Can I teach after completing the program?
Yes, you will have the tools necessary to start the process of teaching. Teaching is a process, which means you start but never finish being ready. It is your responsibility to continue learning upon graduation.
You can teach yoga after completing our 200-hour program or higher. Most corporate gyms and studios require a certificate of completion from a Yoga Alliance certified program at the 200-hour level. We provide this program. And we are in the process of receiving a Yoga Alliance certification as a school (will find out in March 2019), so you will be able to teach after completing our 200-hour level.
However, some yoga studios require special training. Be sure to check with the specific company where you wish to teach to ensure you choose the right program for your goals.
What are final exams like?
Our 200 hour programs and above emphasize final exams solely as a gauge so you know where you’re strong and where you have opportunity to grow.
You will be required to create your own condensed yoga class. Instructors and fellow trainees will provide feedback. There is no grade, and it is not pass/fail. The purpose is solely to provide you with feedback.
Finally, you will be given a written exam that encompasses all subject matters taught in your program. The questions are more general and will test you on understanding of high-level concepts, not nitty-gritty “gotcha” questions. Though the tests are graded they are not pass/fail. They are to be used so every student knows where they are strong and where they have additional opportunity for growth.
Though rare we may withhold a certificate if there is a valid reason.
What level of support am I expected to receive?
Our staff is trained to provide enough support to a group of teacher trainees. You will receive individual attention as often is necessary, though it cannot be prolonged.
We will not have enough staff to provide 1×1 support throughout the entire duration of the course. We teach in group environments. If you require individual support and attention please make that clear during the application process and we will determine if it’s possible to provide. This type of training will require a higher tuition and we will work with you to determine cost based on requirements.
What is Yoga Alliance?
Yoga Alliance was started to create a consistently-recognized standard for yoga teachers. Upon completion of your program you may need to register with Yoga Alliance in order to be hired by certain employers. However, there is no legal certification requirement to become a yoga teacher. Shanti Yoga school teacher training programs are being approved by the Yoga Alliance (will find out March 2019).
Is the Shanti Yoga certification accepted worldwide?
Yes. Because our certification will be through Yoga Alliance it is accepted worldwide.
However, specific gyms, studios, even countries may have their own requirements so if you have a specific job in mind you must reach out to them to determine which program is best for you.
What style of yoga do you teach?
We offer multi-style physical yoga training. This is the best way to be introduced to the most popular class styles. Yoga trainings are for getting a broad understanding of the many aspects of yoga. Rather than focus on one style we teach the most popular styles. Also, they complement each other well.
Hatha is great for beginners, practicing in the morning, and general health. Vinyasa Flow focuses on syncing movement with breath to bring added awareness, and is seen as “moving meditation”. These classes are generally more intense as your muscles are continuously engaged to facilitate the additional movement. Joint exercises add suppleness to body parts that are often-overlooked. Finally, yin and restorative sessions are saved for when our students need a break from intense physical practice to stretch muscles and expand fascia slowly and safely. With these styles you will learn how to create a self-practice routine where you choose a style based on how your body is feeling in that moment.
Once you understand the differences between the styles and when one style is more appropriate, you can teach group classes that are tailored for the unique blend of students in attendance. This will make you a more effective teacher and a better provider of the much-needed yoga discipline to the world.
Why don’t you teach ashtanga?
Ashtanga was created for a specific purpose: get rowdy, young, Indian boys to burn excess energy so they can calm down! Ashtanga is great for this, but can be a bit too hard on the body after teenage years. If available we may teach a version of ashtanga vinyasa. It will be modified for all levels and taught in a way to reduce chance of injury.
We will start every day with 45 minutes of calisthenics (i.e. bodyweight exercises). After that, we do yoga asana. When all is said and done it’s 3 hours of physical exercise in the mornings. But it’s done in a way that encourages a healthy increase in fitness level. This scratches the same “itch” as an ashtanga practice but tends to reduce chance of injury.
What if I don’t want to teach yoga?
Our programs place varying levels of emphasis on teaching. It truly depends on the mix of students. You do not have to plan on teaching yoga upon completion of the program. The vast majority of our students do not have intentions to teach. The programs are for deepening your personal yoga practice first.
The 200 hour program is the most popular program for those who wish to teach as there is an emphasis on providing you with the skills you’ll need to become an effective teacher. Even though you may think you don’t want to teach that may change by the end of the program. It often does.
Additionally, we encourage students to at least teach their friends and family, or offer free, low-cost, or donation-based group classes to their communities. Our goal is to spread yoga across the globe. We need your help. We owe it to humanity.
Can I teach with Shanti Yoga after graduating?
Yes, though this is rare. There must be need for your specific skill. We sometimes hire graduates upon completion of a training. However, these graduates usually have prior teaching experience and a unique gift – the “x” factor.
If you become obsessed with us, want to stick around after, but we don’t have an open spot, we understand. This happens all the time. Kidding aside, we truly encourage you to stay – as long as you are genuine and non-creepy. You can perform karma yoga in exchange for attending drop-in classes for free. This typically means cleaning the shala before/after class and performing administrative work for the school.
Will Shanti Yoga assist with my yoga career development as a yoga teacher?
Shanti Yoga encourages additional learning upon completion of a training program. Our aim is to provide you with the tools needed to start your yoga journey. The exact shape your journey takes depends on you.
Shanti Yoga staff will be here to give advice and provide referrals as needed. We have an extensive list of yoga contacts around the world. If it makes sense and is possible we are happy to connect students and help them however we can.
I have an injury/pregnancy/special condition. Can I attend the course?
Please have a medical professional approve your decision to attend a teacher training. Often students with special circumstances provide amazing opportunities for everybody involved to learn. As long as it’s medically approved, please attend.
What are the graduation requirements?
Graduation from our program is at the discretion of Shanti Yoga school staff. Do not worry. It would be an extremely rare occurrence to withhold graduation and certificate from a trainee.
We ask our students to be respectful to themselves, other students, locals, and staff. Further, we encourage full participation in all classes. Finally, we expect students to take all assignments seriously. For example, if we ask you to prepare and lead a group class we expect you to take on the challenge. It’s about attitude. If you show us you are serious about wanting to learn and abide by the rules and expectations of the program you will graduate.
What if I get sick/injured?
Sickness and injuries are rare but unfortunately not unheard of. We work with local communities to understand the full range of medical facilities nearby. Rest assured you will always be in good hands should the worst happen.
If your sickness or injury is not life-threatening we ask you to attend as much of the program as you can. Please listen to the body and go easy during physical classes. If you have a contagious illness we expect you to rest away from the shala so as not to spread it.
What is the class attendance policy? What happens if I miss classes? Is there a makeup policy?
Yoga Alliance requires full attendance in order to complete the requirements. We encourage our students to attend as many classes as they can. If you are physically injured and cannot participate in asana classes we ask you to attend and take notes. Make-up hours are available and discussed on a case-by-case basis. Please note that if you must leave the program midway through we cannot offer a refund and you may need to pay additional fees in order to attend make-up classes. We will do our best to work with you to keep your additional costs as low as possible. We have been there. We understand bad things happen and it’s not ideal to spend money twice. That’s why we work with you on an individual basis to design a makeup program that is as low-cost for you yet fair for our staff that will have to spend additional time to ensure you graduate with a certificate.
Is there homework?
Sort of. In every Yoga Alliance certified program there is a certain amount of time students must dedicate to self-study. This averages to about 4 hours per week, though this varies week-to-week. We suggest our students use this time for the following activities: learning sanskrit names of yoga asanas, practicing mantras, and creating, rehearsing, and refining their group class.
What is the cancellation and refund policy?
Because we keep class sizes small your reservation in the program might mean someone else cannot attend. To hold your spot we require a 12% deposit. We allow you to cancel prior to the training start date and will refund the deposit. Full payment is due prior to your departure for the training. Refunds are not available once the course has started.
Your deposit can be transferred to another training for up to 1 year of the original booking date. The amount paid also may be transferred to a friend or family member.
We accept money transfers (i.e. wire transfers), local currency, or USD cash. Click here for more details on how to pay.
How do I pay? How do I transfer my deposit, and later my remaining balance?
We suggest TransferWise. Please send USD for your deposit. Instructions:
We also accept any balance due prior to the start of training in cash, as local currency (Indian rupees – INR). We do not accept Euros or other currencies – just USD (if electronic transfer) and Indian rupees (if cash).
Do you offer discounts?
We do not offer discounts. Most schools use this as a marketing tool. We feel this would cheapen our offerings for everybody. We stand by the value of our program. We pay our instructors well so they are the best in the business. We keep costs low and prices low. We do not want some students to receive a discount and for others to miss out.
However, we do offer a full scholarship to one student per training. If you have the desire to join our program but cannot afford it please visit our scholarship application here and apply. Note this is based on financial need.
Additionally, one training per year is donation-based. This means the students only pay a nominal fee used to cover the school’s direct out-of-pocket expenses for that training. Students are responsible for their own food and accommodations. We encourage and provide incentives for students to donate beyond the initial deposit, but it is by no means expected.
What do you do with profits?
We are a for-profit company. However, we believe in sharing profit with our instructors and the larger community. This is the only way to live in harmony. We pay our staff well and invest in local products, services, and charities. The small amount of profit that’s left over for the company is used to make programs better. Any extra is used for simple living: eating healthy, nourishing food, traveling to the various school locations, scouting additional locations, and for seeing friends and family. We believe in simple yogic living, not extravagance or luxury.
Do you have a payment plan?
Yes. If you are not able to pay for a training by the start date we can work with you to come up with a payment schedule. Once you are paid in full, or able to pay in full by the start date of the training, you can start.
What are the differences between packages?
Our teacher training page explains the differences between each offering. Costs are different based on hours (100, 200, etc.). All trainings include private lodging but not food. You will get a private room, not shared.
Our retreats offer options with food included, different room options, etc.
Do you offer airport pickup?
We do offer airport pickup for $65 USD one-way, but it’s cheaper if you book a taxi from the airport when you arrive. We provide detailed instructions for getting to our location. Check out our locations page.
Can I use the shala for my personal yoga practice? Or, may I attend a drop-in class for free before/after the program?
If the shala is not being used you may use it for your practice. If there is a drop-in class or any other program we ask you not to use the shala for your personal practice as it may be distracting to you and others.
You may attend one drop-in class before or after the program for free assuming there are at least 2 paying drop-ins in attendance. If you wish to attend drop-in classes for free for more than 1 week we ask you to offer karma service to the studio and teach 1 class per day or offer to clean the shala before and after classes.
I took a training at another school. Can I take a training with you?
Yes. Our 100 and 200 hour trainings are broad enough that you will learn something new.
If you want something more in-depth and custom our 300 and 500 hour programs are ideal. We work with you to determine what you already know, what you need to know to fill in any gaps, and what we can teach to get you where you want to be.
Is there a minimum age requirement?
If you are under 18 we require written consent from your parent or legal guardian with permission to attend. Please submit at least 30 days prior to training start date and we will require a video call with your guardian (we have to SEE that they are legitimate).
What is the typical age of trainees?
This varies from training-to-training, and even by location. There is no hard fast rule, and we can’t predict the future. Typically our students are in their mid/late 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and even 60’s+.
Do you help organize accommodations?
If you choose a retreat package that includes accommodations leave everything to us. If you choose a training your package includes a private room. If you have any special requests or requirements please do not hesitate to ask.
All accommodations are always located very close to the school – within a 10-minute walk.
Do you help organize excursions?
Yes, we help organize excursions to local attractions depending on availability, season, number of students who wish to attend, etc. This question is best asked in-person once the training starts. Typically any costs associated with excursions is extra and not included in the course fee.
Are books and materials included in the price of the training?
To keep costs low we do not provide notebooks, pens, yoga course books, or other materials. We may suggest yoga books and even provide free electronic copies, if available. However, we cannot provide all suggested books for free. The books we may suggest are not required reading and you are not expected to purchase, just encouraged.
How many students are enrolled in each training?
We accept a minimum of 2 students and a maximum of 35. Trainings can get unruly beyond 35 students so we cap trainings there. We want to get to know all of you!
What will we eat and drink?
To keep costs low we do not provide meals. Also, we’ve learned some people need more food than others so this is the best option for our students.
There are many places to eat at Om Beach. We encourage our students to eat sattvic meals. This means they are vegetarian, pure, fresh, healthy, and nutritious. In keeping with the tradition of a sattvic diet we recommend you limit salt, spices, sugar, onions, garlic, and eggs/meat.
Because you will be performing lots of physical yoga we recommend you intake adequate protein with each meal and a balanced macro and micro nutrient blend. Meaning, make sure you’re eating adequate fats and carbs, as well. There are plenty of vegetarian protein options. There are vegan options, as well.
We do provide non-caffeinated herbal tea and fruit during two breaks per day (except Sundays – your day off). Caffeinated drinks are not recommended during trainings. This means we will not provide coffee or caffeinated teas and we ask you to refrain from purchasing these outside the school. You will have access to cool, safe drinking water.
We do not allow food to be eaten in the shala unless it is provided by the school. However, if you have an allergy or intolerance outside food is allowed. We will do our best to accommodate allergies and intolerances. You must indicate these during the registration process.
What are washing facilities like?
If you’re in our Om Beach location, welcome to India. Be comfortable with squat-toilets and carrying your own toilet paper when using public bathrooms.
Showers are typically cold water only, not enclosed separately from the toilet, and may even be from a bucket. What!? Welcome to India. Find the humor in the unique experience.
Your laundry is often done by you, by hand, and from a bucket. Machine washers and dryers are rare. Laundry services are available near our schools. They charge either by the kilo or item.
Do I need to get vaccinated before traveling to India?
Typically, no. However, these things change all the time. We suggest you research online for the latest recommendation.
I take certain medications and supplements. Will I be able to get them in India?
Maybe. Probably. However, you should travel to India with all required medications and supplements.
What should I bring?
Most guest houses at Om Beach do not provide a towel so we recommend bringing a small travel towel.
You can bring valuables at your own risk. We are not responsible for any loss or damages.
Can I come with my partner or children?
Yes, though you will have to arrange special accommodations and cost will adjust accordingly. Also, you will have to set their expectation about how much free time you’ll have depending on the program or course. If you are in a teacher training you likely will not have much free time.
When will I have free time?
Yoga trainings are major commitments. As such, and in order to provide the most effective training in condensed time, we have a full daily schedule. Most days our students have a few hours during the day free for meals and self-study. Additionally, we do not keep our students past 9:30 PM and our programs start no earlier than 7 AM. This does not leave enough time for part-time work or other studies. It is enough to keep in touch with friends and family. Finally, Sundays are always free for students and staff.
What is Karma yoga?
Karma means action reaction. Karma yoga is performing a duty (the action) because it needs to be done and not expecting a reward (the reaction).
When you’re in a training we expect students to perform karma yoga by sweeping and organizing the shala, keeping shared spaces tidy, and laundering your clothing. The most notable and humble yoga gurus were all students once and performed karma yoga.
Are there internet facilities?
Yes, most guest houses offer wifi.
A word of caution: Indian internet is good, but not great. It is certainly not as fast as in the West. Although you may connect to internet the speeds may be too slow for your typical habits.
If you require internet and do not want to rely on public wifi we suggest getting an Indian SIM card upon arrival at the airport. Mobile internet plans are very affordable. As of this writing Airtel and Vodafone are OK options, though these things change all the time. We therefore suggest you research the best option for you on the internet prior to arrival. Don’t leave the airport SIM vendor before your internet works to your satisfaction.
Does the power go out?
Yes, often. Brown-outs are very common in India. If you are worried bring a battery charger for your mobile phone.
Should I convert money from my currency to Indian rupees prior to arrival?
Not necessary. The best exchange rates are calculated directly from ATMs when you withdraw within India. State Bank of India (SBI) ATMs often have the best rates and low or no ATM fees, and works with most cards.
Who are the teachers?
Tristan Cox is the lead instructor. He has been practicing yoga for a decade. He was certified in 2016 and has been teaching since. He’s been teaching teachers as part of trainings since 2017.
Shanti Yoga only hires experienced yoga teachers who have gone through an interview process that ensures they are not only subject matters in their field but also personable. We want our students to like their teachers, not simply tolerate them. Further, Shanti Yoga pays its instructors above-average for their work to attract and keep the best talent possible.
Is yoga religious?
No. Yoga is a secular, non-dogmatic discipline. However, many students end up connecting with a spiritual side they didn’t know existed. We do not require or expect to convert students to a particular spirituality or religion.
I’m not flexible. Can I do yoga?
Absolutely yes 100%. Yoga is for everybody regardless of current level. It’s about meeting your body where it is today. In fact, it’s probably better that inflexible people develop a yoga practice as soon as possible. Join us.
What is the need-based scholarship?
Shanti Yoga accepts one student per training completely free. The student applies for the program and explains why they should attend free. If accepted, he or she receives the training, food, and accommodation completely free of charge. The student is responsible for air travel to and from the training.
What are donation-based trainings?
Shanti Yoga offers donation-based training. There is a small registration fee that covers the out-of-pocket costs for holding the training. The fee includes private accommodation (1 person per room). Students are responsible for their own food.
Is it completely donation-based?
Once the small registration fee is paid the training is provided. We do not expect additional payment, although students are encouraged to donate at the end of the program. Students who choose to donate are rewarded with additional future perks.
What are the perks of donating?
Students who attend our donation-based trainings are encouraged to donate at the conclusion of the program. Depending on how much is donated our students may enjoy these future perks –
What is the repeat program?
If you donate more than $500 after attending a training you are eligible for the repeat program. The repeat program allows you to attend the same level training again and again – forever – for free. Just pay food and accommodation each time. For example, if you attend a 100-hour donation-based training and donate more than $500 at the end of the program you are eligible to attend any 100-hour training in the future. Our repeat program is eligible only for those who attend our donation-based training and at the conclusion decide to donate at least $500.
Which classes can I attend?
We offer 2 drop-in group yoga classes per day – 8-9:30 AM and 4-5:30 PM. You can attend both of these classes. If we have a teacher training during your retreat they will be in attendance as well. Additionally, you are allowed to attend any of the training classes in the shala for the trainees. These may include the following types: meditation, pranayama, philosophy, mantra, anatomy, etc.
Is attendance required?
If you booked a yoga retreat and not a yoga teacher training, then no – attendance is not required. This is your vacation. You are not required to attend any classes.
If you booked a teacher training then yes, attendance is required. See more here.
Do you offer specific retreat packages?
Yes. Our retreat packages vary by duration and type, such as surfing, detox, and meditation. We can also work with you to custom-design a retreat package based on your requirements. Check out our retreats page for details.
Do you offer online classes?
Yes. We have 30+ streaming videos on YouTube. Shanti Yoga’s lead trainer, Tristan Cox, created these videos when he was volunteering at a resort in El Salvador. They are available via our sister website Shift Rearrange.
We do not offer live online classes at this time, though that may change. We are always looking for ways to innovate the Shanti Yoga program and provide value to our students.
What is the cost of an e-Course?
The cost of our e-Courses vary depending on the specific program. Check out our e-Courses page for more details.