Himalayan Yoga Academy is a team of 9 highly-regarded yoga teachers of Rishikesh (India) who joined forces to create the ultimate yoga training program that meets the highest standards of teaching yoga.

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Your Yoga Teachers

Ashish Sharma, the top structural alignment yoga teacher in India
Ashish Sharma is young and yet very experienced teacher of hatha yoga. He was born, grew up and received his training in Rishikesh located in the foothills of the eternal Himalayas. Ashish’s... Continue reading
Оксана Глаголь, преподаватель методологии йоги в Гималайской Академии Йоги (Инди
A Yoga Methodology teacher, Oksana leads Methodology and Practice of Teaching Yoga along with Level I & II Applied Yoga Anatomy at Himalayan Yoga Academy. Her lectures on Methodology of Yoga are... Continue reading
Йоги Вишну, преподаватель Гималайской Академии Йоги в Ришикеше (Индия)
Yogi Vishnu Panigrahi is an extremely experienced teacher of meditation, follower of Swami Rama, an influential guru of the XX century. Studied meditation at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama Ashram under... Continue reading
Yogacharya Sanjeev Pandey Ji, top pranayama teacher in Rishikesh, India
Yogacharya Sanjeev Pandey Ji is the most popular Pranayama teacher in Rishikesh, India. His inspirational classes won't leave anyone indifferent to the art of pranayama. Pandey Ji is artistical, yet... Continue reading
Dr. Usha Vaishnava, Ayurveda teacher at Himalayan Yoga Academy (Rishikehs, India
Usha Vaishnava has been working in ayurvedic environment since she was 12 years old. After long years of assisting a doctor Usha enters the Ayurvedic University with 150 year old history, well-known... Continue reading
Emily Hewitt, kundalini yoga / yin yoga / acro yoga expertat HImalayan Yoga Acad
Emily Hewitt teaches Kundalini yoga and Yin yoga at Himalayan Yoga Academy. Emily is a long-timer in Rishikesh, one of the first expats who settled in the world's capital of yoga, for whom Rishikesh... Continue reading
Swami Prem Adeh is a known Zen teacher in India with a strong energy and charm. Once an Christian hermit and ascetic. Prem Adeh about thirty years ago, received initiation from Swami Maha Vishnu and... Continue reading

Active course programs

Reviews by graduates

As part of my long way home from Korea to Wisconsin, I decided I’d like to make a stop in India. I wasn’t sure for what exactly—maybe stay at an ashram where I could find a guru and learn about the meaning of life or learn how to meditate for hours on end and eventually get in touch with my own inner guru. I began looking up possible ashrams when an exciting though occurred to me—why not take a yoga instructor course? It had been something I’d thought about for years, but it was always financially out of reach. Not so in India… since I planned to be there anyway, the airfare was already covered. Furthermore, the cost of a 4 or 5-week yoga teacher program is a fraction of the price compared to what I'd find in the U.S. What's more, unlike the programs in the U.S., yoga teacher training programs in India include room and board! Ultimately, taking a yoga teacher training course seemed like the best option to not only fill my time in India, but also delve deeper into my spiritual side and deepen my yoga practice. Alas, my online search for an ashram shifted to a search for the perfect yoga school.

Immediately I knew the location of this yoga academy had to be Rishikesh. This city was thought to be the birthplace of yoga and currently considered the yoga capital of the world. Rishikesh is situated along the sacred Ganga River and at the foothills of the Himalayan mountains. It is a place brimming with forehead-painted swamis dressed in orange and a myriad of ashrams for yoga and meditation.

The next criteria on my list were A) a small class size and B) a school that offered only a few classes per year. I hoped to get to know all the individuals in my program. For this reason, I sought a class size of 25 people or less. Also, I didn’t want a yoga teacher training (YTT) program that spewed out yoga teachers like some kind of factory production. There are plenty of these types in Rishikesh—they offer a new YTT course beginning every month. I felt that the drawback of this model is twofold: (1) teachers become tired and lose steam from the repetition (trust me, as a teacher myself, I know this to be all too true) and (2) the factory model is great for making money, but when that’s your goal, how much are you willing to invest in your students?

Since I knew what I was looking for, my search was easily narrowed down to one YTT in particular: Himalayan Yoga Academy (HYA). This program is 5 weeks, unlike the more common 4-week model (in my opinion, 4 weeks seemed like a very crammed schedule). Additionally, at the time, the YTT program was offered only 1-2 times per year. The course had breadth which appealed to me—an introductory, broad scope would allow me to delve deeper into anything of particular interest following the course. Lastly, unlike other YTTs with a “guru system” where one guru, or teacher, teaches all classes in the program, HYA used the academy model—like an academy, the school provides a teacher who specializes in what he or she is teaching for each class. Basically, I was sold.

Upon my arrival, I was amazed to find the website may have in fact undersold the YTT program! I was in awe of my surroundings—the turquoise Ganga, the soft, fine, white, sparkling sand of the beach in front of my home, the pure, fresh air from the mountains, the footpath along the river connecting me to a nearby area filled with vegetarian restaurants, shopping, and live music. I was taken aback by the incredible individuals from all over the world in the yoga program, by the teachers who were so genuine, kind, and open, and by the staff—cooking for us, preparing our halls, putting on concerts of traditional Indian instruments and kirtan (devotional chanting)… it all seemed too good to be true. I had been traveling for 3 months prior to settling into Rishikesh, so it was wonderful to finally have a place to call home, roommates to befriend, and 3 wholesome meals to eat each day.

We quickly fell into the HYA routine—waking up before the sun to rinse our nostrils and sinuses with the neti pot, learning the breathing practices of pranayama, purifying our body through shatkarma techniques, and hitting the mat for an asana class—all before our first chapatti of the day! Following breakfast, the rest of the day was filled with any combination of yoga philosophy, methodology of teaching yoga, teaching yoga practice, anatomy, meditation, ayuerveda, zen classes, and more asana classes—occasionally mixing it up with kundalini, acro, and yin yoga. On Sundays we had the day off--either a day of rest or a day of adventure with HYA (white water rafting on the Ganga, hiking a waterfall, exploring spiritual caves, teambuilding activities at Mystic Beach, etc.) There were other highlights during the 5 weeks—like the neem-green mud bath, prakshalana cleanse (look it up, haha), watching the sunrise over Rishikesh, and movie nights.

Over the five weeks, my classmates and I formed astoundingly strong bonds and we began to feel like a large, multicultural family. Because the course was demanding physically, mentally, and even emotionally, it was crucial to have the support from classmates. That familial atmosphere kept everyone afloat through the end of the course—you could count on others to offer you help or encouragement when in need. It was an incredible feeling to be a part of this family and to all learn so much during such a brief timespan.

As an individual who practiced westernized yoga for many years, I was amazed to realize how very little I knew about yoga! The seven limbs aside, asana (what westerners think of as yoga) was reintroduced to us in a way we all learned a great deal. Thanks to our structural yoga instructor, Ashish, my classmates and I were tested daily on our preconceived notions of poses and postures, which were fortunately replaced by proper technique. Ashish’s class had me wondering what I’d been doing all these previous years in yoga classes... clearly not proper asana!

On the teaching side of things, HYA offered us a methodology of teaching class and also teaching yoga practice. In the methodology of teaching class, we learned about elements to be aware of when sequencing a class and which factors to consider when creating an asana class. The class had beneficial aspects to it, though much of the time it was difficult to follow or too much information given too fast to process. Our instructor was certainly knowledgeable but sometimes the information wasn’t conveyed in the clearest fashion. Fortunately, we were able to hone our individual teaching methods over a series of practice classes where we taught asana classes to our fellow classmates. These practices were always followed up by feedback from our instructors and classmates. This practice was incredibly useful and helped prepare us for our final exam where we taught our classmates a 10-minute segment of an individually-made, full class plan.

Although five weeks of structural alignment, other asana classes, and teaching practice were certainly beneficial to me, they in no way situated me to be an amazing yoga instructor. Yes, I passed the exam and now hold a 200-hour Yoga Alliance certificate (woohoo!), but to be the best teacher I can be, I realize I must further my self-practice. I view HYA as the gateway to a long yoga journey. I've only just passed through the threshold and taken my first glimpse at the true essence of yoga. Now I will take it upon myself to continue my practice and strive to be the best yoga practitioner and teacher I can possibly be.

Our last few days at HYA consisted of passing our final exams, breathing a collective sigh of relief, and celebrating with our yoga family. Saying “until next time”—never goodbye—some of us parted ways after the five weeks and a few of us traveled together to see the Taj Mahal, visit Varanasi, and chill beachside in Goa. It was an incredible adventure—one I’m so glad I embarked on. We’re already planning our return to India for the 300-hour course so we can become Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) 500 Yoga Alliance certified! :)

So, until next time,

Namaste.

Traditional yoga teacher training courses in Rishikesh, India

Why learn yoga in Rishikesh with us? There are many reasons to learn yoga specifically in Rishikesh, India. And, there are solid reasons to do it with our school.

1
Rishikesh is the world's capital of yoga.
It is a common fact that Rishikesh (India) holds the title of the world's yoga capital. And it is rightfully so.
2
According to old scriptures, Rishikesh is the place to attain higher states of mind through yoga.
3
We preserve the tradition of Yoga.
One of our principles has always been to keep the tradition of Yoga uninterrupted. In our teaching, we strongly abide by the classical vision of yoga clearly described by the great work on yoga, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and old scriptures of hatha yoga – Gheranda Samhita, Shiv Samhita and Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Our deep commitment towards the great works of the past does not contradict with the modern approach to yoga. On the contrary, we highly honor modern authors, researchers, scholars, masters who move the understanding of traditional hatha yoga even further through their extensive studies, and encourage our students to be creative in their practice of yoga as long as the correct understanding of its genuine goals is preserved.
4
Most our yoga teachers hold Master's in Yoga.
We are proud to be the only yoga school in Rishikesh, India to have so many highly-educated yoga teachers. Teachers in our school are holders of Master's degree in Yoga and Applied Ayurveda, or have been living and studying in ashrams or with the best yoga, meditation and ayurveda teachers in India. Moreover, we are proud to have Masters who have developed their own style and methodologies in yoga and meditation, as our honored teachers.
5
Our yoga school is one of the most experienced schools in Rishikesh.
Since our start in 1997, we did a tremendous number of yoga trainings which brought us drastic experience and understanding of how a yoga program should really be built. Today, we are proud to claim that our yoga training program is the most advanced training course program in the world's yoga capital and, maybe, in the whole India. See our programs for more details and read students' testimonials.
6
Rishikesh is probably the most affordable destination for yoga teacher training courses.
Funny to say, Rishikesh today is, perhaps, the cheapest place in the world to undergo yoga training program. Keep in mind, our training program is not of the lowest rate in Rishikesh. Yet, considering the value, it's probably way below average cost at the global scale.
7
We are located in the oldest ashram of Rishikesh, Swargashram.
Swargashram is the oldest ashram in Rishikesh, the precedent of such popular ashrams as Shivananda ashram, Yog Niketan, Parmarth and others. Swargashram is the ashram from where the whole Hrishikesh started. And, we are sitting in the very center of this holy place.
8
Every course, we invite renowned yoga masters to teach their styles of yoga.
See our list of invited teachers that participate in our yoga courses. Among our guests are the 105-year-old yogi Swami Yogananda Ji, the renowned master of hatha yoga Sri Surinder Singh Ji, the famous speaker and philosopher Jivasu, the honored philosophy professor Buddhi Prakash Ji and many more recognized yogis of the Northern India.
9
Our hall is fully-equipped with everything a yoga practitioner needs.
Yoga mats, cushions, bricks, bolsters, whiteboards, big screen for visual presentations, sound system, 4 modes of lighting, shatkarma props, water filter, meditation props, etc.
10
We are founders of the annual Free Yoga & Music Festival.
We know all yoga in Rishikesh, we know perfectly every yoga teacher in Rishikesh. We surely can tell who teaches best at any specific style of yoga in the world capital of yoga. For our festival and for our yoga courses, we chose only the best yoga teachers of Rishikesh so that you don't have to.

© 2012 Himalayan Yoga Academy – Traditional Yoga in Rishikesh, India with top yoga teachers in methodologically structured programs.