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TTC Day 1

by on February 2, 2013

As promised, here’s a near-raw uncut version of the content of my first day of the 1-month yoga teacher training course at The Yoga Institute in Mumbai, India. I’ve written this post and the post for day 2 in the same day, but I’m going to try and post daily from here on.

Day 1

First, keep in mind that this place in smack in the middle of Mumbai, and very close to a major airport. Traffic, piles of trash, and stray dogs are all around the complex. The complex itself is quite serene, comprising 3-4 buildings and a central courtyard.

Signup was easy; I had registered via email a couple of months ago, and simply showed up at 9AM on the first day, as instructed. There was a marked difference between my sign-in process and that for the “foreigners” (students who were staying at their dormitories). There’s also a hefty price difference: I’m paying INR 9000/- for the one-month TTC (about $169), including lunch and a teatime snack, whereas resident students were paying about $440 for what I ordered plus dinner and lodging (I think they also get to volunteer in their dorms).  I’m happier staying with family and walking there and back every day!

Generally, there’s not a whole lot of formal procedures here – the group of students gets shuffled around a couple of different areas of the complex, and receives teachings from 2-3 teachers per day.  The teachers also tend to treat everything with a bit of zen-like humor, injecting jokes and laughter just in case any teaching/discussion gets too serious. They started day 1 with providing a curriculum and a few basic practices.

Curriculum (for the month):

  • Methodology (includes Lesson Planning and Lesson Presentation)
  • Public Speaking
  • Sutras
  • Concepts
  • Asana / Pranayama
  • Relaxation
  • Meditation
  • Anatomy / Physiology

We also briefly discussed a basic framework of yoga, with a prototype representation shown below (made by myself – I will continue to work on this as I learn more).


We also experienced Jal Neti, one of the purification techniques listed in the Niyamas! This was exciting, as it enabled us to dive right into the 8 limbs (my favorite framework), and basically proved that they weren’t kidding around, i.e. either inhale this warm salty water from the palm of your hand or give up on day 1. By the way, inhaling a small amount into a nostril is recommended versus a neti pot as the bubbling action cleans better, and the neti pot dispenses much more water than required and the spout is hard to clean on its inside surface. There’s also a complex set of sinus and facial massage techniques to be practiced immediately after a neti session.

The food they serve is oh so good! Sattvic, vegetarian, and diverse. There was an interesting discussion by one of the teachers about diet, basically saying that you can eat whatever you want, but certain foods (easily digested, cruelty free, and moderately flavored) have more healing qualities than others. More on this later, but basically if you’re on a self-healing / self-improvement path, stay away from the temptations of spice and flesh, at least for now. Also, heavily processed foods are a no-no.

Finally, the people, oh, the people. On day 1, I started compiling a list of fellow-trainees that I connected with, and it’s so easy! Similar to my professional networking experience, developing human connections with my classmates is incredibly enriching, and I’m learning new and unique things about these guys, like the circus-performing gypsy-jazz playing Martin from Argentina, the lawyer-turned-yogi skeptic Farah from Mumbai, the performing artist / PhD student Karin from Berkeley, the mountaineer Hitomi from Japan, etc. etc.

There’s so much more written in my notebook, so feel free to comment and/or ask for details. Or go on to Day 2, that I am about to write right now!

  1. OOps, reading it in the wrong order, just saw the curriculum here…

  2. Mirova permalink


    How interesting!Love it! I would like to know more about these facial massage techniques, seems interesting!


    • Guerrilla Yogi permalink

      Mirova, they appear to be focused on the sinuses (forehead, between eyebrows, under eyes, either side of nose, under cheekbones, and ears). Sweeping motion of fingertips away from the center. If you live in the DC area hit me up and I can share more.

  3. Wow. Really amazing, I did the training in Yoga Institute few years back and it seems it is still same! Such happy memories are coming back while reading you. Thanks for this sharing!

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