What to Pack for a Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh

What to pack for a Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh: The ultimate YTT Packing List for India

When I was packing for my Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh, India, I failed to find a single packing list on the internet. And unsurprisingly, once I got to India I realized that I had packed poorly: I brought one pair of athletic shorts, one maxi skirt and absolutely no snacks. I also didn’t consider that the near-vegan diet would leave me in dire need of iron pills.

So please allow me to humbly remedy the internets and share what you should pack for a teacher training in Rishikesh, India.

Don’t have time to read the whole post? Here’s what you should pack!

Packing for a Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh

As an aside, you will inevitably buy hippie pants in India, regardless if you do yoga. Accept it.

1. Your own mat + yoga towel

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The shoddy mat I used for a month that I bought in Rishikesh

When you’re doing four sweaty hours of yoga a day, you might as well do it on a clean, cushy yoga mat. My yoga school provided thin, ratty mats so I purchased my own.

If I could do it over again, I’d bring my own mat as well as a yoga towel to prevent slipping. Personally, I love the Jade Harmony mat and YogaRat mat-length towel.

2. Iron supplements

Despite eating a vegetarian diet rich in spinach and lentils, I still wasn’t getting enough protein or iron at Yoga Teacher Training. A daily dose of iron would have been a godsend, though I imagine a multivitamin would have done nicely as well.

If your yoga school has a vegetarian menu, definitely bring iron tablets and a multivitamin.

3. Snacks

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My parents sent this box of snacks all the way to India. Thanks mom and dad!

During my Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh, I woke up at 6 a.m. every day but breakfast wasn’t until 10:30 a.m. I don’t know about y’all, but I struggle with waiting so long to eat. Pack non-perishable snacks like Larabars, almonds or peanut butter that are high in protein and calories and will give you a boost.

A little parental shoutout- during my training my parents sent a box full of Larabars, almonds and other essentials all the way from the states. I seriously don’t know how I would’ve gotten through teacher training or my 10-day Himalayan hike without those Lara Bars!

4. Pepto Bismal and Imodium

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The eggs and crêpe that launched 24 hours of misery

Ever heard of Delhi Belly? Well, it’s a thing. Chances are you will get food poisoning in India and it’s better to come prepared.

I took Pepto Bismal tablets when I had an upset stomach and Imodium when I had diarrhea- let’s just say both were essential.

5. Shorts and sleeveless athletic tops

This is very Captain Obvious of me, but India is hot, especially during the rainy season. Pack shorts rather than full-length yoga pants, as well as lots of breathable athletic tops. (Even thinking about doing vinyasa in 110-degree heat wearing full-length Zellas gives me heatstroke.)

I personally love Gap’s athletic line because it’s attractive, sleek and often on sale.

6. Eyedrops

The air pollution in India is bad so your eyes may suffer from dryness– mine certainly did. I found even reading in bed irritated my eyes quite considerably! So pack eyedrops and you’ll be good to go.

7. Face wipes

Again, the air pollution in India is really bad, so I used face wipes throughout the day to clear my face of grime and sweat. Trust me, you’ll be so happy to have them.

8. A multi-subject notebook and pens

In India, I took seven classes a day: hatha, mantra, anatomy, yoga philosophy, therapy, vinyasa and meditation. While I used a single Moleskine for all of them, it would’ve been smarter to use a notebook section per class in order to easily go back and review.

9. Maxi skirts and dresses

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My India travel uniform. Plus I got the skirt at Primark for only £10!

In India, women often expose their midriffs but never expose their legs. So ladies, bring a few maxi skirts and dresses for exploring the streets- they’re cute, comfortable and colorful, and you won’t get unwanted attention. (Okay, you still will. But it’s not as bad.)

For more info on what to wear in India (and India travel in general!) check out Hippie in Heels– I especially loved her Do’s and Don’ts of How to Dress in India.

10. Headlamp

India_Yoga_Teacher_Training_Packing_headlamp

When the power was out (which was 10+ times a day) we would hang the headlamp from the showerhead in order to shower. #OnlyInIndia

I have to say I was very glad I packed my headlamp!

11. Doorstop

We used it at night for safety. That way if someone tried to break in the room, there would be some protection.

12. Antitheft crossbody bag

I used this antitheft crossbody bag while in India and it served me well. It has plenty of space, is super secure, and looks cute.

13. Flip flops

You do not want to be barefoot in Rishikesh!

Have you done a Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh? What did you forget to bring?

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About Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is a travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Uganda. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour Magazine.

36 thoughts on “What to Pack for a Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh”

  1. Hey! I am currently teaching English abroad in South Korea. I stumbled on your blog, and I just wanted to say I really love it! I really enjoy your photos, experiences, and writing style. I think I’m feeling a little homesick here in Korea so it’s a nice escape to think of all the places I could travel when my contract is over. Even though I don’t know much about being a yoga teacher- I really enjoy reading your articles regardless :). Hope you’re well wherever you are!
    -Chelsea

  2. thanks for the shout out! What shipping company did you dad use? My mom tried to send me food via FedEx and they wouldn’t even let her mail the package in Ohio saying India doesn’t accept food and customs would just confiscate it, plus now powders & liquids so none of my make up. THEN she tried a light clothing packed of 7 kg & it was going to be over 300 USD.

    • I’m not sure which company my parents used- I did ship things home with DHL and it was SO expensive. I think I paid like $250. And I was an idiot because it would have cost me a fraction of that to ship my stuff from Thailand, where I was headed to next!

  3. ALL the things you mentioned are available in India. As anywhere, go to recommended stores and ensure freshness and good prices. I eat dried apricots, figs, cashews, almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds, jaggery( similar to molasses), sugarcane juice and sprout stuff wherever I go. City stores have snacks like a large variety of popped/ roasted lentils/beans/soy or made with millet or rice and /or wheat.

    Yogurt is useful (if you eat dairy) for getting used to local stomach related bacteria, so begin it before you need it.

    I find eating brewer’s yeast or B complex useful for avoiding mosquitoes.

    A tiny bit of coconut or any veg oil before/after a bath is soothing.

  4. Excellent list, Ashley. Bringing the right stuff with you is so important, especially when it comes to medication and vitamins. I often live as a vegan when I’m abroad, but I’ve never thought about bringing iron supplements. Thanks for the great advice!

  5. This is super helpful, thank you! I’m packing for teacher training from mid Oct to mid Nov in Goa. And I’m 10 weeks pregnant so that makes things extra fun! :)

  6. Interesting that there were no good sources to help you pack! But this is a great list, and I bet it will help a lot of people. I LOVE Rachel’s blog. She single-handedly prepared me for so many aspects of India, namely the Mumbai train, which I took twice a week with my volunteering position there.
    One thought on Imodium – it’s not for everyone. I had funny guts almost the entire time I was there, but I didn’t take Imodium once. I felt better letting whatever angry inside stuff OUT! I can imagine you’d be a bit of a predicament with yoga though, had har. ;)

  7. I’d love to try yoga but I want to do it right and it seems that going to India and attend a course might be the right move. In fact in that way I’d accomplish my dream of travel and explore India and also try yoga. Great tips here, especially for who like me has never been to India and has never done yoga, thanks Ashley :)

  8. Fun fact: If you are going to the southern side of India like Mysore, Goa, Kerela you should better keep mosquito repellant cream, Being tropical area, these regions may have lots of mosquitos in some seasons.

  9. Hi! Thank you for this packing list. I am actually going to the Vinyasa Yoga School training in June. I’ve been having a really hard time deciding what to bring. I saw you recommended shorts and sleeveless tops. Is this ok/acceptable to wear? I was told I needed to cover my shoulders and knees?

    • Hi Ashley! Good question. I wore shorts and sleeveless tops all the time at YTT- it was 110 degrees in the studio so in my mind it was a must. But on the street I absolutely never wore shorts- in India it’s okay to show some belly, but legs are scandalous. (the opposite of the west!)

  10. Great, thank you! That’s really helpful to know. I just wasn’t sure what was ok inside the studio. Thanks!

  11. Thanks Ashley! I’m preparing to go to Riskiesh in March, so this list has been very helpful! Do you recommend that we take Malaria pills while we are there?

  12. Thanks so much Ashley! I am leaving for India in two weeks to study in Rishikesh. Vinyasa Yoga School was at the top of my list of schools as well. Unfortunately the schedule was full for my intended month so I’ve decided to train at the Himalayan Yoga Academy. What month did you study there? I have a difficult time with the cold so I’ve been over thinking the climate. I will be there February 14th – March 21st. This list is the first bit of insight into someone else’s preconceived notions juxtaposed to the reality.

    Nada, my doctor did look up the Malaria pills for that area and decided it was in my best interest to take something because of my layover in other regions etc. He did not think that Japanese encephilitis was necessary. I got Typhoid pills, Malaria pills and Hepatitis shot. Also cipro for emergencies.

  13. I love the idea of planning yourself some special exerciser activity for your vacation. I’m one of those people who meticulously packs her workout gear for every trip but can never bring myself to run on the hotel treadmill when there’s so much adventuring to be had. But aerial yoga, that looks fun enough to get me to strap on a sports bra!

  14. Thanks for the info!!! I’m really considering going to the Vinyasa Yoga school in July and I am not a seasoned traveler so this really helps. As far as the training goes, would you recommend this school?

  15. Hi!
    Thank you for taking the time and writing this down for us aspiring yoga teachers!
    I was wondering, do you have any recommendations on Traveler’s Insurance, Medical Insurance, and currency exchange? (Or any other procedure of the sort)

    • Hi Stacey, I would definitely recommend getting travel insurance – I always use World Nomads – here’s a link if you’d like to learn more (affiliate link, FYI) – ashleyabroad.com/worldnomads :)

      Also for currency exchange, I just use the XE currency app on my phone. Have an amazing time in India!

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