I remember 4 years ago when I was searching for my teacher training, I knew I wanted to go outside of the US to find a deeper, more authentic experience. For me it wasn’t about becoming a teacher by profession, it was about deepening my practice and exploring that as a route for something to do on the side or in the future.
From there, I was totally lost. India? Bali? Thailand? What is the difference? I was pretty helpless and the hundreds of salesy or over-spiritualized teacher training websites weren’t really helping much.
I have spent a significant time in India and southeast Asia and I believe Bali is the best place to do a teacher training, all things considered. Here’s why:
1. The community is unlike any other in the world.
Bali draws some of the most interesting, deep, intelligent, spiritual people from all over the world. Every day in Bali is a new adventure. The environment feels very free-spirited, flowing, and exotic. There’s yoga classes on every street corner, and amazing vegan food cheaper than anywhere (except thailand maybe).
The community absolutely does matter in your teacher training, in fact it is one of the most important aspects. It can make or break your training, and Bali tends to draw amazing community, consistently.
2. It’s very safe, and easy to get around.
I always tell people that Bali is the perfect combination of comfort and diversity. Apart from a few shady party areas in Kuta, Bali– particularly ubud– feels like the safest place in the world. The local people are incredibly friendly, sweet, and accommodating. Feeling safe and comfortable is essential to getting into the deeper layers of meditation and Yoga.
I’m glad I went to India to do mine, it was a great experience, but honestly it was hard, HARD getting there and being there. Every moment felt challenging in some way. As a man also, it is significantly easier. Many of the girls in my training were hit on by the teachers, and that’s really unacceptable.
3. There’s amazing things to do in off-time.
Here’s just a few of my favorite:
1. Ecstatic dance at the Yoga Barn on Friday night and Sunday (trust me, go)
2. Roaming the dozens of amazing health food restaurants in Ubud (Narasoma, Atman cafe, Klear Cafe, Seeds of Life, and Alchemy are my favorite)
3. Visiting the many waterfalls within 15 minutes motorbike ride
4. Taking a boat ride to one of the surrounding islands (I’ve never done this myself, but apparently there’s some of the best beaches in the world nearby).
5. Sitting at the Yoga Barn and meeting amazing yogi’s from all over the world. This is one of the best places I’ve ever been to meet people.
6. Get massages every day for 10 dollars. Yup, and they are as good or better than massages in the US.
7. Bike or walk through the rice-fields. There’s rice-fields within about 100 yards of wherever you go, and this is never disappointing.
8. Visiting monkey forest. OK, a little touristy, but they are honestly adorable.