I’ll confess, I’m one of those people that generally overplans every aspect of travel… especially when it comes to packing.
This is partly because I travel uber-light (#carryononly FOREVER) and don’t want to forget anything, partly because I looooove making lists, and partly because I just truly enjoy every little detail of pre-trip planning.
So, no shame.
Before my yoga teacher training program, I googled “what to pack for yoga teacher training” (as I do with every trip: “what to pack for…” is always at the top of my Google searches) and came up with… nothing.
Or, like, 3 measly articles that weren’t even that helpful. Like, no suggestions for a travel yoga mat?? WTF.
So, here you go. Here’s everything I packed (and I’ll humblebrag here: I basically nailed it) for yoga teacher training, and you should, too.
What to Pack for Yoga Teacher Training
My yoga teacher training was in rural Guatemala in June/July and for a month – which meant warm, sunny days and cool nights and mornings – but you can add/subtract warm/cold clothes as necessary. There was a bit of rain, so I really wished I’d packed a small umbrella and poncho!
Check out the weather forecast for wherever you plan to train, and update this list as necessary. Better to be prepared, especially if you’re far from a city, like I was.
Yoga Teacher Training Clothes to Pack
- Any clothes you pack should be both comfortable and easy to wash (because it’s doubtful you’ll be able to find an easy-to-access dry cleaner in rural Nicaragua, for example).
- You’ll want enough clothes to get you through until laundry day (if your training has that, it’s just one of the many questions you should ask your yoga teacher training program in advance) OR invest in a Scrubba and bring along some eco detergent. Even better because it saves water!
- Keep in mind the cultural norms of the place you will be undergoing training. For example: If you’re staying in a small, traditional Guatemalan village (like I was), you’ll want to dress modestly when out and about in town. Ask your school if you’re in doubt, as they may also have specific requirements in-studio (especially if you’ll be studying in India).
- If you need to buy some more clothes, consider this the perfect opportunity to go fast-fashion-free by choosing ethical, sustainable and/or secondhand! All the suggestions I list below meet these criteria.
- Prana or Alternative are my choices for ethical, sustainable brands that both have options for all of the items listed below. There’s some debate about the ethics of Lululemon (which I’d be happy to hear your opinion on!) and I tend to buy their clothing secondhand, anyway. (Not sold on buying used clothing? Try ThredUp and get $10 off your first purchase with this link. Secondhand is the most sustainable option!)
- This is a great time to bust out your hippie clothes. Let your “freak” flag fly high. Rock those Thailand elephant pants, those big swishy flowy skirts during lectures, dab on some patchouli. Be your most you self.
I did Scrubba-style laundry every week, and this is what I packed:
3 capri-length bottoms – Sub with full-length pants for cold weather, opt for lighter material or shorts for hot weather.
1 pair loose pants – trust me, after a long week of spandex and stretch pants, you’ll want something comfy and breezy
5 pairs sports bras – I would give these a quick rinse in the sink in between weekly laundries (Side note: I’m obsessed with strappy-back sports bras like the one in the photo. I think they look cute under backless/open-back tops)
*I didn’t pack any socks because… I hate socks, and with my Vibrams I don’t need them.
1 or 2 comfy ponchos or cardigans or sweaters – especially necessary if you’re going somewhere that gets chilly at night or uses intense AC in studio
FOR YOUR FEET
1 pair hiking-appropriate shoes – I opted for Vibrams (ethically sourced, produced under fair working conditions, vegan, and using a percentage of recycled materials. LOVEx4). Wanna give them a try? Shoot me an email for a discount code
1 pair sandals – where do YOU go for ethical shoes choices? I try to buy local from artisans who hand-make shoes, but would love some suggestions for national (or international) brands doing things right.
If there’s even a chance you might be swimming, make sure to pack a bikini and a sarong/canga.
Toiletries to Pack for Yoga Teacher Training
- Yoga teacher training is a great opportunity to explore eco-friendly, natural products, as you delve deeper into wholeness and interconnectedness. It would feel pretty wrong to be pouring chemicals all over yourself (and down the drain)!
- My favorite eco-friendly, vegetarian, natural brand is Lush (though I recently found out they are VERY guilty of greenwashing, and use nasty chemicals like parabens and sulfates so I’m working on switching!). If you have a favorite natural/eco brand you think I should try, please do let me know!
FOR THE SHOWER – GO SOLID
FACE AND BODY
Accessories to Pack for Yoga Teacher Training
- Definitely check with your teacher training program before packing mats and props. They might be provided for you!
- If you prefer to travel carry-on only, like me, it’s still possible for a month-long yoga teacher training if you pack a foldable mat.
Refillable water bottle – plastic bottles are such a waste, and the chemicals used in making them are dubious at best. Opt for a refillable, non-icky-chemical bottle to fuel your body without filling the landfills.
Photos or trinkets – I brought photos of my husband and some small personal items, and it made my room feel so much “me”. I’m a person who really “nests”, and spending a month in a place that felt more homey made a big difference on my mindset.
Journal – these waterproof ones (you can literally submerge them) are perfect for sweaty styles, humid locations, or places that get a lot of rain!
Scrubba – making laundry possible on the road
Electronics to Pack for Yoga Teacher Training
Surge protector / electricity converter – This is really, really underrated and important for travel to places with sketchy electricity. I found out that my Mac was fried by plugging it in to a socket in Antigua, Guatemala. Luckily, it was covered by Mac Care (don’t know how, but I’ll take it), otherwise it would have been a $1000+ fix.
Laptop (if you must) – My MacBook Air stopped working just a few days into my trip… when I had (stupidly) planned to do a ton of work. Seriously, try to take your YTT time for yourself, for nurturing your body/mind/soul and new friendships. Not being able to work was at first very stressful and frustrating, but I eventually realized disconnecting was a blessing in disguise and I wished I would have planned for that from the start.
Camera or phone with video capabilities – I love my super portable (WATERPROOF!) Nikon 1 Aw1. I cannot emphasize enough how helpful it is to record yourself teaching so you can watch later. You’ll catch awkward phrases, gaps and pauses, and any annoying verbal tics (for example, I never realized how much I say, “Okay, now” as a transition. ick)
Flashlight – Especially if you’re staying in a more “au naturel” place… you’ll want to be able to check under and in your bed for creepy crawlies at night.
Kindle – I love to read, it’s my number one favorite hobby and also stress reliever. If your school has required reading, you can hopefully just load it on your Kindle, saving you from carrying books in your bag. I like the Paperwhite and ALWAYS opt for KindleUnlimited (bonus: you get most guidebooks for free/included).
Water purifier – My favorite is the ultra-portable, USB-charged SteriPen. Most countries do not have potable water from the tap, but you can save yourself money (and save plastic from landfills). Instead of buying water in containers, use the tap water by simply sterilizing it with a hand-sized portable purifier.
Read more advice on Yoga Teacher Training here.