What to Pack for Yoga Teacher Training: Choosing Ethical, Ecological Options

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 Guatemala in June/July and for a month, but you can add/subtract warm/cold clothes as necessary)

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. Even better because it saves water!
  • You should also 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!)

I did Scrubba-style laundry every week, and this is what I packed:

 

TOPSlightweight, sweat-wicking tops

PANTS

3 capri-length bottoms – Sub with full-length pants for cold weather, opt for lighter material or shorts for hot weather.

1 yoga shorts

2 full length yoga pants

1 pair loose pants – trust me, after a long week of spandex and stretch pants, you’ll want something comfy and breezy

UNDERNEATH

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)

7 undies

*I didn’t pack any socks because… I hate socks, and with my Vibrams I don’t need them.

ON TOP

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.

I ended up buying: 1 casual tank top, 1 loose “hippie” skirt from a secondhand store

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. If you have a favorite natural/eco brand you think I should try, please do let me know!

FOR THE SHOWER – GO SOLID

Eco-friendly shampoo – I prefer solid like this one from Lush

Eco-friendly conditioner – I prefer solid like this one from Lush

Eco-friendly soap

Razor

FACE AND BODY

Moisturizer – I like Lush Celestial for my face, and Charity Pot for my body

Minimal makeup – I brought eyeliner, mascara, and an eyeshadow (I always use inexpensive, high quality, cruelty-free brand NYX)

OUTDOORS

Eco-friendly bug spray

Eco-friendly sunscreen

MISCELLANEOUS

Essential oils – I always travel with lavender for relaxation, and I’m also really liking this blend

Eco-friendly laundry soap

 

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.

YOGA-RELATED ITEMS

Foldable yoga mat – I’m short, so I opted for the cheaper, smaller child-size version of this foldable mat. If I could do it again, I might opt for a darker color, mine got stained up pretty quickly.

Yoga props you enjoy – straps, blocks, and blankets, but you know your practice best.

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.

SOUL-FEEDING

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!

NECESSARY DETAILS

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.

External battery / power bank – Especially if you’re in a rural location with iffy electricity!

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.

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What to Pack for Yoga Teacher Training


What do you think? Did I forget anything you’d recommend?

 

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