online yoga teacher training

Why Would You Take Online Yoga Teacher Training?

If you’ve considered becoming a yoga teacher, you’ve probably looked at a variety of different training options. Known as YTT, yoga teacher training can be an opening to a fulfilling new career or improve your own practice. These days, there are many options such as length, what kind of yoga, the type of teachers, and how many hours. There’s a new emerging trend which is online yoga teacher training. This may be a perfect option for some while others may want the benefits of face-to-face teachings. Here are some of pros and cons of taking online YTT.

The Facts about Online YTT

Getting your yoga training online can be a great tool. Depending on how the teaching is set up, you’ll likely work on a certain platform that allows you to communicate back and forth with one another. There will be books or videos or both sent to you. Online training can help you to go deeper into your practice through theory. There are experienced yogis and practitioners that answer your questions. There will also be proof of knowledge through exams, writing a yoga lesson plan, some essays, and also your own video of a class you’ll submit.

What Are the Benefits of Online Yoga Teacher Training?

One of the benefits many like is that they don’t have time to take off to do traditional YTT. Although there are three and four month programs, it can still be challenging for some to change their routine up. Training in a facility will often require full days of practice. This is traditional and some believe it’s an important aspect to learning how to be a teacher. Realistically though, for some, it’s sadly not an option. The flexibility of online yoga training is helpful for those who don’t have a lot of time in their busy lives.

Cost is also a benefit. Many teacher training courses can be thousands of dollars while online yoga courses are about $1,500 for the YTT 200.

The online YTT is for everyone from beginners to advanced students. If there was something you didn’t understand, you can play it back. There are individual mentors that will help you stay focused and put your level of skill and knowledge into account. You can also get your questions answered by staff online.

What You Should Know About Accreditation

The Yoga Alliance is an important part of yoga. When you are Yoga Alliance Accredited, you have more opportunity for jobs. Many in the industry see it as an essential standard and at this point, they do not accredit online training. If you’re going to learn the practice and take teaching seriously, taking it online might not be a practical option.

Cons of Online YTT

Of course, it’s nice to take a course online. It is much easier than flying to an exotic destination or going to a yoga studio multiple days per week. There are some cons however. Yoga is a special tradition and some will believe it’s important to maintain the art of being taught in person. Here are some of the things you may be missing if you choose to take an online yoga teaching course.

Level of Commitment

It’s not always easy to stay committed when you’re taking a course by yourself. You may want to ask yourself if you’re going to be able to stay on task when nobody is supporting you fully. Falling short on commitment to an online course is high. While you’re doing intensive yoga teacher training, you are motivated by those around you. You are inspired by the dedication within the group. You are less likely to lack commitment when you’re in the midst of peers in yoga teacher training.

Quality of the Practice

You don’t have anybody controlling the quality of your practice. It’s hard to know what kind of teachers you’re getting to show you the ropes. Many times, as you practice the yoga through an online course, nobody is there to instruct you. Being amongst a yoga teacher trainer increases your knowledge. You’ll also be able to watch your other yoga teacher training class mates.

Real Life Exposure

The exposure to really learn through a real life experience is a beautiful part of taking your yoga teacher training. Imagine being taught daily in a yoga hall or shala in the heart of where yoga began (India) or perhaps in Bali? Being with experienced yogis is a truly blessed experience that may bring you more spiritual aspects to the practice. If you’re just looking at your computer screen, you may only be considering the educational aspects of yoga.

Alignment Understanding

You may comprehend what you see or hear on your laptop but sometimes, you’re going to need someone to give you adjustments. As you are in poses, you may “feel” like you’re doing a pose properly. In traditional yoga teacher training, you’ll be moved into how the pose should be and feel. When we see our fellow mates being adjusted, this is equally as helpful to help us understand how our alignment should be. We need to understand this in ourselves to properly benefit students in the future.

Support of a Community

Doing yoga teacher training online means you’re missing out on valuable friendships. When you attend YTT, you’ll meet like-minded people that quickly become life-long friends. Posting on your online YTT forum isn’t the same kind of connection. You get to meet people from all over the world and you can learn a lot from them. You gain a lot of support as you go through the trials and tribulations of learning how to become a yoga teacher.

You Avoid Distractions

If you are taking YTT online because you’re busy, it’s likely you will have a lot of distractions that come up. While you are given a year to complete the course to get your certification, it may not be enough time. You have to be a very committed person to take time for yourself and not give up on the course as a whole. Going to yoga teacher training somewhere else will prevent all that distraction from coming up in your life. To really focus on your studies and the practice of yoga, you need some peace and quiet without constant distraction. This is what you get when you do traditional yoga teacher training.

While it’s great that you have the opportunity to learn more about yoga online, it may not be the best way to jump start your career. You may find it challenging for a studio to take you seriously without the Yoga Alliance accreditation. Even if you’re just wanting to take your YTT as a way to gain more clarity in your own practice, you may not gain the full benefits.

The best option to get all the benefits possible from yoga teacher training is to immerse yourself in it. Being with certified yoga teacher instructors that have helped hundreds of thousands of students achieve their dreams. You’ll meet people that can help springboard your career when you attend traditional. They will inspire you and you’ll learn a lot about yourself in the midst.

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Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, OMtimes and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali) and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).

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