What Should I look for in an Online Yoga Teacher Training Program?
Jake is a yoga and meditation teacher. He loves stream-of-consciousness…
Are you ready to dive into online yoga training? Many people might be unsure of themselves before they take the plunge. While we all get indecisive beforehand, there are a few questions you can ask yourself so that you get to do one at the right time.
Let’s see what they are.
How To Know If An Online Yoga Teacher Training Is Right For You?
1. Do you have a regular yoga practice?
This might be self-explanatory, but you are going to want to have a steady yoga practice before you take this step. While you do not need to be an expert, having some practice is a must.
2. Are you comfortable learning online?
Another important factor to consider is whether or not you feel comfortable learning online. If you’re someone who prefers to learn in person, then perhaps finding a local studio or a YTTC in Bali is better.
However, if you’re comfortable learning through videos and other online resources, then an online program could be a great option as it’s affordable, flexible and can be done right at home!
3. Are you self-motivated?
An online yoga teacher training requires a certain level of discipline and commitment. If you’re not someone who is naturally self-motivated, then an online program may not be the best fit for you. Although you are not all alone on this, you do need to be driven if you are going to finish it.
If you answered YES to the above 3 questions then – the next logical question is how to find a good course?
It can be tough to tell whether online yoga teacher training is legit. There are a lot of programs out there, and it can be hard to tell the difference between one and the other. So how do you know if online yoga teacher training is legit? Here are a few quick tips if you want some quick tips:
1. Make sure the program looks legit. I know, easy, right?
2. Look for reviews from past students. Are they happy with the program? Did they learn what they needed to become successful yoga teachers?
3. Check out the teacher. Are they experienced and qualified? Do they have a good reputation in the yoga community?
4. Read through the curriculum. Is it comprehensive and up-to-date? Will you learn everything you need to know to teach yoga safely and effectively?
If you want to read more, read on, and find out what makes an online yoga teaching course legit.
What should I look for in a yoga teacher training program?
Choosing an online yoga teacher training can be a bit overwhelming. With so many options available, it’s hard to know one from the other; however, with a bit of research, you can find one that is right for you. Here are what to look for in an online yoga teacher training some things to look for:
1. The length of the program is suitable for your availability and commitment level
When choosing an online yoga teacher training, the length of the program and how long you will have access are essential. Some programs can be deceptively short, while others can last months. Many online courses actually give lifetime access, while others you have one year to complete.
There is also a difference between a yoga course and a yoga teacher training. So be clear you are choosing exactly what you are looking for.
The minimum standard Yoga Teacher Training Course or (YTTC) is a 200hr course, meaning 200 hours of instruction are needed to fulfill requirements.
Most all online training allow you to do it at your own pace, so if they have a cut-off date, make sure you know before you sign up. Also, check out what your schedule looks like, your availability, and your commitment level when choosing a program length. It can be challenging to find the time, so be sure you are at a point in your life where you can devote at least 1-2 hours a day (more is better) at a minimum.
2. The program offers a comprehensive curriculum
Check the course curriculum to ensure it is comprehensive and covers all of the topics related to yoga and what it takes to actually be a yoga teacher. A YTTC should as a foundation cover things like:
- yoga philosophy
Not only is the curriculum important, but how you learn it. Check if:
- There is an online FB community
- Is the teacher giving live zoom instructions
- Can you talk with fellow students for support
Some other bits that might be good to check is:
- do they have in-person options
- do they give you opportunities to train under a teacher
- is there modules on how to create a yoga sequence
With added bonus if they include modules with:
- how to start your own yoga business
- how to get a yoga teaching position
- how to teach online
3. The program has a good reputation, based on reviews
Check reviews of the program to get an idea of what others have thought about it. A quick Google search should bring up any available reviews. Be sure to read both positive and negative reviews to get a well-rounded idea of the program.
The Yoga Alliance website has a list of all the accredited schools, student reviews, and a NPS score that helps track how students thought of the school and how willing they would be to tell others about it. Though just like any review system, be open yet skeptical, all reviews are biased to some extent.
4. The instructors are experienced and qualified
When choosing a course, the teacher is probably one of the most important bits of the whole thing. Not all good yoga teachers are good at teaching others how to be yoga teachers.
It’s easy to check the instructors’ experience and qualifications; ideally, the instructors should have years of experience teaching yoga (obviously) and teaching other teachers. If there are a lot of teachers who currently work as yoga teachers from the course is a good indicator.
With social media, it’s easy enough to see if your potential instructor is qualified or not. Some other things to check out to see if they are legit is: Do they have a website? What other trainings do they offer? Are they engaging and outgoing – and most importantly, do they actually know what they are talking about?
The best way to get to know an instructor is of course, to take a class from them, though that may not always be possible. If you can’t take a class in person, see if they offer any free classes online that you can try. This will give you a good idea if you connect with them as a teacher as well as with their teaching style.
5. You will be able to complete the program at your own pace
Some programs have a set timeline, while others allow you to complete the program at your own pace. This is something that you should consider based on your availability and commitment level as we talked about before.
Some people prefer to have a set timeline so they can stay on track and not get behind, which has its benefits, while others prefer the flexibility of completing the program at their own pace.
There is no right or wrong answer here, better or worse; it just depends on what will work best for you and what you need.
6. You will have access to a community of yoga teachers and students
Access to your teachers is super important for some, while others may not feel it to be that essential. There can be a nice blend of having support from a broader community as well as support from a teacher, whether through 1-1 sessions or weekly zoom calls, while also doing things by yourself.
Some courses are still great, but once you sign up, you are pretty much on your own, while others have weekly zoom calls, FB groups, 1-on-1 sessions with the teacher, and opportunities to discuss topics with other students.
Check whether there is an online community attached to the course. There might even have in-person options (now that the pandemic has calmed down).
Some programs may even have opportunities after completing the program, whether as an apprentice or intern. This can be a great way to continue your learning even after the program is over.
7. What Style of yoga are you looking for
No surprises here, but you want to make sure the style of yoga the program offers is one that you are interested in. There are many different styles of yoga out there, with the main ones being the first 4, however, the list really does go on.
- Hatha yoga
- Vinyasa yoga
- Power Yoga
- Ashtanga yoga
- Yin yoga
- Bikram yoga
- Hot Yoga
- Iyengar yoga
- Kundalini yoga
- Jivamukti yoga
- The program is accredited
Now, this is not a deal breaker, with that said. One of the things you should still look for is whether or not the program is accredited.
An accredited program means that it has been reviewed and approved by an independent body, such as the Yoga Alliance. This ensures that the program meets certain standards. That being said, it’s not entirely 100% that important.
I have done several trainings that had no certification. This is only important if YOU feel it is. This means, if you feel like it will help you get a job as a yoga teacher in the future, or if you think a studio requires it, then it’sit’s a good idea to do a YTTC that is approved by Yoga Alliance. However, I have never once been asked when being interviewed for a job, ever. So in my books, it doesn’t mean that much.
8. The program is affordable
Another important factor to consider is the cost of the program. There are many programs available, so be sure to shop around and find one that fits your budget.
Luckily online yoga teacher trainings are much more affordable than in-person training – which is understandable. All of the yoga teacher trainings that we have reviewed are very affordable really, ranging between 300-1500USD, so this one isn’t so much of a problem; however, if you find one random teacher charging more than 3,000 USD, then I would start asking questions.
9. There are scholarships or payment plans available
Some online yoga teacher training programs *may* offer scholarships or payment plans to help make the program more affordable. Be sure to check and see if this is an option before enrolling in a program, if you feel like you need it.
How to choose a yoga teacher training program?
There are, however, many programs out there, so how do you know if one is right for you?
Sometimes you just know. As you begin your journey, it is important to find something that just feels right.
The first step is to listen to your intuition. What does it tell you?
While intuition – in my eyes, never fails, it is still advised to do some research, which means read reviews and compare programs.
Look for one that offers the type of training you are looking for and that has a good reputation.
Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, move on. There is no perfect program out there, but there is one that is perfect for you.
Are online yoga teacher trainings as good as in-person trainings?
This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on the individual program and on the student’s goals. Some people feel that they get just as much out of an online training as they would from an in-person training, while others prefer the personal interaction and hands-on instruction that comes with an in-person program.
I have done both types of trainings and I can say that while online does not 100% replace in person trainings, it does a pretty good job at covering all the basics, so that you will be ready to be a teacher when the time comes. It is also great for those people who actually don’t really want to be a teacher but just want to deepen their practice and understanding.
The only thing that I felt was missing was online programs was that you do not get any physical in-person guidance and are not able to practice learning yoga adjustments. In those situations, you definitely need other people to practice on.
There are pros and cons to both types of programs, so it’s important to see what your expectations are and what you are hoping to get out of the course.
What advantages are there of Going Online?
There are both pros and cons to taking an online yoga teacher training. On the plus side, online programs are often more affordable than in-person trainings, and they offer a great deal of flexibility in terms of schedule and location.
On the downside, online programs can sometimes be less personal than in-person training, and you won’t have the same opportunity to interact with your instructors and peers on a daily basis.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to take online or in-person training comes down to your individual needs and preferences. If you’re looking for something to deepen your yoga practice from home, and gain some insight into the practicals of becoming a teacher then online training may be right for you.
But if you prefer hands-on training, learning about adjustments, and practicing teaching a live class, then you are better off doing in-person yoga teacher training.
Some of the most significant benefits of going online are:
- Flexible schedule
- Can be done from anywhere
- Many programs are accredited
- Deepen your practice
- Go at your own place
- Great for beginners
We can not talk about the positives without talking about a few of the downsides, as with anything they are there. So a few negatives are:
- Lack of personal interaction
- Limited access to teachers and mentors
- Limited hands-on instruction
- Does not have the immersive in person experience
Most important factors
The two most important things to consider are: the teacher and the style of yoga.
I find that doing some classes with the teacher beforehand really helps to get a feel for what the teacher will focus on in the course. It’s hard to be a master of everything so naturally, a teacher will focus on their strengths and leave out what they are weak in.
I find that having a good teacher who actually knows how to teach is actually more important than the subject matter. There is so much to learn in yoga that you really can’t go wrong with what is taught, but how its taught is what is important.
Personally, I enjoy vinyasa and power yoga – but hey that’s not for everyone. That being said, I have done a Hatha yoga YTT and I learned more in that course than I have in any other.
But, if this is your first YTTC (yes you can always do more than one), I would choose a style that is most reflective of your personal practice and the style you would actually like to teach. Seeing as there are so many different types of yoga out there, start with one that you REALLY enjoy, and go from there.
Online yoga teacher trainings are a great way to start moving toward your goals of becoming a certified yoga teacher, but it’s important to do your research and choose a program that is right for you. There are many accredited programs out there, so be sure to read reviews and compare each one before making your decision.
Do you have any questions about online yoga teacher training? Send me a message or leave a comment below and I will be happy to answer.
Jake is a yoga and meditation teacher. He loves stream-of-consciousness writing, good coffee, and a quiet mind. Not necessarily in that order. You can find him pursuing that wherever he goes.