The Pros and Cons of Online Yoga Teacher Trainings

The Pros and Cons of Online Yoga Teacher Trainings

I’m not going to lie, if someone had asked me a year ago what I thought about online yoga teacher trainings, I’d have probably told them I thought it wasn’t a great idea. Now, well what can I say? We live in a very different world since COVID 19 and like every other industry in the world, yoga has had to adapt and change to our new reality.

And adapt and change we have. Most yoga teachers and studios didn’t skip a beat in taking their yoga classes online the moment the studios closed. Online yoga classes became the new norm, and I’m not just talking about pre-recorded classes on YouTube. Teachers began taking yoga classes live on Facebook, Zoom, Google Hangouts, and many other online video streaming programs.

Yoga teachers also started putting together online yoga courses for students of all levels offering them a more comprehensive journey into yoga covering specific topics like back bending, inversions, and even how to use yoga to deal with trauma.

So, the fact that studios are now offering online yoga teacher trainings really comes as no surprise and is a natural progression of the new virtual reality yoga teachers are facing.

I’ve written a lot about yoga retreats and yoga teacher trainings on this blog, so I wanted to put this blog post together for those wanting to do a yoga certification online so you could get a better idea of the pluses and minuses of doing an online yoga teacher training and of course you will also find some recommendations for the best online yoga teacher training certification.

Need a travel yoga mat? Read this. 

online yoga teacher trainings

What are the downsides of taking a yoga certification online?

No face to face contact

The biggest downfall is pretty obvious really…no physical face to face contact with your yoga teacher training instructors and other students.

For me doing my yoga teacher training certification one of the things I remember the most, and that had the most impact on me was the people on my course. My group was small and I’m still in regular contact with some of them. Over the 200 hours, I didn’t just learn from my teachers, I learned so much from the other student too. It’s part of the beauty of group learning environments like this.

The other students of an in-person YTT also become your yoga class students when you are teaching the class and after you have taught not only do you get feedback from the teacher who was watching you teach, but you also get very constructive feedback from the students who did the class. Getting all of this lovely feedback really helped me to grow in confidence as a teacher and adjust my teaching thanks to their observations and suggestions. This is something I think I would really miss if I was doing an online yoga teacher training certification.

Full emersion

So, this doesn’t really apply to everyone, as many people choose to do their 200 hours yoga teacher training over a longer period of time at a local studio. I didn’t I did my yoga teacher training in Mexico for over 3 weeks.

During this time, I was able to fully emerge myself into the training and my phone was turned off, my out of office email responder was one, and I was living and breathing yoga for 3 weeks. I ate a sattvic ayurvedic diet, I woke at 5 am to meditate, chant, and perform my Ayurveda morning routine. It was intense but I loved it, and I still look back with so many fond memories of that time.

No adjustments

For me, a big part of doing the course was improving my own yoga practice through feedback and adjustments and also learning how to safely adjust students in my classes. For obvious reasons, this one is a bit of an unknown right now as touching isn’t something many yoga students are going to want when the studios do final open again.

A Guide to Yoga in Guatemala

Now the positives…

So now I’ve covered some of the downsides to doing an online yoga teacher training, now it’s time to get positive. And there are a lot of positives!

More affordable

This is a big one! I was actually super lucky with you YTT 200 that I only paid $500 for it! But I have seen courses costing upwards of $2000. And this is just the course fees! On top of that, you need to add flights, travel insurance, books, yoga mat, and yoga clothing, if it’s not included food and accommodation, plus general expenses and of course taking 3-4 weeks off work.

I’m not going to lie, as much as I know my YTT was an investment (and it was one of the best I’ve made) it totally messed me up financially and it took me months to catch back up after taking that month off work.

Doing an online YTT means that you won’t have to travel and bear all of those extra costs, plus I’ve seen some online yoga teacher training courses for as little as $500 USD so if your finances have been putting you off taking the plunge, then this could be just the opportunity you have been waiting for.

121 time with your instructor

I think in 3 weeks I had maybe one 121 sit down with my course instructor. I really valued this time and personalized feedback. Not all courses, but many that have smaller groups of students are much more tailored to the students and that means you will get much more 121 facetime and individualized guidance from your course instructor.

Extra flexibility

One of the main bonuses on any online learning is the flexibility. Live classes are recorded and other course material can be accessed in your own time. This is perfect for people who have families, need to work, or just need more flexibility to make it work for them.

Better preparation for teaching online

As yoga teacher teaching classes online is our new reality. It’s something that before COVID19 was never taught in Yoga Teacher Training, but now? It’s going to be an essential part of them moving forward. It needs to be.

Now of course not all online yoga teacher trainings are going to include a module on how to teach yoga online, but some of them will so look out for those if it’s something you think will be useful to you personally.

Wider choice of available courses

When choosing a Yoga Teacher Training that you have to physically travel to many people felt restrictions. This could be that you were restricted to the amount of time you could be away from, the countries you could travel to, or the style of yoga you wanted to teach. Now? You can start with the style of yoga you want to teach and the instructor you want to be taught by as you don’t have the same limitations of time and place to hold you back.

Post-COVID In-person modules

I think this is something that I personally would be looking into. Even before COVID 19, many yoga schools were starting to do their Yoga Teacher Trainings Online. Basically, you would need to do their online course, and then once you did that you would travel for a 1-2 week in-person training where they would just focus on the physical practice.

Personally, I really like this idea. It means you can fully immerse yourself in the yoga theory you will learn online. You can go through and study in your own time at your own pace and then once you get to the 2-week in-person section it’s all about the physical asana practice and bringing the theory and practice together.

For me, if I were in your shoes right now I’d personally be looking for an online yoga teacher training course that will offer an in-person ‘top-up’ where if I choose to I can travel (when it’s safe) to dig deeper into the asana practice. That was you get the best of both worlds.

Are you a Yoga Teacher thinking of offering an online yoga course?

I am currently offering a special price for Yoga professionals who are looking to create an online course or school through my company Good Girls Creative Solutions. Get in to learn more about how I can help you.

Online Yoga teacher training courses

How To Choose An Online Yoga Teacher Training

Hopefully, now you have been able to way up the pluses and minuses for doing an online yoga teacher training certification. But before you start to look for an online yoga training course here are a few things to look out for!

Check the course is Yoga Alliance Approved

If you want to be able to register and get insurance with them then it’s important to do an online yoga teacher training yoga alliance certified course.

Make sure you have solid WIFI

This goes without saying really. If you don’t have the bandwidth to stream live classes or upload and download videos and other documentation, then you will need to get a device to boost your wifi or talk to your internet provider.

Don’t forget to check the time zone

This may sound obvious, but it’s one that could really catch you out! You are going to want to take part in as many of the live classes as you can, so if you are based in the USA and the course is in Europe and live classes will take place in the mornings, then unless you are cool waking up at 2 am then you probably need to choose a different course. One either in or close to your timezone.

Learning Abroad | How to Choose a Yoga Teacher Training Abroad

The Best Online Yoga Teacher Training Certification Courses 2020/21

Ok so now we have covered everything you need to think about before you go booking it’s time to take a look at some of the best online yoga teacher training courses that you can do from the comfort and safety of your own home!

This list is just a small selection of some of the yoga teacher training courses I have reviewed online, if you click the links to learn more you can read the full course information and you will also be able to contact the instructors directly to ask any questions that you may have.

I have not done any of these courses (just to make that super clear).

This online teacher training course will run until the end of 2020 and it will help you to master your own inner world. It is a 200-hour course with both lecture and practice videos that are released in the exact order they would be taught in person. 

Highlights Include

  • 200-hour online yoga teacher training
  • Eligible to register with Yoga Alliance upon completion
  • Approximately 30 of live contact hours
  • Approximately 170 of non-contact hours for self study
  • One-on-one attention and sessions (minimum 2 times per week)
  • Weekly sharing circles and closed Facebook group
  • Online sessions held over Zoom, WhatsApp, and Facebook
  • Online sessions’ timezone: live sessions will be scheduled according to the geographical distribution of the students

Wonderland Healing Center are taking their popular Yoga teacher training course online for the duration of 2020. They believe this is the perfect opportunity for potential YTT students to turn the crisis into an opportunity.

Highlights Include

  • 200-hour online yoga teacher training
  • Eligible for registration with Yoga Alliance upon completion before November 30, 2020
  • 25 online contact hours for 28 days
  • 7.5 non-contact hours per day for self-study
  • 4 online yoga sessions per day
  • You can accomplish the course within 90 days from your start date

This course is only available online for a limited time during the COVID crises. Their online yoga teacher training has been designed in accordance with the 200-hour requirements for registration with Yoga Alliance. Therefore at the end of the course, you will be a certified yoga instructor, eligible to register with Yoga Alliance.

Highlights Include

  • 200-hour online yoga teacher training
  • Eligible for registration with Yoga Alliance upon completion before December 31, 2020
  • Bilingual instructions and sessions: English and Spanish
  • 20 contact hours including live final exam
  • 180 non-contact hours for self-study
  • 10 online yoga sessions
  • Online sessions will be held over WhatsApp
  • Online sessions’ timezone: Barcelona, Spain (GMT +2)
  • The duration of the course is 1 month to 6 months
  • The course can commence 48 hours after Spirit Sadhana Low-Cost Yoga Teacher Trainings receive payment or you can schedule to start at a specific date

Possibly one of the best things about this course is that once it’s safe to travel again is that your tuition serves as a credit to attend a future training in beautiful Thailand or Bali. BONUS!

This online YTT 300 is multi-style and includes Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, Aerial, and Acro Yoga.

This course is fully certified by Yoga Alliance and flexible so you can complete it at your own pace. 

Highlights Include

  • 300-hour online yoga teacher training
  • Approximately 133 sessions, 90 minutes each, both live and self
  • 150-hour of live-streaming classes
  • 150 non-contact hours post stream and video modules
  • One-on-one feedback and support
  • Bonus aerial yoga video workshops
  • Online sessions will be held over Zoom
  • Self-paced training: from 1 to 12 months
  • Tuition credit to attend future Ulu Yoga courses in Thailand and Bali
  • Eligible for registration with Yoga Alliance upon completion before December 31, 2020

One Yoga online yoga teacher training program will release each video lesson in the same order as their onsite program. Meaning you can follow the same schedule as if you were actually there in person.

All classes are recorded so if the timezone doesn’t;t work for you, you can watch the videos at a more convenient time. 

Highlights Include

  • 200-hour virtual yoga teacher training
  • Eligible for registration with Yoga Alliance upon completion before September 30, 2020
  • Around 20 hours of contact hours online live webinars
  • 120 hours on recorded videos and the rest on required exercises
  • Flexible duration: can be completed in 4 weeks to 12 months
  • One-on-one guidance
  • Live online sessions will be held over Zoom
  • Online sessions’ timezone: live sessions will be at different times to suit the time zones of both Asia, Europe, and Americ

The Online Bend It Like Buddha Blueprint is an inspiring program that has been taken online in response to COVID19.

The bonus is that they have been able to slash the price making it much more affordable

Together, the teachers on this online yoga teacher training course, have 50+ years of knowledge teaching yoga, facilitating retreats, and leading yoga teacher training worldwide in Taiwan, Goa, Mysore, Portugal, and Ubud, Bali. 

This course will only be available for a limited time and it is approved by the Yoga Alliance. 

Highlights Include

  • 200-hour online yoga teacher training
  • 7 modules, 11 lessons in each module available on the teachable portal
  • Eligible for registration with Yoga Alliance upon completion before September 30, 2020
  • 180 contact online hours and 20 non-contact studies and lesson review
  • Live online sessions will be held over Zoom Weekly. Monday – Friday 12:30pm – 5 p.m.
  • Online sessions’ timezone: Lisbon/Portugal /London (GMT+1)
  • Takes about 1 month or 4 weeks to complete the course
  • Bonus 6-hour Ayurveda massage therapy course

ULU Yoga is offering an Online Multi-Style 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training. Styles include Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, Aerial, and Acro Yoga. 

Possibly one of the best things about this course is that once it’s safe to travel again is that your tuition serves as a credit to attend a future training in beautiful Thailand or Bali. 

Highlights Include

  • 200-hour online yoga teacher training
  • Approximately 133 sessions, 90 minutes each, both live and self
  • Contact hours: 100 hours of live-streaming classes
  • 100 non-contact hours post stream and video modules
  • Online sessions will be held over Zoom
  • Self-paced training: from 1 to 12 months
  • Tuition credit to attend courses in Thailand and Bali
  • Bonus workshops include Aerial and Acro Yoga
  • Eligible for registration with Yoga Alliance upon completion before December 31, 2020

Been dreaming of doing a YTT in India? Well, maybe now you can live that dream from the comfort and safety of your own home!

Living Yoga School is one of the best yoga teacher training school in Rishikesh, India, and their online Yoga Teacher training 200 is yoga Alliance Accredited. 

Highlights Include

  • 200-hour online yoga teacher training
  • Contact hours – 50 hours of live sessions
  • Non-contact hours – 170 hours of recorded videos, study books, self-practice, and self-study
  • Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Anatomy, Philosophy, Meditation & Pranayama
  • Ayurveda, Massage tutor, Tantra, Reiki, Indian Classical Dance & Lifestyle
  • Flexible duration: Course can be completed in 1, 3, or 6 months
  • All the live sessions will be recorded and shared with you
  • Live online sessions will be held over Zoom
  • Online sessions timezone: India (UTC +5:30)
  • Free 6 days Meditation workshop by Yogi Vishnu
  • Eligible for registration on Yoga Alliance upon course completion before December 31, 2020

Book your trip now

Are you ready to book your trip?  To help you get the best deals and service here are the companies that I personally use to book all of my travel online. I always shop around before booking anything, but these are my tried and tested starting places.

  • Skyscanner – I’m a bit fan of Skyscanner, it is who I use to book all of my flights. I often will check other like Google Flights or Momodo, but I always go here first and it is who I book 99% of my flights with. 
  • Booking.com – I LOVE booking.com especially when I can book and cancel free up until a certain point, mostly because my plans are forever changing. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections. 
  • Airbnb – I’m not a huge user of Airbnb, but sometimes I do like to use it, and I ALWAYS check it before I book anything else. You can get some really cool places to stay here, and it is especially good in places like Cuba. If you don’t have an account and you click on this link then you will get $36 off your first booking.
  • Hostelworld – If you are looking for hostels then this is a great place to check first. They often have additional places that you won’t find on Bookin.com.
  • Agoda – Although I don’t use it as much as booking.com, Agonda is especially good if you are traveling in Asia as they really do dominate there. 
  • Worldpackers – If you want to travel on the cheap and save money on accommodation then you need Worldpackers in your life. You can read more about it here. If you click this link to sign up and use the code CLAIRESITCHYFEET then you can get a 40% discount on your membership! 
  • Book a Way – If you are traveling in Asia and want to pre-book your transportation then bookaway.com is a fantastic site to do so. They have buses, trains, and cars.
  • RentalCars – Looking to rent a. car while you are away? I always book through Rental Cars as they do a search of all of the big sites and find the best deals. 
  • Welcome Pickups – Very occasionally getting from the airport to my accommodation is a total pain in the butt, or I’m traveling in a group and it makes sense to arrange a pickup. When I do I use Welcome pickups.
  • World Nomads – If you are looking for flexible travel insurance then it’s World Nomads all the way. I wrote all about insurance here if you want a more thorough review. 
  • SafetyWing – AsI’m a Digital Nomad and not moving around quite so much anymore I personally use SafetyWing now for my health insurance. I wrote a full review here
  • Viatour – Sometimes it can be a little expensive, but I like Viatour for somethings, especially if you can get a discount code! It’s also great for inspiration. 
  • Klook – If you are traveling in Asia, then Klook is great! You can book all kinds of tours, activities, and train tickets, plus they even have sim cards and WiFi.

Claire Summers

Dancer, producer, traveller, photographer, cake maker, dog lover and knitter of Christmas scarfs.

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