An important step in becoming a qualified yoga teacher is completing a yoga teacher training course. Nowadays, you can learn everything online, including how to teach yoga!
You’ve likely noticed in recent years that more online yoga teacher training is becoming available. As they tend to be cheaper and offer more flexibility than in-person YTTs, they can seem like an appealing and affordable option.
But is online yoga teacher training worth it? Can you effectively learn how to teach yoga online, and are these virtual courses on par with in-person ones?
The answer is not so black and white. There are many variables, and it really depends on what you are looking for.
Thus, I’ve put together a list of the top pros and cons to help determine if doing an online YTT is the best choice for you.
So let’s dive in.
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Is Online Yoga Teacher Training Worth it?
Pros Of Online Yoga Teacher Training
Let’s start by discussing the benefits of an online YTT and why this type of yoga training is a good option.
They are cheaper
Do you dream of deepening your practice or becoming a yoga instructor but cannot afford the high price of an intensive in-person YTT in the US? If so, an online yoga teacher training course could be a great alternative and a much more affordable option.
As virtual training doesn’t have all the additional extras like accommodation, food, and transport, they are usually significantly lower in cost. Although you will probably still want to buy some yoga teacher training text books to go deeper. In addition, many online programs offer payment plans so you can split the fee into multiple payments.
They offer more flexibility
One downside of an in-person YTT is that you have to press pause on your entire life for the duration of the course. As we tend to lead busy, jam-packed lifestyles, this is difficult and sometimes impossible.
Thus, online YTTs allow people that cannot take time off work or leave home because of family responsibilities the chance to deepen their practice. In addition, they typically last longer than in-person courses as the daily schedule is much less demanding.
Many online yoga teacher training courses also offer the option to tailor the course schedule to fit your needs. For example, you can watch classes back at a time that suits you rather than showing up live at a specific time.
You can revisit lessons multiple times
Yoga teacher training is very intensive, and in-person courses can feel overwhelming as you quickly absorb so much new knowledge including Sanskrit words and yoga terminology. There is only so much our brains can process at once, which, unfortunately, means we cannot fully absorb everything we are taught.
However, many online YTTs have all the course content on demand, which you can playback as many times as you want. So whatever you miss during the live session, you can catch it again on the replay.
Some online YTTs also give the students lifetime access to the course, which in-person courses can’t offer.
Cons Of Online Yoga Teacher Training
Now that you know the advantages of online YTTs let’s look at why you may decide not to do one.
You cannot experience the art of adjustment
One of the most significant downsides to online yoga teacher training is that it’s impossible to experience yoga’s physical touch. For example, you cannot receive teacher adjustments, making it harder to know if you are doing the postures correctly.
This also makes learning how to give adjustments to others much harder. In-person YTTs have workshops on adjustments where you practise adjusting each other’s postures. This is a crucial aspect to learn if you want to teach yoga.
Because of this, you might graduate from an online YTT without enough confidence or understanding of safe and effective adjustments. This can potentially cause injury, either to you or the student.
That being said, there is a way around this. If you plan to teach after completing your online YTT, you can find an in-person workshop or short course on giving adjustments to get real-life, hands-on practice.
There is less community vibe
One of my favourite things about doing my yoga teacher training in Thailand is the connections you experience with the teachers and classmates. As you all stay together in the same place and spend the entire day in each other’s company, you quickly build tight bonds that turn into beautiful friendships.
Unfortunately, online yoga teacher training lacks this type of community feeling and connection. Sure, you’ll get to know the other yogis as you work together during the classes, but it won’t be on the same level as on an in-person course.
On an in-person YTT, you’ll likely spend breaks and meal times with the other yogis. Moreover, you might do social activities with them in the evenings and on your days off.
However, on an online YTT, your classmates may be dotted all over the world. Therefore, it’s not possible to meet up with them in real life – unless someone happens to live in the same city as you!
Of course, many online YTTs will have Facebook or WhatsApp groups where you can chat with the other participants. However, it’s still different from talking face-to-face.
You have to discipline yourself to do it
When you go somewhere for an intensive yoga retreat, you’re in an environment where everything is yoga-related. You typically stay onsite with the other yogis, away from all your usual responsibilities.
This setting makes it easy to immerse yourself in the course and focus solely on your learning. Moreover, having your classmates and teachers right there helps to motivate and encourage you along the way.
With an online YTT, you have to discipline yourself to show up. As you’re studying from home, you’ll have other things going on that require your attention and can easily distract you.
Thus, if you’re not a highly-disciplined, self-motivated person, you may struggle to show up every day or give your entire focus to your course.
They may be less transformative
An in-person teacher training is so powerful because of the whole immersive experience – being in a new location like Costa Rica or spiritual destination like India (usually surrounded by nature), eating clean, nutritious food, connecting deeply with others, and changing your habits and routines.
However, an online yoga teacher training cannot offer the “full experience” and, thus, loses some of its magic. As a result, an online YTT may be less of a personal or spiritual transformational journey than an in-person one.
Conclusion: Is Online Yoga Teacher Training Worth It?
Online yoga teacher training has certainly opened up new possibilities for people who want a more affordable yoga training course or who cannot take time out of their busy lives to go away somewhere exotic like Bali for an intensive YTT experience.
But whether online yoga teacher training is worth it or not will depend on your personal situation and preferences. For example, an online YTT may be an excellent idea if you have a demanding work schedule or are a single parent and want to get your yoga teacher certification from home.
That being said, online yoga courses cannot provide the complete YTT experience. Thus, if in-person training is financially and physically possible, you may prefer to do that instead. It’s often more affordable to go abroad, and you can combine your training with an exciting adventure in a new country. Find out about the best YTT destinations here.
Have you done an online yoga teacher training? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments below.
- The best destinations to do Yoga Teacher Training abroad
- How to become a Yoga Teacher
- Reasons to do Yoga Teacher Training – even if you don’t plan to teach
- How to know if you are ready for Yoga Teacher Training
- How to choose a Yoga Teacher Training program
- How to prepare for Yoga Teacher Training success
- Top tips and advice for new yoga teachers
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