On-line Yoga Teacher Training

Paul Ainsworth
Written by Paul Ainsworth

Two of the biggest hurdles for people who wish to make the jump from attending yoga classes to teaching them is the cost of the teacher training and the time commitment of attending a course often whilst juggling a full-time job and other commitments. For these reasons, the growth of on-line yoga teacher training looks very attractive.

They can still cost hundreds of pounds so you might wonder whether they are a worthwhile investment. I have just completed a 200hour on-line yoga teacher training course and since posting about this on-line, I have received a number of messages asking me for my opinions on the programme I studied.

I had already completed a short but accredited yoga teacher training but I was conscious that I wanted the 200hour qualification to provide me with more confidence in my technical skills.

The quality of resources both video and written materials for the 200hour course were excellent and one of the things that I liked was that I could go back over the videos, several times to ensure that ideas were clear in my mind. The downside was that I did not have anyone telling me whether my body position was correct. I hope that after twenty years of practice, this would not be a problem.

I liked the element of being able to study when I wanted. I would have found it very difficult to block out a day or even two days to study at an in-person course. Whereas the virtual nature meant that I could study when I had the time to do so and when I was in the best frame of mind.

I did have to be self-motivated and there were times when I thought I would not complete the programme. This would have been easier in-person as the dates of sessions would have made me study. I had to just chip away in small sections and when I had more time, be particularly focussed.

Downside of online training

The major downside of the programme is that you do not have anyone to practice your teaching on and to build up to teaching complete lessons. I know that during in-person courses, you would practice small elements of teaching with your group such as how to lead breathing, how to warm-up, how to teach a flow and how to lead meditation. For an on-line course you need to be more confident in leading a class. I have a been a teacher for twenty-five years including teaching PE so this did not phase me, but it is something worth considering.

Important consideration

The most important consideration is who accredits the course and if an insurer will recognise it. The course I chose is accredited by the Yoga Alliance and is recognised by Yoga Alliance Professionals and on graduation both organisations have offered me teacher membership. However, you can also find ‘teacher training courses’ where it is unclear who accredits them or who will insure you afterwards.

Studying an on-line course has enabled me to gain my 200hour qualification which I would have found difficult via an in-person qualification. My final piece of advice is to think honestly about your skills and experience going into the course and consider which approach you need.

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