Have you always dreamed of becoming a certified yoga instructor? But time is short with so many obligations you already have. And then there’s the money you need to spend on it. Well, maybe an online yoga teacher training may just be what you’re looking for.
Our world is moving digital. So, online yoga teacher training is most probably not just a short-term trend. Many yoga studios and teachers are already preparing online yoga instructor training programs that are in no way inferior to in-person courses. Most of them include tests and exams to ensure that students are ready to actually teach a yoga class. Frankly, getting certified as a yoga teacher online has never been easier.
However, with the huge number of online services offering yoga instructor trainings including a yoga teacher certification, it’s almost impossible to find the best online yoga teacher training for your needs and learning style. We help you find the perfect fit for you.
This article covers:
1. The Benefits of an Online Yoga Teacher Training
Times are getting faster and faster. Sometimes, it seems impossible to be able to keep up with everything and to get everything under one roof. Sounds familiar to you? In that case, fulfilling your dream of becoming a certified yoga instructor online may be for you. Here’s why you should consider this option.
1. Save Time and Money
One of the most obvious benefits of an online yoga teacher training is that it’s usually more affordable than an in-person training. This is because the teacher’s expenses will most certainly be lower, enabling them to pass these savings on to you.
Apart from that, you also save any additional costs like travel and accommodation expenses. Neither do you have to give up your job for several weeks or months and lose income.
Time is another important factor. Offline trainings usually require full days of practice. These can either be squeezed into several weeks or spread out over a number of weekends. Even if you manage to align the training sessions with your job and other every-day obligations, it may still be challenging to change up your routine – not to mention the loss of valuable spare time! The flexibility an online yoga teacher training offers is a huge advantage – especially for those who have a busy life and don’t have much time to spare.
2. Practice According to Your Pace and Schedule
Most online yoga instructor trainings are self-paced or allow at least for a certain degree of flexible timing. This allows you to learn and train at the pace that works best for your schedule and your learning style.
You can easily squeeze the individual sessions into your daily routine. You could, for example, watch the training videos from your home, while traveling, or even on the beach. Or you can listen to lectures on your commute, while preparing dinner, or when your kids are in bed.
Usually, you can take online yoga instructor training courses at any time, from anywhere and from any device. All you need is a solid internet connection. In some cases, you can even download the contents if you know you’ll be without internet connection when you’re on holiday, for example.
In this way, training online to become a certified yoga instructor can easily fit into your daily life and you can adjust the training sessions according to your unique learning pace and schedule.
3. Train With International Yoga Stars
Choosing an online yoga teacher training course also enables you to practice with yoga teachers who would otherwise not be available to you since they live and teach on the other side of the world. Online services offer you the possibility to train with international yoga stars like John Friend, Young Ho Kim or Barbra Noh without having to fly around the globe.
4. Access to Content for Review
Most online yoga teacher certification programs offer prolonged or even lifetime access to the training sessions. This is a great opportunity to watch the videos again and refresh what you’ve learned anytime throughout the course. This allows you to deepen your knowledge and understanding.
If you’ve already taken an in-person training (of any kind), you may know the feeling that you wanted to review the interesting lectures and engaging discussions since you hadn’t been able to take notes of everything. Or you ended up with a pile of paper that you just didn’t feel like keeping.
In an online yoga teacher training, the sessions are usually recorded and learning materials are provided online. You can find everything neatly organized at one spot instead of having piles of papers and notes flying around. You can also rewatch, fast-forward, or rewind the videos.
5. Connect With Students From All Over the World
Yes, if you’re doing an offline course, you will certainly have a great sense of community among the students. You get to know so many people with different backgrounds and different stories, but all share time and space, the same goal, and experience the same things. You may laugh, cry, and sweat together.
However, just because you’re attending a yoga teacher training online doesn’t mean you won’t connect to others and feel a sense of community. A profound online yoga instructor training course will provide regular calls, live attendance, or even a private group on a social media platform to share thoughts, feelings, and cat photos. This will help you connect with your fellow students.
What is more, you may even get to know students from China, California, or France – without leaving your home country or even your house. In this way, you may even make friends all over the world and get to know different cultures.
2. The Downsides of an Online Yoga Teacher Training
While it’s nice to get a yoga certification online as it’s much easier than going to a yoga studio several days per week, there are some downsides of getting certified online. There are a few things you may be missing if you take an online yoga teaching course.
1. No Face-to-Face Interaction
For many people, in-person contact and face-to-face interaction with the teachers and fellow students is an important part of a yoga teacher training. They long for the lasting bonds created during extensive training programs. This is because you usually meet like-minded people that may become friends for life.
However, when you do your yoga teacher certification online, you don’t have this in-person experience and may feel you’re missing out on valuable friendships. Chatting in an online forum and via video calls just isn’t the same kind of connection. You won’t be able to hold each other’s hands, wipe away each other’s sweat and tears, or fling your arms around each other after having passed the final exam. If this is something that makes a yoga teacher training for you, then online might not be the best option for you.
Another thing you need to consider is whether you’re generally able to motivate yourself and keep on task. While for some people, a self-paced training course can have many benefits, it may not be the best option for those who need deadlines, continuous check-ins, and due dates to be able to stay on track.
While the flexibility offered by an online training helps you to manage all your other tasks, it may be the exact reason why you can’t stay committed. Being able to do other things on the side may easily distract you and prevent you from focusing on your yoga teacher certification altogether.
Ask yourself whether you’re able to keep working when nobody is checking in on you and supporting you the entire time. In an offline yoga teacher training in a facility, you’re motivated by those around you and your teachers. The dedication within the group will inspire and encourage you to learn. Losing commitment when you’re surrounded by highly motivated fellow students is much less likely than when you’re all by yourself. In the worst case, you’re even surrounded by people who may – intentionally or unintentionally – hinder you and prevent your progress.
3. No In-Person Adjustments
Especially in yoga, the best learning experience is through hands-on adjustments and corrections. Although you still have the opportunity to practice yoga in an online yoga teacher training, certain learners benefit more from an in-person approach to teaching and learning.
When doing your instructor training online, there’s nobody checking and verifying the quality of your yoga practice. In many cases, when you practice yoga online, there’s nobody giving direct instructions specifically aimed at you. In an offline setting, you are surrounded by other aspiring soon-to-be yoga teachers. You’re able to watch and observe others and adjust yourself accordingly and increase your knowledge.
Although you may be able to understand what you see and hear in online videos, you sometimes simply need somebody who gives you clear guidance and adjustments. When you practice yoga poses on your own, you may have the impression you’re doing it properly. But in a real-life yoga teacher training, you’ll be moved in order to be correctly aligned.
Also, seeing your fellow yogis being adjusted is just as useful as it helps you to understand how the pose should be performed correctly. Understanding proper alignment in your own body is the key to being able to offer valuable adjustments to your future students.
3. Nine Tips to Find the Best Online Yoga Teacher Training
1. Who Are the Teachers?
Can you still remember your teachers from school? If you’re like most people, you probably still have a clear picture of your favorite teachers and the ones you really disliked. Why is that? Because they shaped you. With their expertise and empathy (or lack thereof), they accompanied you during a significant time in your life. The same goes for your yoga teacher(s) during your yoga instructor training. They make you the yoga teacher you’re going to be. So choose them wisely.
Before signing up for an online yoga teacher training, make sure you know exactly who your teachers are. Do you trust their expertise and knowledge? Do their teachings resonate with you? Does their philosophy and approach to yoga speak to you? Make sure you get as much information about them before choosing an online yoga instructor certification program.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to them and ask them (or their team) any question that you have on your mind. Maybe you even have the opportunity to try out one of their classes to see whether you feel safe under their guidance and enjoy their class. We actually recommend you do that.
TINT Academy, for example, provides extensive teacher trainings with John Friend, Young Ho Kim or Barbra Noh. And all of them have separate classes on TINT that are included in our ALL-ACCESS membership (the first 14 days are free!).
Another important thing to keep in mind is the style of yoga they’re teaching and that you’re going to learn. From Anusara to Yin yoga, there’s a huge variety of yoga styles out there. Make sure you choose a yoga teacher training that is in line with what you want to learn and with what you want to teach.
2. Are You Permitted to Teach Afterwards?
You should also familiarize yourself with the value the online yoga teacher certification offers. Is it an advanced training that provides further education requiring you to have completed a basic yoga teacher training? This is often the case when you attend a yoga teacher training for a specific yoga style such as Bowspring or Inside Flow. In that case, you need to have a general yoga instructor certification allowing you to teach yoga in general.
Also, make sure that this yoga-style specific teacher training gives you permission to actually teach the yoga style after having completed the training course. Some online yoga teacher trainings out there actually only are extensive workshops that provide you with the knowledge of the relevant yoga style but do not grant you permission to teach the style on your own. So make sure you read the small print.
3. Is There Any Interaction?
Although modern technology allows making online yoga sessions just as interactive and fun as in-person yoga teacher trainings, this doesn’t mean the training provider makes use of this possibility. Some online instructor training courses out there are just a carelessly compiled collection of pre-recorded videos. This makes the whole experience boring, cold and impersonal.
On the other hand, although pre-recorded sessions are less interactive, they tend to have higher quality and allow you to watch and learn at your own pace as you can pause, replay, rewind, and fast-forward the videos.
Also, taking an online training course can be very lonely as you’re all by yourself. The support of an engaged community will help you tremendously to stay motivated and complete your online yoga teacher training. This is why you should check whether your online yoga school offers ways to connect to, and interact with, your classmates. You also want to find out whether they provide support outside the classroom. This can be in the form of a learning forum or a messenger group on a social media platform.
Be suspicious if you get no answer when reaching out to their support team – or if you can’t find any contact person at all.
Apart from that, you should always be aware that, no matter how ambitious and good the intentions behind an online yoga teacher training course is, the reality of live technology can always thwart the plans. Low sound quality and delays in video transmission due to connectivity or other technical issues can always lead to unforeseeable challenges and make group interaction all the more difficult. Also, if the class size is too big, the teacher will hardly be able to see each student.
Note that learning to become a yoga teacher – online or not – requires extensive feedback, support, and guidance. Make sure that your chosen online yoga school has feedback mechanisms to support you.
We at TINT Yoga try our best to provide you with the warmest customer experience possible. Although some of our TINT Academy programs are pre-recorded, you can always reach out to our Support Team who are always happy to assist. We also provide a live 200-Hour Inside Yoga Teacher Training with live support and student interaction via a messenger.
4. Do You Get Learning Materials?
You should also carefully check what’s included in the online teacher training package. Check whether you have to spend additional money on workbooks and learning material, exams, and certifications.
A sound online training course includes learning materials such as a workbook, guidance questions, and the possibility to ask questions.
Some online yoga instructor trainings charge extra for that or don’t provide any learning materials at all. This may be the “price” you pay for getting an extraordinarily cheap training course. So, always make sure to find out what’s included and at what value.
Our TINT Academy programs, for example, all include an extensive workbook and are accompanied by guidance questions, a final exam, and a certificate at the end.
5. How Much Does It Cost?
The prices for online yoga teacher trainings range from as little as a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Our advice here is to be aware of too low prices. While it’s certainly attractive to find a bargain, don’t forget that quality has its price. Lower prices may reflect less support, lower quality, or less experienced teachers. Sure, this doesn’t always have to be the case, but consider a reasonably priced online yoga teacher training an investment in yourself, your career, and professional development.
6. Is It Registered With Yoga Alliance or Otherwise Authorized?
Yoga Alliance® is one of the most recognized entities in the world that provide online yoga teacher certifications. However, note that it’s a private, non-profit entity and that it’s optional for yoga teachers to join.
Yoga Alliance® has no connection whatsoever to any local, state, or federal governmental body. So, being registered with them is not required to be allowed to teach yoga. Nor is it required in order to get insurance or be legally protected while teaching yoga. In addition, registering with them comes at quite a cost.
However, most yoga studios rarely hire a yoga teacher because they’re a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). A trustworthy yoga studio should select their teachers because of their skills, experience, professionalism, and their ability to guide, motivate, and inspire students.
To decide whether a yoga-alliance certified yoga teacher training is a must for you, we recommend you do your own comprehensive research. In the end, it comes down to your personal choice (and the size of your wallet).
7. Is There an Exam in the End?
Completing a teacher training without having to do an exam in the end sounds too good to be true. While this may seem attractive – especially when time is short – remember that an exam is always a form of quality assessment.
Imagine your teachers didn’t have to provide any proof of their knowledge and teaching skills. Would you feel safe being instructed and guided by them? Certainly not. The same is true for your own online yoga teacher certification – you need to earn it.
Also check whether the costs of the exam and certificate are included in the tuition fee. Otherwise, you may end up paying way more than you expected.
This is something you don’t need to worry about if you decide to learn and train with TINT Academy. We reward your efforts. All completed online exams are accompanied by a personalized certificate just for you. Show others what you achieved. And one thing is for sure: The exams aren’t easy-peasy. Your TINT Academy certificates stand for themselves.
8. What Do Testimonials Tell You?
Is there any better way to find out whether an online yoga teacher training is good than recommendations from former students? Word of mouth may be one of the most reliable indicators of quality. Check whether your targeted online yoga school has any testimonials or reviews from past course participants. If their website doesn’t offer any it’s certainly not a sign of modesty.
Also, feel free to reach out to past students to find out about their experience. They will most likely be more than happy to give you some insights that the school’s sales page doesn’t provide.
9. What’s Your Own Gut Feeling?
This last tip may sound so simple but should certainly not be neglected. In most cases, you know best what’s good for you. You know what you want and what you don’t want. Trust your intuition and your gut feeling. It tells you whether an online yoga teacher training is right for you or not.
4. Conclusion: Is an Online Yoga Teacher Training Worth It?
This question can hardly be answered with a general ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Instead, the answer depends on individual preferences, circumstances, and needs.
For some people, an online yoga teacher training may be the only possible way to become a certified yoga instructor. Others may simply want to get certified online because it’s more convenient, less time consuming, and less expensive.
On the other hand, some aspiring yogis don’t find an online yoga teacher training appealing at all. They rather prefer in-person contact, face-to-face interaction, and the sense of community that can only be provided by an actual yoga school. There are also students who need a more hands-on approach to have a good learning experience. They would therefore benefit more from an in-person yoga teacher training.
As with any important decision, carefully assess the different options you have. Weigh the benefits against the disadvantages and decide what kind of learner you are. Compare different online yoga certification programs as regards their learning approach, focus, and teachers. Not to forget duration, cost, and location, although this should be secondary. Take your time to arrive at an informed decision that feels right for you.
Don’t let people confuse you who tell you that online yoga teacher certifications are less valuable. We at TINT Yoga are here to change that and to provide you with the best online learning experience possible. Check out our TINT Academy programs such as The Essential Training Course of the Bowspring Method, the Inside Flow Academy, and The Art of Teaching.
We and our TINT Instructors have been putting all our efforts in these online yoga teacher trainings to ensure you get high-quality education. We’d be more than happy to welcome you on board and accompany you on your journey to make the most of your yoga teacher career.
Header picture by Light Spotters.