Are Online Yoga Teacher Training Courses Credible?
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You may have noticed that online yoga teacher training courses have taken the world by storm this year. They’re pretty convenient, you just need a stable internet connection to become a yoga instructor in a few weeks.
So, why haven’t you signed up for one yet? Chances are that, as much as you see the convenience of an online yoga teacher training, you also have doubts about their credibility.
It's totally understandable if you feel that way. Since these online courses are new and many options appear on the web every day, it’s normal to hesitate before joining one.
But we’re here to respond to all the questions you may have and reassure you that they’re excellent alternatives to in-person training.
Note: BookYogaRetreats offers a flexible cancellation policy. Should you not be able to travel as scheduled, we’d be happy to help you alter your booking with the same organizer or with a different organizer.
That’s why, in order to help you identify a reliable online teacher training without breaking your head over it, below you’ll find information about how Yoga Alliance certifications work for online courses and recommendations for selecting the best program for you.
Are online courses approved by Yoga Alliance?
Image credit: Yoga Skyros Academy
Yoga Alliance is a nonprofit organization that determines certain standards for yoga professionals. The instructors and schools that meet these standards can voluntarily register to Yoga Alliance to get an internationally recognized certification.
So, whether you’re looking for an online yoga teacher training or in-person yoga teacher training, first you need to understand what a Yoga Alliance Certification is and the types of a registered yoga teacher (RYT) it offers.
In other words, you want to know how many hours to choose for your teacher training and what does your training include. To give you an idea, a 200-Hour yoga teacher training is considered the first step to becoming a yoga instructor. While a 500-hour is the most complete course you can take.
Once you have a 200 RYT certification and 100 hours of teaching, you can do a 300-hour teacher training to complete the 500 hours. There are also ways to do all 500 hours at once. Yoga Alliance also offers other types of qualifications such as children’s yoga teacher or prenatal yoga teacher.
That said, due to the current situation, Yoga Alliance approved –for the very first time in their history– online teaching by announcing that all scheduled teacher training courses for 2020* had the option of becoming completely virtual.
*[Update] Yoga Alliance has announced that they're extending their online teaching exemption through 2021].
However, keep in mind that it does not mean that all online YTTs are now approved by Yoga Alliance. If an online yoga school promises you a certification without fulfilling the full hours of study, then it’s a warning. Contact the organizer and ask if it has a curriculum that is Yoga Alliance approved.
Recommendations for selecting an OYTT
Online yoga teacher training is a pretty convenient way to become a yoga instructor, especially during these days. It offers plenty of advantages, starting with the fact that you can access from any device, it’s budget-friendly and time-efficient. So, there’s really no reason to hesitate.
However, there are some precautions you should take when looking for an online program. First, you want to make sure that the school providing the training has experience teaching yoga.
Most of the online courses you’ll find on the internet are provided by established yoga schools that, due to the new normality, have started to offer online options. But not all of them are legit. So, one way to know if you can trust the school is by asking for how long they’ve been teaching and if they offer offline programs.
Next, do some research about the leading teacher, because who you study with is very important. You want to make sure you like the voice of this person and his/her teaching methodology. So, if you can access some of their recordings or even talk to them, that’s a great way of knowing you’re making the right decision.
Last but not least, look for a program that includes the study of ancient yogic texts, like the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, or the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. All certified programs include mandatory areas of study for anyone who wants to become an instructor.
There’s a lot to go over during a teacher training and each program approaches different aspects of yoga, but all of them should go over techniques, training and practice, teaching methodology, anatomy and physiology, yoga philosophy, lifestyle, and ethics and practicum.
If a program doesn’t have them in the curriculum, it means that you won’t be able to register with Yoga Alliance. On BookYogaRetreats.com you can easily identify which programs give you this option.
A few things to keep in mind
Image credit: Yoga Temple
Once you found a course that meets these requirements, notice the level of interaction that you’ll get during the training. Look for a program that includes live calls with the instructor and other students to explore the topics and deepen your understanding together.
It’s also essential to practice actual teaching to get constructive feedback from your instructors and peers. It’s definitely better if your course asks you to send a video of your teaching skills. It should also require you to pass an exam, it indicates that the school really cares about its graduates being high-quality instructors.
Last piece of advice
As obvious as it may sound, it's worth reminding you to look at the reviews. If you find positive reviews, ask the school to connect you with those students and ask them as many questions as you wish.
Finally, keep in mind that this is just a part of your yoga journey, eventually, things will come to normal and you’ll be in the studio again. But in the meantime, there’s no reason to stop growing in your practice!
*Cover image credit: One Yoga Thailand
Don't have time to commit to a teacher training right now? You can still get all the benefits of yoga by joining an online yoga retreat.