Even before the COVID pandemic, many schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions were providing online classes. Besides physical classrooms, distance learning was the other way to obtain certification degrees and diplomas. The curriculum was exactly the same. The only difference was in the medium of instruction and the adjustments to accommodate the shortcomings of online learning. That has become pretty easy, more so in the present age, given the fact that technology has become really advanced. In the same manner, online yoga teacher training has become a thriving parallel field along with in-person yoga teacher training. There are many individual teachers as well as yoga schools that offer online yoga teacher certification courses for a nominal fee. If you have time or money constraints, or no good yoga schools nearby, online yoga classes are your best bet.
You might wonder whether yoga instructor courses online provide the same level of training or not. It is true that you will miss out on the hands-on experience that in-person yoga teacher training courses provide. In fact, for many students, the two-dimensional mode of learning that comes with any online course is unsuitable. They benefit from being present in that environment and prefer the personal interaction they get with teachers and peers. Also, for those with a busy schedule, it often becomes a challenge to maintain the same level of motivation, enthusiasm and dedication throughout a self-paced online course. Unlike scheduled, in-person classes, here, the chances of procrastination are plenty. But, if you can successfully overcome these hurdles, you will be able to benefit highly from online yoga classes.
What are the Advantages of Online Yoga Teacher Training
Online YTTs have pretty much the same advantages as any online course. But in case you are wondering (or just want to reaffirm), we will be restarting them here:
- Time is the biggest reason behind the success of online yoga classes. Not everybody is able to dedicate a whole month or more to get their YTTC. This is especially true for people who are studying, holding a job or are full-time caretakers. With online yoga teacher training, you can take the class whenever you want.
- Another reason is the ability to choose your own pace. Not every student has the same level of flexibility, pickup speed or experience. On the contrary, some might already be adept in a certain part of the course. For such students, it is a huge advantage that they can slow down or sail through a part, as necessary.
- Money is also a big dealmaker here. Online yoga courses obviously cost less than in-person ones. This is because the student does not have to pay for the space and time provision of physical classes. They just have to pay for the yoga classes only. Most online YTTCs cost about half of in-person YTTCs.
- An online yoga course provides the course in the form of pre-recorded videos of lessons. You will also get manuals, books and even props in some cases. Most of the course providers allow you to retain these resources even after the course is over. Also, these are provided all together right at the beginning of the online yoga subscription. This allows you to decide your pace of learning. You can also go over the same part over and over again until you master it.
- Online yoga teacher training becomes a necessity for those wanting to learn yoga but living in a place where a good yoga school is unavailable or too far to be convenient. For such people, online yoga classes are a godsend, as they can learn right where they live.
- And even if you do have a yoga school nearby, nothing compares with learning from the comfort of your home. You get an environment you are comfortable with, without distractions from other students.
How a Typical Online Yoga Class Happens
Most online yoga classes consist of pre-recorded videos of the lessons. They are broken up class-wise in the same format as an in-person YTTC class. The videos are edited to include subtitles and overlays of tough Sanskrit words. So, you do not have to worry about not understanding what the teacher says. Also, there will be graphics and animations, anatomical diagrams, close-ups where needed, multiple examples, slow motion in the complex parts and many more online teaching aids.
You will also get access to supplementary resources like books, teaching manuals, etc. There will be quizzes after each class and the course would end with a written paper, much in the same manner as conventional classes. You may also have to write essays and create a lesson plan. One mandatory requirement is a demo reel of you teaching at least one student. All course material will be made available right from the start. You will also get access to the course instructors as well as other renowned yogis for personal guidance any time you want.
Online Yoga Teacher Training: Yoga Alliance Approved or Not
The Yoga Alliance had always been pretty unrelenting on its stance that online yoga teacher training courses would not be given the RYS accreditation. It has always insisted that the only acceptable way to receive quality-approved yoga training is through in-person classes. However, when the Coronavirus-related quarantine started, Yoga Alliance announced that any in-person YTTC that was scheduled to be held between March 13 and June 30 would be held online through live classes. The students who complete this online course would be eligible for the RYT badge, even though they would probably not have the expertise necessary to teach yoga. After all, like all educational institutes that traditionally held physical classes, these schools would be ill-equipped to handle the shift to digital media and end up providing subpar training.
However, the outfits that were already holding online courses would still not get the approval of YA, even though they are far more equipped to efficiently conduct online classes. This has caused widespread confusion and indignation against the Yoga Alliance. Only time will tell how the Yoga Alliance would act after the pandemic is over and if online yoga teacher training would get the same recognition as in-person ones.