If you’ve ever considered becoming a yoga teacher, you may have noticed that many online yoga teacher training (YTT) courses have emerged.
The goal of a 200-hour YTT is to teach you how to safely teach and share yoga with others at the foundational level.
On top of this, and often the reason why many students study a 200-hour, is because it will also provide you with tools for self-exploration that can change your life.
A 200-hour yoga teacher training is an introductory course designed to dive beyond the physical yoga practice and into the eight limbs of yoga, which incorporates the basic principles of the yogic path and lifestyle.
A yoga teacher training helps trainees expand their philosophical and critical thinking through yogic principles and texts, and explores the roots, lineages, and origins of yoga.
An online yoga teacher training may be for you if transportation is a challenge, for example, if you feel safer in your own private space, or perhaps if you travel a lot.
In the last few years, especially since the 2020 global pandemic, the proliferation of online yoga teacher training programs has saturated the virtual market, making it difficult to decide which online yoga teacher training may be right for you.
In this article we’ll discuss:
- Reasons to Take a Yoga Teacher Training
- Considering An In-Person Yoga Teacher Training
- Benefits of Online Yoga Teacher Training
- Things to Look Out For
- 4 Online Yoga Teacher Training Programs
Reasons to Take a Yoga Teacher Training
There are many reasons to take an in-person or online yoga teacher training beyond teaching yoga at the local studio.
We invite you to grab pen and paper and give yourself some time to sit and reflect on the following questions:
- Why do you want to do a yoga teacher training?
- What value will it add to your life?
- Do you plan to share it with others? If so, how?
If you need some reasons take a YTT, here are a few:
- To dive deeper into yogic philosophy
- To learn about anatomy and physiology from the yogic perspective
- To learn techniques for your own self-care practice
- To share the practices with friends and family
- To move beyond the physical practice and learn about the 8 limbs of yoga
- For self-growth
Considering An in-Person Training
In-person yoga teacher trainings also have many benefits, so before diving into online yoga teacher trainings, let’s keep some things in mind:
An in person yoga teacher training is great if you have the ability and resources to travel to the location (whether that’s local or international) and committ to 200 hours of in-person interaction with a group of humans embarking to do the same.
In-person teacher trainings can vary in length and format. You may find yoga teacher training intensives that are crammed into a month or two where you get it all done quickly, as well as trainings that span through 8 to 12 months.
In longer trainings, the group usually meets once a month, finding more space to digest each topic and sometimes go a bit more in depth.
That requires you to either live in the same place where the training is being held or be able and willing to travel there for every session.
In-person 200-hour teacher trainings are great for those with a high interest in the physical practice, since it provides more hands-on and contact hours where alignment can be explored safely and functionally.
Being in a physical space can also feel more connected for some, although being in the same place physically doesn’t necessarily mean building deeper connections, it is just personal preference.
Benefits of Online Yoga Teacher Training
When considering an online yoga teacher training program, there are many benefits to recognize:
1# Global Access
Who you train with is no longer limited by geographical location, instead, you have a wide variety of lineages, teachers, and yoga styles to choose from.
You can train with any teacher you’d like, from anywhere in the world.
That can be both a blessing and a challenge because that also means more offers to choose from… which we’ll explore later!
Another advantage of choosing an online yoga teacher training is the increased accessibility.
Online YTT courses have live hours that you must attend, yet you don’t have to be anywhere in particular.
You can join class literally from anywhere in the world that has a strong internet connection.
This alone, makes online yoga teacher training options more attractive to those who travel a lot as well as for people with disabilities and chronic illness.
It’s also great for those with fewer financial resources since it does not require as many moving parts & logistics by removing the barrier of transportation.
In an online yoga teacher training, there are portions that will be live through Zoom, Google Meets, or another platform, but many programs have modules that are pre-recorded and you’ll be asked to work through them at your own pace.
This provides more flexibility for the trainees, allowing them to take these pre-recorded sessions whenever suits their schedule, yet still committed to the live sessions to stay connected to the group.
Things to Look out For
The cost of a Yoga Alliance-approved (in person or online) yoga teacher training tends to oscillate between $2000-$4000 USD depending on format, faculty, location, etc.
If you start looking on the internet you may quickly find many online YTT programs that are marked down to around $300-$500.
Although it is a great option for those with limited resources wanting to get certified, we encourage you to look well into these programs before signing up; oftentimes you will get what you pay for.
As mentioned above, some of the online yoga teacher trainings have live portions that you can either attend or watch the recording, and trainings may have different policies on missed live sessions and how to make them up.
Some of these trainings are fully recorded, giving you more freedom, but also requiring more self-discipline.
When looking for the right online YTT for you, make sure you’ll be able to attend the live portions as much as possible. It makes a difference!
Making sure that the online yoga teacher training that you choose is approved by the Yoga Alliance is relatively important, depending on where you live and how you want to share yoga with others.
Many yoga studios, gyms, and other spaces (but not all!) in the United States as well as other countries will require that you are certified under a Yoga Alliance-approved school (RYS).
Others will require that you have CPR/AED training, which is separate from your YTT certification.
4# Curriculum & Reading Materials
It is important to pay attention to what it is that you will be learning.
There are basic modules that must be present in all 200-hour yoga teacher trainings, but how they are approached and explored varies immensely from one yoga school to another.
There will be mandatory and recommended reading as well; what books are chosen vastly affects the program’s philosophy and content.
All 200-hour teacher trainings must have tests, practicums, homework, mandatory and optional reading, as well as practice teaching.
What methods of assessment are being used to evaluate progress, information retention and understanding, etc?
Know what you’re embarking on, it is a decent amount of work!
4 Online Yoga Teacher Training Courses
Here are 4 online yoga teacher training courses that invite trainees to explore yoga beyond asana.
These trainings are consciously creating space for inclusivity and diversity inviting a wider range of people to become yoga teachers and share these practices within their own communities.
We invite you to take a look and see if any of these online yoga teacher training courses are a good match:
1# Donation Based 200-hour Life Skills and Yoga Teacher Training with Claire Santos
An 11-week Trauma-informed and resilience-focused training designed to:
“be the starting place of acknowledgment of the traumas potentially being held by yourself and your students. This allows for these amazing practices to be applied in a way that is most supportive of the holistic freedom of the practitioner.“
2# Path to Yoga Justice & Equity 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training with Dianne Bondy
Dianne Bondy’s work focuses on body positivity, social justice, and inclusivity, and her trainings center these issues and “help you teach yoga to a broad range of students with differing abilities, body types, conditions, and perspectives.”
#3 Yoga Farm Ithaca 200-hour Yoga Teacher Trainings
This popular online yoga school has three different 200-hour online YTT programs to choose from; the Kundalini Teacher Training, The Radiant Warrior, and QiGong training giving you an opportunity to find a program that aligns with what you want to teach or explore.
#4 Embrace Yoga’s Roots YTT 200 Hour with Susanna Barkataki
This is a 5-month online program that aims to “advance your practice, deepen, and become a culturally informed yoga leader“. As an Indian yoga culture advocate, Susanna aims to bring authentic yoga tools and practices to the communities that need them most.
When looking for your ideal online yoga teacher training, take some time to figure out why you want to take a YTT, look at the different options out there according to your budget, wants, and needs, and find a community that you can connect to.
Learn about what to do after yoga teacher training here!