I had always envisioned myself becoming a yoga teacher. But never did I imagine being stuck in the middle of a global pandemic. With an abundance of time and quite literally no distractions, I was forced to reflect on what exactly I wanted to do with myself. It was my seventh day wearing the same sweatpants finishing up my fourth game of Gin Rummy, when I saw what may have been the first “silver lining” of this entire quarantine predicament: Online Yoga Certifications.
The Kaivalya Yoga Method is one of many yoga teacher training programs offering online certifications to yogis in the comfort of their own homes. This not only complies with Covid safety standards but also brings a new sense of hope in what may feel like a hopeless time to aspirational yoga teachers like myself. Though I was eager to dive in, I did a lot of research before starting my 200 hour journey of online teacher training. Here are some of the pros and cons I have discovered along the way.
1. More Time
Online teacher training allows you to work entirely at your own pace from the comfort of your own home. For my particular training, I have 6 months to complete the 200 hours as fast or slow as I would like. This is great for people who have full time jobs and need to space it out as well as those who have less on their plate and want to treat it as an intensive. Regardless of how fast you finish, you will have access to the recordings for the entire 6 months. This allows you to comfortably digest the information and go back to the videos whenever necessary.
2. Less Money
… like a LOT less. A fraction of the cost of an in-studio training. I can’t speak for all teacher trainings, however, the in-studio certifications I personally looked into prior to this online epiphany ranged from $2,500 for local studios and surpassed $5,000 for international locations. Perspectively, the Kaivalya Yoga Method’s 200 hour online training is $397 for 6 months of access. The other virtual trainings I briefly looked at also fall just short of $400 and most of them offer payment plans as well. Some of these include Aura Wellness Center and Yoga & Ayurveda Center.
3. Online Resources
My online training comes with many useful online resources. There is an active Facebook group where we can interact with other students who are also completing the program. This is a great way to make friends, engage with the community, and even hold ourselves accountable. We are also assigned mentors who are able to answer any questions we have and give feedback on assignments.
4. Yoga Alliance Registration
Yoga Alliance is temporarily accepting online yoga teacher certifications as a result of Covid-19. Their last update was in March announcing that they would accept online certifications through September 30th, 2020. Although there is a potential extension, I recommend getting a jump start on your online teacher training if registration is important to you!
1. Accountability & Motivation
The Facebook group can be a great tool to hold yourself accountable with a virtual friend… if you do it. Working on your own terms with such a wide time frame can make it very easy to put things off and lose motivation. I personally hold myself accountable by prioritizing activities and allotting certain time periods in my calendar. I also use the current Yoga Alliance deadline as a constant motivator.
2. Lack of Personability
Although the Facebook group is a fun way to meet people and mentors tend to respond within 24 business hours, these interactions lack the same personability as an in-person encounter. Inability to hang out with new friends after class or ask your teacher a question on the spot can make you envious of what would be in an in-studio training.
3. Recording Yourself
Virtual training requires you to record yourself for certain assignments. You can either record yourself with a voice over or find a friend to teach on screen. This can be a technological hassle and finding a friend to be your student is not as easy as being paired with someone in class. But hey, I’ve made it work so far!
In a period where most of us have more time on our hands than ever before, unemployment is at its peak and social distancing is enforced, online yoga teacher trainings can be a practical, affordable, and safe way to deepen our knowledge of yoga. I recommend considering the above factors when deciding whether to do an online YTT.
Am I happy I chose to go online? Absolutely. It may not be the luxurious Indonesian excursion I had always imagined, but I am one step closer to being the teacher that I have always wanted to be.
Besides, there’s a 300hr Advanced YTT in Bali next year. Who’s with me?