Online learning is becoming more prominent as the wealth of information available on the internet increases. It is no different in the case of yoga training, and many courses are now available in online formats.
For instructors, online yoga courses can be undertaken as a valuable addition to build onto existing yoga teacher training (YTT), often for continuing education (CE) credit. Alternatively, yoga instructor courses also provide a means to begin your teaching journey should you not have the time or financial means to do a full-time intensive teacher training course.
Whatever your reason for wanting to undertake an online yoga course, continuous learning throughout the different stages of your yoga journey will deepen your knowledge and enrich your yoga practice.
Online Yoga Instructor Courses
Choosing the best online yoga instructor courses for you will depend on the style and area of specialty that you wish to hone your skills in. There are a number of yoga instructor courses available online and these are designed either to start or to expand on your teaching journey.
It is import to note that online training cannot comprise all of the hours required for registration with Yoga Alliance as a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) at the 200 or 500 hour level. The hours you spend online immersed in your instructor training are considered non-contact hours.
This means that you will need to attend workshops or training at a Registered Yoga School (RYS) in order to get your contact hours to qualify for the RYT or Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) designations.
200 Hour Teaching Certification
The 200-hour teaching certification is the foundation for starting the journey to becoming a yoga instructor. Online training institutes that offer 200-hour teaching certifications typically provide training in anatomy and alignment, the chakra system, pranayama, mindfulness and meditation, asanas, sequencing and the subtle body, teaching techniques, building a business, and being a professional.
The yoga instructor courses are usually delivered through instructive videos, interactive webinars, and books. Students are required to upload video assignments and complete tests in order to demonstrate their development and proficiency in each of the courses. Mentors are also available as support for students to guide them on their teaching journey.
This foundational level course typically costs from about $700 upwards. Students have twelve months to complete the course but the recommended time frame is three to four months. As mentioned above, while institutes that offer 200 hour programs online can certify you at this level, to register with Yoga Alliance as an RYT 200 or E-RYT 200, you will also need to make sure you meet their contact hour requirements.
300 Hour Teaching Certification
A 300 hour teaching certification is for instructors looking to reach the next level in their yoga teaching practice. This certification usually builds onto your existing training to deepen your knowledge and develop your teaching skills.
The curriculum delves further into the anatomical benefits of yoga practice and includes asana modifications for specific groups of practitioners such as pregnant women or people with sports or specific injuries that require targeted movements.
The courses also provide greater in-depth knowledge of philosophy, history, meditation, myths, and mantras.
Delivery of an online 300 hour program is generally through the same methods as a 200 hour program, and completion of both is equivalent to undertaking a 500 hour program.
500 Hour Teaching Certification
As mentioned above, a 500 hour teaching certification is a combination of a 200 hour and a 300 hour teaching certifications, either completed sequentially or as part of a comprehensive, 500 hour program.
Online yoga instructor courses often offer discounts for enrolling in a 500 hour teaching certification program upfront instead of undertaking the 200-hour and 300-hour certifications sequentially.
It may therefore be a cost-effective solution for students who are certain of their desire to become a yoga instructor to undertake a dual series of courses in one go.
Tuition for 500 hour online yoga instructor courses starts from about $2,295 for the entire syllabus or about $350 upwards for each of the individual modules that make up the entire training.
Specialty Training Programs
Online specialty training programs can be a great way to sharpen your skills or build into your teaching repertoire as they provide specific focus on specialized subject matter. Intensive online yoga courses can also be undertaken to gain deeper insight into topics of personal interest to the instructor.
Online yoga courses of this type vary in focus, and subjects offered will depend on the training institution offering the course. Some popular courses include intensives that focus on pre- and post-natal yoga, meditation, Yoga Nidra, common types of yoga, and therapeutic yoga, to name a few.
These intensives are designed to provide more detailed information or teaching techniques within the specified niche. These will not always result in a certification upon completion but many provide useful insights and information that you may not get from within the context of a traditional 200, 300, or 500 hour program.
How Do Online Yoga Courses Fit In With Yoga Alliance
We have already learned that online courses do not form part of the contact hours required for registration with Yoga Alliance.
Why undertake an online course if it does not give you a certification accredited by Yoga Alliance then?
Well, you may already have your RYT or E-RYT designation and wish to expand your skill set without having to make any major lifestyle or scheduling changes to do it. Online yoga courses allow you to learn at a time and pace that is convenient for you.
Additionally, not all yoga instructors are RYT’s. This does not mean they are unqualified or uncertified though. It simply means that they are not registered with Yoga Alliance which is a regulatory body known worldwide.
So, you may choose to sign up for online yoga courses that do not qualify you as an RYT but give you an accreditation or certification none the less. It is up to you to assess your teaching goals and decide whether the alternative accreditation is recognized enough to land you the teaching work that you are set on.
As more and more facets of our lives are taking place online over the internet, it is not surprising that the learning environment is following suit. The high-quality yoga courses now available online provide the opportunity for a greater number of practitioners to pursue their interests more closely.
While learning at home and studying online may not be for everyone due to the level of dedication and commitment required to keep motivated outside of the typical classroom environment, learning online makes it more accessible for certified yoga instructors and dedicated yogis alike to expand their skill sets and deepen their knowledge.