Several fitness enthusiasts are now opting to learn yoga outside formal institutes. Online methods make high-quality yoga learning and instruction accessible to everyone, not just those living in major cities.
With this ease, however, comes a steep learning curve. If you’re considering embarking on your own at-home yoga teacher training, here are six factors you’ll want to keep in mind while looking for an affordable online yoga teacher training course.
Assess the Teaching Style
What kind of learner are you? Are you likely to watch several hours of videos before starting practice? Or do you prefer having someone explain the process in person so that they can correct your form when necessary?
Hiring a private teacher may be your best bet if you want one-on-one attention and instructions. However, direct, one-on-one coaching may be more expensive than group learning programs. Make a detailed assessment of how much time and money you’re willing to invest in paying for personal attention.
Inspect the Learning Material
It’s worth tracking down sample material from prospective instructors before committing and investing heavily in supplies. Many yoga organizations offer an online library of videos or articles related to yoga philosophy and practice that can serve as good starting points.
Try searching for such materials using the names of well-respected organizations. If the institute’s website has a demo section of poses, that can also be an easy way to see if their teaching style is compatible with what you’re looking for.
Flexible Learning Options
If you’re using online instruction primarily to supplement your practice, the location may not matter much. However, some students prefer to choose from different instructors without having to travel between studios.
Analyze their teaching schedule, too. Is there a regular time when the studio posts online classes? If not, can you take classes in the morning or evening to accommodate your work schedule?
Many studios offer group classes taught by visiting experts who may not be available long-term. Regional availability varies widely among online yoga teachers. Browse through websites and social media pages for information on course structure. Also, check if the website offers “watch later’ options for flexibility.
Many yoga programs promise certifications on completing a certain number of hours and courses. However, certifications do not necessarily mean that the quality of instruction has been validated. Many “certifying” institutions don’t do more than give verbal or paper tests on theory without providing an opportunity to practice teaching skills.
A good teacher training program should provide at least 200-250 hours (of direct practice) if it includes practice teaching amongst its requirements and 400+ if it doesn’t.
It’s vital to remember that most full-time yoga teachers have accumulated 900-1,000 hours of teaching experience over time before they open their studios. Additionally, it takes time to learn and master yoga using the correct technique.
If the program you’re researching does not include practice teaching, your investment may go to waste. It takes at least a few hours of direct coaching to master breathing techniques and form.
Cost of the Program
Online teacher training sessions are usually more affordable compared to full-time studios or formal programs. However, some training providers may not mention hidden costs of weekend workshops or hundreds of dollars you may have to spend on travel expenses every year to maintain an affiliation with a particular organization.
Some affordable online yoga teacher training institutes offer yoga vacations and include room & board fees as part of the fee package. Always ask about graduation requirements, and decide for yourself if there’s a value to completing the entire program or just individual courses.
Remember that practice teaching is the final step of any teacher training program. Ask your prospective teacher to describe their course requirements and completion standards, and be sure to compare their answers with those of other instructors.