Online yoga teacher training allows an aspiring yoga teacher to complete certification requirements on her own schedule and at her own pace. Although online courses do not replace the importance of contact hours received through in-person training, online training can serve as non-contact hours for Yoga Alliance certification or serve as continuing education for the American Council on Exercise.
Positives and Negatives
Future instructors enrolled in online programs gain the flexibility to tailor the pace of the curriculum to fit their own schedules. In addition, online programs allow future instructors to skip the expense and time commitment associated with travel to another city to attend intensive training programs.
However, online programs leave a student without the benefits of hands-on adjustments and without the development of the class community that is such a part of the body-mind-and-spirit yoga experience.
The certification granted by online courses can qualify a yoga teacher for professional liability insurance. In addition, programs teach future instructors the foundations of yoga and how to teach a class. For example, Core Power Yoga's online program teaches instructors to lead the Core Power Yoga Level I class. Programs also cover the history of yoga, chakras, introductions to anatomy, yoga sutras, teaching tips, the business of yoga, adjusting and assisting and contraindications.
The Yoga Alliance (YA) is the most widely recognized certifying organization for the yoga community. Most studios and gyms require instructors to obtain YA certification. However, according to Kelly Monahan, YA program associate, YA currently does not have standards for online yoga teacher trainings. Instead, a trainee can apply online course hours to the non-contact hour portion of YA certification.
Some online courses satisfy continuing education requirements for fitness professionals who are accredited through the American Council on Exercise (ACE). ACE is the world's largest nonprofit fitness certification organization and offers more than 3,000 continuing education opportunities.
ACE offers online courses that allow fitness professionals to learn the foundations of the YogaFit style. In addition, YogaFit courses teach instructors how to tailor classes to individual programs, such as yoga as a complement to a cycling regimen.