The Pros and Cons of Online Yoga Instructor Training


magine a Zoom meeting with students chiming in from across the country and the ocean. And the teacher herself leading the class from a far-flung location. It could be morning for some students and late evening for others. And it could be winter for most but a dry hot summer for a handful.

But what could bring such a diverse class together? That’s easy. A love for the yogic lifestyle and a desire to pass that love on to people near and far. Plus, the gaining popularity of online teaching.

Think of how richer a classroom experience is if that classroom virtually allows people of wildly different backgrounds and experiences to come together to talk about yoga. This experience would allow students to gain new outlooks and learn ideas about this peaceful way of life they had never even thought about.

Online learning is bringing the world together, just like yoga is bringing us all together. Put the two together and yogis will be able to make the world a better place to live, spreading the teachings of yoga to every corner of the world. Yoga makes the world a community. It allows like-minded people to share their practice…and their joy.

And practicing and learning yoga online will make people happier and healthier, no matter where they live.

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Can I become a yoga instructor online?

Absolutely! You can become a yoga instructor with an online yoga teacher training course! Many successful yoga teachers, especially recently certified instructors, have been embarking on a new path, a deeper learning of yoga, all from the comfort of their home.

They’ve deepened their yoga practice and learned about the 8 limbs of yoga, all by studying online, in own time, before taking the kids to soccer practice, after that long commute home from work or late at night when everyone else is asleep.

No longer must aspiring yoga teachers rearrange their schedules, ignore their responsibilities, and  spend countless hours driving back and forth to a brick and mortar yoga teacher training program.

Teacher trainees can study and practice on their own time thanks to the increasing number of online yoga teacher training programs. Online yoga instructor training is opening the world of yoga teaching up to people who previously wouldn’t have been able to attend otherwise.

But, we understand that online yoga instructor training isn’t for everyone. For some, studying in person, in a spaced dedicated to the yoga teacher training program is the way to go. They need hands on training in order to understand some of the finer elements of teaching yoga. There’s nothing wrong with that.

So, in this post, we are going to offer an honest look at the pros and cons of online yoga instructor training. We won’t sugarcoat it. Because choosing between studying to be a yoga instructor online or in person is a major decision. One that you shouldn’t take lightly.

Read on as we give you the info you need to decide. And, know that there is no wrong decision. Whatever you decide is the right thing for you.

Should I do online yoga training?

Yoga teacher training programs are unique. You’re reading about ancient philosophy while practicing poses. You may discuss the Yoga Sutras of Patangali one day and how to help a student balance themselves in a headstand the next. And of course, there are chakras, long-practiced chants and calming meditations to learn about and practice teachings.

Online Yoga Instructor Training - Should I do Online Yoga Training

The question is, what’s better, training online or in person? And, the short answer is that it’s up to you. But, don’t make that decision just yet. Read our list below of the pros and cons of online yoga instructor training. Weigh the reasons for and against studying to be a yoga teacher online before you choose.

It’s a huge decision and we want to make sure you make the right decision for yourself. Check out our reasons for and against online yoga instructor training below.

The Pros and Cons of Online Yoga Instructor Training

Yoga teacher training is a serious commitment. But you won’t be sorry you started down the yoga teacher training path. We can’t tell you how rewarding it is to finally become a yoga teacher, helping students learn to train their bodies and their minds towards living healthier. You’ll be spreading peace, calmness and joy throughout the world.

But you want your yoga teacher training to be a smooth as possible. If you’re going to be spreading peace, calmness and joy, you don’t want to be internalizing uneasiness, anxiety and frustration while studying to be a yoga teacher.

That means you need to decide whether you want to study to be a yoga teacher either online or in person.

online yoga instructor training - info

You may not have even thought about some of the reason we’ve listed for and against online yoga teacher training. But, they are all important things you need to be aware of.

Pro #1: One of the best things about studying for your yoga teacher training certification online is that you can do it on your own time. You can set aside a quiet spot in your house to interact with your class online, watch videos, and practice movement. You’ll have time alone to read and study, and really absorb all of the aspects of yoga. You’ll be surprised at how efficient your studying time will be without distractions from a classroom filled with people. It will be a beautiful and worthwhile experience.

Con #1: Studying online for your yoga teaching certificate could be a lonely affair. You won’t have the warmth, friendliness and helpfulness of a teacher and fellow students around you. You’ll be listening to lectures and studying by yourself. Yes, there will be a medium for you to contact your teacher and fellow students, be it an asynchronous online forum or a synchronous Zoom call. But neither of these make up for in the flesh classes. You could get lonesome and may find it hard to concentrate.

Pro #2: Prices tend to be cheaper for online yoga instructor training compared to in-person teacher training. For as low as $400, you can study online to become a certified yoga teacher. And, don’t forget that certifications means that you’ll get the same great education with the same important standards of an in-person training program.  

Con #2: You’ll be hard-pressed to find an in-person yoga teacher training class for anything under $1,000. And fees can be as high as $3,000 or even more, depending on location. So you’re paying much more of your hard-earned money, but just getting the same education that you would get if you studied online instead in a less expensive class.

Pro #3: Pre-recorded classes or recorded Zoom sessions will allow you to watch and rewatch your classes, allowing you to fully absorb difficult concepts. Remember back in school. If you missed a class or didn’t understand what you were being taught, well tough luck. There was no rewind. Online learning, however, is great because the class is recorded. You can engage with a session multiple times. Perhaps learning something that you missed the first time you watched. Your education will be all the better for having access to recorded materials. And you’ll generally have access to those materials forever! Plus your yoga practice itself will be enhanced as you’ll be able to watch poses over and over again until you can achieve even the trickiest poses in your sleep!

Con #3: As we said above, once an in-person class is over, it’s over. If you missed something in your notes, you’d better hope one of your classmates caught it. There are no do-overs. And you’ll never have access to that exact class again, unless you re-take your in-person yoga teacher training. Who wants to go through the hassle of having to scramble to find information that you missed the first time, when, if you study online, you can just watch the class over again and find the info you need!

Pro #4: You’ll have many more programs to choose from if you opt for online yoga instructor training as opposed to in-person training. You’ll be able to choose a course down the street or thousands of miles away. This freedom will allow you greater ability to choose a course that is right for you.

Con #4: Yes, you could have your pick of yoga teacher training classes from around the world. But, what if you find a class online that’s perfect for you, but is in a different time zone? You’ll have to re-arrange not only your daily schedule, but you may have problems with your sleep cycle if you are attending Zoom lessons at 3 a.m. your time. You may not have the variety, but if you take a local yoga teacher training class, at least you’ll won’t have to worry about problematic time zone issues.

Pro #5: Online yoga teacher training program generally have a better variety of continuing education classes on offer. Because, teachers can teach the classes from anywhere. And, once a class is taught, it will be available to watch again and again. If you’re interested in learning how to teach meditation, chakras, yoga nidra, prenatal yoga certification online and more, you’ll be able to, as more options will be open to you.

Con #5: Having too many continuing education programs to choose from could cause confusion if you can’t decide what to concentrate on. See, you may love candy, but too much candy is not a good thing. You may know that you want to concentrate on one aspect of yoga, such as sleep meditations. But, if your yoga shala offers 20 different continuing education classes, you may find yourself pulling in many different directions. If you find that you have a hard time choosing, this could eventually delay or sidetrack your yoga teacher training career.

Bonus pro: It will make becoming an influencer easier. There are plenty of ways yoga influencers make money, and it always helps to have the certification as a yoga instructor. There are many yoga influencers on Instagram already. Being a certified instructor could just give you the edge to do something big.

Our final verdict and recommendation!

We’ve weighed the pros and the cons of online teacher training. Time zones could be an issue, but you’ll be able to watch the class over and over again, enhancing your practice.  (…and don’t let time zones stop you.  There are great courses outside of the US like one of our favorites, Siddhi!  Check out our Siddhi Yoga School Review for more info) Plus, you’ll have all the material digitally for a lifetime!

Online Yoga Instructor Training - Our Final Verdict and Recommendation

And, although not engaging in person with other people could be a drag, you’ll still be able to engage online via Zoom and/or message boards. There will be plenty of opportunities to connect with your online classmates and teacher.

And, of course, don’t forget about pricing. You’ll pay considerably less for the same great education if you opt for online yoga instructor training.

The choice is clear. Online is best. You won’t be sorry if you choose to take a deep dive into yoga teacher training with an online program.

(Start your journey today with kundalini yoga teacher training online!)

Caleb Sharbono is a writer, bio-hacker, wellness advocate, and yogi. Caleb, who grew up on a small Montana ranch, joined the Navy at 17 to study cryptology. He later graduated from the US Naval Academy with a Minor in Mandarin, a Bachelor's in General Engineering, and a Major in English Literature. Caleb's interests and career cover diverse industries and disciplines. Caleb lives in San Antonio and is a Certified Yoga Instructor. He is also studying Zen Buddhism, practicing Holistic Psychology, and working towards his 300-hour yoga teacher training.


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