Is taking an online yoga teacher training the same as a physical one?

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, certain adjustments had to be made by the entire world to avoid spreading the infection even more. Having face-to-face interactions and conducting mass gatherings are a major no-no because the virus can be easily transmitted from one person to many. In fact, Singapore implemented circuit breaker measures in 2020 which included a “stay-at-home” order.

But despite this being a preventive measure for the safety of everyone, it has also left a negative impact on our society. The limitations brought about by it certainly made our lives less than normal. Unfortunately, the world of yoga is not exempted from this.

Yoga is known to be a very personal and social type of practice. Here, you typically work out in the same room with a yoga instructor and fellow yoga practitioners. It is the same with yoga teacher training. You learn everything that you need to know in a yoga school along with other aspiring yoga teachers. However, with everything that’s going on, the best way to do this is online. Unlike before, yoga teacher training will be limited to the screen of your phone or computer. Is that major transition going to affect the result of our teacher training?

In this article, we’ll be discussing whether or not online yoga teacher training in Singapore is worth it.

What are the objectives of taking a yoga teacher training course?

Yoga is such a multi-faceted practice that many people are drawn to it for different reasons. The eagerness to learn yoga depends on the goals and objectives of each individual. Having an objective allows us to become focused and determined to have the best results we can get to achieve it. It keeps us motivated.

Yoga teacher training has the same objectives as practicing yoga in general. The only difference is that here, students are striving for higher ground in the art of yoga. This involves more in-depth and substantial learning of yoga not just for the sake of absorbing the knowledge and experience yourself but also to effectively pass it on to your future yoga students.

With that said, let’s dive into the objectives of yoga teacher training:

To gain complete knowledge of yoga

Undergoing yoga teacher training will teach us everything about yoga including its history, theory, anatomy, philosophy, styles, and many more. It’s ultimately the one way towards mastering yoga and knowing how to apply it in our lives.

To achieve good health

Yoga is known to be a great addition to a healthy lifestyle. It not only strengthens our bodies but also enriches our minds and spirit. It’s an exercise that enables us to be physically stronger to fight against diseases and other health-related issues. Yoga motivates and inspires us to engage in other physical activities that will lead us to fitness.

To teach us self-discipline and self-control

In life, there are many temptations. Sometimes we do things that aren’t good for us just because they make us feel good. Yoga teacher training aims to teach us the importance of having self-discipline and self-control. It allows us to see and focus on the things that are essentially good for us, just like limiting ourselves from doing things that can only endanger our health and promote stress and toxicity in our life. It helps us connect with our inner selves and be able to have control over our thoughts and movements.

To develop emotional stability

A lot of us feel stressed due to several reasons, one of which is the lack of emotional stability. Yoga practice can help us cultivate the skill to control and manage our emotions. Yoga involves a lot of meditation and relaxation, letting us have a moment to be in touch with our inner energy. By practicing yoga regularly, we can handle and display our emotions better.

To attain a higher level of consciousness

Yoga is all about understanding one’s self: your body, mind, and your spirit. It’s learning how to be conscious about yourself and the environment that you are in. Teacher training enables us to develop a better sense of consciousness and awareness. It strengthens our ability to focus.

Does Yoga Alliance approve online yoga teacher training sessions?

Many yoga schools have aligned their yoga teacher training courses to the standards of Yoga Alliance, with Sweatbox Yoga being one of them. The best yoga studio in Singapore, Sweatbox provides quality teacher training sessions for many aspiring yoga instructors. Even with the transition to the online platform, the courses are still Yoga Alliance-certified and at the end of it, you will be receiving recognition as an official yoga teacher.

The difference between face-to-face and online yoga teacher training courses

Is one really better than the other?

Taking a yoga teacher training course is definitely a challenge. The 200-hour teacher training consists of mind and body-grueling studying and training that will equip you with the necessary information and skills to make the experience meaningful. It takes a lot of patience, perseverance, and focus to become a registered yoga teacher. If you really want to achieve that, you need to know what you’re dealing with. Fortunately, despite the seemingly long duration of the training, you have the choice to take it either full-time or part-time.

In line with that, here are the differences between face-to-face yoga teacher training sessions and those that are online.

Teaching demonstrations

The great thing about in-person teacher training is that you get to see actual asana demonstrations. It’s easier to see, understand, and follow the teachings of the yoga instructor. The classes that are taking in a studio puts you in the perfect mindset of a yoga student because the ambiance is right. Doing it online will not lessen the instructor’s teaching quality, however, it does make it a bit more challenging for the student to absorb what is being taught due to the unlikely environment.

Learning pace

In physical teacher training, the pace of learning depends on the yoga instructor. They are in charge of the yoga classes and they control what happens inside the studio. All you have to do is to keep up. On the other hand, learning the teacher training course from home allows you to have self-paced learning wherein you get to learn on your own terms. You can stop if you want to but you can also move forward as much as you could. You also don’t have to feel pressured about your learning progress because there are no other people present that you could compare yourself with.

Course fees and other costs

By taking the teacher training course from home, you can save more money. The course program is relatively cheaper compared to taking the face-to-face one. The expenses for commute, food, and other essentials must also be taken into consideration. If you take your yoga class at home, you don’t have to spend so much on those mentioned things because you’re at home.

Physical contact

The lack of physical contact may be beneficial in terms of the coronavirus pandemic. However, if you look at it from a teaching and learning perspective, it’s really more of a disadvantage. Yoga is a very physical type of activity wherein the learning process is more effective if you learn it by feeling it instead of just watching it from a screen.

Socialization

Other than being a personal type of exercise, yoga is also considered to be a social one. Learning yoga in an actual studio enables us to meet and exercise with other people. We experience training how to become yoga teachers along with other students. We get to feel a sense of belongingness and possibly establish friendships. However, doing it within your house means a lack of social interaction. It can feel a bit lonely.

Comfort zone

Teaching yoga can be quite intimidating, especially at the beginning. Learning it within the confinement of our homes makes us feel more comfortable. We have a sense of security and a little more confidence in ourselves knowing that no one is else is going to see us make a mistake during the training course.

What are their similarities?

As indicated above, the in-person and online yoga teacher training courses have their differences. However, they also share some similarities. Check them out below:

200-hour teacher training course

Both types involve a 200-hr yoga teacher training course that includes many topics covering the art of yoga. It requires that many hours because there is so much to learn. To become a teacher, you will not only be learning yoga as a student but you will also be mastering the right way of teaching yoga. Anyone is eligible to register, however, the 200 hours does not always guarantee that you will be a successful yoga teacher. You must understand that it takes a certain attitude to be skilled in the teaching methodology.

Curriculum

The course curriculum is the same and the topics are all similar. It doesn’t matter if you’re learning the teaching methodology in a studio or inside your house, you will still have full access to the learning materials. In both arrangements, you will be learning all the same things about yoga such as asanas, Hatha vinyasa, vinyasa yoga, pranayama, and many more. The yoga poses that you will be learning to memorize and execute are the same as well. There really isn’t much of a difference when it comes to the internal learning aspect of teacher training classes.

Quizzes and the exam

The 200-hr yoga teacher training, whether in-person or via technology, will be giving out quizzes. This is to assess how much you are learning from the trainer. Meanwhile, the exam will be taken at the end of the training course. This will be the one to determine whether or not you have passed to become a registered yoga teacher. Fortunately, you can take it again.

Certification

At the end of the 200 hours of training, you will be receiving a certificate signifying your accomplishment. Regardless of which platform you used to finish the teacher training program, your hard work will be given proper recognition.

Registration

Both the online and in-person training program requires the students to register. Anyone is eligible to register, whether you have prior experience with yoga practice or not.

Quality and credibility of the trainer

Yoga studios like Sweatbox Yoga offer the best and most experienced yoga instructors to teach the training program. Even if you take the course online, you will still be getting quality training from a skilled instructor. In Sweatbox, you will be able to cultivate your yoga knowledge and skills under the care of top yoga instructors Lynette Ng and Rachel Foo.

Is online yoga teacher training worth it?

Definitely, taking the yoga teacher training course online is worth it! It’s all a matter of perspective, it still enables us to practice yoga and learn how to teach it despite the pandemic situation. The great thing about it is that we still have full access to the 200-hr yoga instructor training course from the safety of our homes. The cost of price is more affordable but the quality of your learning is not compromised. Plus, it keeps our minds and bodies active even during isolation!

If you want to take an online yoga teacher training course in Singapore, you can try Sweatbox Yoga. We offer quality courses and credible trainers that will certainly provide you with substantial knowledge and skills when it comes to teaching yoga.

About the Author​

Lynette is fully dedicated to the support and empowerment of the growing community of committed yoga students and teachers. As one of the Lead Instructors for Yoga Teacher Training, she is here to share tips on how to grow your profile as a yoga teacher or build a yoga business either physically or digitally.