Training to be a yoga teacher, online versus in-person?!

Honestly if you had asked me in February 2019 could you train to be a yoga teacher online, I’d of said no, and that would have been a no right across my training offerings.  “No you can’t effectively complete a foundation yoga teacher training course online. No you can’t effectively complete my training in pregnancy and postnatal yoga or toddler and pre-school yoga online, it needs to be in-person to be successful”, boy was I wrong!

The power of our beliefs, the limitations of a closed mind set, I was so wrong. And I was missing out on so much, as was anyone who didn’t live in Cornwall and wanted to train with me.

I have had my belief systems shaken to my core, I have proven myself so wrong about online yoga teacher training. I now feel very passionate about it, and disappointed when I hear other yoga teachers say exactly what I would have said in February 2019.

When covid came along I was mid way through a 300hr foundation YTT and I had two specialist training courses planned, Pregnancy & Postnatal and Toddler & Pre-school yoga.  I had two choices, I could have paused them all and said I’d wait (little did I know if I’d taken that route I would have had a very very very long wait!).  But instead I decided I was not going to let covid steal my yoga offering, and take away everything I had worked so hard to create. So I took not just my classes online, but also my training, and to date it is the best business decision I have made. But it’s not just the best business decision, the outcomes and experiences of those who take my courses are greatly improved.

It took me a few months to figure out what worked and what didn’t, but I soon realised that training online meant flexibility, which is great but also needed some level of accountability.  So my training offerings creatively combine in-person group training, self-paced training videos, 1:2:1 mentoring during the course and access to participate and observe my weekly classes.   Spending hours on zoom, like we would have done in the studio fried our brains. Self-paced study is great, especially for shorter specialist & further training course, for my longer foundation YTT I found coming together for group training, with organised self-paced study in-between works really well.

Training online has so many benefits, it eliminates the cost, time and hassle of travel. It allows you to re-watch training as often as you like and opens the door to a far more flexible training schedule, along side this it’s often cheaper.  Flexibility and affordability, equals accessibility and that can never be a bad thing.  You can live anywhere in the world and train with me. I’ve literally had people from all over the world complete my pregnancy and postnatal training course, which is quite simply epic!  

I remember the first day when I started training with Gary Carter, he said to us all there’s a lot of information and you’ll take in about 20%!  20%……., well I made copious notes, all of which are hard to read.  The nature of online training (done well) means you can give yourself time to take in and digest the huge body of information that is thrown at you during training.

There are some things you may miss if your training is solely online, the cake and coffee in snack time, the easy conversations that don’t happen on zoom, the sense of the group and group connection.  I won’t lie these things are different when training online, and maybe for you so different that training online simply isn’t for you, and that’s ok.   But overall they both have pros and cons, and if you’ve been one of those yoga teachers against any form of online training then maybe it’s not for you, but please don’t assume all in-person training courses are better than online.  Let’s stop judging training on how it is delivered, but on the outcomes and experiences of those who have taken the training.  I’ve mentored enough yoga teachers to know that not all in-person training courses are good!

Don’t get me wrong it’s not the end of in-person training, it’s just the end of sole in-person training for me, as a teacher trainer when your outcomes improve so much and everyone’s experience of the training improves there’s no going back “to normal”.

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