By Paul Jerard

Perhaps yoga certification is something you’ve often dreamed of. For those who dream of it, many don’t pursue it because they think it isn’t feasible. The combination of cost plus the time it takes to complete training may be discouraging. However, many people don’t realize that yoga instructor training can be completed in a home study course. This option makes it easy for those who hold jobs and still desire to study for yoga certification.

Both on-site and off-site training have different advantages. Comparing the two styles may help you to make an informed choice. It may also make it possible for you to realize a dream that may have once seemed impossible.

When comparing on-site to off-site yoga training, consider the following:

* What are my study goals? In other words, what do you hope to gain from your study program? If you want to eventually teach yoga in a formal setting, you’ll need to find a course which will lead to yoga certification. This means taking a course which meets the minimum requirements for yoga teachers. Some home-study courses do not offer certification, since they do not cover all training required for certification. Many home study courses do offer diplomas; which are recognized by prospective employers as the equivalent of on-site yoga certification.

Perhaps your goal is merely to deepen your understanding of the practice of yoga, or to study a particular branch of yoga more intensely. In this case, receiving yoga certification may not be a high priority for you. This opens up more possibilities in the way of off-site training. Make sure that you have a full understanding of what your qualifications will be after taking a particular yoga course.

* Is cost and time a factor for me? On-site yoga certification courses typically require you to be available for the duration of the course (usually around two to three weeks). For working people, this may be difficult or impossible. Doing an off-site course means that you won’t need to take time off from work. You may also have more flexibility when it comes to completing the course. Work at your own pace, on your own time. A home-study yoga course is usually considerably inexpensive. On-site courses often run thousands of dollars. Once you factor in travel costs and money lost in wages, the final price tag is fairly substantial.

* How much “hands on” training will I get? To become a Certified Yoga Teacher (CYT), a certain number of hours must be devoted to hands-on training. This usually involves observing an experienced teacher in action, assisting in teaching a yoga class, etc. On-site courses are typically very hands-on. The higher quality off-site courses may have a community, teacher forum, Blog, regular newsletter, and Email or telephone support. Some hands-on training is important, so when possible, study with local teachers to enhance the practical component of your training.

* How much support will I get from my instructor? In an on-site course, students are in close, regular contact with an instructor. That means there is always someone there to troubleshoot with, ask questions of and to demonstrate things live and in person. Off-site yoga courses lack this characteristic. This doesn’t mean that an off-site course won’t give you the kind of training that you need. Rather, look for one that gives unrestricted access to an instructor (by phone, Email, etc.). You’ll fare better than choosing one that offers little in the way of support.

Once you evaluate your own situation, weigh your needs and resources against available courses. You’ll have a better idea whether to choose on or off-site yoga training. No matter which you pick, quality content is the key to your success. Choose wisely and the results will be worth the investment.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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