online yoga training for instructorsBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Whether you need non-contact continuing education credits, or you are seeking your first Yoga teacher training diploma, online courses have many positive advantages. It is true that not all online Yoga teacher education is equal, but there are some easy ways to tell who is genuine and who is not.

Is the online yoga training course written, designed, and graded by Yoga teachers? This may sound curious, but some courses are not designed by Yoga instructors. Is the course recognized by an accrediting body? Research the course and the school before you make a decision.

One more point to consider: Does the certifying institution focus on creating Yoga courses or do they also have diplomas for gun smiths, dog grooming, computer programming, and appliance repair? You should consider a school that exclusively educates Yoga teachers.

Yoga is a very large topic, and it cannot be brushed over in a single course. Continuing education is an accepted part of Yoga instructor training. With this in mind, please consider the following benefits of online education for Yoga instructors.

1. Going Green: Traveling hundreds or thousands of miles by car, boat, jet, train, or bus takes a toll on the environment. If you are planning a vacation, and have no obligations to your children, you could create a Yoga training vacation. However, if the sole purpose is to become a certified Yoga teacher, long-distance travel is contributing toward air pollution.

2. Time: Each day, something or someone demands your time. If you ask your employer for a month off to attend an intensive training for Yoga instructors, will she or he understand? Holding onto a job is essential to survival and onsite training may not be an option.

3. Accessibility: You can communicate with your tutor at any time. Email and telephone support is a big help. However, forums and online chats with graduates, interns, and teachers is a big plus. This allows you interaction with like-minded people from every part of the world.

4. Documentation: Your Email conversations can be recorded in your files. It is not that easy to compile your notes in an in-person Yoga training intensive. In fact, some face-to-face trainings demand that you not have a lap top or recording device, because it is not considered “traditional.”

5. Cost: An on-site Yoga certification course can cost thousands of dollars or more. Yoga teacher training, by correspondence or online, will cost you hundreds. In a nutshell, distance learning for Yoga teachers is expensive when you train in person.

6. Flexibility: For Yoga teachers pursuing non-contact continuing education credits, shutting down the studio for a month may not be a viable option. For prospective teachers – telling your family and job to stay on hold for a month is not realistic. Yoga teacher training by correspondence, online, or a combination of the two, gives you plenty of flexibility in your schedule.

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