The choice to embark on yoga teacher training is an exciting and deeply personal one. It is also a massive commitment mentally, physically, and energetically. If this was something you were looking to do previously, you might choose to study with your local studio you frequent. However, in these virtual times, the option to take your teacher training online is now available to aspire trainees. The question is – how do you decide if virtual yoga teacher training is for you? Which one do you choose?
To me, this experience is reminiscent of college. Your 200-Hour training is like getting your bachelor’s, and 500-Hour training is like a master’s degree. Many people do online college, which works for them, while others prefer the in-person experience. A significant factor for most is how much time they have to dedicate to this education. The same thing goes for yoga teacher training. Committing to the practice in that way and deepening it requires you to hold space for it. For some, the (usual) weekend format in person is perfect. It’s immersive, dedicated, and community-driven. For others, this new opportunity to go online works better.
The question is, which one? Is now the time, or do you wait until in-person training is possible again?
I am someone who teaches and has a full-time job, so the idea of taking an in-person 500-Hour training over consecutive full weekends feels a bit overwhelming. I might burn out and not have the capacity to fully show up for these commitments with my mind and body. With that, I’ve chosen to take the online 500-Hour training with Jason Crandell and am very excited to begin. Much of the training is offered live, but there is the flexibility to complete the lessons that work for your schedule if you cannot attend in person. I find this hybrid learning model works best for me personally.
If you’re trying to pick between programs, look at the dates and times virtual training schedule, as many are different formats (extended long weekends, daily, etc.). Besides looking at the program, my best recommendation is to train with teachers that encompass styles and way of communicating yogic philosophy resonates with you.
A friend of mine signed up over a year ago for an in-person training she was very excited for, but COVID-19 caused that to be canceled. While she ideally wanted an in-person training, her desire to teach outweighed the need to be in person and the shift in perspective set her up for a great experience with Yoga Garden SF.
“Having my expectations for what my 200-HR YTT experience would be like change abruptly due to quarantine was a hard pill to swallow. I’m one of those people that thrive in the community. Then I found Yoga Garden SF’s virtual 200-HR Vinyasa YTT. I enrolled in their 200-HR YTT since the start of quarantine & it was quickly evident that they knew what they were doing. The investment by the teachers & studio as a whole ensured that this immersive experience didn’t lose an ounce of its intended honor for the beautiful practice of Yoga or our job as teachers to honor it. Even though we were behind a Zoom screen, I felt connected & forever indebted to the other students alongside me in the program. Now having graduated, I realize that learning first in the virtual world, I’m now better equipped to safely “contain a room” on screen, better navigate technical difficulties with mics or music, mirror students, as well as know-how to ensure I’m set up for students to see me & me see them. What at first seemed like a setback ended up giving me a better introduction to teaching Yoga than I could have ever asked for.”Lexi Kantz, 200-Hour RYT
The silver lining of the current times is that even if you are not locally based with the studio you want to take the training, the options are endless with virtual YTT. The convenience and different teacher resources are limitless. So if the teachers hosting digital training are ones you admire but don’t live near, you have the extraordinary opportunity of still learning from them remotely.
As far as our training goes, we are poised in a way to offer this training online because I have been training teachers since 2004 so I have a lot of experience adapting to all kinds of situations, but also I’ve been teaching online for 12 years, so I’m comfortable with the technology and best practices. Besides my training and online learning experience, our training is so special and known for being incredibly comprehensive. Most training either lean more toward the philosophical practice, or they lean toward the physical practice. I’m so proud that our training offers a high-quality curriculum that includes both the philosophical and physical aspects of the practice, and we do it very well. For example, you will learn sophisticated anatomy from Jason Crandell and become well-versed in the Yoga Sutras and Bhagavad Gita with me. We make sure that when you graduate from this training, you have developed the leadership skills and a deep understanding of the practice in all of its forms to offer a compelling safe, and intelligent class. The disciplines and habits developed during the training will stay with you and benefit you forever.Stephanie Snyder, Founder of Love Story Yoga
In my personal opinion, if you are feeling a pull towards yoga teacher training and you have the mental space and time to commit to it, go for it. If you’re on the fence, perhaps it’s best to wait – follow your gut, always. Whether you choose to embark on your teacher training journey now or wait, it will be a spectacularly transformative experience either way.
By Rachel Mardoian
February 9, 2021