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Online Yoga Teacher Training or In-Person Yoga Teacher Training?

by Alberto G. Güitrón

The go-to resource to prepare for your yoga teacher training. Find all you need to know about the top destinations and take your practice to the next level.
Discover Yoga Teacher Training now

Have you decided to become a yoga teacher? Great! You’re bound to live an unforgettable experience and become a better person overall.

But now that you’ve made your decision, you may be wondering if you should go for an offline yoga teacher training or an online yoga teacher training?

First of all, be sure that both options will help you advance your yoga practice, find deep relaxation and connect with yourself. But depending on your personality and lifestyle, you can benefit more from one than the other.

Keep reading to find out which type of yoga teacher training is best for you.

Offline is ideal for you, if

group of people having a good time

Image credit: Hatha Yoga School Rishikesh

  • You like being away from the hustle and bustle of the city
  • You want to learn a more holistic approach to yoga
  • You enjoy meeting people from all different cultures
  • You like traveling and seeing new places
  • You don’t really want to worry about your meals


woman doing yoga

Image credit: Well Daily

Face-to-face teacher training is a great way to kickstart a new healthier lifestyle. Not only will you be practicing on the mat every single day, but since all your meals are taken care of (usually vegetarian or vegan), it makes it easier for you to adopt a diet that will help you perform better in yoga. 

Also, when going on an in-person retreat, you get the chance to fully embrace the journey of becoming a yoga instructor by being in a secluded place, where you avoid distractions and only focus on your practice.

Moreover, you have the opportunity to bond with fellow yogis. This will enrich your experience and help you develop a more diverse teaching style. Plus, it helps you to quickly expand your network of yoga teachers. Who knows? Maybe one day you can partner up and create your own retreat together.

And, of course, the most obvious advantage, if you like exploring new places, getting out of your routine and having a change of air, a face-to-face retreat will suit you well. It’s the perfect excuse to travel and become a yoga teacher at the same time.

Just so you know, the most popular teacher training courses are in India and Bali. But Spain and Portugal are also becoming top choices as of late.

READ MORE: What to Expect from Your Yoga Teacher Training?

What does it include?

group of people doing yoga

Image credit: Hatha Yoga School Rishikesh

All offline yoga teacher training courses include accommodation and plenty of them are eligible to register with Yoga Alliance upon completion.

The classes are provided by dedicated, experienced and professional teachers. Sometimes manuals are also included that will guide you to develop these 5 main areas:

  • Techniques, training and practice
  • Teaching methodology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Yoga philosophy, lifestyle and ethics
  • Practicum

A regular daily schedule of a yoga teacher training like could look like this*:

7:00 am Asana session to learn proper technique

9:30 am Breakfast

10:30 am Lecture on yoga philosophy or anatomy

1:00 pm Lunch

3:00 pm Lecture on teaching methodology

4:30 pm Asana session

6:30 pm Dinner

8:00 pm Feedback and meditation session

*This is just an example of how your schedule could look like. To be certain about your daily activities, check the specific details of the retreat of your preference or contact the instructors.

Most of the time, the course includes all meals. The food you’ll eat during a retreat is always healthy, delicious and nutritious, usually based on Ayurveda principles. This will help you have better performance and nourish your body with a yogic approach.

Finally, some offline teacher training includes fun activities such as biking, kayaking, hiking, and excursions to natural sites or to holy temples and shrines.

What do you need to know before your offline teacher training?


Image credit: Yoga Skyros Academy

When looking for a yoga teacher training, it is important to know what type of yoga style you like. If you’re not sure about it, then pick a retreat that offers a wide variety.

When you find a retreat you like, read about the teachers and watch a few of their videos. You want to make sure that you enjoy their teaching style and connect with them.

Whether you want to become an instructor or just want to have a deeper understanding of yoga, be aware of the challenge you’re about to undertake. Also, in case you don’t practice yoga often, consider adding it to your weekly routine so your body is ready for daily practice.

Lastly, once you’re on the retreat: get enough sleep, ask lots of questions, be patient with yourself and keep an open mind.

Online is ideal for you, if

online courses

Image credit: YogaUnion

  • You have a tight schedule
  • You’re a homebody
  • You’re self-disciplined
  • You’re short on budget
  • You’d rather not travel far from home
  • You crave for a regular program but can’t attend it right now


yoga online

Image credit: Adi Yogpeeth

One of the main benefits of an online yoga retreat is that you don’t need to fully disconnect from your daily life. Setting aside a special time during the day for the practice will be enough.

Also, since you can access from any device, either a smartphone, tablet, computer, or smart TV, you’re one click (or tap) away from the instructors and the rest of the participants.

In addition, a virtual yoga holiday offers you more comfort in the sense that you’ll be training from the coziness of your own home. You won’t need to spend a single minute traveling to another place, making flight reservations and having to be full-time present somewhere else.

Moreover, an online yoga retreat is the most budget-friendly yoga holiday you can find, as you won’t pay for transportation, meals or accommodation.

READ MORE: 5 Great Reasons Why You Should Join an Online Yoga Teacher Training.

What does it include?

woman doing online yoga

Image credit: Adi Yogpeeth

An online yoga retreat takes place through live video sessions, held via video conferencing platforms like Google Hangouts, Zoom, Facetime, or any other.  

You’ll usually have 1-on-1 guidance video sessions, as well as many ways to connect with the other participants. Some programs also include pre-recorded training videos and reading materials that you can access anytime.

The best part of an online yoga retreat is that you’ll get all the benefits as if you were on a face-to-face course. You’ll be able to calm your mind, release tension, improve your flexibility, strengthen your muscles and learn meditation techniques.

And, just like in the case of offline teacher training courses, most online programs allow you to register with Yoga Alliance upon completion.

What do you need to know before your online teacher training?

woman meditating

Let people you live with know that you’ll be taking part in a yoga program so that they can support you and give you space during the process.

Put aside all distractions; that is to say, forget about your phone notifications and social media.

In case you don't already have a Zen area in your home, get creative and build a space dedicated to yoga and meditation. That said if you get bored of always being in the same place, feel free to change the scenery and take your training to a different room in the house.

No need to break the bank to go on a retreat, there are plenty of affordable options for a yoga experience all around the world.

*Cover image credit: Julie Eyelom & Wonderland Healing Center​


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