Online Yoga Teacher Training: How to Choose the Best Program!

7 Things You Need to Know When Choosing An Online Yoga Teacher Training Program

Step-by-Step-Guide on How to Choose the Best Online Yoga Certification Course!

So, you've decided to enroll in Online Yoga Teacher Training?  Congratulations!  We applaud that you are taking the next logical step in your life.   You certainly have options, and as you weigh them out, we want you to take a few things into consideration when choosing your Online Yoga Teacher Training program.  You have probably already researched Yoga Alliance and Online Yoga Teacher Training Programs.

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Choosing the Best Yoga Teacher Training & Certification Programs

1)     Who is the lead trainer and how much do you know about this person's yoga background?  Some Online Yoga Teacher Training programs do not disclose the name of the lead trainer.  Others give us a name but no bio.  I've been a member of the yoga community for over half of my life and I can tell you that reputable yoga instructors ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS give honor to their own teachers in their bios, which they without a doubt have published.  Don't believe me?  Look up five to ten of your favorite yoga instructors and I promise you two things are true: (1) they have a bio and (2) it tells you where they trained.

Once you find out where the lead trainer trained, dig a little deeper.  Are there photos online from the lead trainer's own teacher training graduation?  Can you call the schools they say they trained with and verify that they are graduates of that program?  Do you see that the lead trainer is verifiably a part of a larger yoga community in his or her local area?  Also, how long has this person been teaching yoga?  What style yoga do they teach?  What is their philosophy on teaching yoga?   Are they actively teaching?  If so, can you verify online that they have classes scheduled?

This isn't to say that there are any right or wrong answers to these questions.  You, of course, get to set your own standards and decide what you are looking for in the lead trainer of your Online Yoga Teacher Training. Yoga has become very commercialized over the past decade or so and there are a lot of people in the universe who are not living their yoga but who are trying to cash in on it.   If you are going to invest your time and money into an Online Yoga Teacher Training, you want your expectations to be met.  Decide what is important to you in your lead trainer and make sure that the person you choose has these qualities.

2)     Find out how much support will be available to you throughout your training.  You are obviously prepared for a lack of personal interaction if you have elected to take an Online Yoga Teacher Training.  However, that doesn't mean that you should not have support available to you.

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Online Yoga Teacher Trainings vary in the level of support they offer.  Some lead trainers will give you their personal cell phone number and invite you to text or call anytime.  Others have automated voicemails on 800 numbers that promise to return your call within the next business day.  Some trainings have online support groups that give you an opportunity to connect with other trainees.  Some trainings offer mentorship and others do not.   It is important to find the training that has the appropriate level of support for you.  We have seen an Online Yoga Teacher Training that offered "chat support," but upon investigation we learned that the person on the other end was a salesperson who knew nothing about yoga.  You want to find out who is available to answer your yoga-related questions as you move through the training.

3)      Find out if there are any hidden fees or other materials (such as books) that you will be required to purchase.  You should assume that you will need your own yoga mat and props for any Online Yoga Teacher Training.  Most require textbooks that are not included.  A few charge additional fees for issuing certificates.  Some have fees for "mentorship."

4)     Is the training self-paced, and are there deadlines or pre-set schedules that must be adhered to?  This is critical for people who lack flexibility in their own schedules.  We spoke with one woman who enrolled in an Online Yoga Teacher Training only to find out that there was a weekly schedule she was supposed to follow that involved speaking with someone on the phone and "checking in."  She gave it a whirl and realized that it was too much pressure.  Some weeks she was able to work on her Online Yoga Teacher Training and other weeks she wasn't.  This Online Yoga Teacher Training did not have the flexibility that she needed.

You may also prefer a more structured Online Yoga Teacher Training.  Some people do not do well with the wide-open self-paced concept and need more structure.  Once you identify your scheduling needs, you want to make sure the Online Yoga Teacher Training you choose will accommodate those needs.

5)     How is the material delivered?  How long do you have access to the material? This is another one of those questions that has no right or wrong answer.  It is a matter of personal preference.  We really like material that has lifelong access and comes in written lessons with accompanying visual aids and an occasional video.  The reason we like that is because it is easy to go back at any point in the future and revisit what you learned.  When the training is delivered exclusively in videos, this is less true.  One of the benefits to online learning is that you have access to the material forever.  If the training you are in does not give you lifetime access, you may want to rethink your decision.

6)     What topics are covered in the training?  Is there anything specific you are hoping to gain from the training and if so, is it covered in the curriculum?  General topics that you expect to see in a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training (online or otherwise) include: yoga philosophy, anatomy, yoga asanas (poses), home practice, sequencing, safety/modifications/preventing injuries, adjustments, Sanskrit, cueing, ethics and business of yoga.  Additional topics that you may be lucky enough to find include chanting, chakras or pranayamas.  Occasionally, Online Yoga Teacher Training programs will run a special offering some other certification along with the 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Certification. This is only valuable if the additional certification is something that you were interested in.

7)     How affordable is the training?  We found that Online Yoga Teacher Trainings range in price from $350 - $1800.  There are some Online Yoga Teacher Trainings that are not the traditional 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training and instead offer "modules" that are priced between $250-500 each.  In order to complete them all, the price often exceeds affordability for most.

We learned in our research that lower priced Online Yoga Teacher Trainings do not necessarily mean lower quality.  It's more a matter of business strategy.  There are some online trainings that seem to be priced affordably and therefore have a higher volume of trainees.  This could be a plus for you if they offer support groups for trainees as you would have many others to consult with.  It would be wise to check out the lead trainer and trainee support available on these lower priced trainings.  Some of our favorite Online Yoga Teacher Trainings fall into this category.

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Online Yoga Teacher Trainings that are priced higher are not necessarily better and the question to ask is why are they priced so high?  Sometimes they have a well-known yogi endorsing the training.  Other times, they offer a form of mentorship that is costly to them so they are passing the cost on to you.  Then, some Online Yoga Teacher Trainings are large corporations that know little about yoga and are just trying to capitalize on a practice that is growing in popularity.  If you choose a higher priced training, make sure that (1) you know why it is priced higher and (2) you need the added benefit that you are paying more for.

Happy training!


  1. Thanks for sharing these tips. I already took my online training and I agree with you 100% on each of these suggestions. My online yoga teacher training trainer openly shares her history and her yoga background. That is what made me feel comfortable. A friend of mine took from aura and it was not set up as a traditional 200 hour. She did not learn the same things that I did. She ended up enrolling where I went. If you need opinions when you start reviewing individual online yoga teacher training programs, please contact me. We will share ours.


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