This blog post was written by our wellness blogger Kendall who just completed the BeWell self-paced online 200hours Yoga Teacher Training. All thoughts expressed in the article are Kendall's own, taken from her personal experience of taking the course. For more information on our Yoga Teacher Trainings, click here.
Perhaps when you think of a yoga teacher training program, taking it online isn't quite what you think of. However, 2020 has shown us that we need to be prepared for anything and that in-person classes and courses may not go back to normal for some time. Which is why BeWell and a lot of other yoga schools have taken their classes and teachings digital! Because we won't just stop and wait, we adapt and we find new ways to connect and share our knowledge with others.
But maybe you're wondering, what is an online program really like? Luckily for you, I have just finished my online 200hr yoga teacher training program with BeWell so I'm here to give you the lowdown on what you can expect!
When I saw the opportunity to do an online yoga teacher training, I was super intrigued. I had never done an online course before and to be honest, I didn't really understand how it would work.
I am sure the environment, the experience and being surrounded by like-minded people when doing an in-person course would really elevate the community side of the yoga world. However, I have found that I have gained things that I don't think I would have from a “normal” training. One day, I would like to develop my training and do an in-person training so I have experienced both styles. But, I really don't think I would have allowed myself the space I needed if I had done in-person training as my first experience. Perhaps COVID had something to do with that for me. I just know that everything this course offered me, I NEEDED. And I didn't even know I needed it!
There are many things I learnt and gained from doing an online program and you can read about my experience in more detail on the BeWell blog, but here is a list of the main things I think it is important to know about doing this program online…
It is challenging
This is one I knew and also didn't really expect at the same time. It is not easy, it takes a lot of motivation, it takes self-reflection, inner strength. To wake up every day and be motivated, to notice when things aren't sinking in properly and deciding what to do. Go back over it, take a break, it is a lot about learning how you work as a person.
I won't lie, at times it was tough. It was hard. But I think that's why I got so much from it. It's powerful to find something so challenging and still make your way through it. Having weekly one-to-ones always helped reset me and Miriam (my teacher) always knew exactly where I needed to focus or where I was struggling.
It was always a nice reminder that even though I was doing the course on my own, I was never really on my own at all.
An eye-opening experience
I know a lot of people say that a yoga teacher training is eye-opening and I truly think until you do one, you can't quite understand how. Or at least, I had no idea how before.
I have never spent so much time thinking about myself. And maybe that sounds crazy but just understanding from a deeper level how my body functions, how my mind functions, what I am like as a person, my daily thoughts, actions, relationships. It has been a journey, to say the least.
It felt seriously empowering to go within and learn more about myself than I have ever done before. I feel like a new person. I feel light. I feel still. And even if I completed this course and didn't get a qualification from it, the way it has led me to think and feel, is more than enough. It is more worthwhile than I could ever have hoped.
I actually believe that everyone would benefit greatly from a yoga teacher training program, even if teaching is not your intention.
It's flexible (which can be both good and bad!)
There is a schedule and for the best part, I personally stuck to it. However, there were days and times when life got in the way. It isn't as feasible to be totally consumed by the course when you are sitting at home instead of on a retreat, for example. So there were days when I was laying in bed at night reading some theory or taking a break from work at lunch to do my physical practise.
At first, I struggled with the fact that it was a little hard to put a divide between life and the course. When actually, once I had accepted them together and let them live in the same room, it became easier. It became easier for me to take what I had learnt into my daily life and also allowed me the peace and space to delve deep within the course.
It's not just about becoming a yoga teacher
I have found that it was more about understanding yoga. Understanding us and then using what I have learnt to teach others, to help others. Physically, mentally and spiritually.
It is full-on
Just because it is online, that doesn't mean it won't be as full-on. If anything, I would say it is likely that it is more full-on. Countless times I went back and went over different lessons and theories because it didn't quite sink in the first, or third time…
There is lots to do and it is all laid out in front of you. You are given a very clear schedule which I follow because I didn't want to give myself even more work. Plus, it's in a set order for a reason and as you do it that becomes more and more clear as to why it is done that way. However, you do still have to keep yourself in check. You have to be in control and committed because if you're not, you will not get as much out of it as you can if you give in.
This is probably the one I am most shocked by. I can't believe how much I loved this program. I cant believe how much I enjoyed doing it online and self-paced. In times like these, I found that it was my therapy. It helped me in more ways than I could ever put into words.
I loved it. It felt so encouraging and empowering and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A lot more than I had envisioned. I couldn't stop talking about it. Every time I learnt something new, I would be telling everyone about it and felt like I was beaming with excitement over this new found self.
I think doing it online I felt more proud of myself. It feels like a massive accomplishment to have gotten through it in between normal daily life (or not so normal daily life)
I honestly couldn't recommend doing an online yoga teacher training program enough. As long as you are interested and committed, you will gain more from it than you could realise.
It's a challenge, but where is the fun if it was easy?