Deciding to do online yoga teacher training just 2 months after giving birth to my first child, Charlie, was in hindsight probably a bit of a crazy idea. Especially as I was moving countries (and timezones) not once, but twice throughout the duration of the online yoga teacher training. Was it a bit crazy? YES. Do I regret it? Not one bit.
But there are some things I wish I’d considered a bit more before signing up for the online yoga training course. This is why I felt I should write this post, to help other busy moms choose the right online yoga teacher training program. But even more important, how to manage your time efficiently so you can get through your yoga teacher training journey, without having a meltdown or having to defer.
Why choose an accredited online yoga teacher training
Why choose an accredited online yoga teacher training over an in-person yoga teacher training course? Well, that’s pretty simple. For me, there is no way on earth I could have taken 2-4 weeks away from my 2-month-old baby to go and do a yoga teacher training course in Bali haha. Like NO WAY.
And let’s be honest, it’s going to be a few years before I personally will feel ready to leave my son for longer than a few nights. I know everyone is different and some moms may feel confident about leaving their children earlier, I can only speak for myself on this.
I LOVE being a mom and those first months with Charlie were incredible, but I felt restless and wanted to do something to use my brain in those afternoons spent on the couch, contact napping, and cluster feeding. By this point, I’d worked my way through all of the good stuff on Netflix and I just couldn’t watch any more garbage TV.
I’ve always been someone who worked. I’m 40 years old and I can honestly say in all my 40 years I’ve never been forced to sit still as much as I did during those first months. So when I saw that Brett Larkin was running an accredited online yoga teacher training I jumped at the chance.
I was already a certified yoga teacher but I hadn’t taught since before COVID because of the lockdown and then pregnancy. My confidence was low and I felt this could be the perfect way to build my confidence back up to start teaching again and also get me back into my yoga practice after having a baby. It was a win-win.
If you are a mom and want to be there for your children, but still work on yourself and upskill without having to miss out on time with your children, then doing online yoga teacher training is the perfect way to do this.
Self-Paced or Live Calls
When looking into online yoga teacher training programs one of the first things you will notice is the huge variance in pricing. You can pay anything from $200 – $4,000 for online training.
Now I know things can be tight when you have a family, but you really do get what you pay for here, so beware of some of the cheaper yoga teacher training programs. You may think it will be better for you as a mom to do something totally on your own (self-paced, totally flexible start-and-end dates, little interaction) without having to turn up for a live weekly class.
But from one busy mom to another, you NEED those weekly live classes, and here’s why:
- Those live classes made me accountable. I had things I had to read, watch, and prepare before each call. So I had to make myself do them so I didn’t fall behind. In all honestly, if I didn’t have these weekly call deadlines, I probably would still be working through the material now (most yoga teacher training purchased online remained unfinished). Sometimes a bit of pressure is exactly what you need. As a new mom, I feel like everything revolves around my baby, and my husband and I come last. These deadlines gave me permission to put what I needed, first. My husband knew Sundays and Mondays were yoga days and he needed to take Charlie so I could do what I needed to do.
- Moving through a course at the same time as others gave me a community. Like I said at the start, during the 12-week yoga certification online I moved country 3 times. All with a baby. Which in itself can be pretty isolating. The weekly calls were my one constant during this time. I saw the same familiar faces each week on the live calls. We got to know each other. Many of the women in the cohort were also moms, some also did the classes with their children on their knees. It felt good to be part of this community and I felt supported and seen. I would not have had this wonderful experience without these live calls.
- Everything else is still self-paced. In the Uplifted Yoga Teacher Training course that I did, apart from that 1-2 hour live call each week, everything else was self-paced. I had a whole library of engaging training videos to work through at my own pace, an amazing manual to refer to and read, and so many short videos to use in my personal yoga practice. Charlie likes to contact nap during the day so I mostly worked through the Uplifted YTT videos while he was napping on me. I just replaced the garbage TV with something that was expanding my mind, rather than shrinking it!
- Everything is mapped out for you. With a lot of the online programs, getting everything together so you can graduate can feel like a scavenger hunt, and not the fun kind! When I first got access to all of the Uplifted course documents I felt completely overwhelmed and like there were too many documents. But once I got used to the system it became so easy. Everything I needed to know was mapped out. The course syllabus had everything we needed to know and prepare for that week. For every question I had, there was an answer in a document that was linked from the syllabus. And when it came to getting everything together to graduate, it was all there in easy-to-digest steps.
With many of these 100% self-paced online yoga courses, all they have done is film their live yoga teacher training courses and then published the videos for you to watch. Some don’t even offer yoga teacher certification at the end of it, which will make getting yoga teacher training insurance difficult if you want to actually teach in a yoga studio.
Don’t be blinded by the idea of getting certified for cheap. It really is a false economy, especially if you want to teach yoga after certification. Do you really think a $300 online yoga teacher training course without a consistent weekly peer group and dedicated practice time is going to prepare you to feel confident leading an actual yoga class for real people…
Uplifted Online Yoga Teacher Training Review
The online yoga teacher training course I did was developed and co-lead by Brett Larkin who is one of the OG YouTube Yoga Teachers.
Why is this important?
Because Brett not only has 2 children of her own (so she is a busy mom herself) but she built her yoga business teaching yoga online in 2012. In other words, she knows how to teach yoga to people online, unlike many yoga teachers who teach yoga online is totally new, and something they had to learn quickly because of the 2020 lockdown.
For me that this really was the thing that made me want to sign up. I felt confident that her online course was going to be good quality, and it honestly exceeded all of my expectations.
So here are the best things about doing the Uplifted Online Yoga Teacher Training Program as mom:
Most of the training videos are 5-20 minutes long.
This meant I could easily watch them whenever Charlie was taking a nap, or on short car journeys. Whenever I had a spare 10-20 minutes I would watch a video. I just kept my notebook close to scribble down my notes and questions to ask in the live calls.
There is an Uplifted app.
The Uplifted app is a godsend! Each week I went through the syllabus and then I would download the videos I needed to watch that week to my phone. Then I could watch them even when I had no internet. This was especially useful so I could watch things in the car, on the plane, or even at the beach. It also helped me to keep track of what I needed to watch each week.
Then there is the manual or “the bible” as I like to call it.
IT IS AMAZING! I’ve honestly never seen anything like it. I got nothing like this on my first yoga teacher training course. It’s not only the perfect study buddy, but it’s also going to be so useful when I’m back teaching classes again to help me in my class planning as well as my self-practice. “Mom brain” is real, so having everything written down is a must!
The only problem for me is that I’m on the road constantly and this book is HUGE haha. So it’s not so mobile and has to live in our house in Cyprus. But this is where we will be running our family-friendly yoga retreats from 🙂
Uplifted creates a strong community bond.
Yes, there is a Facebook community group. But to be honest I didn’t really use it so much. I get tired of social media as it’s a work for me. The community was within those live calls for me. At the start of each call was a group grounding meditation (which I loved) this helped me to really change my energy, focus, and be present with what I was doing. Flipping the switch from mom to yoga teacher in training. We would then get time to share our thoughts and learnings from the course material that week. There was so much vulnerability and raw emotion in those sharings, it really bonded us as a group.
Then there was always a time when we would be split up into small groups of 2-5 people and we would do activities, teach each other, plan sequences, or sometimes just chat. I really felt like I got to know many of the people in my cohort, even though it was all done via zoom.
You get to choose the time of your live call
There are 3 weekly live calls at 3 different times on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. We chose the Monday call because it was the best time for us with 3 timezone changes. You need to be online for your chosen call time to be able to graduate. If you miss one or 2 it;’s ok. But ideally, if you can’t make your call you let them know and join one of the other weekly live calls so you don’t miss out.
All of the live calls are available to watch as replays and you do need to watch them all each week. If you can make all 3 live calls each week then even better. So that’s 6 hours of contact time per week, plus all of the pre-recorded content and the manual…! I don’t know any other online training program that offers this much value.
Brett and all of the lead trainers are Moms… so they get it.
This was so important for me. I REALLY tried to get childcare for those live calls. In Mexico, my call time was 12:30 pm so we had a nanny there. In the UK it was 6:30 pm which was a little more difficult, but my Dad had Charlie. But when we moved to Cyprus and the call time was 8:30 pm which is Charlie’s bedtime, it was impossible.
Until this time Carlos was doing the course with me but he had to drop out so I could continue. He tried his best to get Charlie to bed. But as he is still breastfed to sleep it was an impossible task, he just wanted me and would scream.
So Charlie had to come to class with me.
I even did my teaching practice while breastfeeding him. Not something I would recommend haha. But my point is, it was ok. They understood and applauded me for my multitasking, rather than shamed me or made me feel uncomfortable about having to have him with me during the calls. And I saw many other moms sat there with their kiddos during the calls too. I found the inclusivity of this course so refreshing and it honestly made me feel so much less stressed to just have him with me that to have to listen to him crying for me. And if you don’t feel comfortable you can just turn off your camera, simple!
One of the things I worried a bit about was missing out on the in-person practical side of yoga teacher training where you’re able to get personal feedback on yoga poses and in leading yoga classes. But actually, I was worrying over nothing. Each week you have a pose review section. You watch the videos breaking down each asana with teaching tips and cueing pointers. You also have all of this in your manual to review. Then you need to take a photo of yourself doing the asana and upload it to a google drive folder. From here one of the teaching team (normally Katrina) will review it and write some notes for you on how you can improve your pose. Then as part of the live call the teaching team chooses a few people’s photos to review together.
You can upload these photos whenever you like, you can do them all together before the course even begins, or do a few each week. It’s totally up to you. Charlie and even his cousin Remy ended up in some of my pictures.
The program leaders are amazing.
My Uplifted yoga teacher training program was co-led by Brett, Jen, and Katrina. Each of them brings something so special and unique to the course. I appreciated all three of them so much. They really do bend over backward for their students. They want to make sure you graduate! The last week is dedicated to answering questions about exams, practicums, and even what to do next and how to start your career as a yoga teacher.
You can defer if you need to.
At one point I thought I would need to defer. We arrived in Cyprus and the house was a complete mess, way worse than we were expecting. I had to take 2 weeks off work and although I did manage the live calls, the time was not 8:30-10:30 pm with was the worst possible time for Charlie and I was struggling to stay awake.
We talked it through as a family and decided that it was important for me to finish and so Carlos would defer so he could try and look after Chalie while I did the live calls and he would help me during the day so I could try and catch up on all of the pre-recorded material. It was a long week trying to get caught up, but I did it. Carlos has deferred to the next cohort so he has more time to get through all the material before the live calls start again.
They made it really easy for us to do this and were so understanding about the whole situation. I also spoke to another new mom who started the course when her baby was 1 month old but struggled to keep up so deferred to our cohort to give herself more time.
This brings me nicely to my last point…
Sign up early
This is where we went wrong. What I should have done is signed up in June for the September cohort. That way I would have had 3 long months to watch, read, and digest all of the material before the live classes started. I could have done all of my pose reviews early and then I could have just reviewed each week the course material we were reviewing in the live calls. It would have made the whole thing so much easier on me.
So that’s my advice to any other moms thinking of doing the Uplifted 200 hour yoga teacher training online. Sign up early, and do as much as you can BEFORE the course starts. It would have lightened my load so much more and reduced the pressure I felt each week to stay on top of all of the work. Because YTT isn’t easy. It’s hard work, but it’s also so rewarding and can open up your career in so many ways if you want to make a change.
200 hour yoga teacher training online graduation process
To graduate from this online yoga teacher training course you need to achieve the following requirements.
- Attend a minimum of 1 live call per week over the 12 weeks of the course. Attendance of 90% is required. So missing 1 or 2 classes is ok, more than that, and it’s an issue.
- Pass a written exam with a minimum score of 70%
- Submit a signature meditation
- Submit a 20-minute practicum
Once all of this has been achieved your certificate is issued and you are officially a certified yoga teacher! This means you are able to register with Yoga Alliance if you so wish (I never have and I’ve never had an issue teaching yoga abroad) and you can also get yoga teacher insurance, which is the really important thing!
Recommended Yoga Outfits & Equipments
Doing an online yoga teacher training program when you have kids, is a big commitment. Financially and well as your time. Any time you spend away from your family needs to be worthwhile.
Doing a 200 hour yoga teacher training online wasn’t easy. But it was so worth it. As a digital Nomad, I’ve often struggled to teach yoga classes in person because I’m on the move all the time. Since having Charlie it’s even more difficult now. But since completing this course and getting comfortable with the world of yoga online it really inspired me to start teaching online and putting out yoga classes for travelers… so watch this space, I feel a new YouTube channel coming haha!
If you have any questions they have a solid Q&A page here. Plus you can always contact me and I’ll answer as honestly as I can.
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