In March 2020 due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements and concerns, Yoga Alliance International (followed by its counterparts and associated Yoga Alliance organisations) announced a temporary provision to allow its member schools with currently-active or already-scheduled teacher trainings to offer the required in-person contact hours in a virtual format. We have received considerable community feedback about the virtual learning provision. This includes responses in favour of and in gratitude for reacting flexibly in light of unprecedented challenges to the ability of thousands of trainings schools to continue sharing yoga’s teachings.
We have a long history of insisting that yoga teacher trainings must be in person. In fact, we’ve refused to acknowledge camera distance learning since inception. Our standards usually require 90% of the training to be carried out in person. However, in the face of great financial strain for many small businesses, the transition from the in-person to virtual yoga teacher training was inevitable.
After careful consideration and the ongoing and continued nature of the coronavirus pandemic, and all its fast-moving effects on the global economy, in May 2020 the Yoga Alliance International’s Board of Directors, made the accreditation of virtual training available as a permanent format.
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Online Teacher Training in the Pandemic Era
Online learning is quickly becoming the new normal and with it, some concerns for the yoga community about potential impacts this delivery method may have on the integrity of RYS standards and trainees’ experience and learning. Because of this, it is more important than ever that Yoga Alliance International’s commitment to supporting and fostering the high quality of yoga teaching does not change.
To assist our RYSs and new applicants we have gathered a series of recommendations and guidelines to assist yoga training providers’ rapid transition from in person to virtual learning.
The teacher training accreditation applies to:
RYS 200, RYS 250 PLUS, RYS 350, and RYS 500 teacher training programs.
RCYS, RPYS, RYS YIN 50, RYS YIN 100 teacher training programs.
Trainings and courses in support of the Yoga Alliance CEAS (Continuing Education Accredited School).
ALL Educational Categories, including practicum (practice teaching) and observation requirements.
What is the difference between synchronous learning and asynchronous learning?
Synchronous learning is online or distance education that happens in real time, often with a set class schedule and required login times.
Asynchronous learning does not require real-time interaction; instead, content is available online for students to access when it best suits their schedules, and assignments are completed to deadlines. Programs can also use a hybrid learning model, which includes a blend of both formats.
Format: Online programs are required to have a blend of synchronous and asynchronous teaching.
Hours with Lead Trainer ERYT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) Senior Level 1,2,3,4,5 or 6, member of the Association.
At least 75% of the course total hours, regardless of format, must be taught by the LT (ERYT), the remaining 25% by a RYT 500,RYT 500 PLUS or RYT 1500 member of the association
The trainings offered in a virtual format must follow the syllabus sent and approved by Yoga Alliance International for the face to face format. Including teaching, practical work, online assessments, and coursework. For more information, please see here Yoga Alliance Standards
To maintain the integrity of yoga teaching, across ALL training courses, at least 70/75% of the same syllabus must be taught live streaming.
Adhere to the Yoga Alliance online learning best practices.
The delivery of online content should be varied, providing a balanced blend of pre-recorded and live streaming, interactive material to serve multiple modalities of learning.
The more in-person training a school can do the better! Only resume in-person training when the Government relaxes the lockdown restrictions in your State or Country.
The final assessment is face to face in person (where possible for future courses) or via an online video-call.
Please consider these best practices when developing and presenting online content within your yoga teacher training program:
Ensure all students have access to the online content.
Competency assessment throughout the program is key, to show knowledge integration (such as quizzes, video submissions, essays).
Online content and corresponding learning expectations should be clearly defined; supporting written materials should also be provided.
Consider using a learning management system to help support your course management (i.e., accountability, time management, knowledge assessment).
Consider privacy measures when utilizing virtual platforms. This includes but is not limited to: requiring passwords for meetings, private Facebook groups, blurring backgrounds, and the ability to turn the camera off or mute participants.
If using third-party content, obtain consent and rights in order to distribute the information to your students.
If Yoga Alliance International is allowing RYS members to run trainings entirely online right now, can I start a new all-online training?
YES. When Yoga Alliance International developed and announced the temporary provision online in March 2020 to allow its member schools with currently - active or already-scheduled teacher trainings running, we believed that the need for it would be short-term. It is now clear that this need is not short-term, nor are communities likely to return exactly to the way they operated before the pandemic which has also shined a light on what many have long debated—that developing highly trained and prepared yoga teachers can be done with a combination of in-person and online teaching (live and pre-recorded) if the guidelines and parameters for doing so are clear and responsible, and schools have the necessary knowledge, tools, and resources.
Can I only do live classes for the Teacher Training?
You can do a variety of pre-recorded, however, live streaming classes is mandatory to stimulate the “class” experience.
Can I change the structure of the course?
We request that schools make every attempt to deliver virtual training(s) LIVE to replicate their in-person training(s) as much as possible. This includes our Yoga Alliance International Australia Continuing Education Schools (CEAS) as well and any training being offered for Yoga Alliance continuing education hours.
I have always offered classes and trainings online. Does this mean I can automatically receive a Yoga Alliance International Accreditation now that trainings are being moved to the virtual space?
NO. You must file for the accreditation of Online Teacher Training. The syllabus must be sent and approved by Yoga Alliance International Australia.
Will my Online Teacher Training be recognised Worldwide?
YES. The geographical position of the Yoga Alliance organisations is irrelevant in terms of certification recognition. RYT or RYS membership Yoga Alliance International Australia is accepted by employers, insurance companies and the yoga community globally.
Will my students still be able to Register with Yoga Alliance International after completing the Online Teacher Training?
Will my students still be able to teach anywhere in the world?
Absolutely. They can apply for insurance.
Will my students be able to teach in person after they graduate?
YES. A long as you have kept to the syllabus, your course is accredited by Yoga Alliance International Australia and the trainees have completed and passed the final assessment.
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