There is no shortage of online yoga teacher training available at our fingertips today (thanks to a certain global event that changed the way that many industries work). And while I think it is amazing that yoga teacher training (YTT) has become accessible to anyone with internet access, it makes it even more important to do your due diligence in picking a YTT that is not only a perfect fit for you, but one that is also legitimate.
Not every online yoga teacher training course is made equal. Not all in-person trainings that transferred to online adapted in a way that makes distance learning easy and fun. Just because a trainer in-person can stand at the front of a room and lecture, a talking head on Zoom is quite different, and not always conducive to learning. I don’t say this to discourage you, but simply to make you aware that there are many things to consider when choosing a YTT.
And with all the marketing gimmicks, flash sales, and every online yoga school promising a “life-changing” experience, it’s even more difficult to know if a program is legitimate or actually worth it.
Disclosure: I am not an affiliate, but I did receive a slight discount on my course tuition in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
There is one yoga instructor training that was ahead of the trend when it came to teaching and studying online – Uplifted Yoga Teacher Training by Brett Larkin. You may have even come across this popular course in your research thus far!
If you’re looking for the short answer if Uplifted 200-hour or Bridge program is worth it – the answer is yes, absolutely yes. I say this from personal experience as someone who is currently enrolled in the Uplifted 200-Hour bridge and 300-Hour program, and as someone who has taken in-person training (200-hour) and an online YTT (yin yoga teacher training) from other trainers.
While I could rave about the incredible insights I’ve learned taking Brett’s course all day, let me break down especially why this (expensive) online YTT is actually worth the price of admission, and could be perfect for you.
What Makes Uplifted Yoga Teacher Training Worth the Money?
It sounds simple, but in a nutshell: how in-depth all of the topics are. It’s obvious from the first video how Brett has gone above and beyond, not only to provide an incredible amount of information that is useful for teaching yoga now as a new yoga instructor, but in the future as your skills and style develop. The care that has gone into creating these courses is obvious:
- 600 page color paper manual delivered to your door
- Professionally filmed videos, multiple camera angles, great sound
- Mobile app and downloadable content for offline viewing
- Most cohesive manual of yoga asana, yoga anatomy, and yoga philosophy I’ve ever seen
- Body reading skills and viewing yoga poses in dozens of students’ bodies for a diverse, inclusive view.
But for what makes Uplifted online yoga teacher trainings really worth the investment compared to other online offerings…?
1. The Manual
I didn’t realize until recently that there are some yoga instructor certification courses out there that don’t have a manual as a part of the course. To each their own but I highly recommend you take a yoga course that sends you a manual. This is not just because it’s nice to take notes in the margins where your course information is stored, and to have a physical copy to give your eyes a break from looking at a screen, or to do some homework offline. Those are all great benefits, but the single most important thing about having a manual is being able to refer to it after you’re done studying.
Your Uplifted manual will provide you with inspiration for themes for planning a yoga class, sequencing ideas, key cues for poses, and details on how to handle injuries. Your manual will be your source for teaching not just as a new teacher but for years to come. Whenever I’m stuck on sequencing or feel like all poses have floated out of my mind, I pull out my Uplifted YTT manual frequently and get inspired.
The Uplifted YTT manual helps you see information in bite sized chunks, so you can avoid scrolling through videos to find the answer you’re searching for, or flipping through pages where information is written in paragraph format. The manual uses bullet point form to highlight the key points from each video, with plenty of space to take notes.
For slideshows that are presented during the course, you get a copy of the slides in your manual to trigger your memory, and again more space to take notes. Far from just a place to take notes, these manuals (200-Hour has one manual, 300-Hour has four) also give you homework after many of the videos so that you can reflect and apply what you just learned immediately.
For poses, a variety of options for each pose is provided in images, which I find extremely valuable instead of just a pose in the most common variation. The back of the 200-hour manual even has a section to try poses out for yourself, to take notes of what works in your body, and encourages you to find your own cues. I didn’t think there was much to a manual but after studying with Brett, having a manual that supports you through your course is a massive bonus.
You will likely learn more in this Uplifted online training than you would from others… just from the manual.
2. You’ll Be Transformed by the Community
Unlike the other trainings you see, Uplifted yoga teacher training is done in cohorts. Meaning that you start and finish whichever course you choose with the same co-students and the same teachers. There is a “no one left behind” attitude that encourages a true sense of community… which is honestly a part of yoga! Are you even doing yoga teacher training, if you’re doing it alone? Everyone is invested (because let’s face it, the course has a high price tag), but that means you’re connecting with people who are showing up for the training, themselves, and REALLY passionate about yoga.
While I understand that choosing a yoga course that you can start and finish at your leisure sounds very appealing, I encourage you to consider what you’ll get out of the course without accountability, community, friends and support. And will you actually finish the course? (Yes, it’s 200 Hours people). Having other students and teachers behind you to cheer you on through your entire process makes it feel like an in-person training. You’re seeing the same faces and making friends. Everyone is on the same page in the material because we started TOGETHER, and it keeps the live calls organized, on-point, and discussions more in-depth. This is not to say there is not also pre-recorded material… more on that in a moment.
For now, know this kind of cohort model not only teaches you the skills you need for teaching yoga, but deepens your own personal practice…which is likely why you’re considering yoga instructor training to begin with.
3. You’ll Learn from Reputable (Even Famous) Experts
What really sold me on the Uplifted yoga teacher training course was the variety of true experts (like authors and well-regarded industry professionals) that Brett brings into her program. You’re not learning from some random person who put a yoga teacher training online. You’re learning from world-renowned experts who’ve studied in their respective fields extensively. You also get overlap on topics from not one, but two instructors, which provides a wonderful perspective (which I believe is essential in yoga as there are so many interpretations and translations for both asana and yoga philosophy).
As the lead yoga teacher trainer, Brett guides you through the online training with lectures and demonstrations from herself, but also invites in varying point of view. You’ll also watch content where another yoga instructor teaches, and Brett demonstrates or adds in tips from her own experience. You’ll watch interviews of other experts and workshops with amazing yoga thought-leaders brought in.
4. You’ll Learn in a Way That You’ll Actually Remember
Watching a talking head on Zoom for hours on end is not fun. And it won’t help you remember or really take in the information you’re learning either. In yoga teacher training there is a lot to learn and remember. No matter how you take in the information, there is no doubt that you will be going back to your notes and videos as reminders at some point, but the more you can take in in the beginning, the better!
Another way Uplifted stands apart from other online YTT programs is the pre-recorded discussions and demonstrations that you must watch before the live portion begins are in professionally filmed videos where you can physically see the teachers, and these videos are almost never longer than 30 minutes. Why so short? Because this makes it easier to digest (believe me you’ll appreciate the shorter videos!). There are longer, about hour long, more lecture-style videos too that are a mix of slideshows and audio too for a variety. Plus with an app where you can download videos to watch offline, it makes it incredibly easy to watch a video whenever you want, like at the beach which I did!
Uplifted YTT works as a hybrid model (Brett has mastered and was the first to do this) meaning you get 100 hours of videos, slideshows, interviews, and demonstrations the moment you sign up. Everyone watches that first. Then, to encourage community and put you in the seat of the teacher, right from the get-go, you do the live portion (the second 100 hours). Three live video calls are held weekly where you can join (it’s only mandatory for you to attend one a week) to ask questions, go over anything from the videos assigned for that week, and break off into smaller groups to practice teaching yoga, dive further into the study topics (like yoga history, the yoga sutras, yoga anatomy, etc), and get to know your fellow yoga teachers. What’s more, these are all recorded so you can refer back to them at any time and you can watch (and are encouraged to watch) the other calls from the week too. Not to mention you also get personal feedback from the yoga teacher trainer too, so don’t expect to slide under the radar! The personalized feedback and proven program structure is also why the program is more expensive.
5. You’ll Learn About Business from the Beginning
I believe that learning about the business of yoga is the most overlooked part of training. I understand that there is so much to learn about yoga and to fit it all into 200-hours or even 300-hours is no doubt difficult. But this is why some courses (like Uplifted) go above and beyond the set amount of hours required by Yoga Alliance with their business content. This is a good thing.
It is one thing to learn about yoga and know how to teach, it’s another to create a yoga business. Teaching in studios, planning a yoga class, putting your business online, creating courses…it’s all a part of the business of yoga. Whether you like it or not, if you want to teach yoga once you’re done studying, you will be an entrepreneur. You will need to get out there and sell yourself, especially if you want yoga to be your full-time income… which it totally can be! And if you’re looking to uplevel your yoga business and perhaps take it more seriously, the 300 hour yoga teacher training program will only expand your business knowledge and get you thinking like a successful yoga teacher.
The light that Brett shines on business from the very beginning is uncommon, but SO needed in yoga training. Money needs to be talked about. The how-to’s of creating a brand needs to be talked about beyond how to choose colors, fonts, and when to post on Instagram. The nitty gritty details of how to get started as a teacher needs to be talked about, and all of this is covered in even the 200 hour teacher training with Uplifted. It goes into even more depth in the 300 hour yoga training to help teachers truly elevate themselves and meet their business income goals.
Do not discredit what you need to know in a business sense to be successful as a registered yoga teacher. There’s no need to be overwhelmed. Even the business training is broken down into bite sized chunks with a yoga business expert. Discussions are had, questions are answered, and Brett herself is a really valuable resource as someone who has been extremely successful as a yoga leader. You’ll have access to someone who has experience teaching in studios, online, and creating courses, all specific to yoga.
6. You’ll Learn to Teach Accessible Yoga to Real People
This was a big highlight for me. I think a lot of yoga is not accessible. Many types of bodies are not taken into consideration in typical online yoga teacher trainings. Uplifted yoga training goes out of the way to make sure new and continuing teachers know how to provide variations (I use this term over “modify” as it’s more inclusive) – this yoga instructor training makes this not “additive” but essential. It’s built into the fabric of the Uplifted curriculum, which I love. In both the manual and videos you’ll find so many different and creative ways to make the yoga postures work for a variety of bodies. It is drilled into you in this training that yoga is not about the pose itself, but how you feel in a human body. It stresses that even more importantly, you need to be in a variation where you can focus on your breath (which is the most important part of yoga!).
You bet there are other bonuses to this training too!
- No recurring fees – you pay once and the information is yours for life. Some trainings have access renewal fees, so look out for this.
- The manual(s) gets sent straight to your house (often included free for USA residents).
- No paperwork is required for Yoga Alliance, it’s all done for you to avoid a headache and confusion. Uplifted is a Yoga Alliance certified online yoga school and you graduate as a certified yoga teacher. Yup, this and so many other reasons is why it costs more than other training. You don’t have to do any paperwork.
- An alumni network that continues to be interactive and supportive even after you finish your training.
What to Expect if You Pursue the Uplifted Training
Here’s exactly how the 200 hour teacher training works so you know right away how you’re going to move through the process, and there are no surprises!
- You sign up and get access to all pre-recorded material immediately. As in you could start the Uplifted yoga training right now! But make sure you sign-up at least a month before the cohort starts. This ensures that you have time to study the pre-recorded (what they call “Home Study”) section of the material and are ready to go for the very first live call, where you meet your classmates and dive straight in!
- You’ll know exactly what each call is going to cover from week to week ahead of time so that you can always come prepared.
- Get ready to take pictures of yourself in yoga poses, as these are used in live calls to go over what different bodies look like in each pose studied. This is a unique and super helpful aspect that not every online training offers. The vibe is VERY inclusive. This is so fun (not scary!)
- Each week, student teachers are assigned and you’ll have your chance to speak up more, lead a meditation, teach yoga postures, and share your insights from that week’s topics. Expect to get involved on calls. This is what makes the Uplifted yoga course so valuable.
- Each week, you will learn a mix of yoga anatomy, yoga philosophy, meditation, and teaching yoga asana so that your mind gets a break from one specific topic and you can see how all parts work together.
- Feedback from your instructors is included. Yes, you will be given plenty of feedback, both on your form (this is done with lots of love and all about what feels great for you), and as a teacher, from multiple people, for a great perspective.
- Guest speakers will join some live calls too so you have the chance to ask questions live on the topic. For example, I had the opportunity to speak in the 300-hour YTT on teaching yoga to those in larger bodies and blogging about yoga. Brett has an awesome alumni community (many of her past graduates who are now BIG on Instagram or in certain niches, and she brings them in to talk to the group which is so valuable).
- Graduate at the same time as your fellow students. And yes, there is an exam, both a written multiple choice exam and practicum. Don’t stress, you will be given an exam study guide and there will be live calls to review everything. You are completely supported as you prepare. This is one of the reasons why most Uplifted students graduate as a certified yoga instructor, unlike SO many of the other online yoga courses (where people fizzle out or lose interest). There’s this “we’re all graduating together” feeling, same an when I did an in-person yoga teacher training course.
How to Know If Uplifted YTT is Right For You
I get it, trying to decide if a few thousand dollar program is right for you is not an easy choice. It is a big investment and should be treated as one. I whole-heartedly believe that the Uplifted 200-hour, Bridge and 300-hour programs are worth every penny. And this is coming from someone who has taken a 200-hour for the second time!
Wait – What’s the Bridge Program and is it For Me?
If you’ve done your 200-Hour YTT already (like me), you can join the Uplifted 300-Hour program as a “new student” and receive 500-Hours of content. Brett includes her 200-hour training at a bundled discount for anyone coming into her 300-Hour from another yoga school. Yes, this makes the 300-Hour training more expensive, but it keeps all the students on the same page, since everyone has been through the exact same material. And if you didn’t over-the-top LOVE your first 200-Hour or felt aspects were missing, this is your chance to enrich your experience and see the Uplifted methodology from the ground up. Stay tuned for a review of the Uplifted 300-Hour YTT program, plus my tips for new students going into that program, once all my 300-Hour live calls are complete.
- Not sold yet? Get more course recommendations and tips to be sure you have the right training for you with my How to Choose a YTT Mini Guide!
- Need a way to deepen your practice before YTT? Try my 30-day yoga adventure – Journey Home
- Practice yin & vinyasa classes with me on YouTube to prepare for your upcoming training