If you’ve been looking into taking a yoga teacher training and wondering if signing up online would take away from the experience, read ahead as I share my experience with not only one but two of thee oldest yoga teacher training programs running since before the pandemic. 

Searching for the right online yoga school may feel overwhelming especially at this time when many more choices have surfaced post-pandemic.  Most yoga studios were forced to quickly gather something online or shut down when covid struck which is why it’s important to do your research on recognized yoga training schools and not just go with the first sale you see.

Today I will be reviewing Brett Larkin’s Uplifted Yoga Teacher Training with some comparison to The Kaivalya Yoga Method which both started around the same time (before online yoga courses became so popular).  And if your concern is about time management among work, business, and other responsibilities while going through a yoga teacher training program then check out my blog on How to Complete Yoga Teacher Training as a Busy Entrepreneur.

Let’s break down all the different components of the Uplifted Training Model and my personal experiences having completed both programs in hopes to teach my own yoga classes and become a yoga instructor. 

Pre-recorded material 

As soon as you sign up for the Uplifted Yoga Teacher Training you get access to 100 hours of pre-recorded content in addition to tons of suggested yoga practices that go with each module.  These videos are professionally filmed and sectioned in about 20 minute clips to easily digest the information. In these videos you don’t only get Brett teaching each module but she also brings in well known yoga teacher experts in each category such as Kristin Leal for Yoga Anatomy, Sahara Rose for Ayurveda, Yin Yoga with Kassandra Reinhart, Restorative Yoga with Lesley Flightmaster and this is all just in her 200 hour online yoga teacher training!

This was very exciting for me as I knew the work of most of these yoga teachers so it was like taking multiple trainings in one.  Having them all share their expertise definitely exceeded any expectations I had for any online yoga teacher training! Also, learning from the different yoga teachers own styles helped me tune into my own voice.

The material is explained in such a way that makes it not only enjoyable to watch but also easy to understand. Even yoga anatomy started making sense to me (which I always considered the hardest topic to grasp).  There are optional quizzes you can take to test what you’ve learned at the end of each section. These are not graded, but help to prepare you for the final exam. The quizzes helped me see what modules I wanted to rewatch and additional questions to ask during the calls to make sure I fully understood everything. 

Now, I may be overly detail oriented over here but the first thing I did in both online yoga teacher trainings was calculate how much time total was in all the material so I could have a general idea of how much time to block off to study. I didn’t have anything to compare the first time around, but The 500 hour Kaivalya Yoga method is a little less than 40 hours of actual pre-recorded content while the 200 hour Uplifted Yoga Training is exactly 100 hours (give or take a few minutes and not including the yoga practice classes).

In the 200 hour Kaivalya program they don’t cover yoga history, philosophy, meditation, yoga sutras or adjustments unless you move on to the full 500 hour program which means the 200 hour Uplifted Yoga Training alone covers MORE information for a well rounded yoga class in different styles and from different yoga teachers.  When I first signed up I thought I would get a general review of what I had learned before but I ended up getting way more yoga education than I expected in Brett’s 200 hour yoga teacher training. I can only imagine how much more I will learn in the advanced 300 hour teacher training with additional experts that will be joining in the recordings AND live classes. Can you tell how ready I am to nerd out some more?

How the training works

The Uplifted Yoga Teacher training merges the best of both worlds when it comes to the flexibility of a self paced training, watching content at your own time from any device while also bringing in the community and accountability of an in person training through the live zoom calls. 

The online training runs in cohorts 3 times a year and enrollment is closed one month before training starts to give everyone enough time to watch at least part of the pre-recordings.  The live calls happen three times a week, but you are only required to attend at least one a week, covering different time zones and schedules.

The syllabus breaks down exactly what modules will be covered in which days and who is running the discussion between Brett or the Lead Trainers, so if there is a specific discussion you want to be a part of, you can join. And Yes, Brett actually shows up for the calls so you get to have questions answered directly from her plus her Lead Trainers do such a great job at supporting us every step of the way through our yoga teacher training journey! 

During the 2 hour live calls we share our key takeaways of the material, share discussions and ask any questions related to those topics. For the second part of the call we review the yoga poses we submitted via photos and videos. You also know ahead of time what pose will be covered, and you can submit a picture of yourself at least 48 hours before the call to get it reviewed. I recommend submitting all your pictures upfront, before the live calls start, so you don’t feel rushed or forget. Every single yoga pose you submit gets a detailed comment review and some are selected to review in class helping us practice reading bodies and testing how we would give a verbal adjustment.

One of my favorite things about these live calls is that they each start with a short mediation that relates to the topic. So we can all get grounded before discussing. The calls end with practice teaching and then break out rooms for further discussion amongst the students in smaller groups. 

Every student is given a Student Teacher where YOU practice teaching, so you can prepare ahead of time.  During this time, the student teacher shares 3 key takeaways from the material discussed and teaches a segment of a short flow. This helps you learn to use your voice to cue, with feedback at the end. Everyone gets a student teacher day and there is room to practice more when volunteers are needed.

For graduation you have to complete a multiple choice exam, submit a 20 minute video of you teaching, submit your meditation that gets covered during meditation week and participate in at least one call a week. Taking any exam makes me a bit nervous, however we had 3 exam preparation calls where the mentors really put our doubts at ease. This isn’t just a pass/fail type of system, they really look at all the work you’ve put in and understand that students get nervous being recorded while teaching and others may not do well in exams. They really do care about your success and having students feel confident in teaching, if that is your goal, which is something I was lacking in my former training. 

If for some reason you need to defer your graduation, you are able to do so for up to 18 months, while other trainings give you a hard time limit to complete without support throughout the training and charge fees if you need to extend in order to graduate. With the Uplifted Yoga Teacher training you are also left with additional resources upon completing your program so you are not left wondering “what now?” Plus the community aspect continues through the alumni group.

Your trusted sidekick – the Manual

An article in Psychology Today states that “the act of physically writing things down on paper is associated with more robust brain activation in multiple areas and better memory recall.” This was compared to just reading off of mobile devices which I bring up because another perk of the Uplifted training is the huge manual in color that gets shipped to you when you enroll. All of the content and presentations covered in the video training are reflected in this manual.  

This was such a relief for me because I tend to be excessive with my note taking making sure I gather every key information from the video but having it already printed in front of me with room for my own notes allowed me to relax and enjoy each video without feeling the need to pause every 3 seconds to write things down. It also saved me from having to print and spiral my own manual.

The manual is divided in sections to easily find references to each video with room to share your own direct experience with each yoga pose. There is also an entire area for each pose, cues, transitions and common misalignment. I used these as references when taking my own yoga pictures for pose reviews and made it easier to get ideas for sequencing as I would prepare for my student teacher days and final practicum.

Friendly Advice for those on the fence

If you’ve made it this far and have felt the pull to take an online yoga teacher training you cannot go wrong with the Uplifted training. In my opinion Brett is the best online yoga teacher and has really created an amazing yoga teacher training program that leaves you feeling confident to teach yoga as soon as you become a certified yoga teacher. And if you’re looking at the price tag, cheaper isn’t always better. You get so much more than what you pay for when you train with Brett. Most online courses don’t even get completed (I say this as I recall all the lonely unfinished trainings that still await me).

The support, accountability and encouragement you get through each live call, manual, pre-recordings, pose reviews and community really pushed me to complete this training with my class and I am so grateful for that.  If the thought of teaching scares you, like it did to me when I first started, then know you don’t have to teach yoga.  What you learn here is also meant to deepen your own yoga practice and understanding of your own body.  

Brett focuses on personalizing your practice and your classes to the person’s needs explaining that we are all unique and different.  Ask yourself why you were curious about yoga in the first place and invest in yourself. If you’ve already gone through a training like I did there is a bridge program that will get you the pre-recordings of the 200 hour (without the live portion) so you can move on to the 300 hour with Brett. However, I would highly recommend you take the 200 hour as a new student with the live calls.  I gained so much more knowledge doing it this way and learning the uplifted yoga method.

Setting you up to succeed in Business

Another way the Uplifted training sets us up to succeed is with the whole business section from how to run a retreat, apply to teach in a yoga studio, how to teach yoga online, online marketing and behind the scenes from other successful yoga instructors sharing all their tips. Basically any path you may choose to take as a certified yoga instructor this program has you covered. We even go over branding and all the tech stuff not many want to discuss. One of the last live calls was a business coaching call with Brett where I got tons of ideas for my next launch. 

The beauty of these calls is that you also get value from the questions others bring that you may not have considered in the moment. Uplifted is also a registered yoga school and yoga alliance approved program so you’ll be able to become a registered yoga teacher with yoga alliance as well if that is something you are looking for. The training is mostly hatha yoga and vinyasa yoga but covers detailed modules on different styles of yoga such as yoga nidra and the others mentioned earlier.

Tips & Tricks for Future Students

Signing up with enough time before the live calls start is highly recommended that way you can add to your calendar and watch the videos at your own pace spreading out the work instead of rushing to cram everything in. Figure out a consistent study plan that works for you such as 30 minutes a day or 2 hours a week for example. Whatever you decide, add it to your calendar as a reminder so the time doesn’t sneak up on you. Do as much of the reading, poses and pre-recorded videos so that when the live portion happens you can dedicate your full attention to reviewing with the group and practice teaching.  Use that time to teach yoga to your family members or friends while deepening your own practice with all you will learn. The more you can do ahead of time the better which will reduce any overwhelm that naturally happens when learning something new. 

It may feel intimidating to teach your first practice flow in class but just remember EVERYONE is feeling the exact same way. What I noticed too is that everyone was worried they went too fast or forgot a cue but those who were taking the class didn’t notice their nerves and felt the pacing was good so now this is a learning experience and everyone there is rooting for you and with you. I would recommend taking advantage of the moments when a practice teaching spot opens up. Don’t hesitate just go for it as it will be such a great experience to get the feedback and work out all those first/ second time jitters which will just prepare you even more for teaching once you graduate.

Throughout the training you will see yoga classes that go with the material being taught that week so I would advise to go through those yoga classes in your own practice and through the lens of what you’ve been learning in the material.

How the two compare: The Kaivalya Yoga vs. Uplifted Yoga

When comparing both trainings I definitely learned a lot in both and appreciate the knowledge I’ve gained throughout my journey. The Kaivalya Yoga method is completely self paced with no live portion and since anyone can sign up at any time it is harder to connect with a community that is spread throughout the different modules. There are a lot more graded tests and assignments that block you from moving forward until they are graded and despite a full team of mentors being advertised there is only one mentor for the whole training so it can take a while to hear back.  The feedback is good but limited and not as detailed. All communication is through email so it takes a while to hear back from questions you may have about the content. It also has a deadline of 1 year to graduate for the 500 hour then after that time you have to pay monthly extensions if you wish to graduate. 

It can be a bit of a lonely journey when you are going through a self paced program without having a back n forth discussion with the mentors. The Uplifted 200 hour online yoga teacher training is more comprehensive, has expert yoga teachers aside from Brett and more than double the amount of content than the 500 hour Kaivalya Yoga Method which doesn’t provide a manual at sign up. 

uplifted yoga teacher training

Without the live component I found myself procrastinating more to where I didn’t touch my training for 6 months and had to purchase an extension. Partly because the first module felt so complicated and failing my first test made me feel like I wasn’t cut out to be a yoga teacher. I ended up enrolling in a beginner yoga course alongside the Kaivalya training so that I could grasp certain concepts. With Uplifted it really does feel like a family supporting each other towards the finish line! 

Everyone’s experience is different and self paced courses can be successful depending on each person’s learning styles and commitment levels but overall the collective feedback I’ve heard from students in both online yoga certification programs is that we all felt more supported in Uplifted and the mentors give detailed feedback we can all see to further practice understanding the alignment in each pose. You also don’t have to be in the Uplifted 500 hour teacher training program to get all the additional yoga Philosophy, Adjustments, Meditation, yoga sutras and other topics I thought were only for the advanced yogis. 

Not only will your own yoga asana practice improve but all the yoga lessons you will have access to will prepare you for teaching your own classes. The Uplifted training is ranked high among the 10 best online yoga trainings. Take the training at your own pace while still having the support and community you would find in an in person training.

Overall this has been a great experience for me and opened my eyes to new ways teaching yoga can look like for my unique business. With my new yoga teacher certification I plan to add online yoga classes to enhance the dreamwork for my clients and include more yoga philosophy as it relates to our subconscious mind (which is my favorite part).

If you still have questions about getting a yoga certification online through the Uplifted 200 hour yoga teacher training you can check out more info on their page and even get some sample classes and a sample syllabus to really see what signing up could look like for you.

And if you want to hear any more of my personal experiences in either training just reach out 🙂 

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