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When you’re looking for an online yin yoga teacher training, it can be hard to differentiate the great courses from the not-so-great.
So many questions arise: Should my course be self-paced or live? Should I care more about the poses or more about the philosophy? Should I do a 20 hour training or a 50 hour course?
There are a lot of things to consider when you choose your online yin yoga teacher training, but there are certain things that should be non-negotiable—like specific topics that are covered in your course.
Of course, every training will vary when it comes to topics and the amount of time dedicated to exploring each topic, but there are some specific subjects that are essential when learning how to teach yin yoga.
When you’re choosing which yin yoga teacher training to take, pick a curriculum that extensively explores and teaches these critical subjects.
Of course, you’ll want your online yin yoga teacher training to cover the essentials of yin yoga poses. This is especially important because yin yoga is a truly unique style of practice that utilizes many of the “traditional” yoga poses found in hatha yoga, but adds a different spin to them.
Yin poses have different names than their hatha counterparts and this is intentional. Rather than utilizing a “yang” style when practicing each asana, the yin name encourages practitioners to practice in a more “yin” way.
The poses are also practiced with more support through the use of props, and are practiced more slowly and mindfully. These are all essential topics to cover when it come to the yin yoga poses themselves.
Want to jump into some yin yoga poses? Practice Yin Yoga for Stress Relief
The practice of yin yoga follows three main tenets:
These three main principles guide every aspect of the yin practice from beginning to end. They truly embody the yin characteristics from the Yin Yang Theory, and encourage a different style of practice than a more active, yang style of yoga.
These principles are important to learn and understand so that when you go off to teach yin yoga, you can distinguish it from other forms of practice and invite your students to find their yin side.
Find your own yin side in the yoga class Yin Side
Meditation is at the root of all yoga practice. It is the foundation upon which asana builds. A yin yoga practice devoid of meditation isn’t very “yin” at all. This is because meditation might be the practice with one of the most yin-like qualities out there.
An online yin yoga teacher training without meditation is truly incomplete. So be sure that your course dedicates a fair amount of time to the practice of meditation—because being able to lead and teach meditation is essential to your yin yoga teaching.
Curious to learn more about meditation? Join Nomad Yoga's 10 Hour Online Meditation Training
Unlike other schools of yoga, yin yoga actually doesn’t stem from yogic philosophy at all. It’s birthplace isn’t ancient India and its philosophy isn’t rooted in the Vedas or the Bhagavad Gita or even Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.
Yin yoga stems from Daoism and the Yin Yang Theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine. And this very modern practice has roots in martial arts originating from China.
Yin yoga is a style of yoga practice unlike any other out there so it’s important to study, know, and understand its true origins when learning how to teach this beautiful practice. A good online yin yoga teacher training will extensively explore the history and origins of yin yoga as well as its rich philosophy.
Yin yoga also stands out from many other forms of yoga due to its very clear understanding of anatomy and human variability. Yin yoga strongly emphasizes that every human body is inherently different, and therefore, every human should practice yoga differently.
This means that yin yoga doesn’t fit practitioners into “cookie cutter” alignments or assume that every student should look exactly the same in every single pose. Instead, yin encourages practitioners to tune into their subtle understanding of their own bodies and to feel the poses rather than perfect them.
A good online yin yoga teacher training will extensively explore basic human anatomy, particularly skeletal variability, to understand how every pose will manifest in dramatically different ways from person to person.
Yin yoga doesn’t fit practitioners into “cookie cutter” alignments or assume that every student should look exactly the same in every single pose.
Because yin yoga is so strongly focused on the hips and spine, it is especially important that yin yoga teachers know and understand that these major bone structures vary drastically from person to person, and therefore, will drastically affect how each pose feels and looks in students.
When you truly understand human variability, it makes teaching the yin practice infinitely easier (and more intelligent!) because you’re able to offer countless options and variations for each posture to offer your students a version that works well for their individual needs.
Want to learn more about anatomy and human variability? Join Nomad Yoga's 20 Hour Online Yoga Anatomy Teacher Training
Of course, beyond just the physical, yin yoga also delves deeply into the energetic body. And specifically, yin yoga explores the meridians of the body.
Meridian Theory stems from Traditional Chinese Medicine and explores the “tributaries” through which qi (or chi) flows. Qi is essentially energy on the verge of materializing and this powerful “matter” flows through subtle networks in the body called meridians.
In yin, we work extensively with these meridians to stimulate, awaken, and balance them through physical practice, pranayama, acupressure, and meditation.
So, of course, you’ll want your online yin yoga teacher training to cover Meridian Theory so that you can understand the ultimate purpose of yin yoga and how to utilize and move qi through the energy channels of the body.
It should go without saying that you’ll want to learn how to effectively and intelligently sequence yin yoga classes in your yin yoga teacher training, but of course, it’s worth mentioning because not every school addresses this topic in the same way.
Sequencing is an invaluable tool in all yoga teachers' toolboxes, but sequencing yin yoga is quite different to sequencing other styles of practice. This is because, often, the goal of yin yoga is quite different from other styles. In yin, we want to stimulate and awaken yin energy (as opposed to yang energy), which makes for a very different curve to the class.
Yin yoga sequencing should be slow, intentional, and particular, and it should follow a specific structure that helps to move students into an easeful, quiet, introspective, yin-like state. It’s a truly valuable skill to know how to effectively sequence a yin class because it helps students to unwind, de-stress, and surrender.
Need some help surrendering? Use This FREE Guided Yoga Nidra Practice to Find Deep, Restful Sleep
An online yin yoga teacher training should teach you invaluable skills as a teacher. Of course, it should teach you the essentials about how to sequence and teach yin yoga poses, but it should also offer you more valuable insight into your own practice and teaching.
If you look out for these seven essential topics when choosing your online yin yoga teacher training, then you should ultimately find a school that offers you everything you’ll need as a yin yoga teacher (plus more!).
Join Nomad Yoga for a completely self-paced and Yoga Alliance accredited 50 Hour Online Yin Yoga Teacher Training and learn from the comfort and safety of your own home while still receiving a high-quality education.