Does Learn at Your Own Pace Yoga Teacher Training set you up to FAIL?

Have you noticed there are so many options for where you can do your yoga teacher training? In fact, since you began your search google has likely shown you more and more options. I remember making this choice for myself, and to be honest I found it frustrating and overwhelming.

This is why I offer a free exploration call, to help with your questions and let you choose the school and teacher that is the best fit for you! 

The honest truth… with almost all schools now only offering for you to learn at your own pace video-based training it gets even harder. Especially when they tell you you get the same training for less money.

As a school owner and 30-year yogi, I too had to look at what decision to make for our students at the Life of Wellness Institute and how to do so with Ahimsa. So, today I want to share with you why I have chosen to stay with our live training, in-person where possible, and live zoom where it is required for your safety. 

What informed my choice

As many of you likely did, in the first weeks of the pandemic I watched WAY too much Netflix. And funny enough, it helped me make my decision to keep our 100% live training model. 

Have you seen Nailed It? If you haven’t seen it, amateur bakers are challenged to re-create edible masterpieces after only just then seeing the complete version. As I watched it, I was quite frustrated by how much they made fun of the difference between the original and the reality. But then it hit me… This was what happens when your training is missing or lacking quality! 

The same is true in yoga!

Over the past few decades, I have watched so many yoga schools keep cramming more and more students into the classroom and doing more and more online video-based portions of the program.

The result is so many students coming out of their training, without the quality that has allowed the gift of Yoga to be shared with integrity for generations.

In fact, in February 2020 the Yoga Alliance introduced Elevated School Standards. Unfortunately, their work to increase live training hours, with a new requirement for a senior e-RYT500 lead teacher, and so much more was slowed by the Pandemic and we are living with the results!

To be transparent, quality has gotten so much worse with the pandemic. School after school has chosen to not follow the Yoga Alliance Online Exemption recommendations for a balance between live and video-based content. The result is a cornucopia of video-based at your own pace learning school. 

The problem is according to Andrew Ho, a Harvard University assistant professor of education says that unfortunately, the completion rates for learn at your own pace courses have traditionally been very low, with rates anywhere from 0.5 percent to 10 percent

So what makes your training successful? For this, we turned to experts in education and our students. 

Learners Need Access to Expertise

A study conducted by the University of Warwick found that one of the primary causes of the dropout rate was the lack of instructor support provided when the course becomes challenging. They say that live interaction with a knowledgeable instructor remains an important component of learning, for many reasons.

Harman Singh, Founder of WizIQ, explained one of the most common to Fast Company, “The real problem is when you get stuck, no matter how motivated you are, you can’t get through a concept. I need an instructor, a teacher, to help me get through some tough subjects.”

Our students all agreed. “Being able to ask my questions at the moment, and experience the concept in my own body and mind with the support of Melanie was what I valued most about my training”.

Learners Need Other Students

Attendance is also crucial for how it feeds student engagement. This was a lesson learned by Harvard Professor David J. Malan, who tested minimal in-class attendance models, told Inside Higher Ed that “enough former students reported something was missing, not just the students themselves but the energy of the audience, that we decided to bring live lectures back this fall.”

Learning plainly has a social component; students enjoy and benefit from the participation of others in the class. This might be especially true in Yoga Teacher Training, where we learn to support a wide variety of students by sharing each other’s experiences and challenges in the classroom.

Our students all agree. “I learned so much from listening to my peers share their experiences with the practice, it helped me to listen with curiosity and hold space for my future students.”


अहिंसाप्रतिष्ठायां तत्सन्निधौ वैरत्यागः

Ahiṁsāpratiṣṭhāyāṁ tatsannidhau vairatyāgaḥ

After all the research was done, I asked myself one question. What would ahimsa do? 

The literal translation of Ahiṁsā or Non-injury for a Yogī, means the cessation (tyāgaḥ) of hostility (vaira) (in one) coming close (sannidhau) to him (tad). Often said as to do no harm to self or others. 

Through this lens, the answer was simple. The only way to do no harm to you the student, for your own practice, and for your future students was to continue to provide the highest quality of training. 

Where you choose to take your Yoga Teacher Training is one of the most important decisions you will make for your future. 

We thank you for considering us.

Our Trauma-Informed, Body Neutral, and Yoga Alliance Certified 200 Hour and Advanced 300 Hour Yoga Teacher training is founded in embodiment-based transformative learning. Together we will discover the roots and wisdom of Yoga, combined with the advancements of science and neuroscience to address the complexity of living a life of wellness in the 21st century.

For more than 30 years I have guided students of all ages and ethnicity to discover their inner strength and connect with their TRUE selves. 

As someone who has personally experienced trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder, my personal stand is to transform what it means to live in our own bodies, waging peace in the war on our bodies, minds, and spirit. Together we will discover how to come back home to your true self in a gentle, loving, way that fits YOU.

I have written and designed our programs through over 30 years of personal experience in Yoga, with more than 1500 hours of training and over 7000 teaching hours as a Yoga Teacher and Therapist with a focus on developing health, and bringing peace to living with stress, trauma, anxiety, and depression.

Everything we do is based on the wisdom of Yogic teachings, current Science, with a trauma-informed lens, to prepare you to work with your own practice and design practice for your students. 

“Her trauma-informed training, therapeutic insights, and overall nurturing approach leads you through an experience of self-exploration and body confidence that is unparalleled.” Stefani W

“Melanie, I need to impress upon you what you are doing is profoundly important. You are giving women a new lease on life, the value is priceless. Nothing but love and respect for you. Sometimes you light candles, sometimes you light a firecracker. This time you lit a lighthouse that will endure and guide others as well.” Lindsey C

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