yoga philosophy and ethics in online teacher training

There is more to yoga than simply physical poses. It’s a comprehensive practice that incorporates philosophical and ethical elements. Yoga philosophy and ethics should be included in online yoga training to help students gain a more holistic perspective on the practice and receive all its reported benefits.

This article delves into the significance of yoga’s guiding philosophies and ethical principles for those interested in becoming yoga instructors.

Historical context

Yoga originated in ancient India, and its key philosophical ideas revolve around the concept of union or oneness, and the idea that the ultimate goal of human life is to achieve a state of enlightenment or liberation.

This is achieved through the eight limbs of yoga, which include moral discipline, self-purification and study, posture, breath control, withdrawal of the senses, concentration, meditation, and enlightenment.

The human being is also believed to be made up of five koshas or sheaths, including the physical body, energy body, mental body, wisdom body, and bliss body.

Additionally, yoga recognizes the three gunas or qualities of nature, which are purity, harmony, activity, passion, and inertia, ignorance, with the aim being to cultivate purity and transcend passion and ignorance.

Concept of karmic ethics

Ethics play a significant role in the practice of yoga. In the Yoga Sutras, the ethical principles of yoga are known as the yamas and niyamas, and they provide guidance on how to live a virtuous life.

The yamas include ahimsa (non-violence), satya (truthfulness), asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (celibacy or moderation), and aparigraha (non-possessiveness).

The niyamas include saucha (cleanliness), santosha (contentment), tapas (austerity), svadhyaya (self-study), and isvara pranidhana (surrender to a higher power). These principles are meant to guide yogis in their interactions with others and themselves, promoting harmony, honesty, and self-discipline.

Practicing these ethical principles can help cultivate a sense of inner peace and lead to a more fulfilling life, both on and off the mat.

Continuous learning

It’s crucial for online yoga teachers to continue learning about yoga philosophy throughout their lives because it helps them deepen their understanding of the practice, which they can then pass on to their students.

Yoga is a vast and complex discipline that encompasses physical, mental, and spiritual aspects, and a thorough understanding of its philosophy is essential to guide students on their own journeys.

As with any discipline, knowledge is never stagnant, and continuing education helps teachers stay up-to-date with new insights and practices that can enhance their teaching.

Delving into the philosophical aspects of yoga can be a fulfilling and transformative experience in and of itself, helping teachers connect with the deeper meanings and purposes behind the practice and enriching their own lives.


Online yoga teacher training should incorporate the philosophical and ethical aspects of yoga to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the practice.

The guiding principles of yoga philosophy, including the concept of union and the eight limbs of yoga, as well as karmic ethics, such as the yamas and niyamas, provide guidance on how to live a virtuous and fulfilling life.

For online yoga teachers, continuous learning of yoga philosophy is essential to deepen their understanding of the practice and guide their students on their own journeys.