Online learning

To online or not to online? That is the question. Gopala Amir Yaffa explores the emergence of online trainings

In 2016, after years of resisting making technology a big part of my yoga training business, and on the verge of releasing my first online children’s yoga teacher training, I reflected on the benefits and harms of screen time. Read below… I was never a big admirer of technology.

In fact, I hardly let my kids use it; I only use it because I need to for my work. I get annoyed when my wife looks at her phone instead of at me, and she rightfully gets upset if I look at my work emails when it is family time. We really try to avoid being trapped in those modern habits because we believe in love. My nine-year-old boy has been asking us to let him play computer games for years. But our answer is always: “There is a beautiful and fascinating world all around you; we want you to explore it and engage with it.”

I believe in nature, real-life connections, communication, touch, play, and love. There is no real love in computers and phones. You can communicate love throug electronic media, but it will never feel like holding a puppy or hugging a loved one. Looking at Facebook on your smartphone is a very different experience of connectedness than actually looking at the face of someone you love. These devices steal time that actually belongs to our family, our love life and our friends.

Relationships, whether they are with our children, partners, or friends, need nurturing and care. To grow and to thrive, our relationships need us to invest time in them. Now, I have a big family of four children and a successful yoga business that just keeps growing and demanding more time. I also have passions, interests, and a need to learn new things and without these, I don’t feel alive amid all of life’s busy-ness. So, when do I find time for me, my ambitions, and my growth?

Well, now I have come to realise some of the benefits of technology; it is a great way to share knowledge at a time that’s convenient for us.

There is so much more I want to learn in the short time I was given on earth, but it is not always available to me where I live, or at a time that is practical for me and my family and business. So I started taking online training courses on different topics that intrigue me both professionally and personally.

When? When everyone else is sleeping! I gain the knowledge online, and I put it into practice in my work and in my teaching and even in my parenting. The internet is a magical place full of information that can be translated into action in real life. With all of its drawbacks, the internet has its benefits; I remember one of my teachers, Geshe Michael Roach, leading a year-long project to put Tibetan manuscripts that have been saved from the Chinese invasion online. What a great way to distribute this knowledge that otherwise might have been totally lost!

I was a Hindu monk in an Ashram for 10 years, I have spent the last 27 years teaching yoga to people of all ages and more than 20 years training teachers; I have a lot to share with the world too. We have invested a lot in our online trainings so that they are able to replicate the experience of being in the presence and learning directly from a person who is experienced and passionate about what they teach. This is great for busy people like me. And that is why I believe that our

Online Rainbow Kids Yoga Teacher Training is an amazing and easy way to spread this practice to more children, families, and schools all around the world. Communication is a powerful instrument that can heal or destroy. There are lots of negative things on the web, so now I feel compelled to fill it with more positive knowledge, joy and fun. We are here to make the world a better place, and our impact can be bigger if we use the communication tools the modern world has to offer us.

Gopala Amir Yaffa is the founder of Rainbow Kids Yoga (

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