Yoga Alliance is implementing new CEU (Continuing Education) rules starting in January of 2015. Previously, if you had received online yoga training, one hour of a webinar would only count for 1/5 of a CEU hour. The irony of this set up is that the conventional wisdom says that one online hour of training is actually four hours of in-person training. Why? Because you aren't wasting time getting everyone situated, or figuring out when to have lunch break, or dealing with heating and cooling issues in the room.
I'm finding more and more that in-person yoga teacher trainings are not all they are cracked up to be. They are often over-crowded, draining, and time-consuming. It can take too much time away from work and other regular activities. You often have to fight traffic to get there.
You might get the chance to see a national teacher, but the room is filled with 50 or more students and you rarely get any direct feedback or supervision.
A good online yoga training is concise, focused, and convenient. With many online courses, you can often review the materials and rewatch the videos over and over again, something you cannot do with a live training (unless your teacher gave you permission to record). The biggest drawback is that you don't necessarily get the opportunity for practice or feedback, but as I already mentioned, you don't get that a lot in live training anyway. And feedback can be accomplished with Skype and video conferencing.
Overall, given the time and expense of live, in-person trainings, and the convenience of online trainings, I predict online yoga training will become more and more popular as well as respected. It's high time Yoga Alliance rethink their distinction between "contact" and "non-contact" hours, but their move to recognize one hour of online training as an actual hour is a start.