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What is Yoga for New York: @YogaforNY

Yoga for New York is an advocacy organization founded in June 2009 to tackle issues facing the yoga industry and yoga businesses, such as government intervention and industry issues in New York State. Unlike organizations focused on one specific issue or interest group, Yoga for NY represents students, teachers, training programs and studios – large and small – in an effort to maintain the wellbeing and longevity of accessible, affordable, and quality yoga in New York.


April 2009
Many yoga teacher trainers in New York State received a letter from the Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision (part of the New York State Education Department) in late April 2009. Some trainers did not receive the letter.

The letter said that their teacher training programs may need to be licensed. If so, those programs must be suspended immediately and until they complete the license approval process. The letter also said that those who teach without a license would be
subject to fines up to $50,000.

Within a few days of the letter, a memo posted to the BPSS website reiterated their position that yoga teacher training is not currently exempt from licensing.

Yoga teacher trainers and aspiring yoga teachers across the state wondered whether their programs could survive the elaborate, costly and time-consuming licensing process. And what is the fate of yoga in New York, if no new teachers are being trained?

Yoga for New York was founded in June 2009 by a group of yoga teacher trainers, yoga teachers, and yogis determined to minimize government intervention in yoga teacher training. Hundreds of yoga lovers across the state have become involved in one way or another.

Just a few weeks later, the State Education Department announced its decision to “suspend licensing requirements pending action by the state legislature.” Yoga for New York members and friends are redoubling their efforts to get the legislation passed to make that suspension permanent. Everyone can help with fundraising and grassroots advocacy undefined and with envisioning the possibilities for promoting yoga across New York State.

The “Yoga” bill ( A.8678-A), exempting Yoga Teacher Training from government regulation in NY State, passed in the Assembly ( A.8678-A) on February 23, 2010, and in the Senate ( S.5701-A) on March 1, 2010. It was signed into law by Governor Paterson on March 24, 2010.

Yoga Teacher Training is now exempt from licensing in NY State.