…[T]he majority of yoga teachers I meet are not teaching yoga full time, which means that yoga is their secondary job, not a primary vocation.
This article about Yoga Alliance was written June 29, 2010. It was written to illustrate the opposite stance held by Yoga Alliance’s board and employees regarding yoga regulation and credentialing policy. Yoga Teachers who feel that Yoga Alliance is “advocating” for them are incorrect. Yoga Alliance only “advocates” for themselves. Once Yoga Alliance has effectually lowered every state educational standards, they will then begin lobbying on behalf of their own agenda, which is “mandatory YA credentialing.”
Yoga Alliance Jun 29, 2010
Questions for Yoga Alliance:
- What part did Yoga Alliance play in your specific Teacher Training, other than setting forth minimal yoga standard requirements, that are already exceeded in most teacher trainings?
- Is Yoga Alliance a governing body for yoga, a regulating body for yoga, or a registry for yoga teachers?
- Is Yoga Alliance’s simplified online registry of yoga teachers and yoga studios (that adhere to their minimal requirements) a way for them to keep track of who is in the registry and also collect yearly dues?
- How do yoga teachers feel about Yoga Alliances past President Mark Davis (2007, 2008, 2009) directly introducing the “vocational” way to tax yoga teachers through his presentation with individual state governments boards and individual cities legislative members about the future taxation of Teacher Training Programs?
- How do you as a teacher feel about Yoga Alliances lack of acknowledgment and support towards New York, Washington, Virginia, Missouri, Texas, and Louisiana regarding yoga regulation and credentialing? (Until 2012, Yoga Alliance had no role as an advocacy 501c6)
- How do you feel about Yoga Alliance’s having a six-person staff process a 30,000 – 45,000 orders per year, while the 9 Yoga Alliance Board Members dictate the standards to the entire world of yoga? (this article was written in 2009)
- Does it really matter that Yoga Alliance sets forth standards of regulation for Yoga Teacher Accreditation to you as a teacher?
- Do you feel that Yoga Alliance’s motive of silence, blatantly telling practitioners to “accept the inevitable regulation of yoga,” by their lack of support to teachers and studios, and by their refusal to deal with any of the regulatory issues or anyone head on – do you feel their actions are justified?
If you read their Mission Statement below, Yoga Alliance is clearly not adhering to their own mission.
YOGA ALLIANCE MISSION: Yoga Alliance is the national education and support organization for yoga in the United States.
We work in the public interest to ensure that there is a thorough understanding of the benefits of yoga, that the teachers of yoga value its history and traditions, and that the public can be confident of the quality and consistency of instruction.
ACTIVITIES: Yoga Alliance® is a non-profit, tax-exempt section 501(c)3 organization. We maintain a national Yoga Teachers’ Registry to promote teachers with training that meets our standards. Teachers registered with us are authorized to use the initials “RYT® (Registered Yoga Teacher) after their name or the initials “E-RYT® (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) if they have significant teaching experience in addition to RYT training. We issue registry marks (logos) for enrolled teachers to use in resumes and business endeavors.
Yoga Alliance maintains a Registry of Yoga Schools that comply with our standards for yoga teacher training programs of at least 200 or 500 hours. Registered schools are authorized to use the initials RYS® (Registered Yoga School) after their names, and receive certificates of registration as well as registry marks. All graduates of an RYS are eligible to register as RYTs. The Registries are promoted to the general public, organizations that employ yoga teachers and organizations that review yoga teachers’ credentials.
It is also very important to bring notice to the Yoga Alliance Code of Conduct:
YOGA ALLIANCE CODE OF CONDUCT
(PREAMBLE TO CODE OF CONDUCT)
This Code of Conduct is a summation and declaration of acceptable, ethical, and professional behavior by which all Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT) and Registered Yoga Schools (RYS) agree to conduct the teaching and business of Yoga. The Code is not intended to supersede the Code of Conduct/Ethics of any school or tradition but is intended to be a basis for yoga ethics.
Code of Conduct
As a Registrant of Yoga Alliance and as a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) or representative of a Registered Yoga School (RYS), I agree to uphold the ethical goals set forth in the following Code of Conduct:
1. Uphold the integrity of my vocation(*1) by conducting myself in a professional and conscientious manner.
2. Acknowledge the limitations of my skills and scope of practice and where appropriate, refer students to seek alternative instruction, advice, treatment, or direction.
3. Create and maintain a safe, clean, and comfortable environment for the practice of yoga.
4. Encourage diversity actively by respecting all students regardless of age, physical limitations, race, creed, gender, ethnicity, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation.
5. Respect the rights, dignity, and privacy of all students.
6. Avoid words and actions that constitute sexual harassment.
7. Adhere to the traditional yoga principles as written in the Yamas and Niyamas.
8. Follow all local government and national laws that pertain to my yoga teaching and business. *2
*1 The word “vocation” is deliberately used by Yoga Alliance in this sentence.
- Uphold the integrity of my vocation(*1) by conducting myself in a professional and conscientious manner.
To make a gross generalization of yoga, by assuming that all yoga teachers are working full time, making $35 – $75 dollars per class, based on either a flat rate or a head count, is absolutely ludicrous. By definition, vocation implies that yoga would be the only source of income. Living in yoga saturated San Francisco, including the yoga teachers I run into around the country, the majority of yoga teachers I meet are not teaching yoga full time, which means that yoga is their secondary job, not a primary vocation.
*2 Yoga Alliances #8 Code of Conduct (Follow all local government and national laws that pertain to my yoga teaching and business.) *2
According to Yoga Alliances #8 Code of Conduct, they have acted in unproductive manners for yoga as a whole. Blind compliance serves no one, ever. We are not cows to be herded into the pasture of regulation that’s determined by oblivious government officials or a manipulative unfocused nonprofit.
8. Follow all local government and national laws that pertain to my yoga teaching and business.
Yoga Alliance’s own silence, inaction and hiding from real issues and real people, has backfired on them. Instead of securing their seat in the future of yoga, they have shown what manipulation, greed, inaction, and an utter lack of regard for the subscribers will be either their inspiration to change or their likely demise.
I don’t dislike Yoga Alliance, I simply don’t respect their deliberate and significant indecision. There’s not any viable communication happening between Yoga Alliance and the yoga teachers (and yoga studios) they serve.
Instead of paying $35.00 – 360.00 for an RYT or ERYT, speak to your specific studio about issuing you a certificate of completion.
There are things happening as I write this, but it won’t happen today, and most likely won’t happen until the group of involved teachers and studio owners can agree on what a regulating board looks like, what it’s function will be, and how to go about putting it together.
What does this all mean:
Below are the exact articles I uncovered that not only remain unanswered by Yoga Alliance.
Yoga Alliance’s Tax Returns
Yoga Alliance’s Own Admission of Guilt (Deleted) from Facebook.