Welcome to the discussion

On this site I will be sharing my ideas, and those submitted by others in the yoga teaching profession, on developments that affect our work. As states begin to regulate our profession, our creative and proactive response as a community can both ensure quality in yoga instruction and integrity in teacher training standards. I am seeking two kinds of input here.There is a page for each topic where you can post your comments. I encourage readers to look at both. (Please make sure your comment is posted on the relevant page for your contribution– either the state vocational schools/teacher training topic, or the national exam and standards topic.)

1. I am asking you to read my proposal for a national certification standard; I would like feedback on the  idea. I would like to hear from yoga teachers, teacher trainers, fitness certifying agencies, small business owners in yoga and in fitness, larger fitness businesses who hire yoga teachers, community colleges and four year colleges with professional preparation programs in allied health and exercise science, and yoga students. My proposal treats yoga as not just a form of exercise, but a tradition with a philosophy and an understanding of the whole person– including subtle anatomy as well as bodily anatomy and biomechanics.

2.I am researching the impact of various state regulations, such as the requirement for teacher training programs to become state certified vocational schools. I  intend to collect data on the laws themselves, as well as on the impact on yoga studios and schools as small businesses, and on the supply and quality of teachers. I would like to hear from the state boards that supervise schools under these regulations, as well from those affected by them.

I would particularly like to hear from yoga teacher training program directors in the following places:  District of Columbia, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana,  Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina,North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Tennessee. I do not yet have information on the application of vocational school licensing laws  to yoga  teacher training schools in these states.

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2 Comments

  1. Phyllis said,

    May 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    I am writing to find out what type of laws the state of Pa has with reference to teach yoga for money if one does not have certification. I have practiced Hatha Yoga for 6 years. Some friends at a resort I go to have asked me for private sessions…before I persue, I wanted to know the law, if any. Also, if I share my yoga for “no cash” is that ok…thank you

  2. Patty Kearney said,

    May 6, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    There are no current laws that I of know in any state requiring any certification or licensure in order to teach individuals. Some states license teacher training programs, some do not. The main thing I’ve observed in teachers who have only their own practice and experience, but no teacher training, is that knowing how to DO and knowing how to TEACH are two different skills. How a practice feels to one person is not how it feels to another. How to adapt for various ages, fitness levels, health conditions, etc. may not be learned through personal practice. How to adjust and support others safely, how to guide relaxation or meditation, and how to integrate yoga philosophy into a class, are skills one learns in a teacher training program. While the Yoga Alliance registry is far from perfect, (since at present they still do not verify through site visits or credentialing other than hours of teaching experience that someone is qualified to train other teachers) still, it’s the best thing we’ve got. No one will stop you from teaching without training how to teach. It won’t be illegal. But it might not be the best teaching you are capable of doing. I know that taking a thorough teacher training program with outstanding teachers changed my teaching skills profoundly, as well as the depth of my understanding of the whole of yoga.


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