Yoga Alliance (YA) is the international governing body for yoga instructors and yoga schools. According to their website they are the “largest non-profit association representing the yoga community. Our mission is to spread the power of yoga one person at a time.” They currently have 50,000 Registered Yoga Teachers (RYTs) and more than 3,000 Registered Yoga Schools (RYSs). Even ashrams in India belong to Yoga Alliance!
YA was the first organization in the world to develop yoga teaching certification requirements and they set the first standards to be used by Yoga Teacher Training schools, for all different lineages. These standards (with a few upgrades) are still used today.
In order for a school to be register with YA they must prove that they offer 200-hours of teaching within the following categories; techniques, training and practice; teaching methodology; anatomy and physiology; yoga philosophy, lifestyle and ethics; and practicum or practice teaching. In addition, the yoga school must prove the instructor is educated and experienced enough to instruct the students to become teachers. Look for this logo when researching different training programs to see if they meet the requirements set out by YA and to ensure that you can get certified.
Yoga Alliance is important because they help to ensure a certain level of education and professionalism in our industry. It is also a good tool for studios to use when hiring. Patrons of yoga studios can look for this to make certain their instructors are trained. YA guidelines aren’t so strict as to eliminate the individuality and creativity of different styles. However, by setting minimum guidelines they ensure prospective teachers are getting a good education from a reputable instructor.
Once you attend a 200-hour training program from a school that is registered with Yoga Alliance you will eligible to join Yoga Alliance. In order to teach yoga at a gym, studio, community centre, or elsewhere you need to have attended a 200-hr. YA registered school. Most studios will not require you to actually join Yoga Alliance. However they do want to know that you attended a school that upheld the standards of instruction required by YA and that you are eligible to join.
If you do choose to join the alliance there are a few different perks like education seminars, insurance discounts and being listed on their directory.
What to know more about the different levels of credentials and what is requires for each? Check back next week when we explain it clearly, in easy to understand terms!
For more information on Yoga Alliance and their requirements, for schools or instructors, please visit their website at www.yogaalliance.org