Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Yoga Alliance: Should All Yoga Teachers Join?

Author: Dylan Robertson

The Yoga Alliance works to support the practice of yoga and sets standards for teachers and teacher training programs. contains the standards set by the organization and information about becoming registered as a yoga teacher, experienced yoga teacher, or registered yoga school.

People looking for trained yoga instructors can use the Yoga Alliance searchable database for a registered teacher. Aspiring teachers can find registered training programs close to home to fulfill that dream. Registering offers benefits to yoga professionals and lends credibility to teachers and schools.

Organization Background

Yoga Alliance was formed in 1999 by a merger of two organizations: Unity in Yoga and the Ad Hoc Yoga Alliance. These organizations hosted conferences and were working separately toward creating standards for yoga teachers. The merger allowed the two organizations to combine resources and address a range of issues relevant to the yoga community while supporting a variety of approaches.

One of the main focuses of Yoga Alliance was to set minimum standards for the training of yoga teachers. The Alliance has established a national registry of yoga teachers. Teachers who meet the standards set by Yoga Alliance can be listed in the registry.

What to Expect

Yoga Alliance’s Yoga Teachers Registry is a national list of teachers in the United States that have met the minimum training standards set by the organization. The organization recognizes teachers for meeting training standards and for years of experience. A teacher with training and years of experience will be listed as an E-RYT (experienced registered yoga teacher).

The Registry of Yoga Schools is designed to recognize effective teacher training programs. To qualify, schools must offer training programs for yoga teachers that are at least two hundred or five hundred hours. In addition, the curriculum of the school must meet the standards set by Yoga Alliance. Students graduating from these schools are listed on the registry as Registered Yoga Teachers.

The standards for both yoga teachers and training programs can be found on the Yoga Alliance website. There are standards for techniques training, anatomy, yoga philosophy, teaching methodology, and practice teaching requirements. The website offers charts on the site with the exact standards for both two hundred and five hundred hours in PDF format and a revised standards chart and FAQ section.

In the registered teachers section of the website, there are articles and resources for yoga practitioners as well as teachers. Article topics include choosing a teacher, choosing a school, benefits of yoga, yoga and weight management, and information on continuing education.

Application forms are available on the Yoga Alliance website for registered yoga teachers, experienced yoga teachers, and yoga schools. There are two applications: one for teachers who attended a registered school and the other for schools not listed in the registry. Along with the application, copies of certificates and additional documentation are required. This information is listed on each application.

Who Benefits

There are many benefits to joining Yoga Alliance for yoga teachers and people working in yoga teacher training. The listing can help you establish and enhance your business, and being listed on the registry lends professional credibility to the individual teacher. People who are interested in training to become a yoga teacher can find information on registered schools in their area on the website as well.

Yoga Alliance offers resources for yoga practitioners, too. They offer a searchable database of registered yoga teachers. Enter the country and select name, state or province, city, or style of yoga. A listing of registered teachers will be displayed for you to select a local class with a well-trained teacher. In addition, you will find articles on a variety of yoga topics.



Have you registered with the Yoga Alliance as a yoga teacher, yoga school, or perhaps just used their website? What did you think?

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