Changes to Continuing Education Requirements

Updated May 28, 2015

In the summer of 2014, the Yoga Alliance® Standards Committee issued three changes to our Continuing Education requirements, effective January 1, 2015. We believe that all yoga teachers, no matter their experience or knowledge level, stand to benefit from continual learning and from studying with teachers with extensive experience.

Our new Requirements for Continuing Education include:

Continuing Education Providers must have extensive experience.

A RYT 500 – who automatically met the previous criteria – can now only provide Continuing Education if they meet the new Requirements.

In addition, the Requirements for Other Faculty (non-Registered Yoga Teacher [RYT®] trainers) for Registered Yoga Schools (RYS®s) are more stringent.

Our Standards Committee determined the previous definition of a Continuing Education Provider was inconsistent with the Lead Trainer Requirements for RYSs. The committee also determined RYTs seeking Continuing Education should spend at least 10 hours every three years studying with a teacher who is not only knowledgeable, but has extensively applied that knowledge.

Highly experienced RYT 500s are not definitively excluded. Registered Yoga Teachers may obtain their 10 CE Contact Hours from a non-Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT®) or even someone who is not a yoga teacher. However, that person must have either a relevant degree or certification, or substantial education in an area of expertise that is related to one of the Yoga Alliance Educational Categories.

The CE Provider who is not an E-RYT must also have either the equivalent of two years of relevant experience or substantial teaching experience in that educational area, which we define as no less than 500 hours.

Continuing Education reporting is required for all RYTs and E-RYTs, regardless of experience.

Previously, E-RYT 500s with more than 5,000 hours of teaching experience were exempt from reporting their Continuing Education.

We are all students of yoga. Even if you are accomplished as a teacher, success should never dis-incentivize future learning and professional growth. Even teachers of great renown sometimes change their minds or clarify certain approaches which they may have taught in the past when they learn something new. The CE Requirement encourages all RYTs to never stop learning, to embrace a philosophy of being open to learning and to continue improving.

Continuing Education Non-Contact Hours now count at a 1:1 ratio.

Previously, RYTs had to complete five hours of an appropriate activity to accrue one Continuing Education Non-Contact Hour.

Self-directed study can be effective for professional maintenance learning. Yoga Alliance Registry endorses and formally recognizes the time and effort you put into learning that is motivated by your passion, interests and personal learning objectives.

A Continuing Education Contact Hour is an in-person classroom hour in the physical presence of a qualified CE Provider. All CE Contact Hours must be directly related to at least one of the five YA Educational Categories.

Examples of acceptable CE Contact Hour activities include:

  • Yoga teacher training,
  • Workshops (single session or ongoing series),
  • Courses at a college or university, and
  • Discussion or study groups.

A Continuing Education Non-Contact Hour is an hour of learning occurring outside of the classroom, without a qualified CE Provider or faculty member present. All CE Non-Contact Hours must be directly related to at least one of the five YA Educational Categories.

Examples of acceptable CE Non-Contact Hour activities include:

  • Reading a book or article, or watching a video that deepens your yoga practice and/or understanding,
  • Being a student participant in a webinar or taking an online or correspondence course,
  • Receiving remote mentoring,
  • Authoring yoga books, articles, videos or other media for public dissemination (e.g., in newsletters, CDs, DVDs, newspapers, magazines, online, etc.)*, and
  • Creating class materials for distribution to students*.

*Hours that may be counted towards CE should reflect that something new was learned, through research, study or experiential learning, rather than time spent synthesizing or processing prior knowledge. Hours spent disseminating this information to students may be eligible toward the teaching hour Requirements, but cannot be counted as training hours.

Have questions? Learn more about Continuing Education or watch our latest video on the topic.

New YA designation coming in 2016: Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider (YACEP). Click here to learn more.

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