Raising the Bar on Yoga Teacher Training and the Case for Social Credentialing

April 17, 2014

As the popularity of yoga in the United States grows each year, so does the need for increased rigor and oversight of yoga teacher training programs. To meet the increasing demand for oversight, Yoga Alliance® launched the online-based Social Credentialing system, which promotes safe and competent yoga teaching. Social Credentialing requires verified teacher trainees to provide objective, non-anonymous, systematic feedback about the Registered Yoga Schools (RYS®s) they attended.

“When I joined Yoga Alliance, the one thing that everyone seemed to agree on was that we should do more to promote safe and competent teaching and improve the oversight and credibility of our system,” said Richard Karpel, Yoga Alliance President 2012 - 2014.

The vision and goals of the Social Credentialing system include:

  • Providing credentials to acknowledge professionals: Yoga practitioners consider credentials an assurance that yoga professionals have a certain level of experience and training.
  • Protecting diversity: Yoga Alliance Standards were constructed to respect the diversity of perspectives in yoga, while still providing a framework for yoga teacher training programs to follow.
  • Building on our existing credentialing model: Rather than create a new credentialing model, which would divert focus away from our existing registry, we established Social Credentialing because the system enables us to better uphold the standards that the yoga community already knows and respects.
  • Capturing verified, non-anonymous feedback: Through Social Credentialing, verified teacher trainees are required to provide objective, non-anonymous, systematic feedback about the RYSs they attended.
  • Honoring our responsibility to the community: Yoga Alliance is a nonprofit credentialing and membership organization, so, unlike for-profit social ratings sites, we have a special responsibility to our registrants and members and to the yoga community.

Yoga Alliance completed the initial transition to the new Social Credentialing system on Dec. 4, 2013. Since then, more than 6,500 Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT®s) reviewed RYSs from which they received their training. We believe this system provides a reliable, fair and contextual source of information and advice for prospective students seeking RYTs.

"Working with our Standards Committee and board of directors, together with feedback from the yoga community, we intend to continue to improve the system to promote safe and competent yoga teaching and enhanced credibility for our members and the entire community,” said Karpel.


White Paper: Social Credentialing

This detailed white paper explains how Social Credentialing makes up for some of the shortcomings in traditional credentialing and rating systems while meeting our goals of promoting safe, competent and ethical yoga teaching. Read it now.

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