Standards Guidelines for All RYS™s

Last Updated: July 19, 2023

Yoga Alliance™ developed the below guidelines for all of its Registered Yoga Schools (RYSs).

  1. Spirit of the Standards

    The spirit of standards underlying all Yoga Alliance credentials is to support and foster the high quality, safe, accessible, and equitable teaching of yoga. These standards both promote the advancement of knowledge in the profession of yoga teaching and an ethical commitment towards a higher level of yoga, not only for our members but also for the broader yoga community. The spirit of the Yoga Alliance standards is world-wide.

    A school may be registered with Yoga Alliance when a yoga teacher training program:

    • Has a definite, pre-defined curriculum with competencies and sub-competencies that meet Yoga Alliance’s standards;
    • Offers a training program that is taught by experienced yoga teachers who are qualified to train others to become yoga teachers; and
    • Offers a consistent approach that supports authenticity of lineage, style, or methodology, rather than a survey of different approaches.

  2. Educational Categories of Study & Practice

    New RYS 200 Credential (launched February 27, 2020)

    New standards underlying the RYS 200 credential took effect February 27, 2020. The new standards condensed the Educational Categories (detailed below) from five to four, creating a “common core” curriculum that ensures a shared understanding of foundational yoga concepts amongst all RYS 200s while still providing flexibility for each RYS to honor tradition.

    The four Educational Categories include:

    • Techniques, Training, Practice;
    • Anatomy & Physiology;
    • Yoga Humanities (formerly Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle, & Ethics); and
    • Professional Essentials (includes merged Educational Categories of Teaching Methodology and Practicum).

    More information, including a helpful infographic showing the difference in the categories of the RYS 200 credentials may be found here.

    Current RYS™ 200 and RYS 300, RYS 500, RCYS™, and RPYS™ Credentials

    New standards underlying the professional-level RYS 300 and RYS 500 credentials will be announced in Fall 2023, with those underlying the Registered Children’s Yoga School (RCYS) and Registered Prenatal Yoga School (RPYS) specialty credentials to be announced later. RYSs with these credentials—in addition to current RYS 200 programs that have not yet up-leveled to the new RYS 200 credential—allocate instructional hours according to five Educational Categories and distinguish between contact, non-contact, and elective hours.

    • Techniques, Training, Practice
    • Teaching Methodology
    • Anatomy & Physiology
    • Yoga Philosophy, Ethics, & Lifestyle
    • Practicum

    In addition to the Educational Categories listed above, the Yoga Alliance specialty credentials—the RCYS and RPYS—share a sixth Educational Category: General Background in the Specialty Area.

  3. Lead Trainer, Trainer, and Other Faculty Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT™) Requirements

    All hours in an RYS program must be taught by Lead Trainers, Trainers, or Other Faculty that meet the requirements below:

    Lead Trainer

    Before the Uplevel is complete, all Lead Trainers must hold the Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT™) 500 credential, up from E-RYT 200 or E-RYT 500 currently. Please stay tuned for official due date for this upgrade.

    Currently, foundational-level programs (RYS 200) may hire E-RYT 200s and professional-level programs (RYS 300, RYS 500) may hire E-RYT 500s as their Lead Trainers.

    For information on the E-RYT designations, click here. All Lead Trainers must be active members of Yoga Alliance and be in good standing.


    RYSs may employ additional Trainers who must also be active RYTs with Yoga Alliance and be in good standing.

    Other Faculty

    At times, an RYS may choose to employ other Trainers (referred to as Other Faculty) who are not registered with Yoga Alliance. Other Faculty must hold the following qualifications in the subject(s) they will teach:

    • A relevant degree, certification, or substantial education; and
    • A minimum of either 500 hours of teaching experience or two years of relevant experience.

  4. Classroom & Contact Hours by Lead Trainer

    New RYS 200 Credential (launched February 27, 2020)

    With the enhanced standards underlying the RYS 200 credential, an RYS may employ up to five Lead Trainers to teach at least 150 of the minimally required 200 classroom hours of this foundational-level teacher training program. Currently, a Lead Trainer must hold at minimum the E-RYT 200 credential for an RYS 200 program.

    RYS Credential Min. Hours Taught by Lead Trainer Number of Lead Trainer(s) Credentials Held by Lead Trainer(s)
    RYS 200
    150 of 200 hours 1 to 5 E-RYT*

    Current RYS 200 and RYS 300, RYS 500, RPYS, and RCYS Credentials

    All other RYS programs, including current RYS 200 programs that have not yet up-leveled to the new RYS 200 credential, vary with respect to the minimum number of contact hours taught by the Lead Trainers, the maximum number of Lead Trainers themselves, and the credentials held by the Lead Trainers. Three of the five Educational Categories—Techniques, Training, Practice; Teaching Methodology; and Practicum—have hour requirements that must be taught by Lead Trainers.

    RYS Credential Min. Hours Taught by Lead Trainer Number of Lead Trainer(s) Credentials Held by Lead Trainer(s)
    RYS 200** 65 to 200 hours 1 to 5 E-RYT*
    RYS 300 135 to 300 hours 1 to 5 E-RYT 500
    RYS 500 200 of 500 hours 1 to 5 E-RYT 500
    RCYS 37 of 95 hours 1 to 5 E-RYT, RCYT
    RPYS 36 of 85 hours 1 to 5 E-RYT, RPYT

    More information for individual RYS designation may be found here.

  5. Subjects of Study

    Yoga Alliance honors and respects disciplines and traditions related to yoga. However, any and all hours related to these subjects cannot count towards classroom hours, contact hours, or continuing education hours. For specific examples of accepted and not accepted topics, please see page 52 of the Guidebook to RYS Application.
  6. Distance Learning

    Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Schools (RYSs) can offer training programs in multiple formats, including 100% in-person, 100% distance learning, or a mix of both.

    RYSs are now required to deliver a minimum of 15% of the program hours in a synchronous format (teachers and students gather online at the same to interact in real-time).

    RYS Credential Min. Synchronous Hours
    RYS 200 30 hours
    RYS 300 45 hours
    RYS 500 75 hours
    RCYS 14 hours
    RPYS 13 hours

*This reflects those current RYS 200 programs that have not yet up-leveled to the new RYS 200 credential, represented above.

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