Yoga Alliance Statement on Teacher Registration from Non-Registered Schools

Last Updated: January 3, 2018

For many years, Yoga Alliance® allowed trainees who completed training at a non-registered school to apply for registration. Applicants were required to submit a 200-hour or 500-hour certificate from the non-registered school that trained them, along with details of the school’s curriculum. If the training they completed met our 200-hour or 500-hour Standards, the application was confirmed.

In July 2011, Yoga Alliance announced that we would no longer accept applications from trainees of non-registered schools, and that the change would take effect on August 31, 2011. The decision was posted on the YA+ Community homepage as well as our Facebook page. In addition, we reached out to as many non-registered teacher training programs as possible, including many whose trainees had previously applied using a non-registered school application. We also announced that those non-registered schools that chose to register with us would have their Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT®) applications confirmed retroactively to the date that they began offering a verified curriculum. Dozens of schools accepted this offer and submitted applications for Registered Yoga School (RYS®) designations.

As of January 2018, there are more than 5,700 current RYSs. In order to obtain the RYS designation, these schools have had to submit documentation and answer questions to demonstrate that they offer a curriculum that meets Yoga Alliance Standards for providing instruction to trainees who aim to become RYT 200s or RYT 500s. Their application and renewal fees help to support the infrastructure required to operate the registry. Allowing teachers to register from non-registered schools would undermine that support and place a burden on YA staff to independently confirm, on an ad hoc basis, whether or not the non-registered school’s curriculum meets our Standards. It would also be unfair to those registered schools that have made the effort to conform their curriculum to YA Standards; in effect, it would penalize them for the time and expense they endured to submit their curriculum to the RYS application process.

We regret that there are yoga schools that continue to market their curriculums as meeting Yoga Alliance Standards despite the fact that they haven’t registered with us. When we learn that a school is wrongly making this claim, we contact them directly to instruct them to discontinue the practice. But we think it is important to issue this statement in order to remind all non-registered schools that their curriculums don’t meet Yoga Alliance Standards, their trainees will not be able to register with us, and they may not promote their programs using language that is inconsistent with those facts.

We understand that registration with Yoga Alliance is very important for yoga teachers who want to work at studios that require registration and to inspire confidence in the public about their qualification to teach. We hear from them every day. So we are reiterating our previous announcement in order to inform all yoga practitioners who may be considering a teacher training program that the only way they can register with Yoga Alliance is by attending a current RYS.

We encourage prospective teachers to check our Directory to determine whether a school they are considering is a RYS capable of issuing a certificate eligible for registration as a RYT. We also encourage them to contact us immediately when they think a school or teacher may be mistakenly touting a non-registered program as RYS-compliant, so we can quickly rectify the situation.


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