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Yoga Alliance

Spirit of the Standards - RYS 300

July 2016

Standards Guidelines (all RYS)

  1. Spirit of the Standards

The spirit of the Yoga Alliance Standards is to include a school in the RYS® (Registered Yoga School) Directory only when its YTT (Yoga Teacher Training):

  • Has a definite, pre-defined curriculum that meets the Yoga Alliance Standards.
  • Is taught by yoga teacher trainers who are qualified to train teachers.
  • Offers a consistent approach that is conducive to depth, rather than a survey of different approaches.

All standards for a RYS are intended to be clear, implementable reflections of the above criteria.

 

  1. Educational Categories of Study & Practice

The RYS Educational Categories are:

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

Please see each standard’s detailed description for the definition of each educational category as it relates to that specific designation.

Training hours may go into ‘N/A - Supplemental Training’ when they include content that does not fit in the Educational Categories. Examples of such content include instruction in Reiki, Thai yoga massage, CPR, Doula training, “Yoga Therapy”, etc. These hours are not counted in determining whether or not the syllabus meets Yoga Alliance Standards.

 

  1. Lead Trainer Qualifications – E-RYT

Definition of an E-RYT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher)

  • E-RYT 200 - This is a RYT 200 who has been teaching yoga for at least two years since completion of training with a RYS 200, and has taught at least 1000 hours of yoga classes since that time. This person must have accumulated the 1,000 hours of yoga teaching experience after having met the RYT 200 Requirements (whether registered as an RYT 200 or not).
  • E-RYT 500 - This is a RYT 500 who has been teaching yoga for at least four years, and has taught at least 2000 hours of yoga classes. This person must have accumulated this much yoga teaching experience after having met the RYT 200 Requirements (whether registered as an RYT 200 or not), with at least 500 of those hours having been accumulated after having completed the advanced training.

 

  1. Trainer Qualifications

Trainers must be documented as having either:

  • E-RYT registration or
  • RYT registration

 

  1. Other Faculty Qualifications

Other Faculty are school trainers that are not registered with Yoga Alliance. In order to teach at your school, they need to meet the following qualifications:

  • Relevant degree, certification, or substantial education in the subject they will teach
  • A minimum of 500 hours teaching experience or two years of relevant experience in the subject they will teach

 

  1. Lead Trainers and Contact Hours with Lead Trainers

Lead Trainer(s) are E-RYT’s at the appropriate level for the relevant RYS designation (see table below) who teach Contact Hours in a RYS training. Lead Trainers must be actively registered with Yoga Alliance.

 In order to meet the general principle “Offers a consistent approach that is conducive to depth, rather than a survey of different approaches” (see Spirit of the Standards section I.1), there must be minimum numbers of Contact Hours in three of the five Educational Categories with a maximum number of pre-designated E-RYTs for each training offered. The minimum number of Contact Hours by subject category are defined in the individual Standards for each RYS designation. The maximum number of E-RYTs allowed for a training within each RYS designation is shown in the following table:

RYS Designation Lead Trainer Eligibility by Designation Maximum Number of Lead Trainers per Training Lead Trainer Contact Hours Requirements by Designation
RYS 200 E-RYT 200 or E-RYT 500 2 65
RYS 300 E-RYT 500 5 135
RYS 500 E-RYT 500 5 200
RCYS E-RYT, RCYT 2 37
RPYS E-RYT, RPYT 2 36

 

  1. Subjects of Study

Although Yoga Alliance honors and respects related disciplines and traditions, both Contact and Non-Contact Hours are limited to areas that fall within the scope of traditional yoga studies.

 

  1. CPR and First Aid Training

CPR and first aid training hours cannot be counted toward satisfying the minimum YTT curriculum hours or Continuing Education Contact Hours. Yoga Alliance suggests CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and first aid training for all RYT’s

 


300-Hour Advanced Standards

RYS 300 logoFollowing are Yoga Alliance’s Standards for a Registered Yoga School that offers a 300-hour advanced training. The 300-hour RYS Standards are advanced standards of study; therefore a RYS may not offer a 300-hour advanced training without providing the foundational 200-hour training as well (through either a RYS 200 or a RYS 500 Track). These schools offer 500 hours of training in two segments; 200 hours and 300 hours.

 

A RYS 300-hour advanced training is designed to build upon and deepen the trainee’s understanding of the fundamental concepts of the practice and teaching of yoga that are generally taught at the RYS 200-hour level. A RYS 300-hour advanced training prepares its trainees to teach principles and techniques of yoga that are more advanced, more detailed, and/or subtler, and the training enables them to teach with greater skill than could reasonably be expected of a RYT 200.

 

Topics for registered teacher trainings must be relevant to the five Educational Categories as defined below. Registered schools must provide a minimum number of hours of study for each category, and must also provide additional hours of study relevant to these categories, which may be distributed according to the school’s chosen emphasis.

A RYS with an advanced 300-hour training (RYS 300) must incorporate training hours in the following Educational Categories for the 300-hour training:

 

  1. Techniques, Training and Practice: 50 Hours

Minimum Contact Hours: 25 hours
Minimum Contact Hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 25 hours

 

This material shall foster an enhanced understanding and experience as compared to the content of your school's RYS 200 or foundational Techniques, Training and Practice sessions. Topics in this category could include, but are not limited to: asanas, pranayamas, kriyas, chanting, mantra, meditation and other traditional yoga techniques. These hours must be a mix between: 1) analytical training in how to teach and practice the techniques and 2) guided practice of the techniques themselves. Both areas must receive substantial emphasis.

 

  1. Teaching Methodology: 5 Hours

Minimum Contact Hours: 5 hours*
Minimum Contact Hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 5 hours

 

Topics in this category could include, but are not limited to:

  • Communication skills such as group dynamics, time management, and the establishment of priorities and boundaries.
  • How to address the specific needs of individuals and special populations, to the degree possible in a group setting.
  • Principles of demonstration, observation, assisting and correcting.
  • Teaching styles.
  • Qualities of a teacher.
  • The student learning process.
  • Business aspects of teaching yoga* (including marketing and legal).

*Special Requirement: A maximum of five hours related to the business aspects of teaching yoga may be counted towards the Yoga Alliance Contact Hours requirements for this category IF these hours were not included in the RYS 200 curriculum.

The Teaching Methodology category shall cover additional teaching methods and principles, beyond what was covered in your RYS 200 syllabus content. See the example topics below to help clarify the differences between the Techniques, Training and Practice category and the Teaching Methodology category:

 


Example Techniques, Training and Practice Topics


Example Teaching Methodology Topics

The Five Categories of Asana: The trainee will practice and learn the key poses in each category of asana (standing poses, forward bends, backbends, twists, and inversions) and will begin to develop a relationship to both the form and the function of these different categories.

 

Maps of Alignment: Trainees will achieve comprehension of the alignment maps for each of the five categories of asanas through observation and experience of how the poses in each category share a common foundation, and how to build upon this foundation.

Principles of Demonstrating Asanas: Discuss how effective demonstrations in class can help emphasize an alignment or other focus for the specific pose or sequence of poses.

 

Learning Modalities: identifying your dominant style, and learning how to teach based on others’ learning styles.

 

Use of Language and Voice: Lecture and discussion on active vs. passive language and the effective use of each; positive and conscious communication, and habitual speech and communication patterns.

 

  1. Anatomy and Physiology: 15 Hours*

Minimum Contact Hours: 10 hours
Minimum Contact Hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 0 hours

 

Topics in this category could include, but are not limited to: human physical anatomy and physiology (bodily systems, organs, etc.) and may also include energy anatomy and physiology (chakras, nadis, etc.). Includes both the study of anatomy and physiology along with its application to yoga practice (benefits, contraindications, healthy movement patterns, etc.).

*Special Requirement: A minimum of ten of the above hours must be spent applying anatomy and physiology principles to yoga.

 

  1. Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle and Ethics for Yoga Teachers: 30 Hours

Minimum Contact Hours: 25 hours*
Minimum Contact Hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 0 hours

 

Topics in this category could include, but are not limited to:

  • Further and deeper study of yoga philosophies and traditional texts (such as the Yoga Sutras, Hatha Yoga Pradipika or Bhagavad Gita) than what was included in your school's RYS 200 syllabus content.
  • Yoga lifestyle, such as the precept of non-violence (ahimsa), and the concepts of dharma and karma.
  • Ethics for yoga teachers, such as those involving teacher – student relationships and community.
  • Understanding the value of teaching yoga as a service and being of service to others through yoga (seva).

 

*Special Requirement: A minimum of 2 of the above Contact Hours must be spent on ethics for yoga teachers.

 

  1. Practicum: 30 Hours

Minimum Contact Hours: 15 hours*
Minimum Contact Hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 5 hours

 

Topics in this category include:

  • Practice teaching (does not include assisting, observing or giving feedback).
  • Receiving and giving feedback.
  • Observing others teaching.**
  • Assisting students while someone else is teaching.

*Special Requirement: Each trainee must spend a minimum of 5 Contact Hours actively practice teaching as the lead instructor. These hours may include the time during which the trainee is receiving feedback on his/her teaching. Time spent assisting, observing others teaching, or giving feedback to others is excluded from these hours.

 

**Evaluation or observation of yoga classes outside of the RYS Teacher Training constitutes Non-Contact Hours.

 

  1. Remaining Contact Hours and Elective Hours

All 300 hour teacher trainings must include 300 hours of training hours.

  1. Of the 300 hours, 270 hours must be Contact Hours. (Information on Contact Hours Non-Contact Hours are found in section 7.)
  2. 80 of the 270 Contact Hours are assigned to specific Educational Categories.
  3. The remaining 190 Contact Hours are distributed amongst the Educational Categories based on your training’s focus.

 

  1. Contact Hours and Non-Contact Hours

Contact Hours

A Contact Hour must take place in the physical presence of a faculty member. Content of Contact Hours must be intended for teacher trainees rather than the general public, specifically:

  • The content of these hours advances the education of trainees as demonstrates explicitly through the course syllabus and its Learning Objectives.
  • These hours fall into the normal content flow of the overall training entailing discussion, reports submitted by trainees on their experiences, related homework, projects, or the like. 
  • Faculty for these hours meet Yoga Alliance's faculty qualifications and are designated in the syllabus as training faculty.

Non-Contact Hours

Non-Contact Hours are the number of hours of learning that occur without a faculty member present. All Non-Contact Hours must be relevant to the five Educational Categories. These outside resources should be thoughtfully chosen to support the training.  Non-Contact Hours must be an assigned part of the curriculum and examples of allowable Non-Contact Hours may include:

  • Reading, audio/video or Internet resources that are integrated into the curriculum via reports, class discussions, presentations, tests, or the like;
  • Webinars on yoga-related topics;
  • Written assignments on yoga-related topics that may be counted for all categories except Practicum;
  • Group activities including directed discussion, technique practice or teaching practice;
  • Attending yoga classes outside of the program with the following stipulations:
  • Each class must be evaluated via a written or oral exercise, and
  • These hours may count toward the Techniques, Training and Practice, Teaching Methodology or Practicum categories.
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