Registered Children's Yoga School (RCYS) Standards

Last Updated: July 19, 2023

The following are Yoga Alliance’s Standards for a Registered Yoga School that offers a Children’s Yoga training. Topics for RCYS’s teaching teacher trainings must be relevant to Yoga Alliance’s five Educational Categories as defined below. Additionally RCYS curriculum includes Requirements related to ‘General Background in the Specialty Area’.

  1. General Background in the Specialty Area: 12 Hours

    Minimum Contact Hours: 12 hours
    Minimum Contact Hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 0 hours

    Includes the study and understanding of all childhood developmental stages from age 2-15 and how the issues of each stage impact what is appropriate for teaching them. The school may split ages 2-15 into age groupings as it sees fit (e.g., ages 2-4, 5-8, etc.; or pre-school, elementary school, middle school). All five of Yoga Alliance’s Educational Categories are to address the specifics of appropriate developmental application for each age group. Also includes the understanding of the yoga teacher’s relationships with parents/guardians and developmental specialists and basic communication skills for conducting those relationships.

  2. Techniques, Training and Practice: 20 Hours

    Minimum Contact Hours: 20 hours
    Minimum Contact Hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 15 hours

    Includes yoga-based practices appropriate for child development, such as asanas, asana-based movement, yoga-based games and activities, breathing techniques and chanting.

  3. Teaching Methodology: 15 Hours

    Minimum Contact Hours: 15 hours
    Minimum Contact Hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 12 hours

    Includes knowledge of classroom techniques, lesson plans and group processing for children’s activities. Age-appropriate teaching skills for yoga class techniques (including how to phrase age-appropriate questions to a child) and effective communication skills (such as songs and stories) for working with children.

  4. Anatomy and Physiology: 10 Hours

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

    Anatomy and physiology related specifically to changes during child development and their application to yoga techniques (see Techniques category above). Includes both the study of the subject and application of its principles to yoga practice (benefits, contraindications, healthy movement patterns, etc). Includes both human physical anatomy and physiology (bodily systems, organs, etc.) and energy anatomy and physiology (chakras, nadis, etc.).

  5. Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle and Ethics for Yoga Teachers: 12 Hours

    Minimum Contact Hours: 12 hours
    >Minimum Contact Hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 0 hours

    Includes basic yoga precepts as they relate to children and to teaching Yoga to children (e.g., the Yamas and Niyamas). Awareness of ethical behavior and state and local legal requirements as related to behavior with and supervision of children. Specific training in parameters and techniques of ethical touch with regard to teaching children. Basics of ethical language and behavior, both when parents or guardians are present and when they are not.

  6. Practicum: 18 Hours

    Minimum Contact Hours: 18 hours
    Minimum Contact Hours w/ Lead Trainer(s): 10 hours

    Practicum hours are divided between hours spent observing a specialty class and hours spent teaching a specialty class. A portion of each type of hours need to be with the Lead Trainer(s).

    Observing teaching, Contact Hours: 6 hours (4 hours of these must be with Lead Trainer(s)).

    These hours must be spent observing another teacher leading a children's yoga class. A portion of these hours must be spent with Lead Trainer(s).

    Teaching, Contact Hours: 12 hours (6 hours of these must be with Lead Trainer(s) and at least 4 hours of the 6 hours must be as lead teacher).

    These hours must be spent teaching a children's yoga class. A portion of these hours must be spent with Lead Trainers and as lead teacher of the class.

  7. Elective Hours: 8 Hours

    Elective hours (8 hours) to be distributed among Educational Categories according to the school’s chosen emphasis (may be Contact or Non-Contact Hours).

  8. Total Hours: 95 Hours

    Total minimum Contact Hours: 87 hours
    Total minimum Contact Hours with Lead Trainer(s): 37 hours

  9. Distance Learning

    RCYS programs can offer training programs in multiple formats, including 100% in-person, 100% distance learning, or a mix of both.

    RYSs utilizing 100% distance learning are 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). For the RCYS training, this means a minimum of 14 hours.

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