Apply for an E-RYT 500 Credential
through the Experienced Teacher Pathway

This is a pathway to an E-RYT 500 registration for immensely experienced teachers with expertise in the field of yoga who do not otherwise fit into the requirements.

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$150 USD  for your first year

includes application fee

The application price of $85 USD is solely for assessing the full application. A separate registration fee of $65 USD, unless already registered, is collected upon approval. Recurring renewal dues will be collected annually.

Through a defined set of qualifications, the Experienced Teacher Pathway creates opportunity for yoga teachers with extensive teaching and training expertise—outside of Yoga Alliance’s defined credentials—to obtain E-RYT 500 status.

The purpose of this pathway is to promote inclusivity across all yoga lineages and methodologies, as well as honor the full breadth and depth of yoga wisdom in our global community. This supports our mission by creating an equitable and accessible path for new members to continue their professional growth and development, without undermining the traditional pathways or the standards for which an E-RYT credential stands for.

Steps for Submitting an Application

1 Check Your Qualifications and Application Requirements

In order to be eligible for this pathway, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Completed a minimum of 500 hours of training from no more than 3 pathways of study [?] and can provide documentation of the training(s)
  • A minimum of 10 years of teaching experience completed after your foundational 200 hours of training and 5 years of teaching experience after 300 hours of additional training.
  • Completed a minimum of 3,000 hours of teaching experience in multiple modalities and can provide documentation of the experience(s).

2 Compile Application Materials and Review Sample Resources

Use this checklist to gather your materials and get ready to apply. Click the links for examples:

  • Letter of Intent (See an example here).
  • Yoga Resume (See an example here).
  • Official Training Documents, such as a certificate, diploma, or signed letter.
  • Recommended Additional Training documentation (examples: graduation photos, final exams, journals, training manuals, etc.)
  • Contact information (name, email and phone number) for 3 references: a student, colleague, and teacher. References will verify ethical integrity, expertise, and experience via email.

3 Submit Your Application

  • Start your application by creating an account or logging in.
  • Submit your qualifications, experience, proof of training materials, and references
  • Wait for your references to respond
  • Submit the $85 USD non-refundable application fee.
  • Receive the Credentialing Team’s response within 3-4 weeks. If approved, pay the $65 USD annual membership fee.

Ready to apply?

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Does the $85 USD also cover my registration?

The $85 USD covers the cost of a personalized review of your application by a member of the Credentialing Team. This is a one-time, nonrefundable fee. The application fee does not include the annual membership dues of $65 USD.

How long until I hear back about my application?

Applications are diligently reviewed on a rolling basis by our Credentialing Team. Please allow up to 3-4 weeks after submitting your payment.

What happens if I’m approved, but I am unable to pay my registration dues right away?

If you do not already hold an RYT credential with Yoga Alliance, and your ETP application is approved for the E-RYT 500 credential, you have 365 days to register as an E-RYT 500. After 365 days, the data will be erased and you will need to restart the application and pay the application fee again.



What is a "Pathway of Study"?

A Pathway of Study is a dedicated, integrated focus of study from a singular school, style, or tradition of yoga.

What is a "Documentation of Training"?

Documentation of Training includes one Official Training Document, or multiple forms of Other Documentation that include all information required of the Official Training Document (see definition below).

What is a Yoga-related resume?

Please see a sample Yoga-related resume here.

What is a Letter of Intent?

Please see a sample Letter of Intent here.


What is an "Official Training Document"?

An Official Training Document can be a certificate, diploma, or signed letter that includes the following information:

  • Name* of the trainee
  • Hand signed by an authorized signatory for the school
  • Printed legal name of the signatory
  • Training completion date (day/month/year)
  • Number of training hours in the program
  • Program pathway or style of training
  • Training location in English characters

*If the trainee’s name has changed, provide documentation of proof of name change.

What is "Other Documentation"?

Please consider if the documentation you provide answers the following questions:

  • What You Learned: Consider what topics you covered, the lineage or pathway of study, and how this advanced your knowledge.
  • Time and Length of Training: Specific dates and hours of study.
  • Confirmation of Receipt: Any documentation that confirms you were registered in the program.

I don’t have any Official Training Documents; can I still apply?

If you are able to provide sufficient Other Documentation that addresses the requirements for an Official Training document, you may still apply!

I have met all the requirements but am unable to provide an Official Training Document or any Other Documentation. Can I still apply?

Not without documentation. In order to approve your application and confirm you meet the requirements; you will need to provide us with a way to verify your experience.

What is a "brief description"?

In several places throughout the application, you will be asked to provide a brief description of your teaching and training experience. Please provide 3-5 sentences that outlines or summarizes your experience. Please note that your responses will determine whether your application is approved or declined.

What is "advancement of knowledge"?

The definition of "the advancement of knowledge" as put forth by our Standards team states that a training "builds upon and deepens the trainee’s understanding of the fundamental concepts of the practice and teaching of yoga…[and] prepares its trainees to teach principles and techniques of yoga that are more advanced, more detailed, and/or subtler."

Much of my teaching has been private classes with privates I’m no longer in contact with, therefore there is no Teaching Establishment. Can I still apply?

In order to approve your application and confirm you meet the requirements, you will need to provide us with a way to verify your experience.


Much of my teaching has been private classes with privates I’m no longer in contact with, therefore there is no Teaching Establishment. Can I still apply?

Yes, you will be alerted via email when all 3 of your references have responded. You may also check your dashboard by logging into to see the individual status of each reference.

Can I change my references (or their contact information) after I submit my application?

If you need to make edits to your application after submission, please reach out to us at

What questions will my references be asked?

We will be asking your references questions relative to your yoga and yoga teaching skills, ethics, ability, and experience.

What happens if my references do not respond within the 30-day window?

Once your application has been completed, your references will be notified via email. We will send reminder emails to both you and your references during the 30-day window. You will have the opportunity to view the status of your references’ submission status and make changes if needed within your Dashboard. Please email or visit our Help Center if you have any questions.

How long will it take my references to fill out the questions?

The reference questionnaire may take between 20 and 30 minutes. Please also note they will need access to internet, phone, and ability to receive all notifications coming via email.

Will I know what my references said about me?

All reference responses are confidential. While we cannot keep your references from disclosing their responses to you, Yoga Alliance will not share their submissions with you.

I don’t have one of the types of references, can I submit multiple of others? IE: one student and two teachers?

No. Those who meet the Experienced Teacher Pathway qualifications will have experience with all three references: a student, colleague, and teacher. In order to approve your application and confirm you meet the requirements; you will need to provide us with these required reference types.


Will I be able to use my E-RYT 500 to be a Lead Trainer in RYS Teacher Trainings?

Yes, your E-RYT 500 is the requirement to be a Lead Trainer in RYS 200, 300, and 500 trainings! Please see specific requirements for Lead Trainers of RCYS and RPYS here.

I am already a member and hold a credential but have never been qualified for the traditional upgrade pathway for E-RYT 500. Can I apply?

Yes. This pathway is to create space for teachers who have previously been left out of E-RYT 500 registration opportunities. In some cases, this includes teachers that may already be registered with YA at another level of teaching credential. All applications will be individually assessed based on the ETP application requirements. We encourage applicants to provide as much information as possible about their qualifications and experience.

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