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Significantly Enhanced RYS Standards as Result of Community-Led Process

Yoga has evolved drastically since Yoga Alliance’s founding almost 20 years ago, and the changes around us have influenced how we teach and practice yoga. In order to best support our membership and those in the profession of yoga, the standards supporting our credentials also needed to evolve, as 83% of you shared with us via the Standards Review Project (SRP) survey.

On behalf of YA’s members – current, past, and future, after more than 18 months of research, feedback, community conversations, and working group meetings, Yoga Alliance is pleased to share the initial outcomes of its community-led Standards Review Project, a comprehensive and inclusive effort designed to strengthen our credentials to serve both the teacher and student in today’s ever-changing societal and cultural yoga landscape. The information that follows on these pages reflects the input of the tens of thousands of you who generously shared your wisdom and your time with us – thank you.

We understand that changes may be significant and might take incremental resources for our Registered Yoga Schools (RYSs) to implement. We took this into consideration as we landed on these initial outcomes and developed these timelines, allowing for more than 24 months for our schools to adapt. Our intention was and will continue to be purposeful and to move at a measured pace, with as little disruption as possible to the livelihoods of our member schools and teachers.

As we reviewed your input, in addition to balance and stability across the community, we adhered to several other guiding principles – traditional yogic values, equity, accountability, and integrity. These now also make up the core of our credentials, and we will continue to adhere to them as we enforce and continually review the standards moving forward.

We cannot possibly have done all of this perfectly. We know there is more work to be done. For example, we need an expanded lens beyond the borders of the United States. Though a small effort, we have translated these pages and their contents in Arabic, French, Hindi, Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish. We ask you for your continued help and participation by emailing us at IWanttoHelpYA@yogaalliance.org.

Thank you for the service you offer humanity through your teaching.

 Overall Implementation Timeline

Overall Implementation Timeline

The standards underlying the foundational-level RYS 200 credential have been significantly enhanced. Current RYS 200 programs will have more than 24 months to upgrade to the new RYS 200 standards (by December 31, 2021). New RYS 200 applicants will apply under the new standards beginning February 2020. Also in February 2020, new and renewing RYTs will agree to a shared ethical commitment, including a Scope of Practice, a Code of Conduct, and a responsibility to equity in yoga. Click here to learn about the overall timeline for these changes.

 The Ethical Commitment

The Ethical Commitment

Yoga Alliance will ask all credential holders to sign onto an ethical commitment, beginning February 2020, reflective of the membership’s input and priorities shared across the entire yoga community. Learn more about this member-wide commitment.

 Current v/s Enhanced RYS 200 Comparison

Current v/s Enhanced RYS 200 Comparison

The standards for the foundational teacher training program, the RYS 200, have been significantly up-leveled, with differing timelines depending on whether a school is a new applicant or a current RYS 200. Learn more.

 Common Core Curriculum for RYS 200

Common Core Curriculum for RYS 200

The enhanced standards underlying the RYS 200 credential create a strengthened core curriculum common across all RYS 200s, inclusive of lineage, style, or methodology, emphasizing key learning goals and desired outcomes. The five educational categories that exist under the current standards will shift to encompass four “core curriculum” categories aimed at ensuring confidence across thirteen clearly-defined competencies. This common core curriculum will signal quality and safety in yoga training and teaching to the practicing yoga community. Get to know the new categories and competencies of the enhanced RYS 200 common core curriculum.

 Strengthened Application and Review Process

Strengthened Application and Review Process

In addition to upgrading our RYS 200 standards, we have up-leveled the overall application and review process to provide more shared accountability to meet or exceed the new standards. We have also added a re-credentialing component, which all RYSs, once operating under the enhanced standards, will undergo every three years. Learn more about the enhancements to the application and review process.

 Enhanced Lead Trainer Requirements

Enhanced Lead Trainer Requirements

The new RYS 200 standards include two significant enhancements that affect the Lead Trainer. One is the depth and breadth of the Lead Trainer’s knowledge, skills, and experience; the other is the percent of the curriculum that the Lead Trainer must teach. Click here to learn about these changes and by when they take effect.

 Community Conversations

Community Conversations

We received a call to action from our members and the broader yoga community to serve as the convener for conversations that impact the entire yoga profession, including the future of yoga teaching and various community-wide, systemic issues. Learn more about what we heard and the conversations we’ll convene.

 The Path of an RYT

The Path of an RYT

Many RYTs will be curious as to what the changes to the RYS 200 standards mean for them as graduates of RYS 200 programs and holders of the current RYT 200 credential. Does this apply to you? Learn about the path of a Registered Yoga Teacher.

 What Comes Next?

What Comes Next?

We will look to the future with respect to our credentials and how we can continue to up-level the profession of yoga to include a wide range of paths to support the school and teacher where they are. See what the next steps are in the near future.



Questions about our new standards? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.



For answers to common questions about our new standards, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

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