Significantly Enhanced RYS Standards as Result of Community-Led Process > The Path of an RYT™

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The Path of an RYT™

Last Updated: February 27, 2020

As Yoga Alliance enhances the standards underlying its Registered Yoga School (RYS™) credentials, many RYTs are curious as to what these changes mean for them. There's good news!

  1. If you are a current RYT, you are still an RYT. We are proud to have you as a Yoga Alliance member. You do not need to take and graduate from another RYS 200 program.
  2. If you are not a current RYT, as long as your yoga school was a current RYS 200 at the time you graduated, you are still eligible to join Yoga Alliance as an RYT 200. We would be honored to talk to you about the value of a Yoga Alliance membership. To learn more about Yoga Alliance membership, please visit Become a Member or email
  3. All Yoga Alliance members agree to a shared ethical commitment, either upon registration, if new, or renewal, if a current member. The ethical commitment includes three elements, the need for which was voiced loud and clear amongst the membership and broader yoga community: an updated Code of Conduct, a new Scope of Practice, and an awareness of and responsibility to equity in yoga. Click here for Yoga Alliance's position on equity.

Pathway of a Registered Yoga Teacher

Below is an infographic that outlines the journey of an RYT, from the foundational RYT 200 to the professional E-RYT 500 credential.

Path of an RYT 200
Path of an RYT 200. View full size.

Audio walkthrough of the infographic pictured on this page.

Are you wondering what all of this means for you as a yoga teacher? Are you still a teacher? Can you still teach?

Yes! You are still a yoga teacher. And if you are currently an RYT, you are still an RYT.

If you are not an RYT with us yet, you might still be able to join without having to take another 200-hour yoga teacher training program. As long as your yoga school was a current RYS 200 at the time you graduated, you are still eligible to join YA as an RYT 200.

Are you wondering what the terms “foundational” and “professional” mean with respect to the RYS 200, RYS 300, and RYS 500 teacher training programs?

The use of “foundational” and “professional” are simply to reinforce the key learnings of each level of school.

The new RYS 200 standards center around a common core curriculum that will offer graduates a shared understanding of foundational yoga concepts that all yoga teachers should know, providing a baseline of comprehension to take into the world as they start to teach yoga. As yoga teachers continue their lifetime of learning as students first, teachers second, many will want to enhance their professional understanding of what it means to be a teacher of this practice, at which time they might pursue any number of options on our professional track.

The professional track includes the RYT 500 credential, which can be obtained upon successful graduation from an RYS 300 or RYS 500. It might include upgrading to E-RYT 200 or E-RYT 500 status based on number of hours taught. It might include pursuing specialty credentials, including becoming a Continuing Education provider or being a Registered Prenatal or Children’s Yoga Teacher.

It might also include the path towards being a Lead Trainer, which happens after achieving E-RYT 500 status.

Creating a “path of an RYT” offers a shared understanding of yoga concepts at foundational and professional levels while also providing for flexibility based on lineage, style, or methodology.

We at Yoga Alliance look forward to supporting all of our member teachers where they are on their individual paths.


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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