Yoga Alliance Standards

Last Updated: December 16, 2020

Yoga Alliance Standards set the ethical and educational framework for yoga teachers and schools in order to ensure high quality, safe, accessible, and equitable yoga teaching in communities around the world.

The yoga we know and experience today has been forged from generations of teachers passing down this ancient practice. As a yoga education standard-setting organization founded in 1999, Yoga Alliance has grown alongside yoga’s natural progression while rising to meet the needs of our evolving membership.

Recognizing the need for modernized standards that promote high quality, safe, accessible, and equitable yoga teaching, in 2018, we embarked on a community-led 18-month Standards Review Project designed to help us understand and distill the experiences and essentials of today’s yoga educators and students. The SRP brought together YA members and non-members, yoga teachers and practitioners, thought and field leaders, wisdom holders, and not-for-profit and for-profit business leaders from around the world in a comprehensive and inclusive process. This undertaking included a 12,000-respondent survey, listening tour, series of virtual town halls, working group sessions, and many other feedback channels.

As a result of this heartfelt community work, Yoga Alliance created and launched three major enhancements to our standards in February 2020—all of which relied on the decision-making principles of traditional yogic value, equity, accountability, integrity, and stability across the yoga community. They are:

  1. Elevated standards for the foundational Registered Yoga School (RYS) 200 credential;
  2. A strengthened application and review process; and
  3. A shared member-wide Ethical Commitment including an enhanced Code of Conduct, new Scope of Practice, and commitment to Equity in Yoga.

While these enhancements serve as groundwork for the continued betterment of yoga everywhere, we acknowledge this work, like yoga itself, is ongoing.

So, what comes next?

Since these developments went live in February 2020, yoga’s landscape as evolved yet again. Our future work now includes the elevating of the RYS 300 and RYS 500 standards and the launch of the 2021 Online Teaching Exemption, which will explore the efficacy of teaching and training yoga in virtual spaces in relation to our standards and the expectations of our membership and community.

While our path serving the yoga community may continue to transform, our mission holds true: to promote and foster the high quality, safe, accessible, and equitable teaching of yoga everywhere.

 The Ethical Commitment

The Ethical Commitment

The Ethical Commitment consists of three elements: a Code of Conduct, Scope of Practice, and a responsibility to equity in yoga. It supports YA credentials as markers of high quality, safe, accessible, and equitable yoga teaching, and elevates the public’s understanding of the yoga teaching profession.

 2021 RYS Online Exemption

2021 RYS Online Exemption

In response to overwhelming feedback voiced by Yoga Alliance membership, the Online Teaching Exemption has been extended through 2021 for Registered Yoga School (RYS) members who apply and meet qualification requirements below. RYS members have between now and September 2021 to apply.

 Registered Yoga Teachers (RYTs)

Registered Yoga Teachers (RYTs)

An RYT credential is earned by yoga teachers whose training and teaching experience meet Yoga Alliance Standards. RYTs must complete training with an RYS, be confirmed by said RYS, and keep current with Continuing Education and their annual fees.

 Community Conversations

Community Conversations

Over the course of the 18-month, community-led Standards Review Project (SRP) and in the months following, we received a call to action from our membership and the broader yoga community asking for community-wide dialogues on critical topics within yoga. These conversations will be convened in support of the challenges within the profession of yoga teaching and the opportunities for growth so that our practice can continue to evolve with this ancient practice and its modernized needs.

Explore the process and findings of the Standards Review Project.

2020 End of Year
Standards Update

Yoga Alliance is a nonprofit 501(c)(6). Yoga Alliance Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3). This website refers to the two organizations as "Yoga Alliance." Copyright 2021 Yoga Alliance. Yoga Alliance, the Yoga Alliance logo, RYS, RYT, and YACEP are registered marks with the USPTO and other jurisdictions.

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