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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.

Our role as your professional membership entity is to balance the community’s need to work and teach within the evolving yoga landscape, while adhering to our standards designed to support high quality, safe, accessible, and equitable yoga teaching and teacher training. As such, we are committed to the ongoing critical examination of our standards and how best to support you as we all continue to adapt to new ways of life. Your participation in this program will inform future learning standards and influence our longterm educational processes.

RYS members have between now and September 2021 to apply.


Participation Requirements

  • To inform future standards, all schools must complete surveys provided by YA in a timely manner and allow us to survey trainees and trainers, too.
  • Adhere to the Yoga Alliance online learning best practices.
  • Upon request, provide access to online teacher training materials, including pre-recorded content, competency testing benchmarks, including final test and test results, to inform online standards in the future.
  • Agree to opt-in to the YA CommUnity, an inclusive peer-to-peer online space designed for members to share information, resources, and experiences and develop meaningful personal and professional relationships.

Curriculum Requirements

  • Format: Online programs are required to have a blend of synchronous and asynchronous teaching.
  • Hours with Lead Trainer(s): At least 50% of the total hours, regardless of format, must be taught by the LT(s).
  • Lead Trainer Maximum: A maximum of 5 LT per training.
  • Competency assessment: Must clearly describe methods of testing trainees' competency in synchronous and asynchronous spaces.

Overall Standards Timeline


If I choose to offer in-person teacher trainings that incorporate a few modules hosted online, should I still apply for RYS 2021 Online Teaching Exemption?

Yes. If you plan to offer any online hours as part of the current standards, please complete the 2021 RYS Online Exemption Application.

Does my training have to be livestream, or can it be combined with prerecorded material?

As part of the 2021 RYS Online Teaching Exemption, we are requiring a blend of asynchronous (prerecorded) and synchronous (interactive) learning. We offer many resources that address both types of learning.

If the program is self-paced while still including some required live hours, does my school need to be in current status for the entirety of a trainee's program?

Yes, in order for trainees to register, an RYS must be registered in current status during the time of training. Some schools may include self-paced learning (asynchronous) but it must also include synchronous learning.

Can I change my mind if COVID restrictions are lifted and I choose to host my program in person?

Yes, as long as your program still adheres to Yoga Alliance standards and the program curriculum was approved by Yoga Alliance, you may move your exempted online training to in-person training.

Does Yoga Alliance offer guidance on teacher training prices?

We understand that pricing for online teacher trainings vary widely, creating confusion amongst students and competition between schools. How schools price their programs is a business decision of the school and not regulated, mandated or within the scope of Yoga Alliance. However, we do encourage all schools to price their programs accordingly to the effort and cost being put into them, including being an RYS credential-holder, and to not undervalue your offer and the quality teacher training standards your training upholds. We would like to remind members that the online extension is an opportunity to modify the standards to meet the digital space rather than change or devalue existing programs. We encourage students who are trying to understand the difference between schools and different price points to contact us at Yoga Alliance so we can outline the standards an RYS credential-holder is bound to, as well as the requirements being followed in the 2021 RYS Online Teaching Exemption. We also encourage schools to advertise if they offer scholarships so students with financial hardships can still have access to the training.

When will I receive a decision from Yoga Alliance on the status of my 2021 RYS Online Teaching Exemption application?

Applications are reviewed on a rolling bases and in the order received. You will receive an email notification once your application has been reviewed. If you have any further questions or have not heard back within one week of submission, please email

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