All Yoga Alliances are the Same



“All Yoga Alliances Are The Same”







In the true spirit of yoga, meaning “UNION”, Yoga Organisations worldwide should be UNITED and work together to benefit the yoga community at large.

Just as Yoga has one underlying philosophy of UNION but many different styles and practical expressions of that philosophy, one would expect the Yoga Alliances (the peak bodies for yoga in the world) to uphold the teachings of yoga and foster the integrity of yoga teachers and schools from all lineages and traditions.

With Yoga nowadays a multi-billion dollar industry, it is no surprise that the yoga industry has become a diversified market with a number of independent Yoga Alliance organisations been established  to serve the fast growing community of yoga professionals in Europe, Australia, Canada, Asia and North America.

Although the Alliances are legally separate entities governed by the law of the country where they were established, Yoga Alliance -International Australia, Yoga Alliance Professionals UK, the Canadian Yoga Alliance, Yoga Alliance Italia-International, Yoga Alliance International with headquarter in Sydney (not to be confused with the Indian YAI) Yoga Alliance New Zealand and Yoga Alliance U.S are today considered the world’s largest, independent membership yoga organisations with over 100,000 registered members.

The designation of Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) and Registered Yoga School (RYS) are the premier form of recognition in the field of yoga. The credentialing system implemented by the  Yoga Alliances remains the globally accepted professional credential for yoga teachers and yoga schools.

But what about “UNITY” beyond the walls of the Yoga Alliances? Shouldn’t these organisations be UNITED and work together to make a positive difference for the community of yoga practitioners,teachers and schools worldwide? Shouldn’t they all advocate UNITY?


Unfortunately, union can be difficult when the ego becomes involved in business and this became apparent when one particular organisation: Yoga Alliance U.S, who in November 2014, just two months after the resignation of its CEO Richard Karpel who basically saved YA from imminent demise, published an article on their web-site “Not All Yoga Alliances Are the Same”.Sadly the article does not incorporate the Philosophy of Yogic Yamas and Nyamas as would be expected from an organisation that ‘promotes’ Yoga Unity and Integrity.

In the article, Yoga Alliance U.S claim that the name Yoga Alliance is “their name” rather than Yoga Alliance U.S which is a “moniker” (nickname) according to them, that “some other entities use to refer to them”. However with Alliance Organisations established across the globe whose name: “Yoga Alliance” is a registered trademark and the property of those organisations, why does Yoga Alliance U.S claim that the name Yoga Alliance is “their name”? IP (Intellectual Property) Offices from around the world would not allow the registering of trademarks if exclusivity already existed.

In the same article, Yoga Alliance U.S went on to publish a list of Yoga Alliance organisations she claimed to not be affiliated with which includes the officially recognised yoga bodies: “Yoga Alliance-International Australia/”, “Yoga Alliance Italia/International”, “Yoga Alliance International” with headquarter in Australia, “Yoga Alliance Professionals UK” and the “Canadian Yoga Alliance”.

Not surprising, Yoga Alliance U.S failed to mention in the article that when in 2006 they were contacted by a group of yoga teachers who asked if they were interested in setting up a Yoga Alliance outside the USA, they were told that their organisation had been set up in the States, under United States law and specifically for the USA, and they were NOT considering establishing counterpart in other countries. However, in the spirit of yoga, Yoga Alliance U.S was very helpful and encouraged the group to set up a version of Yoga Alliance outside the U.S, and offered to give  advice and help if needed.

In the meantime, the CEO of Yoga Alliance U.S, with whom the group was in discussion, was removed from office, and Yoga Alliance U.S’s former warmth became distinctly cold and distant to the point of threatening the group with legal action if they did not stop calling themselves Yoga Alliance.

The threat was withdrawn because the group succeeded to register the trademarks Yoga Alliance, RYT and RYS in the country where they had established a Yoga Alliance. However, it was disappointing to find that the spirit of sharing and cooperation one would expect between similar organisations set up to promote the benefits of yoga and maintain high teaching standards, no longer existed.

Yoga Alliance U.S does not register yoga teachers who have completed a  training program accredited by highly respected yoga bodies such as the British Wheel of Yoga (the oldest yoga organisation in the world founded in 1965 in the UK, longer before YA U.S even existed), Yoga Alliance-International Australia, the Canadian Yoga Alliance, Yoga Alliance Professionals-UK, Yoga Alliance-International Italia, Yoga Alliance-New Zealand or the IYN (Independent Yoga Network). But what is really intriguing is why for nearly 16 years and until November 2014 Yoga Alliance U.S coexisted in harmony with these organisations?

Is it a competitive feeling, greed, envy of others success and achievements or a divide and conquer attitude that triggered  Yoga Alliance U.S to write the article? Why does an organisation that claims to promote ” Unity and Integrity” feels that it should shift its focus on the competition?


Any business, that has separation or “divide and conquer” as its underlying attitude, will end up becoming divided itself, and we must constantly be vigilant to ensure that our own personal ego’s do not affect our business decisions in a way that is harmful to others (in this way we practice ahimsa and non-harming). There are many ways that organisations can work together to support each other. Building relationships with similar businesses in your industry will also help your bottom line.

Over the past twelve years, the Canadian Yoga Alliance, Yoga Alliance Professionals-UK, Yoga Alliance International-Australia,  Yoga Alliance- Italia/International, Yoga Alliance International and Yoga Alliance-New Zealand (the largest Group of Alliances) gained popularity and respect  amongst the yoga community and acquired market strength nationally and internationally. These organisations coexist in harmony because they think of their relationship with fellow Yoga Organisations as ‘coopetition’ rather than ‘competition’ unlike their counterpart Yoga Alliance U.S.


There is no governing body or council behind Yoga Alliance U.S to hold RYTs accountable for upholding a certain standard. therefore, what  does tearing others down do for Yoga Alliance U.S?  Well, tearing others down might make one feel better. No doubt! But the truth is that no one likes anyone who tears others down. If you are bad-mouthing someone, it might make you feel better, but others won’t like it. You will gain a bad reputation, and your bad-mouthing will come back to hurt you. If you are sabotaging others, that’s even worse.

If you become an obstacle to others’ success, they will despise you for it. They will try to get around you, and failing that, will try to go through you. Your energies and time will be spent trying to stop others, and defending yourself against their attacks.

What a waste of precious time and energy dear Yoga Alliance U.S! Couldn’t you spend that better on building things yourself? On creating something beautiful and truly useful? and perhaps  improve the quality of your Standards and services??

Tearing others down is destructive. It hurts other people, and in the long run, it’ll hurt you and your members also registered with your competitors. Don’t waste your time and energy on it! Instead, build others up. Praise their success. Learn to be truly happy for the successes of others, rather than envious. Be a part of their success, rather than an obstacle. Participating in something great, including the successes of others, is a wonderful thing to have accomplished.


Building Alliances with similar businesses in your industry and working together is an important dynamic for organisations to understand. If you feel that you have to take steps to position yourself against the competition and you focus on the competition, “you might miss something important in your own business”.

Relationships typically move up and down a continuum based on a number of factors:the degree of commitment; the nature of changes required; relative levels of power and trust; the willingness of all parties to share resources, and most importantly, the state of mind of the parties involved.

Nowadays, it is essential for your organization’s success that you are an effective collaborator rather than an untrustworthy competitor. Why? Because if we develop the mindset of scarcity we create an environment of fear and see everyone else as a threat to our survival.

If you cultivate the mindset of co-operation you create an environment of opportunity and creativity which encourages the same state of mindfulness not only in other organisations but within your own organisation and this is imperative to the survival of your business.

Given the rise in popularity that yoga is experiencing on an international level, there is no need for yoga businesses to adopt the mindset of scarcity and fear. This is particularly important in bringing the philosophy of Yoga to western nations.  If the philosophy of yoga businesses is seen to be one of competition, division and self-interest then this will be a grave injustice to this ancient art and philosophy and a disservice to its cultural heritage.


Yoga is currently unregulated everywhere in the world, as such there is NO official Yoga Governing Body anywhere in the world recognised by a government, and anyone claiming otherwise is misrepresenting themselves and misleading the yoga community and the general public.

Real learning comes about when the competitive spirit has ceased. Jiddu Krishnamurti



Yoga and an exercise in relative experience



By Quinn Mclachlan.Yoga Alliance Australia® Member of the Board of Directors,RYT-200.

Take three containers of water, each large enough to fit your hand inside. Fill one with hot water (but not so hot that it burns your hand!), one with cold ice water, and another with normal temperature tap water. Place one hand in the hot water and the other hand in the ice cold water and leave them there for 30 seconds to a minute. Then place them both at the same time into the container of normal room temperature water.

You should find that both hands have a different sensation when held together in the room temperature water. The hand that was originally in the hot water will now feel cold, and the hand that was in the ice cold water will now feel warm, even though they are both in the same water with the same temperature. This demonstrates that the perceived feeling of each hand was relative to its previous experience of either hot or cold.

In the very same way, all of our perceptions at each moment are influenced by our experiences from previous moments in our life. We have an innate tendency to judge the present moment as good or bad relative to a previous moment that we have experienced.

Pain, unhappiness or suffering is the result of having what is not wanted,- or not having what is wanted. Both of these situations arise from incorrect perception that is the result of incorrect thought. Incorrect thought results from a limited understanding of why things appear as they do.  Things in reality are actually much different from how we perceive them to be.

Just as when both hands were placed into the water container with the same temperature and the water simultaneously felt cold on one hand and warm on the other, we can be misled by our sensory experience.

Happiness is usually experienced as the result of the senses detecting pleasurable objects, or environments. The object or environment is in no way pleasant in itself. This is obvious when we examine what may appear to be pleasurable to different people. What appears pleasurable to one person may appear horrible to another. Further-more, something that is at first pleasurable can later become intolerable to the very same person. It is only our relative perception that creates the notion of pleasure or pain, good or bad in any given moment.

So if pleasure or happiness does not exist within the object or environment itself, where does happiness and pleasure come from?

Happiness and pleasure must belong then within the person themselves. If this is so, why then do we so often need an external object or environment to seemingly trigger the happiness that is already within us?

The truth is that when someone imagines or thinks of something they desire and then they come to have that thing within their possession, happiness results because they have obtained their desires, not actually from the thing itself. The object has no happiness or pleasure within it, but the temporary gratification of a desire invokes happiness within the person. Happiness is actually the result of a cessation of desire.

When a desire is gratified there is a momentary feeling of freedom from any further external need or want and the consciousness of the person rests within itself.

Unfulfilled desires create a feeling of loss or a sense of despair because we may judge the present moment to be less than what it could be if our desires were to be fulfilled. Pain and suffering is caused by judging the present moment to be something other than what we desire it to be.

Becoming momentarily freed from desire allows contentment to be experienced and in this state there is no need for the consciousness of the individual to be externalised by the desire of external things.

Withdrawing desire from attachment to external things is a form of pratyahara, or sense withdrawal. By practicing pratyahara and a withdrawal of the sensory distraction to external objects, we can focus our energy back to the path of self-realisation and the understanding that happiness comes from within ourselves and not from anything external.

Yoga is the pursuit of union within mind, body and spirit and through the practice of yoga we become more at peace with the current moment by learning to restrain our desires that might wish for the current moment to be something other than what it is. Allowing things to “be” helps to create inner peace. Allowing our experience of the present moment to be perceived without comparing it to a previous experience allows us to be in union with all that is in the present moment.


Yoga Alliance-International Australia World Yoga Summit

Yoga Alliance-International Australia-World Yoga Summit 2016

Yoga Alliance -International Australia “World Yoga Summit” 2016 Beijing








Yoga Alliance® International-Australia guest speaker at the “World Yoga Summit”  Beijing June 11-13 2016.

A panel of  world’s renowned  yogis and  Great Grand Masters  will  discuss the many aspects of How the Yoga industry in China and the rest of the  world will be developing in next five years, How to build a successful Yoga Business, Successful Operation on Community Yoga Club,  Wisdom on Yoga Operation and much more !

The event graced by the late B.K.S.Iyengar in 2011, will this year be graced by the presence of His Holiness Pujya Swami Chidanand, the President and Spiritual Head of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh, India, one of the largest interfaith institutions in India, and Swami Sadhiv BhagawathiJi-the Director of “Yoga International Festival Rishikesh”, India and many highly regarded personalities of the Yoga world.

Yoga Alliance® is extremely grateful  to the Yoga community of  the Republic of  China and to Mr Yang Hong the CEO of  the “World Yoga Summit 2016” for the invitation.

A large number of yoga practitioners from all over the world are expected to participate in the event considered one of the biggest in the history of yoga.

His Holiness Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji is the recipient of World Peace Ambassador Award, Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian award, Hindu of the Year Award, Prominent Personality Award, by Lions’ Club, Best Citizens of India Award, the Uttaranchal Ratan Award and leader in numerous international, inter-faith summits and parliaments, including at the United Nations, the World Bank, the World Economic Forum and the Parliament of Religions as well as with Religions for Peace, KAICIID, the Hindu-Jewish Summit in Jerusalem, the Hindu-Christian dialogue by the Vatican and so many others. He is also a leader of frequent world peace pilgrimages across the world.

yoga-alliance-china-world-yoga-summit-2016sadhvi-bhagawati- and-h.h.saraswati-pujya-swamiji


United Nations World Yoga Day 21 June 2015


World Yoga Day 2015

United Nations Celebrate the First ever World Yoga Day on June 2015

First ever World Yoga Day will be celebrated in 192 countries simultaneously on June 21 2015 International Yoga Day Celebrations at UN to be Broadcast at Times Square to a global audience be presided  by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

The UN will commemorate the inaugural International Yoga Day with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and General Assembly President Sam Kutesa gracing the occasion.

It is estimated that close to 200 million people around the world practice yoga (of some form or the other), a majority of them in India, and over 20 million of them in the United States alone.

YOGA  embodies unity, unity of the mind and the body, thought and action, restraint and fulfilment. On the whole, it’s a holistic approach to health and well-being.


Outcome of Spirituality


Yoga Spirituality -Yoga Alliance AustraliaYOGA-Fundamentals of Spirituality: Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (The world is one  family).

We are not living in isolated compartments the world has become one family. In a society plagued with domestic and communal violence, we need to globalise wisdom. Though we have advanced technologically, we have cared very little for the emotional and spiritual needs of people. A sense of belongingness with the whole world rising above the narrow considerations of color, culture or background, is the need of the hour. We need to look back and learn from the mistakes of the past, we need to understand what is lacking in society and how we can nurture the human values without which his earth cannot be sustained.

Once the spinning impact of the west becomes weak, there is a bound to be a more helpful and harmonious process of mutual give and take. And that will be for the benefit of all. But for this to happen, India will have to intervene with his powerful spiritual influence and his characteristic integral philosophy and way of life. That alone will help resolve the conflicts of the present situation and reconcile the seeming contradictions in a harmonious and holistic vision.

Mere listening to spiritual discourses is not enough. One should always sit back and reflect on what had been said to actually benefit from them. It is said, “one hour of reflection” is equal to seventy years of pious worship. It is only when we introspect about good things that we try to imbibe them in out life.Listening to the best of things without reflecting back on them has only superficial effects. By reflection, one can realise the depth of the issue and its meaning.

Janism says that the dharma is made up of “Non-violence,Self-control and austerity.”Positive emotions bring pleasure and negative emotions make life miserable”. Non-violence is the heart of Jainism. All worldly problems can be solved by keeping nonviolence in center. We can protect environment (i,e earth, water,fire, air, vegetables and small creatures) by reducing our day to day requirement by reducing our greed. We should meet on injustice not with the force but with forbearance, Violence begets violence, enmity leads to Enmity. There is nothing in the world or even out of it that can be called good except the principle of nonviolence of all living beings. The root course of violence is material goods. The virtue of non-violence and Aparigraha are capable of establishing universal peace. Anand (bliss) is experienced by the sage who is free from all desires. Gita tells us that the actions should be performed after brushing aside all attachment and the desire for the fruit. The highest aim of human life is to attain eternal bliss. All the conduct should be such as would bring us the maximum of happiness and remove miseries from our lives.

Knowledge and spiritual awareness should go hand in hand win social and political systems. Religious leaders, political leaders, business establishments and
social workers should get together and spread the message of unity. All religions and traditions have a common value system.

These shared values have to reach every corner of the world. Even if one pocket of the world remains ignorant of these values, the world will not be a safe place. Sit a while in solitude, meditate, reflect on your thoughts, actions, your immediate environment the world around us. Think over and over again, introspect. Never let dust or dirt settle on it and distort our vision. Keep it bright and shining. Keep it pure and radiant. Let our thought be
pure, let our whole life be pure. It is also very necessary to teach our children about the importance of purity of life. Moral education is a must today. Young children have impressionable minds and we should try to develop a spiritual outlook in them from a very young age. We should help them inculcate good values and thoughts.

It is also very necessary to teach our children about the importance of purity of life. Moral education is a must today. Young children have impressionable minds and we should try to develop a spiritual outlook in them from a very young age. We should help them inculcate good values and thoughts.

We ought to be sensitive to the cause of the society and humanity. We must involve ourselves in the activities of the society and try to reform it from within as much as we can. We should not shut out eyes to the crimes taking place in the society. We are about to enter a new era, which will see the dawn of a new divine civilization on earth. Let us now try not to divide the people into smaller sects or sections but unite them to accept the
values of love, mercy, compassion, forgiveness and good conduct.