Looking for a good yoga teacher?


This is what you should know

OYoga Alliance Think Differentver the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to have practised with some of the best yoga teachers in the world. I’ve been taught by young yoga teachers and much older ones and teachers of various nationalities and experience levels from different lineages and traditions. I attended classes with “world famous” yogis and those who have taught for 30 years or more without much acclaim.

Lately, however, I have been doing some self-reflecting on the search for the right teacher. So what makes a yoga instructor great? Who is the best? Teacher and student is after all a relationship, right? Most of us are drawn to yoga through some hardship in our lives and are transformed through the practice of yoga.  A good teacher simply shares her/his practice and all the many benefits students gain when they practice yoga correctly.


Because teaching is a job where the teacher makes contact daily with people and have an interest in who they are, it helps them teach from an intuitive place where they invite participants to explore their own authentic self.

While there is no quintessential yoga teacher as they all are different, there are definitely some qualities that great yoga teachers all have because being a good yoga teacher is all about being a good teacher and being humble and not talking down to anybody.

People are going to a specific teacher’s classes to feel good, even better, than they do when they stepped on their mat. If  the teacher give alignment suggestions or call attention to her/his instructions, the teacher must  make sure it’s from a loving place that makes the student feel INCLUDED, as opposed to excluded.


As professionals, yoga instructors need to be vigilant in keeping their egos in check with the teachings of yoga, and to also practice humility (vinaya) to eliminate the perils of pride and arrogance.

Ego-less teachers are happy to share their wisdom and knowledge openly!  For yoga teachers being more fully connected with  students and colleagues is a much more authentic and heart-centered way to move through the world. If a teacher’s authentic personality is more about warmth and compassion and they teach from their heart, they have the ability to create a really beautiful and uplifting class.


Serious yoga injuries, though rare, are on the rise

More and more people across the world have been taking up yoga in recent years and the rate of yoga-related injuries has also climbed, a new study in the United States finds. Although the number of injuries occurring  it’s a small compared to how many people practice yoga, researchers said, the odds of a serious injury are high.

At the beginning of each class, every yoga teacher should take a moment to touch base with their students and ask them about possible injuries. In order to give appropriate guidance with recommendations, the teacher should obtain certain essential information such as  the history and nature of a student’s pain and the type of injury, and eventually advise the student whether or not continued practice is appropriate. Important questions must include: When did the pain start? Is it better or worse with exercise? What is the nature of the pain (e.g., sharp or achy)? Are there pins and needles associated with the pain? What is the intensity on a scale of 1 to 10?

The majority of yoga students don’t exactly know what yoga teachers know of anatomy and how they apply it to prevent and address injury among yoga students. The increased use of yoga for post-injury rehabilitation highlights  the differences in knowledge between an “average” yoga teacher and “one who can identify”, assess, address, and prevent injuries.


There are five main organisations in the world  that provide credentials for yoga teachers.  These organisations are often referred to by reference to the country in which they operate / are organised – e.g.“Yoga Alliance” (Australia), “Yoga Alliance” (Canada), “Yoga Alliance” (USA),”Yoga Alliance” (Italia), “Yoga Alliance” (New Zealand), “Yoga Alliance” (UK) now “Yoga Alliance Professionals”, “Yoga Alliance” (Singapore). This group of Alliances, are considered the largest yoga teachers and schools membership organisations in the world with over 100.000 members between them!

The professional affiliation with any Yoga Alliance is widely recognised by employers, insurance companies, yoga students and practicioners around the world. The purpose of registration as a Member of Yoga Alliance is to fulfill the primary purpose of protection of the public, yoga students and aspiring yoga teachers in an “unregulated industry”.

If practising  with a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT)  is important to you, then you can  find out if they have registered and by visiting the Yoga Alliance® Registry

By Rosie Brent 



Yoga Alliance® New Standards for Teacher training


Yoga Alliance Think Different

While many Yoga Organisations focus on addressing problems, the most successful focus on raising the bar!

Innovation is defined as the introduction of something new or different and that’s precisely what Yoga Alliance® -International Australia did! “Sometimes it’s those quiet achievers who can make just as big an impact without having to be ostentatious about it.”

In January 2017, after nearly twenty years Yoga Alliance® – International and its associate Yoga Alliance®  Australia and  Yoga Alliance® Italy, were the first organisations to revise and implement new Standards for Teacher Training in Australia, New Zealand, Italy and the rest of the world.

Now other Yoga Alliances across the globe are duplicating the Yoga Alliance® – International’s innovative Standards Scheme! Why? because the world is full of fast followers! 

Yoga Alliance New Standard fro Teacher TrainingYoga Alliance new Standard for Yoga TeachersYoga Alliance Italia International RYS-250 PLUS StandardCSEN - ITALY

The first step to achieving High Standards is to lift the quality and status of Yoga Training Programs. Organisations that represent the yoga community worldwide owes a duty not only to the people they operate with, but to anyone who may be affected by the organisation’s activities.

In January 2017, Yoga Alliance® International and its associate Yoga Alliance® (Australia) and Yoga Alliance® (Italia) in Italy in association with the C.S.E.N (Centro Sportivo Educativo Nazionale (National Educational Sport Centre), a Body for Sports Promotion recognized by the Italian National Olympic Committee CONI, were the very first Yoga Alliance organisations to introduce new Standards for Teachers Training based on the proliferation of low quality yoga teacher training, and inadequately trained yoga teachers. Updates were made after receiving input from many member schools, renowned yoga experts and yoga teachers from every corners of the world!

These group of Alliances considered by experts and members of the community the most innovative of all yoga organisations, felt that the seventeen years old standards were out of date, and restrictive in their prescriptive breakdown of course content and hours.

Rather than requiring a specified, narrow curriculum, Yoga Alliance® International evaluation is based on the content, number of contact hours, structure of training programs and the experience of the Director of Training.

The creation of more rigorous professional standards is one sign of progress to ensure that teachers will know the subjects they teach and how to teach them to yoga practitioners. The Yoga Alliance® International’s new standards were created to respect the diversity of perspectives in yoga, while still providing a framework for yoga teacher training programs.

For more detailed information please visit: http://www.yogaalliance.com.au/raising-the-bar-for-teacher-training.html


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