Instead of being scared by transparency, Yoga Organisations should embrace it and be clear with consumers and the yoga community about their “real” role within the “unregulated yoga industry”. Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. Yoga is not, therefore, an activity capable of being regulated.
There is No “Yoga Governing Bodies” anywhere in the world despite the groundless ‘non-protected’ claims made by certain yoga organisations to impress and entice members of the yoga community into believing that the affiliation with a yoga organisation is required to find employment. The registration with a yoga organisation is a voluntary process not a bylaw requirement.
The international structure of the most recognised Yoga Alliance Organisations is particularly extensive and articulated. The first self-appointed organisation to adopt the name “Yoga Alliance” was established in the United States in 1999, accrediting yoga teachers and schools in the U.S to serve the yoga community of the United States and neighbouring countries.
Between 2004 and 2013, due to poor customer service which was driving customers away, limited product range and low quality standards for teacher training offered by Yoga Alliance (U.S) and negative publicity everywhere across the internet of sexual abuse scandals perpetrated by yoga teachers member of the association, other independent organisations were established in other countries – e.g. Yoga Alliance Canada, Yoga Alliance Professionals UK, Yoga Alliance International Australia and its sisters Yoga Alliance International Italia, Yoga Alliance New Zealand and Yoga Alliance International.
These organisations are governed by an independent board of directors, they are unrelated and independent of one another and have their own respective accreditation criteria and professional standards. To avoid confusion in the marketplace and protect the brand reputation, they trademarked the name “Yoga Alliance” internationally.
The aim of the new Yoga Alliances was to bring a “breath of fresh air” to the yoga industry by implementing high quality standards, a more efficient and reliable customer service and a wide range of new products and services available to the yoga community.
Furthermore, contrary to claims made by Yoga Alliance U.S in an article published on their website in 2017: “Not All Yoga Alliances Are The Same” (which turned out to be a failed attempt to discredit its very successful competitors), throughout the years the other Yoga Alliances specifically Australia and Italy, have changed the face of the yoga industry worldwide with their innovations and ideas that have produced dramatic shifts in competitive position.
In January 2017, Yoga Alliance International Australia (today considered the world’s leader for the highest standards for teacher training) was in fact the first Alliance to review and update its standards scheme based on the proliferation of low quality teacher training programs, inadequately trained yoga teachers and unscrupulous providers who deliver substandard training.
A new set of standards: “250 PLUS” for teacher training was added to the existing standards scheme and successfully introduced across Australia followed on September 1st 2017 by the implementation of the 250 PLUS standards across Italy by Yoga Alliance International Italia. On September 1st 2017, exactly twelve hours after the publication of the new standards in Italy, Yoga Alliance U.S promptly announced on their website “The Standards Review Project”
Following the success of the other Alliances, a plethora of “Yoga Alliance” have been established around the world majority of whom are managed by rough operators who aside from claiming an unreal high number of affiliates (knowing that consumers cannot verify) and in extreme case that their organisation is accredited with and recognised by the government, there are only a few Yoga Alliance organisations internationally recognised by the yoga community, employers and insurance companies and those are mentioned in this article. This group of Alliances are pioneering organisations! In every age a few organisations rise above the rest and "bring fire" to the world—changing the way we live. As the global marketplace continues to expand, nothing less than a commitment to pioneering new and better ways of doing things will serve.
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