There is no central authority governing Yoga, (nationally or globally) despite the groundless ‘non-protected’ claims made by certain organisations. 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 are a number of national and international yoga organisations that use the name “Yoga Alliance”. As these organisations are legally separate entities governed by the law of the country were they were established, it is important that prospective members are clear about these different organisations and the registration validity of yoga teachers and schools.
The international structure of the Yoga Alliance Organisations is particularly extensive and articulated. The first body to adopt the name “Yoga Alliance” was established in the United States in 1999, accrediting yoga teachers and schools in the USA to serve the yoga community of the United States and neighbouring countries. Because of the absence of other yoga organisations in the world, with the passage of years Yoga Alliance (USA) has gradually grown to become the world’s second largest registry of yoga teachers and yoga schools.
Yoga Alliance (USA) is often believed to be “The International Yoga Regulating Body” but the reality couldn't be further from the truth as between 2002 and 2013, other independent organisations in other countries adopted and trademarked the name “Yoga Alliance”, including in Australia, Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Singapore and the UK. All 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”, etc. This group of Alliances, are considered the largest yoga teachers and schools membership organisations in the world with over 100.000 members.
While 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, they all offer the same products and services and they share the same purpose of fostering the integrity of yoga teachers and schools from all lineages and traditions.
The professional affiliation with the Yoga Alliances 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”.
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” and registration/membership worldwide validity and its purpose.
There is No “Global Yoga Governing Body” or authority and it is inaccurate for any yoga organisation to claim to be the “real” or “true” Yoga Alliance. It is also incorrect for any yoga organisation to infer that registration is required in order to teach yoga – yoga is an unregulated industry and there is no legal requirement for yoga teachers and schools to be accredited with Yoga Alliance or any other yoga organisation. Of course the benefit of accreditation and registration is to ensure minimum professional standards and ongoing professional development are met.
In Australia, the “Yoga Alliance” name is registered and used by Yoga Alliance Ltd with headquarters in Sydney, New Zealand and UK.
Yoga Alliance Ltd is the owner of the registered trademarks “Yoga Alliance”, “Yoga Alliance Australia” and “Yoga Alliance International” and we therefore have the exclusive legal right to use those names and marks in Australia and in other countries or international jurisdictions where the Mark/s is/are registered.
Yoga Alliance (Australia) is an inclusive organisation and membership is open to all instructors and schools that meet our Professional Standards including ongoing professional development requirements. Our accreditation process is administered consistently, transparently and to a high standard. We do not require exclusive membership and our members can and do hold concurrent memberships with other yoga organisations.
The consumers have the right to choose amongst the various service, products and Professional Standards offered by suppliers and can furthermore choose the organisation to become member of based on subscription costs and membership benefits.
The registration of yoga teachers and schools with a yoga organisation is Voluntary therefore by default is recognised anywhere in the world. Yoga teachers registered with “Yoga Alliance” International/Australia can work anywhere in the world, including in the USA. For more detailed information, please visit: Yoga Alliance Worldwide Registration Validity
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