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Raising the Bar for Yoga Training Programs

First Yoga Alliance to Raise the Bar for Yoga Training Programs in twenty years

As the popularity of yoga in the world grows each year, so does the need for increased rigor of yoga teacher training programs.

To meet the increasing demand for quality yoga training, in January 2017, Yoga Alliance® International made the decision to revise and update its old Standards scheme  based on the proliferation of low quality yoga teacher training, and inadequately trained yoga teachers.

We felt that our previous Standards were out of date, and restrictive in their prescriptive breakdown of course content and hours. Updates were made after receiving input from many member schools, renowned yoga experts and yoga teachers.

Rather than requiring a specified, narrow curriculum, Yoga Alliance® International evaluation is based on the content, number of contact hours, structure of training programs, online learning  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. Yoga Alliance® International Standards were created to respect the diversity of perspectives in yoga, while still providing a framework for yoga teacher training programs.

The vision and goal of the revised Yoga Alliance’s “Spirit of Yoga Standards” include:

  1. New credentials for yoga training programs:  250/500 PLUS .

  2. New credentials for yoga teachers: RYT-250/500 PLUS/ERYT-250/500 PLUS.

  3. The minimum number of contact hours training programs must incorporate (90%).

  4. The teaching experience of the director of training since graduating from a training course: 2000, 2200, 3000, 5000, 10.000 hours.

  5. The number of contact hours trainees must spend in the presence of a Senior Teacher/ERYT (80%).

  6. The minimum course entry requirements (one year).

  7. A solid grounding curriculum of study (yoga fundamentals, asana,pranayama, meditation, human anatomy, yoga, history and philosophy) to ensure that all teachers are ready to practice from the start.

  1. Strictly follow a Code of Conduct.

  2. 5% of the Training Course MUST be allocated to TEACHING.*Participants  MUST be encouraged to  practice Teaching.

  1. Online components Topics deemed best suited to online learning include history of yoga, yoga philosophy, yoga ethics, Sanskrit, and professional business skills

Yoga industry largely unregulated

‘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 standardised or regulated.

Currently the industry of yoga is largely self-regulated. There is no central authority Governing Yoga, (nationally or globally) despite the groundless ‘non-protected’ claims made by certain organisations. Nor can Yoga be resolved by a pre-set of Standards as it is the work of the individual and not of the masses.

Yoga  Alliance Bona Fide Aim

Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers in Yoga Education and Training

In a largely ‘unregulated’ industry Yoga Alliance has the responsibility to set high professional standards, and show that they oversee and enforce compliance with these standards by their members.

Yoga Alliance International was set-up with the sole and bona fide aim to promote the diversity and integrity of yoga, and promote safe and competent yoga teaching. Yoga Alliance International it is purely a listing of teachers and schools that meet the minimum requirements for teaching yoga set forth by the association.

We accept ALL yoga teacher graduates onto our registry, regardless of whether they’ve attended an approved training school or not, as long as the training matches up to our Standards.

New Standards RYS/RYT PLUS

Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers in Yoga Education and Training
Is 200 hour yoga teacher training enough for someone to be qualified as a yoga teacher? This is one of the biggest discussions in the world of Yoga. The twenty years old 200 hour Standard has become obsolete and a point of contention both within and outside the yoga community worldwide.  

While this is up for debate and of course everyone’s opinion will differ, more studios and experienced teachers now agree that a 200-hour yoga certification is just not enough and they would welcome minimum 250 hour or more programs instead.

After receiving input from member schools, renowned yoga experts and experienced yoga teachers, the Yoga Alliance’s Educational Standards Committee (ESC), and Board of Directors together made the decision to enhance the credibility for its members and the entire community. Yoga Alliance has a special responsibility to the public to meet the demand for meaningful credentials that promote safe and competent yoga teaching.

After exploring a variety of existing credentialing models, the Committee proposed to improve the foundation of our existing credentialing system by raising the Standards of Practice and level of professionalism of credentialed yoga teachers and yoga schools and thus provide consumers with independent assurance that the people who hold Yoga Alliance Credential possess the knowledge, skill, or ability to practice their occupation competently.

In January 2017, following the proposal of the Committee, the new standards “RYS-250/500 PLUS PLUS” were added to our existing scheme followed by the RYT-250/500 PLUS and ERYT-250/500 PLUS.

These new credentials are intended to promote high standards for training programs below 300 and 500 hour and provide more credibility for yoga professionals. and providers. The decision to create new credentials reflected the longstanding desire of the yoga community to “Raise the Bar” for excellence in yoga education.


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