Yoga Alliance Certification: Is it Worth it?

Already well-established, creating and making a mark for itself in the realm of yoga wellness and holistic approach and practices, Yoga Alliance imparting and deciphering Yoga Alliance certification program, is the largest nonprofit organization/association representing the yoga community, reveling in the fact of having more than 7,000 Yoga Schools/Institutions and over 100, 000 Yoga Teachers globally listed in its registry.

History of Yoga Alliance

Laying its foundation stone in 1999 in the US as a voluntary registry for yoga teachers and yoga schools meeting their standards and requirements, Yoga Alliance is a beneficial resource for aspiring students scouting for yoga teachers in their localities, or for people who’re on the lookout for Yoga Schools.  For yoga teachers and mentors, it’s also a place to look up continuing Education courses and additional Yoga Teacher Training imparting Yoga Alliance certification for furthering their skills and expertise coupled with developing specializations. Yoga Alliance’s exponents uphold the ‘yoga community’s protection from unfair or unnecessarily burdensome patents, taxation, or government regulation’, aiming to foster accountability via the mechanism or functionality of feedback, comments, and reviews. It seeks to promote and support high-quality, safe and secure, accessible, and equitable teaching of yoga.

Ways Of Becoming a Yoga Alliance Member

Yoga instructors must have completed their training at Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School (RYS), in addition to paying the application and yearly membership fees, thereby enabling them to identify themselves as Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT). For yoga schools to be a part of the Yoga Alliance, they’ve to offer Yoga Teacher Training encompassing and fulfilling core curriculum, and requirements about training length or duration alongside other criteria. Upon getting the nod of approval, Licensed & Registered Yoga Schools providing Yoga Alliance certification can maintain their registration as long as they continue to pay the fees, with no ongoing reviews or verification ensuring standard maintenance.  Its members can apply for Continuing Education Provider (YACEP) who’re eligible and entitled to offer courses and training programs to other yoga instructors as part of their continuing learning and professional development. 

Benefits of Yoga Alliance Registration

Besides being listed in an easily-searchable registry comprising of yoga teachers and yoga institutions-a great starting point for new and aspiring teachers in terms of additional visibility and exposure, yoga teachers who’re members of Yoga Alliance, tend to enjoy a plethora of privileges and benefits. The YA Community is a members-only online space for yoga professionals to share relevant information and trivia, resources, and experiences, along with organizing events for yoga teachers for fostering and accentuating connection, education, and community.  In the light of COVID-19 outbreak, Yoga Alliance has started with a bevy of resources and online events including Continuing Education programs for yoga instructors. Its members also avail benefits of discounts from varied Yoga Alliance Partners like Manduka, Offering Tree, YogaU, and a host of others. Being an intrinsic part of the yoga world spanning over two decades, Yoga Alliance is a name to reckon with in the domain of the healthcare and fitness industry, boasting innumerable students and practitioners which keep on increasing day by day.  Yoga teachers find that being associated with it, lends some credibility to their name and prospective career growth and earnings and remunerations. Furthermore, yoga schools show a keen interest in registering with Yoga Alliance to afford their pupils the golden opportunity of eventually joining it in the days to come. For yoga teachers planning to offer Yoga Teacher Training bearing the tag of Yoga Alliance certification, it provides valuable, insightful feedback or reviews for navigating the syllabus, whilst honing in on the goals and objectives of training. Some yoga instructors treading this path so far, have found it to be a useful way of having their yoga training and functionalities peer-reviewed by an objective third party. Besides, Yoga Alliance has also prepped up quickly to offer yoga teachers resources to sail, through the COVID-19 pandemic, helping yoga teachers whenever obstacles come up in their paths in some way or the other. Yoga teachers emphasized the credibility and authenticity that a Yoga Alliance certification program offers.  The Yoga Alliance certificate is internationally valid, so, If yoga teachers want to pursue a professional yoga teacher life, this certificate helps to have insurance for their business, they can open a yoga school further which is valid and recognized internationally

Shortcomings & Limitations

It’s often mistaken or misconstrued for a credentialing or licensing organization, but in reality, fails to perform neither of these functions. Whilst there’re guidelines set for yoga instructors and yoga institutions to be registered under Yoga Alliance, some experienced yoga teachers have made grievances about the standards being extremely low at times. The minimum requirement to become an RYT with Yoga Alliance is merely to complete 200-hour yoga course with no tests or independent assessments whatsoever by some schools, ensuring that RYTs are well-equipped and qualified to impart yoga lessons.  Additionally, there’s little or no regular oversight to ensure that standards are upheld, or for that matter, the curriculum proposed is adhered to after an initial nod of approval, herewith making Yoga Alliance compared to a ‘membership club’ or tantamounting to Chamber of Commerce for yoga instructors/teachers.

Substitutes to Yoga Alliance

Some yoga teachers tread the path of joining other yoga-oriented organizations instead. Some have chosen to go for their local yoga associations, like the Canadian Yoga Alliance, and the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT).  Furthermore, for yoga teachers specializing in specified yoga traditions, alternatives would be organizations like the International Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association (IKYTA) and B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States (IYNAUS). Recently launched Yoga Unify is gradually positioning itself as an alternative to Yoga Alliance. It’s a non-profit participatory organization, that acknowledges the skill, potential, and expertise of yoga teachers via peer reviews and feedback, as well as supporting the yoga community with mentorship making way for new learning, possibilities, and opportunities. But that’s not to say the importance of Yoga Alliance has dwindled a bit. Back in India, Yoga Alliance certification programs are carried out, resonating with yoga enthusiasts in many institutions like Diya Yoga (Arambol, Goa), Academy of Yoga (Bangalore), Shatchakr College & Hospital of Yoga & Naturopathy Foundation (Bihar), Agni Yog Sansthan (Delhi), Gyanish Yoga Institute (Gujrat), Geeta Yoga School (Madhya Pradesh), Amrutham Yoga & Ayurvedic Village Retreat (Kerala), Innerworld Yoga Academy (Maharashtra), and others.  Get Yoga Alliance certification at Diya Yoga – RYS200 school located at the breathtaking beach of Arambol, North Goa, India. Our best yoga teacher training programs merge ancient Vedic knowledge with modern asanas taught by highly skilled Indian and International yoga experts.  We deliver a comprehensive theoretical and practical training program during our 24-day structured course. Upon completion of our 200-hour teacher training program (YTT course), you’ll emerge as a confident teacher imparting yoga lessons to aspirants.  Be a part of our noble endeavor in spreading the all-encompassing benefits of yoga far across the world!  

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