Registration with Yoga Alliance International is voluntary and is a valuable resource for yoga teachers. Only those who have trained through an RYS®, join and maintain membership in YA are entitled to use the designation RYT®/Registered Yoga Teacher®.
There are many ways to earn recognition as a yoga teacher, many ways to get a certificate, many ways to take your love of yoga to the next level with education. There are many choices when it comes to instruction and yoga teacher training; some of which is good even great, some not as good; some believe in being part of a bigger community, some prefer to stand alone.
GYS is honoured to be an up-levelled (2022 prepared) Registered Yoga School® and since 2013 has been teaching our yoga teacher training programs based on Yoga Alliance Standards. But why when we do not have to, after all membership in YA is voluntary. For us, quality, recognition, advocacy, support, continuing education opportunities, history and respect are a few reasons. As is being part of that bigger community of like-minded yoga practitioners and teachers.
A little background. During the late 80’s/early 90’s during the explosion of the fitness craze, especially in the US, well respected yoga teachers from various yoga lineages began to worry about the watering down of the quality of yoga teaching, witnessing injuries and unsafe practices. What traditionally required years of in-depth training to be a guru/teacher, now could be achieved in just weeks, sometimes even just days, with the focus of training limited in scope, often not truly preparing the student to become the teacher.
Coming together, this group (which was the precursor to the creation of Yoga Alliance) agreed that at minimum, 200 hours of training rooted in specific aspects of yoga was required to mentor and prepare quality teachers entering a burgeoning industry. Now, would-be teachers following this path could benefit from a wealth of available wisdom through the study of training techniques, teaching methodology, anatomy & physiology, yoga philosophy and ethics, and through a practicum series, demonstrate their skills.
Through the ensuing years, the standards have modified slightly, with a huge leap forward coming in 2022 as Registered Yoga Schools enhance training methods and their commitment to future yoga teachers with a new core curriculum and expanded requirements.
Ultimately it was the wisdom of those who lead the way to Yoga Alliance that shaped the now ubiquitous (and copied) 200hr standards, thus establishing the recognized training benchmark that we follow and admire, and that many non-Yoga Alliance training schools emulate in silent recognition of the heritage of those who forged the path.