A quick guide to Yoga Alliance, Yoga Insurance & Teaching

Do you need membership to Yoga Alliance in 2022?

Yoga Alliance (YA) is located in the USA and is currently the go-to international yoga credential institution for Yoga teachers and schools. There are also many famous yoga teachers and school, both Western and Eastern who have long lineages and/or authentic history in Yoga that do not use the YA credentials.

It is very challenging to standardize certain aspects of Yoga. Ethics and code of conduct are strait forward, however other considerations such as Ayurveda, philosophical interpretations and what is required to be admitted into a yoga program is more problematic. Most yoga schools in the East have a more rigorous application process, including up to two years of selfless service and five years of learning before applying to teach.

YA is the west’s answer to offer a basic credential for Yoga Teaching. The first designation is considered foundational only, not professional.

Here is a breakdown of YA designations and what they mean from foundational teaching credential to more advanced:

  1. RYT-200 (you have successfully completed 200 hours of yoga training covering certain standards such as 20 hours of anatomy, philosophy, teaching methodology and training)
  2. RYT-500 (you have successfully completed 500 hours of training at no more two schools who are members of YA)
  3. ERYT-200 (you have 200 hour certificate and taught 500 hours)
  4. ERYT-500 (you have 500 hours of training and have taught 2000 hours overall, 1500 hours after the 500 hr training)
  5. Kids yoga and prenatal yoga are not included in a 500 hour certification and have separate credential designations.
  6. Schools go through a rigorous online application to gain an RYS designation either 200 hr, 300 hr or 500 hr.

To keep your designation as a registered teacher, you pay membership fees of $65 USD/ year (as of May 2022) and within the first three years, you must fulfill 75 hours of continuing education:
~30 hours can be in further training (including YACEP designated trainings) and
~45 hours in yoga teaching

YACEP designation is for teacher who provide small workshops or trainings that can be used toward the designation for continuing studies. That costs a member $20 USD/year

Further maintenance of the YA designation requires following the code of conduct laid out by YA and not using the term “Yoga therapy” as it is out of YA’s scope to credential therapeutic practices. There has been some recent “grandfathering” in of Yoga therapeutic terms.

YA offers yoga insurance for teachers so that they are not liable for injuries during their class. Bigger studios will also get their teachers discounts at various insurance companies. I have used LMI insurance in Canada.

Although Canada is less litigious overall, my advice is do not teach an outdoor class or even in your home without a liability waiver and yoga insurance. Even waivers can tricky if downloaded from the internet as there may be something that isn’t covered. Best to work with a lawyer who is familiar with yoga liability law.

In the past, teachers used force to adjust physical bodies or caused psychological harm by not being trauma-informed or not asking for consent. If you are not trained in either of these, I highly recommend our trainings in The Art of Assisting, where we cover good a range of assists without physical touch and consent based, gender sensitive and appropriate touch techniques and our 25 hour Trauma-informed training.

If you’re a teacher, we also have a FB group with no advertisements, where you can ask questions in a safe space.

Yoga alliance 300 hr school designation

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