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What is Yoga Alliance for Yoga Teachers?

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

Yoga is a lifestyle practice that helps to bring body-breath-mind balance. It can be the easiest definition of Yoga.

This has been the key aspect of its philosophy and practice, though there are many different dimensions to it. 

Yoga has never been a mass practice. It is an individual practice from the teacher to the student. 

Yoga Alliance – Certification to Traditional Wisdom like Yoga? 

Now, from Yoga Gurus to Yoga Teachers and Yoga Instructors, we have transported the Yoga – lifestyle system to 60 min-90 minute practice on an expensive Yoga mat with organic yoga clothes, sweating to reduce the belly fat, improving the physical health so that we can enjoy the materialistic life to the fullest. 

This of course is one of the biggest ironies of life. 

As the traditional wisdom of India started reaching millions of people across the globe, and the number of yoga teachers was rapidly increasing, there was a need to create a framework, a structure so that the students know who is a Yoga Teacher. 

Why not a Yoga Registry Body like Yoga Alliance? 

There is a flip side to it. You may start a yoga practice to reduce the extra fat from the body. 

But eventually, you will start exploring a lot of extra fat (psychologically too) that you might have consumed into the psyche over time. 

This leads to a transformation of the perspective and slowly brings you towards the yogic journey. 

When every other profession has a standardised certification to practice, why not Yoga? 

Of course, it makes sense to make a standardised body that can certify the professionals who have enough knowledge to teach and share this knowledge of Yoga with others. 

But, Yoga is not just about the knowledge one possesses. It is unlearning more than learning that matters. It is your kindness, affection, open heart that matters more than flexibility, strength and ability to do backbends. 

Yet, we still found ways to create certain standards in order to create a directory of yoga teachers and this is where Yoga Alliance came into existence. 

Why not create a Yoga Registry Body from India, as India is the birthplace of Yoga?

Though the world was embracing Yoga with no hesitation and reaping its benefits, India has been crippled with political ideologies.

Indian policymakers had huge issues in making Yoga, Bhagavad-Gita etc. accessible to students as they thought these would make the student communal and can potentially hurt the sentiments of the masses.

I know you will laugh at this stupidity. But that’s the quality of a lawmaker, isn’t it?

Recently, the Indian government started working on creating a Registry Body for Yoga Institutions and Yoga Teachers. 

So, what is Yoga Alliance? 

Founded in 1999, the Yoga Alliance is an organisation that sets standards for yoga professionals and teacher training courses around the world. It aims to “promote and support the integrity and diversity of the teaching of yoga.”

What began as a small group of passionate yogis has now grown into the largest international organisation in the world of Yoga students, teachers and institutions.

The standards that they created are followed by thousands of yoga schools around the world.

What are RYS and RYT-200-hour? 

The Yoga Alliance has created, updated a standard that is followed by most of the yoga schools around the world. 

RYS – Registered Yoga School 

These Yoga schools are recognised as RYS (Registered Yoga Schools). There are 200-hour, 300-hour and 500-hour yoga teacher training programs. 

Level – 1 – 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Programs

Level – 2 – 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Programs (Advanced)

500 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Programs – Combination of both level – 1 and Level 2 together in one-long immersion. 

RYT – Registered Yoga Teacher 

The students who graduated from these yoga schools get the designation as RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) and if you have completed the 200 Hour Yoga training then you are designated as 200 Hour Yoga Teacher – RYT 200 Hour. 

The same is applicable to other courses too. 

You will need to do a level 1 – 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training before you apply for a 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training as it is a level – 2 course. 

Following one of their core principles, integrity and diversity – they have created a basic framework and within the said framework, the schools have the freedom to create their syllabus. 

This has offered the required freedom to bring the quality in the Yoga Teacher Training syllabus of the particular school.

However, when the school and its team do not have the proper knowledge or limited knowledge, it can just focus on what is proposed as the syllabus from the Yoga alliance. 

Many Yoga Alliances and Many Yoga Registry Bodies

Though Yoga Alliance is one of the largest Yoga registry bodies, there are many other registry bodies and some of them even have the name Yoga Alliance.

It would be confusing for a new student stepping into the world of Yoga.

There is a Yoga Alliance Professionals in the United Kingdom which is definitely trying to upgrade the system and practice levels across the world.

There is a Yoga Alliance International from India and there are a lot of other Yoga Alliances too. 

Besides these, there are other registry bodies too. You will see ‘British Wheel of Yoga’ – which was founded in 1965 and was awarded ‘National Governing Body’ status in England.

You have ‘International Yoga Federation – IYF’ one of the largest non-profit Yoga organisations in the world and the list goes on. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I join the Yoga Alliance?

You can read here the full description of how to join the Yoga Alliance. 

You will need to go through the requirements set by Yoga Alliance, submit the application in the category you belong to, pay the fee and join the registry body. 

Is Yoga Alliance Internationally Recognised?

Yes. Anyone would agree that this is one registry that is recognised by far the most inclusive registry in the world, though there are many other registry bodies. 

How much does it cost to join Yoga Alliance?

Teachers: you’ll pay an initial $50 application fee and then $65 in annual dues, which means $115 your first year and $65 each year after.

Schools: you’ll pay a $400 registration fee and $240 in annual dues, which means $640 your first year and $240 each year after.

Continuing Education (CE): continuing education programs do not currently pay an initial registration fee. You may have the fee in the future though.

How many hours do I need to become a Yoga Teacher?

You will need 200 Hour level Yoga Training. Though different Yoga schools have different course syllabi and often leading to confusion, if you are able to learn proper asanas, pranayamas, meditation techniques, Yoga Anatomy, traditional Yoga philosophy, how to teach Yoga classes and create different class structures etc. it should be fine to start with. 

The second level is 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training. This is deepening your practice of asanas, hands-on adjustments, exploring deeper dimensions of Yoga philosophy, advanced asanas etc. 

Once you complete both levels, you will become RYT – 500 Hour Yoga Teacher

How do I become a Registered Yoga Teacher?

First, get into a Yoga class and start practising asanas and pranayama. After a few classes, you will start exploring the different styles and different impacts.

You may tend to like some styles more than others. Get into the Yoga mat regularly. Give some time to the mind to understand the practice. 

Now, if you are passionate about the practice, do research on the Yoga institutions and the courses. A good Yoga Teacher Training institution can lay a good foundation into your learning and can help you transform your perspective towards life.

It can be truly life-changing. After the completion of the 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training, you can sign up into Yoga Alliance to register yourself as a Registered Yoga Teacher – 200 Hour (RYT 200). 

How much can you make as a Yoga Teacher?

Just like any other profession, it all depends on the skills and experience.

If you have a good practice background before the training and you have taken proper, professional training that assists you in refining your skill sets, you can get anywhere between $20 – 30 $ per hour with an average salary of 40,000 $ to 50,000 $.

As you get better in your teaching, your networks (sadly, they matter a lot these days), you may be able to charge between 30 $ to 50 $ per hour too. 

It also can completely vary depending on the location. Rich regions have expensive Yoga classes so are personal yoga sessions. However, some regions would be cheaper. 

Can I teach Yoga without being certified?

Yes, you can. There is no legal framework to say that you should be 200 Hour certified.

However, most of the Yoga centres, retreat centres expect the Yoga Teacher to be properly certified, adhering to some form of teacher trainer standard to make sure that their students learn from a teacher where it is safe enough to learn asanas, pranayamas and meditations.

Do yoga Teachers need Insurance?

Spiritually and technically No! You do not need any insurance to teach Yoga.

Again, most studios and retreat centres in the world require you to have your own insurance. It would be safer for the Yoga Center to hire a Yoga Teacher who comes along with his/her insurance. 

You can again buy insurance from Yoga Alliance or go through another insurance provider.

But it is always good to be equipped with insurance in the world we are living in today to be safe. 🙂

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