Yoga Alliance registration: Do you need it?

What the Yoga Alliance is and is not

Yoga Alliance (YA) is the national education and support organization for yoga teachers in the United States. Their stated intention is to ensure that there is a thorough understanding of the benefits of yoga, that the teachers of yoga value its history and traditions, and that the public can be confident of the quality and consistency of instruction.

In September 1999, YA established a national Yoga Teachers’ Registry to recognize and promote teachers with training that meets their minimum standards. Teachers who meet these standards are eligible to register as Registered Yoga Teachers (RYTs). In 2005 they began recognizing and registering teachers with significant teaching experience in addition to training. These teachers can register as Experienced Registered Yoga Teachers (E-RYTs). (see

So you can see here that YA does not “certify” teachers, but allows teachers to pay money to “register” – like a directory.

When I look at a teacher’s credentials, what I want to know is how much experience they have had, how long they have practiced yoga, who have been their main teachers, how much they love yoga, and what kind of person are they? I am much more likely to hire a current or former student of mine with minimal teacher training, whom I know to be genuine and passionate about yoga, and to have a strong and aware sense of their own practice, than someone I do not know who has a certification and an RYT after their name.


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