Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Yoga Studios Escape Watchful Eye of the State, Now Free To Hurt People Randomly

NOW DO THISWhile Virginia is now figuring out whether to regulate yoga studios, New York State's Education Department has just lifted the randomly-adopted practice of claiming the state must license yoga teacher training-they were threatening massive fines to studios that didn't register with the state. (Bills supporting the studios were introduced in the state Senate but the Education Dept. backed down before they made it to the floor.) Now absolutely anyone can say they are a yoga teacher trainer, and take thousands of dollars from young, bendy, unemployed people, and have them go out and injure others. Finally, the deregulation of an industry we can all get behind! So come over to our offices for class at 1:30, and bring $100 in tens and fives, please.

14 Comments / Post A Comment

sigerson (#179)

I am in love with that picture.

NinaHagen (#131)

I'm glad this is lifted but I can't remember why – kitty is cute.

Dammit, now the financially desperate have legal ways to make money. So much for my Saturday nights.

Mmm…Balk finding my center.

"Smoke into it."

Do you accept bartering?

My new studio will offer frozen yoga at $60/session; it’s a frosty summer delight that freezes out bad chakras. All scientific!

MParcells (#375)

The bar was already set quite low for the job of "yoga instructor." I thought instructor training just involved learning how to carry those mats everywhere and to look decent in expensive workout clothes.

HiredGoons (#603)

it is the second task which causes the cream to rise.

jolie (#16)

Downward Facing Balk

Namaste, mothafucka!

El Matardillo (#586)

Where did you get that picture of Julia Allison?

ecgroom (#570)

If someone could teach me how to do this pose, I'd probably pay them thousands…

Alison West (#1,463)

As chair of the organization that was created to withstand the licensing attempts of NY State, I share everyone's concerns re standards of yoga teaching.

While that in itself is a valuable point of discussion, and you could raise it directly with Yoga Alliance, which has created standards for the US, what I want to point out here is that the commonly held belief that licensing inevitably means oversight is mistaken.

The problem with the state is that it offers no oversight and has no professional yoga experts to guide the process of licensing. In other words, the licensingâ€"or regulatoryâ€"process in no way guarantees quality. It's very important for anyone interested in this issue to grasp that the state does not provide quality control beyond asking for a curriculum and going over it with a state appointed advisor. Its biggest consumer protection aspect is not about the substance of what is taught but about providing an escrow account in the event a program shuts down and fails to refund the tuition. That has never been a problem in the NY yoga community. The process of licensing itself, however, is demanding and burdensome in time and cost.

One of the tasks we have set ourselves as an organization is to explore the question of standards in yoga teacher trainings. We take the issue of standards and safety seriously.

Alison West
Chair, Yoga For NY

Director, Yoga Union Teacher Training
Co-Director, Yoga Union Center for Backcare & Scoliosis
32 West 28th Street, Fourth Floor
NY NY 10001

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