Teachers, like therapists or educators in other fields, have an inherent power, which can be used to either heal or exploit.
Yoga Alliance’s Kerry Maiorca (Board Chair), David Lipsius (CEO), Shannon Roche (COO), and Andrew Tanner (Chief Yoga Advancement Officer) introduce the Standards Review Project—an effort that seeks to compare seventeen-year-old yoga teaching standards against the needs and expectations of today’s thriving and diverse yoga community.
Seventeen years ago Yoga Alliance created standards to preserve the quality of yoga education and practice. The prevailing ideology at the time was that Yoga Alliance could assure the public that a registered yoga teacher met an appropriate level of safety and quality, while the community itself could self-govern to ensure diversity in the teaching of yoga. Of course, the world has changed a lot since 1999. Yoga teachers now serve a global community of millions of individuals in dozens of countries. New research and understandings in human physiology, inclusivity, accessibility, trauma sensitivity, cultural issues, yoga's history, and yoga’s relationship to the healthcare and wellness communities have brought us to a point where the standards need a thorough review.
The Standards Review Project will bring together thought and field leaders, wisdom holders, not-for-profit and for-profit business leaders, and yoga practitioners from around the world in a comprehensive and inclusive process. We need your voice.
The Standards Review Project will review several distinct elements of the yoga teaching standards, including:
Expert Advisory Voices
We have brought together a diverse spectrum of expert advisory voices, including several who have been outspoken in their criticism of Yoga Alliance in the past, to maximize the perspectives and resources considered in this comprehensive and inclusive undertaking. We believe this will ultimately lead to the strongest new policies and procedures. The following expert advisors provide one stream of input in the process, alongside the thousands of voices inside and outside of yoga who will offer their viewpoints through surveys, focus groups, online discussion forums, and other channels. We also are grateful to partners like RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), who are helpful consultants in establishing professional ethics and understanding of a yoga teacher’s appropriate scope of practice. If you are an expert in one of the working group areas referenced below and would like to apply to be an advisor, please follow the “Working Groups” link and instructions.
More to come.