Teacher Qualifications

THE CONVERSATION: What qualifications are necessary to be a yoga teacher? What prerequisites, if any, should there be to take a yoga teacher training with the goal of becoming a yoga teacher? Is the current 200hr/500hr system sufficient? Do we need more hours? Different levels?

WHAT WE LEARNED:

Nearly all yoga professionals and practioners agree that there should be a baseline of training hours required to have been successfully completed prior to being qualified to teach yoga.  This came through loud and clear via our survey, the listening tour, the virtual town halls, and the working group sessions.

As we saw via our 12,000-respondent survey, 75% of practitioners agree that between 200 and 300 hours of training should be sufficient to realize proficiency as a foundational yoga teacher. Read more here.

Standards Review Project Survey: Attitudes and Beliefs of Yoga Professionals and Practitioners Worldwide 2018, Edge Research.

Through the working group specific to Teacher Qualifications,  a few recommendations that “rose to the top” include:

  • 200hr Registered Yoga Schools (RYSs) should be referenced as “foundational” training while 300/500hr RYSs should be referenced as “professional” training
  • 200hrs could and should be enough for a foundational training if the quality of content and competencies is there as well as an appropriate level of accountability
  • All RYSs should conduct assessments, including practicum exams, as prerequisites for graduation, and all hours of an RYS 200 should be contact
  • Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) status should not be automatically granted
  • Yoga Alliance should educate the public on RYSs

To learn more about this working group’s recommendations, please download the Teacher Qualifications Working Group Paper here. As a reminder, Yoga Alliance brought together a diverse spectrum of expert advisory voices to maximize the perspectives and resources within this area of inquiry. They represented one stream of input in the process, albeit an important stream.  We thank them for their participation and dedication.

Note: these working group papers provide expert recommendations to Yoga Alliance and the yoga community for consideration as the Standards Review Project continues. They are not prescribed actions but rather insights from an experienced and dedicated group of subject matter experts. They were written by an independent third party. At this point in time, no decisions have been made regarding standards updates, and we welcome and encourage your feedback and comments regarding the entirety of the SRP process.

Advisors In This Group:

Trina Altman

Trina Altman

Trina Altman, BS, PMA-CPT, received her training through STOTT PILATES® and is an E-RYT 500. She’s the creator of Yoga Deconstructed® and Pilates Deconstructed®, which take an interdisciplinary approach to foster an embodied understanding of yoga and Pilates and their relationship to ...
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Dianne Bondy

Dianne Bondy

Dianne Bondy is a celebrated yoga teacher, social justice activist and leading voice of the Yoga For All movement. Her inclusive view of yoga asana and philosophy inspires and empowers thousands of followers around the world – regardless of their ...
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Donalee Campbell

Donalee Campbell

Donalee Campbell, E-RYT 200, is a Certified Senior Teacher (800hrs+) with the Yoga Association of Alberta (YAA) and is well known throughout Alberta in her role as Coordinator for the YAA Teacher Training and Equivalency Certification Programs.  An umbrella organization, ...
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Ryan Cunningham

Ryan Cunningham

Ryan Cunningham, E-RYT 500, YACEP, believes that yoga is a path towards cultivating wellness — which for them involves a daily practice of breathing, meditation, and movement. They spent many years attending Barbara Benagh's weekly teachers' class as well as ...
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David Emerson

David Emerson

David Emerson, YACEP, TCTSY-F, is the founder and Director of Yoga Services for the Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute in Brookline, Massachusetts, where he coined the term “trauma-sensitive yoga." He was responsible for curriculum development, supervision and oversight of the yoga intervention ...
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Maty Ezraty

Maty Ezraty

Maty Ezraty, E-RYT 500, is a uniquely inspiring teacher known for her dynamic style of teaching, a keen eye for observation and a depth of knowledge that is steeped in years of practice. Maty discovered yoga in her early 20's ...
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Leslie Glickman

Leslie Glickman

Leslie Glickman teaches a broad spectrum of yoga, including Vinyasa, yin, and meditation. Her "Pause, Breathe, Notice, Feel" ideology is the foundation to her teaching approach. She believes there is a yoga for "every body" and strives to be mindful ...
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Sandy Hicks

Sandy Hicks

Sandy Hicks, E-RYT, RCYT, RPYT, Y12SR received Transcendental Meditation instruction from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1973, and went on to further study at the Omega Institute with various teachers. Sandy had a strong desire to convert what was internally felt into external words, as ...
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Amy Ippoliti

Amy Ippoliti

Amy is a yoga teacher, author, and earth activist. Her caring approach brings ancient wisdom to modern yogis, both on and off the mat. She is known for her genuine style of teaching, intelligent sequencing, compelling and clear instruction, and ...
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Val Spies

Val Spies

Val Spies, E-RYT500 is the owner/director of the Lotus Pond Center for Yoga established in 2003. The Lotus Pond 200/300hr. Teacher Training programs originated in 2006 and graduate an average of 60 teachers per year.  Val is the lead teacher ...
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Peter Sterios

Peter Sterios

Peter Sterios, ERYT-500, has been part of the global yoga community for over four decades as a teacher, writer, and entrepreneur based in San Luis Obispo, California. He is the creator of Manduka™, a leading eco-yoga products company based in ...
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