In mid-May, Yoga Alliance, the largest international nonprofit association promoting and supporting the yoga community, welcomed former Kripalu CEO David Lipsius as its new President and CEO. Lipsius has been a registered yoga teacher since 2006, and has studied and practiced yoga for nearly 20 years. He also has leadership experience in marketing, media, and entertainment, as well as a doctor of law (JD) degree from Brooklyn Law School in New York. We caught up with Lipsius to find out what he has in store for Yoga Alliance and to get his thoughts on how the yoga community can and should grow, change, and give back going forward, including moving toward a “gold standard” for yoga teachers and schools.


Yoga Journal: You’ve been President and CEO of Yoga Alliance for a month and a half now. What types of changes have you made so far? What are your short- and long-term goals for YA? David Lipsius: Appropriate, conscious, and exciting change is coming, but only after careful review of the issues and responsible consideration of input from our members. However, before going further, let me say how grateful I am to be at Yoga Alliance and Yoga Alliance Registry [a public charity that sets voluntary standards for yoga teacher training programs and credentials]. I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity to serve our registered yoga teachers and schools who are working with great effort and success every day to help other human beings become healthier, happier, and more connected to themselves and others. I am also grateful to be in a position to initiate significant and necessary change for the benefit of the public.


In my early days at Yoga Alliance, I have placed a priority on finding ways to serve individuals and communities who have been underserved to date and initiated the development of an inclusive process for evaluating the current teacher and school standards. Our plans also include efforts to unite our community on shared projects that will increase the positive social impact of yoga educators, and we have committed to deepening Yoga Alliance’s investment in continuing education and advocacy on behalf of teachers and schools. Also, because I have witnessed the long-term damage that can be done to students when outlier yoga teachers and schools violate ethical and scope of practice standards, Yoga Alliance will work with experts to develop new protocols and standards that will assist the field as it shifts into an era of safety, inclusion, and sensitivity appropriate for a more sophisticated and enlightened age of yoga.


I also would like to share that we have hired a new Chief Operating Officer, Shannon Roche, to help serve our community. While I will share more about Shannon and our other leadership team members in the coming weeks, our entire staff will ensure Yoga Alliance is exceptionally well-managed, fiscally responsible as a not-for-profit, and that all actions and activities come from a heart-based desire to serve the public and our teachers and schools.


Read more from the source: Yoga Alliance’s New President Reveals Plans for Moving the Yoga Community Forward | HuffPost