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Government regulation of yoga teacher training programs

Yes, you read the headline correctly.

State governments are starting to impose regulations on yoga teacher training programs. Since these programs are similar to other "vocational instruction" programs (e.g., truck driving, hair styling) states feel justified in charging licensing fees to operate. What does this mean? CASHOLA.

A New York Times article published today goes into detail about which states are cracking the regulatory whip. New York, Michigan, Wisconsin and Virginia are mentioned as having threatened closures if studios do not file paperwork and pay up. In this recessionary environment states are searching for new revenue sources. And imposing fees on studios is low hanging fruit. And just how are officials figuring out which studios to target? An online registry of yoga studios that was created nearly 10 years ago by the Yoga Alliance lists over a thousand studios that meet minimum standards set by the non-profit group. It is like handing over a qualified email list to a spammer -- jackpot!

Those who bristle at the idea of regulation maintain that yoga is about freedom, spirituality and personal growth and that any sort of regulation or licensing requirement is an affront to the founding principles of the practice. While I'm not sure how I feel about mandatory licensing, I do believe that yoga is VERY much an industry and one that makes a lot of money...via clothes, teacher training, nutritional products etc.

The so-called "purists" also have thumbed their noses at franchise style yoga operations like Bikram, CorePower and YogaWorks. These "companies" provide a HUGE benefit to traveling yogis--they can maintain their practices even when away from home. Athletic-Minded Traveler lists these yoga studios and others for the 100+ cities we cover. By standardizing a practice and replicating it, these studios are self-regulated--by capitalism!

Expansion requires a successful formula and for yoga that means excellent instruction.  

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Wow, to Andre who posts

Wow, to Andre who posts above. Sounds like you should move to a country that offers no freedom for consumers. While I see your point regarding public school teachers, private schools do very well without regulation. Also, we are not talking about children here, but adults who can use their mind to make an informed decision about a yoga studio and its teachers. If it's dirty, leave.

Regulation in this instance does not protect anyone from great harm. Nope, it just moves us toward a nanny state. It sounds like you've been frustrated by your University experience and that is too bad, because I know that many of my professors had a great impact on me.

Sir/Ms: I have been to

Sir/Ms: I have been to ...many dirty yoga studios, to many false phony teachers, to many hustlers. Maybe because I live in NYC. However, "regulation" is very necessary!! To get rid of imposters! Imagine a public school system with non-certified teachers. As in most catholic schools. And even with cerification there are many worthless teachers. I am a Retired professor..who always had pressure put upon him to "pass" unqualified the university would not lose govt. money! The system stinks!!! And now you want to make it even worse? I wouild never never study at a facility that was not licensed or certfied by a govt. agency....but rather by a "self-serving" certifing group of yoga schools!

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