Yoga Alliance

1. What is Yoga Alliance?

Yoga Alliance is the largest nonprofit association representing the yoga community, with over 7,000 Registered Yoga Schools (RYS) and more than 100,000 Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT) as of April 2020. The association fosters and supports the high quality, safe, accessible, and equitable teaching of yoga, working to advocate the diverse styles of yoga and traditions, encourage the worldwide growth of yoga through education and community, uphold high quality yoga teaching, protect the yoga community from unfair regulation, and provide yoga schools and teachers with the business tools they need to be successful.

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2. The History of Yoga Alliance

Yoga Alliance started in America as a need for national standards in the yoga industry. Yoga had started spreading to the west in the 1990’s, but there were no standards for teachers to follow. In 1999, Yoga Alliance was officially born as a nonprofit organisation dedicated to promoting yoga. It developed a voluntary registry to recognise yoga schools and yoga teachers whose training met their existing standards.

By 2007, Yoga Alliance had outgrown its small office in Pennsylvania, and the organisation went international. By 2010, ten years after its founding, Yoga Alliance moved its Registered Yoga Students (RYS) applications online, allowing the number of applications to skyrocket, its mYoga alliance started operating in the UK alongside the British Wheel of Yoga.

Today, Yoga Alliance offers a wide range of educational courses and workshops for both members and non-members, as well as an extensive programme of teacher training, and accreditation for both schools and teachers.

3. Yoga Alliance Teacher Training

Teachers can register as a RYT® with Yoga Alliance if they have successfully completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training that is registered with Yoga Alliance. All training hours must come from the same school, and multiple trainings can’t be combined to meet the 200-hour requirement.

If you hold a 500-hour yoga teacher training that’s registered with Yoga Alliance, you can register as a RYT 500. The 500 hours of training can either come from one school, or can be a combination of a 200-hour teacher training, plus 300 hours of advanced training from a RYS 300.

A RYT 200 must have:

  • Completed a 200-hour teacher training with an RYS 200

A RYT 500 must have:

  • Completed a 200-hour teacher training with an RYS 200
  • Completed an additional 300 hours of training with either the same RYS or a different RYS.

4. Membership Benefits: wellness programme, newsletters, events, yoga training and yoga insurance

Benefits for students: There are several benefits of joining Yoga Alliance, including a Member Assistance programme – a comprehensive wellness support programme including access to mental health support, work, financial and legal services, at no cost to you, your dependents and your family. You’ll also get access to the YA Community to connect with fellow members, discounts from their socially conscious partners, and much more.

Benefits for teachers: Benefits for teachers include all of the above, as well as Yoga Alliance standards, insurance and credentials to signal to potential students and employers that you uphold a set of high standards as a teacher. Their credentials are recognised worldwide, and are highly valued in the yoga industry.

To retain any of these credentials, you need to join Yoga Alliance and maintain your membership. Doing so gains you access to a wide range of member benefits, as well as an abundance of tools, resources, events, and professional support to help foster and protect your livelihood. You will also be listed in our yoga professional directory, helping to build your network and allow those who are seeking your service to easily find you. Costs to be a RYT start from $50 a year, and schools at $400 a year.

5. Online teaching with Yoga Alliance insurance

Online teaching is covered by the Alliant Insurance, which offers a range of insurance plans. If you have a home studio, insurance starts at $357 and supports the needs of your yoga business, giving you the ability to teach online and be protected.

If you don’t have your own yoga studio but teach online, their teacher policies include all types of online yoga, from yoga therapy to kids’ yoga, and start from $110 a year if you work part-time, or $125 a year if you teach full time (8 hours or less p/w) or are an independent contractor.

6. Accredited schools for teacher training

Yoga Alliance offers accreditation to yoga teacher training organisations all over the world, through a rigorous process. There are currently 140 Yoga Alliance registered yoga schools in the UK, and you can filter your preferences to choose 200hr, 300hr, 500hr or longer, your preferred yoga style, and whether you would like to train part-time or full time.

Are you a certified Yoga Alliance teacher? Come and join our platform!