As a yoga practitioner, the words “Yoga Alliance” might not mean a lot to you. In fact, you might wonder if it’s a yoga studio when you first hear it. However, say Yoga Alliance to a yoga teacher, and they will tell you all about them. They play an essential role in the certification processes of yoga teachers.
Do I need to get a Yoga Alliance certification? While it is not necessary to have a Yoga Alliance approved certification to teach yoga, it is highly recommended. As the Yoga Alliance approved certifications are a newer institution, many pre-established yogis do not have one. However, most modern studios may take preference to an individual who is certified with Yoga Alliance.
Consider any other job application. Many of them will have preferential requirements of the applicant, including certifications and degrees. The Yoga Alliance approved certification works in the same way for yoga teachers! Read on to find out more about a Yoga Alliance certification.
Certification with Yoga Alliance: What You Need to Know
It’s widely agreed that yoga exploded in the US in the 1970s. Anyone looking for a yoga practice could find one easily. However, around 1997, with its rise in popularity, many found disparities between teachings from studio to studio. A debate began as to whether or not there should be a standard that teachers should be taught and held to.
Thus, officially in 1999, the Yoga Alliance was born! This non-profit had the goal of promoting yoga and, during their start-up, had a great idea: to create a registry that compiled studios, schools, and teachers who met training standards set down by the group. In 2010, this registry officially went online.
This registry classifies individuals and schools as Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT) and Registered Yoga Schools (RYS), with variations depending on specialty. In 2018, they reviewed past standards with input from thousands of people and launched new standards in 2020 focused on the RYS 200 standards.
Basically, these guys wrote and laid down the law for yoga teacher training in a time where yoga was being taught all over the US! They are a well-respected source within the yoga community for standards, updates, and unity among teaching practices and yogis.
Do You Register or Get Certified from the Yoga Alliance?
A common misconception is that when you finish a yoga certification course, that means you are certified by the Yoga Alliance themselves. What it actually means when you complete the course and get your certification is that you have completed and received certification from a registered yoga school that has a Yoga Alliance approved certification program.
It’s essential to be clear: Yoga Alliance is not a certification or accredited program. It is a governing, non-profit body brought together to create a registry for yoga teachers and schools. The Yoga Alliance was designed to keep yoga schools to a standard and be sure the best training was available to aspiring yoga teachers.
The Yoga Alliance actually allows for registration upon completion of certification. Once you receive your document, you can load up the Yoga Alliance website and become a member of their registry. It’s a simple process, but you will be required to input your school and the level course you completed.
What Do You Get from Registering with the Yoga Alliance?
With a better understanding of the Yoga Alliance, it can be offputting to hear you would register with them after certification. However, the organization is here to support registered yoga teachers that maintain their membership. What does that mean? What can registering with the Yoga Alliance get you?
- Listing in the Registry Directory
- Access to the Video Resource Library
- Online Workshop access for Free
- Standards and Credentials Recognition
- Community Membership with other Yoga Teachers
Not sounding like your cup of tea? These are just some of the simpler benefits registry can provide you with. Here are other benefits that joining the Yoga Alliance can give you!
What people don’t talk about with aspiring yoga teachers is the financial aspect of being a yoga teacher. We aren’t just talking about the cost of a new yoga mat (have you seen how much a Manduka mat goes for?), but all of the business aspects as well, from liability insurance to business guidance.
Yoga Alliance members get access to discounts and perks that help them as they start their yoga teaching career. Think of the relief when you find you have access to cheaper services to get your business started. Of course, there are also discounts for yoga gear and equipment! Remember: your equipment and yoga clothes are technically a business expense.
The little guy rarely gets someone in their corner to work for their best interests. However, Yoga Alliance does this on behalf of its members and yoga teachers everywhere. You are updated on potential legislation that could affect your business, and they go to work for the group to try and make sure your voice is heard!
Attending events, festivals and retreats is a big part of being a yoga teacher. Not only is it a good way to cement your brand and make it memorable, but it’s a great opportunity to network with other like-minded yogis! With Yoga Alliance, you can attend digitally and make those connections while staying up to date on new yoga news.
Yoga Alliance Foundation Access
Many yoga teachers find themselves in the situation where they are self-employed or a contractor. When first starting out, it can make it difficult to get the ball rolling on your yoga plans. On top of that, unprecedented circumstances can put dreams on hold as teachers scramble to bolster their finances.
That’s where the Yoga Alliance Foundation comes in. The foundation was started with the goal to “leverage yoga for social impact and provide members with a grant, scholarship, funding, and donation opportunities,” per the Yoga Alliance. Whether it is for help during unprecedented times or to do your own part to spread the healing power of yoga, this foundation is a boon to members.
What’s the One Big Drawback of Yoga Alliance?
As with any membership, there is a membership fee. This can be a huge con to joining up, especially if you are just starting on your yoga teaching journey. There is a larger initial fee and then an annual renewal fee. On top of that, if you continue your education, there is a fee for adjusting your membership to a new RYT level.
|Yoga Alliance||Application Fee||Annual/Renewal Dues||TOTAL Initial Registration Cost|
|RYT 200; E-RYT 200; RYT 500; E-RYT 200, RYT 500; E-RYT 500||$50||$65||$115|
|Upgrade Fees||$50||Not Applicable||Not Applicable|
How Important Is Yoga Alliance for Yoga Instructors?
While the steps toward advocacy, standards, and unity are nothing to scoff at, when it comes down to it, the importance of the Yoga Alliance in a yoga teacher’s life is to their discretion. If making your own decision on joining, don’t hesitate to bring it up with your Yoga Certification Instructor and favorite teachers to get their own take on its importance to them.
Really weigh options and if it would be feasible for you on your yoga journey. Remember, the Yoga Alliance will be there later if you want to join but just can’t at this time. It’s also not a necessity to your teaching career to do so!
Our Teacher Training Certification Recommendation
If you’re looking for a certification of any kind, we recommend My Vinyasa Practice. They have options such as: 200-hour, 300-hour, and 500-hour certifications; as well as specialization certifications such as: Meditation, Mindfulness, and Yoga Nidra. It is a registered yoga school with Yoga Alliance. Michelle Young is E-RYT 500 registered with Yoga Alliance, and provides a real passion for teaching her students. The certifications are completely online and self-paced so you can take as much or as little time completing it as you’d like. The training is laid out in weekly formats that guide students through the readings, videos, and other course content. The 200-hour certification program can be completed in as little as 8 weeks, but students are encouraged to take the time they need to connect with the curriculum, heighten their understanding, and deepen their practice. They also provide 50% off tuition when paid in full!