We do NOT support
Yoga Alliance and here's why...
|| A letter from AOTS founder Aaron Patrick ||
I am certain that one of the most common questions asked to most yoga training providers is if it they are Yoga Alliance certified. Less common, in my experience, is to have questions asked of the content of the program or the teachers who are teaching it. Yoga Alliance has done a fantastic job at creating the idea that they are an organization of some importance and value to Yoga Land. They're not. If they were, we wouldn't be having this conversation, as I can certainly get behind a collective that works to ensure the vast science of Yoga is being preserved, represented completely and is being taught responsibly.
Let me explain to you how it works. What Yoga Alliance does is sell you a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) title that you can place after your handle on your Instagram profile. First you must complete a course from a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School. Keep in mind, Yoga Alliance has no way of knowing anything about the quality of training you received. They allow anyone with a basic membership, a credit card and the ability to fill out an online form to register a yoga school. With your certificate of completion scanned in and your form filled out, you enter your credit card information and Voila! You are a registered yoga teacher. You might have only had 2 weeks of training by some fitness studio in the burbs, but it doesn't matter. YOU are a registered yoga teacher. Now, if you immediately start teaching yoga and continue to take more Yoga Alliance trainings, you can easily be running your own Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School in no more than 2-3 years.
Yoga Alliance has contributed a massive disservice to Yoga and humanity. The yoga industry has become saturated with yoga training programs and teachers who severely lack adequate understanding of this vast science. This is dangerous on many levels. Yoga Alliance has succeeded at taking money from people, but has failed at ensuring a high standard of safe and therapeutically effective yoga is being taught to the people.
In my years as an E-RYT500 (experienced registered yoga teacher) and running programs that were RYS (registered yoga school), I was never once contacted by Yoga Alliance, other than to remind me that it's time to renew. I was never contacted by phone or email to check on anything. Not one single time.
I have never once been asked by a yoga studio or employer for proof of my Yoga Alliance membership. Nobody seems to care about it. It is of no importance. Very few of my yoga teacher friends and colleagues are registered with Yoga Alliance. I believe most yoga training programs only register with Yoga Alliance because they are afraid that if they aren't, they will lose potential students who are seeking a program with this certification.
It is for these reasons that I, as many others before me, have chosen not to support Yoga Alliance. I am NOT part of some #boycottyogaalliance movement. I am not calling for others to do the same. It's a non issue. I will actively continue to seek out and establish membership with another governing body for yoga teachers and schools to offer my students the best I possibly can to support them on their path.
Much Love, Joy and Pleasure to all of you.