Why Yoga Alliance USA is not essential

If you believe Yoga Alliance “CERTIFIES” you as a Teacher, you are Wrong!!!

One admires teachers for teaching style not because they’re an “RYT”. You look up to them because of their skill, character, professionalism and capacity to nurture and inspire. Why you don’t need a certificate from Yoga Alliance??? Paramahansa Yogananda and Swami Sivananda Saraswati certainly were not Yoga Alliance approved!!! Yoga Alliance in simple terms is a money minting scheme. It is preposterous for anyone to attempt to "certify" a 7,000 year old science. The days are gone wherein a guru hands down knowledge to students. Yoga Alliance don't teach, test or check qualifications. They just sell paper. It's time for a revolution!!! Let’s all make a decision not to affiliate with Yoga Alliance. Maybe some people will be sceptical of Yoga schools and Instructors that are not Yoga Alliance registered, but in my experience many of those schools are beyond excellence. I am infinitely baffled by the value many people place on Yoga Alliance designations. Let me be clear here. YOGA ALLIANCE NEVER “CERTIFIES” TEACHERS, SIMPLY “REGISTERS” THEM.

Being a Yoga Instructor myself, I take it as a mission to shed light on misconceptions that have for too long shaped the yoga community. Yoga Alliance completely relies on people believing that being registered with them is like a "certification" and gives credibility and market value. I talked with several students registered with Yoga Alliance and not one student, teacher or studio owner had anything positive to say. It’s expensive to register with them. A shiny new yoga teacher can spend up to $105 to get on the registry, $55 annual fee thereafter.

Yoga Alliance is actually feeding the commoditization of yoga by charging those who wish to be recognized as Registered Yoga Schools hundreds of USD a year, and those who wish to be granted RYT status a yearly fee as well. These fees go toward building their business, which while they claim is a non-profit, brings in MILLIONS of dollars. Yoga Alliance is also aware that their logo gives schools more business, by attracting students who have been led to believe that the RYT emblem will get them more work. It's become a cycle of profit. A Yoga Alliance certificate does not denote the credibility it claims. Yoga Alliance has not grown their organization to grow yoga. They've grown their organization to get money and in my opinion, are pretty useless and charlatans.
Let’s all boycott this money sucking business and begin to value this ancient science in a manner that honours its integrity and spread it with compassion and growth.

1 Like

Thank you for taking the time to voice this with such clarity. THIS is Yoga. Yoga Alliance is a money-sucking black hole. I am glad to read your excellent article, and hope it is part of a grass-roots movement of yoga teachers who turn their backs on this so-called "Alliance". When I completed my 500-hour training, I joined Yoga Alliance because my mentor told me to. I've given the organization the benefit of the doubt for a while, especially when it seemed they were trying hard to improve and add benefits for their members. However, I am tired of throwing good money after bad, and will let my membership lapse when renewal time arrives. If there is any alliance involved with this organization, it is their unholy alliance with yoga studios and their teacher training programs that grind out "teachers" like so much hamburger. There is no standard of quality for training, no true evaluation of the fitness of graduates for teaching. Trainings are cash cows for yoga studios; as long as you can fill out a form, hand over your money, and complete the program, they'll give you a piece of paper, and you can call yourself a “Teacher”. Yoga Alliance gets their bite by selling the RYS designation. But honestly, no training program, no matter how good, can make you a teacher. Only the trial by fire of actual teaching can do that. I'm a far better teacher now than I was when I got my certificate.

Hoot!! Hoot! I hear this and I support you fully. I could not have said it better myself! All this and more, Yoga Alliance has become a joke in the yoga community and with my RYS 'requiring' renewal at $200 (why and for what exactly? - a piece of paper that says RYS and a listing on their website). I think it's long overdue to take a stand and say 'NO!'. Enough already! Thank you for this thoughtful and well-spoken stance. My experience in teaching, my style of teaching, my love of teaching is not reflected in my Yoga Alliance membership or my annual dues! May this be a beginning of a movement! They are vampires upon the yoga world. I have been teaching way longer than they ever came around. I agree with you whole-heartedly and offer to share my support for your message, and a movement.