There has been a lot of chatter and misinformation floating around about the new Yoga Alliance standards and how they will affect students and teachers alike. If you’re a member of the Yoga Alliance, then you have been receiving a lot of emails telling you about deadlines and information on the new standards, but might still feel a bit confused about what is actually changing. Before you panic and run to your yoga mat for a long savasana and deep breathing, it’s important to know what is changing and how it will affect you.
There are a lot of changes happening in the new standards that range from big shifts to slight adjustments. Although some of the changes are really just a change in name, there are a few things that are major changes and need to be addressed.
Let’s explore each one individually.
Perhaps one of the biggest changes, and albeit one of the most labor intensive, will be a more rigorous and selective application process, and the need for all existing programs to resubmit their courses for evaluation. Until now schools were able to apply for a RYS status before they even created training, but under the new standards you must have all elements of your training completed before you can apply. Here’s what you will be expected to share when you apply
To apply, you will submit:
Even if you have already been approved by the old standards you will still be required to resubmit your application and show all of these materials
Virtual teachers rejoice! You can now include up to 40 hours of online learning in your curriculum, when before online learning was not accepted. You can now practice up to 20 hours in anatomy/physiology and yoga humanities which can streamline the learning process, and also create some flexibility in the training schedule, but you can’t just have online hours for these two categories- you will still need to do a minimum 10 in person classroom hours for each topic if you choose to do online learning. Online learning seems to be the new substitute for the old standard’s non-contact hours.
This may be the biggest change with the new standards, and will cause a lot of old programs to become noncompliant unless they find a new lead trainer. Under the new standards a lead trainer must be at least an E-RYT 500, meaning they have completed a 500 hours of training and have taught at least 2,000 hours after the completion of their course and has been teaching for at least 4 years. Sound impressive? That’s because it is- and becoming an E-RYT 500 is no joke, and is currently the highest designation that the YA offers for a teacher and is the minimum requirements for a lead trainer. Other designations can still help teach YTTs, but they will not be allowed to be lead.
While the old standards had 5 educational categories, the new standards are now moving to a core curriculum with 4 categories and 12 competencies. Overall, there aren’t a lot of changes here except some reshuffling of what topics fall under what categories and you are now alloted those 40 online learning hours. All of these items should have been in your training already, but this is how it is to be broken up under the new standards
The 4 categories of the core curriculum include
The 12 competencies
According to Yoga Alliance- all members of the YA community will “abide by an Ethical Commitment, designed to unify members around shared principles and to foster safe and respectful guidelines for the profession of yoga teaching. This will assure the practicing public that Yoga Alliance members maintain a high level of teaching ability and accountability. The Ethical Commitment will not be just words on paper but rather married with thoughtful action over time.” So basically, you will be required to uphold this ethical commitment, and foster a safe space that cultivates things like respect, consent, and accountability for ethical standards. I think we can probably all get on board with that.
Now, before you start to panic, know that there is still time to submit your curriculum, and meet the new standards. Yoga Alliance has given you nearly two years to make any changes and resubmit your course. The timeline for meeting the new standards is as follows
Feb 2020-New YTT applicants can begin applying under the new standards
Feb 2020-All Yoga Alliance members will be asked to sign and adhere to the new ethical commitment. Click here to learn more about this agreement
Feb 2021-New 300/500 hour applicants must apply under the new standards
Feb 2022- Everyone must be upgraded to the new standards by this time
For more information about the new Yoga Alliance standards click here.