Yoga Studios Defeat State Regulations

After vowing to fight attempts to regulate Yoga Teacher Training programs, Yoga teachers in Virginia have achieved their goal.  Virginia governer, Bob McDonnell has signed a bill into law that exempts yoga teacher-training programs from state regulation. In addition, other states seeking to regulate yoga teacher trainings like other vocational programs are considering exemption.

The exemption is expected in New York as well after a well-mounted opposition from yoga teachers and studio owners from all backgrounds and styles.  A non-profit group was even established to oppose the regulation effort called Yoga for New York.  It is expected that New York governer David Patterson will also sign a bill exempting teacher training programs from state regulation within days.  

Viewing ads supports YogaBasics. Remove ads with a membership. Thanks!

What does this mean for our local yoga communities, and especially for teacher training programs?  To begin on a very black and white level, it will keep yoga studios and teacher training programs from having to pay additional state mandated fees that run in the thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars, and it will keep the unrelated state regulations out of the yoga classroom.

One thing that state regulation would have provided is the ability to receive licensure in addition to certification, which is the current modus operandi is in the yoga profession.  Often licensure is seen on a more professional level, and often involves accreditation and other higher qualifications for practice.  The American Counseling Association defines licensure in this way:
Governmentally sanctioned credentialing is usually called licensure and is based on the legal concept of the regulatory power of the state.  This power holds that the state has the right and obligation to pass laws and take other such actions as it may deem necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens. Passage of a state licensure or credentialing law for a given profession restricts or prohibits the practice of that profession by individuals not meeting state-determined qualification standards, and violators may be subject to legal sanctions such as fines, loss of license to practice, or imprisonment.

Japa Mala Beads

Visit our friends at Japa Mala Beads ➞

For most yoga teachers and teacher training schools, this amount of regulation and oversight is not only unnecessary, but it is offensive to an ancient and vast practice.  So for months yoga teachers have fought to maintain their autonomy from this kind of regulatory body, and the resistance has paid off.  The exemptions in Virginia and New York will set a precedent for other states who seek this kind of measure, and thanks to the commitment of a few dedicated teachers who made the commitment to stand up against this move, even after being threatened with fines of up to $50, 000, the whole yoga community benefits.

  • Yoga Therapeutics

    Yoga Therapy is the use of yoga postures, meditation and pranayama to help the body naturally heal and balance itself. Check out our Yoga Therapy section to learn which yogic practices have been shown to have healing qualities for common complaints. Yoga Therapy Guides

    Each month YogaBasics’s readers can enter a new giveaway for a chance to win a great yoga prize. Previous prizes have included yoga books, clothes, and yoga festival tickets! Enter This Month's Giveaway!
  • Our Premium Membership

    Like what you see...and want more? Our premium members have access to deluxe features and premium content including: advanced asanas, yoga pose sequences, yoga therapy, and downloadable MP3s. Join Now!