$95 bought that logo.
I don’t consider my posts about the Yoga Alliance as rants, although I am sure some would consider them as such. I consider them a public yoga education. I am reporting my own experience in order to help any newbie teachers make their own informed decisions.
I gave my reasons in this post as to why I renewed my registration with Yoga Alliance. $150 later I am now officially an E-RYT 200 — “EXPERIENCED REGISTERED YOGA TEACHER.” I know, I was such a hack before YA’s official blessing. I can now conduct a 200 hour yoga teacher training after YA’s approval of my curriculum, of course. After paying the requisite fees. Of course.
I decided to upload more teaching and training hours to the YA site, so I pulled out my four inch thick folder with my teaching and training records. I was amazed to finally see it all laid out in black and white, all the time and effort I’ve put into my yoga teaching since 2004 when I first registered with YA — over 2000 hours of teaching and almost 900 hours of advanced training. I did not even count each and every three hour workshop.
I thought what the hell, I will try to upgrade to E RYT 500 – 500 because one day I might want to conduct a 500 hour training. The upgrade is another $95. Piece of cake with all my hours, right? Wrong, wrong, and WRONG. This is the email I received from YA:
“In order to upgrade to an ERYT 500, one must first meet the criteria for an RYT 500, having graduated either from a YA registered advanced 300 or complete 500 hour program (please see standards below).
A yoga teacher with a minimum of 500 hours of yoga teacher training, either:
o 500 hours from one school, or
o 200 hours plus 300 hours of advanced training from one school (training that requires participants to have a 200-Hour certification.
As you have not completed a YA registered training, but have spent many hours of in depth study with Sri Desikachar, I would recommend that you complete the “graduate of a non-registered school” application (attached) for your RYT 500 upgrade.”
Out of my 800+ hours of training, my three intensives at KYM plus private classes with Desikachar’s senior teachers total 300 hours of advanced training. Apparently the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram is NOT a registered school with YA. AS IF that would stop me from studying there.
I am sure Sri Desikachar stays up at night wondering whether the school he started to honor his father, the Source Scholar of Yoga, the Grandfather of Modern Yoga, should be registered with the Yoga Alliance. Please. Really? The YA can’t cut KYM any slack? Let them “grandfather” in as a registered school? Seriously? By the way, someone who certifies you in “Goddess Yoga” IS an approved school of the YA. Right.
Here’s the kicker: in order for me to upgrade to a 500 level teacher, the “graduate of a non-registered school” application costs $150 together with the $95 to upgrade to E RYT 500. So another $245 over and above the $150 I already paid to renew and upgrade to E RYT 200.
Oh my Goddess, I am in the wrong business. I need to be in the certification game. And can someone tell me why YA is officially a non-profit organization? I said “no thanks.” I don’t want to pay another dime to YA especially considering all that dough is a lot of rupees in India which I will need starting in January. But eventually I will have to pay it if I ever want to conduct a 500 hour level training in the future. AS IF I could not do that RIGHT NOW.
Of course I can conduct teacher trainings without being “Yoga Alliance approved” but how realistic is that? With the current mentality of yoga in OMerika, would anyone sign up for my trainings? I doubt it, because even the most staunchly anti-YA teachers (Ganga White - a must read; Lex Gillan; and my teacher in Chicago, to name a few), ALL ended up registering their schools with YA. Because that is what people look for.
So here is my question, good readers: the curriculum being equal, if you had a choice of a non-YA approved 200 hour teacher training with someone like me, with all my hours, 5 times at KYM OR with someone who is YA approved but does not have the hours of training and teaching experience that I have, which would you pick?
And I will say this before anyone else does: yes, I know hours of training does not automatically make one a “good” teacher, the same way inexperience does not automatically make one a “bad” teacher. There are always variables.
Yoga in OMerika. Travel at your own risk.