|[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 537 ]
To date there remains no licensing or official requirements to teach yoga in most countries. Though some efforts are now being made by certain self-proclaimed regulatory organizations to set standards for and to register yoga teachers, so far these standards are quite low and are primarily centred on the physical components of yoga -- including only basic academic understanding of some of its philosophies and concepts.
Even so, upon investigation, one can see that these so-called regulatory bodies do not really regulate anything. They have merely set such a low standard of training as to allow for potentially large membership in their organizations. They neither investigate nor set standards for educational institutions or teachers.
For instance, one can become an 'accredited educational institution' (or teacher) by merely filling in the appropriate forms confirming that the very minimum number of hours of training in certain asanas, along with very basic theory are covered, pay the accreditation fees, and then their students are now eligible to become registered yoga teachers!
Yoga does indeed face a great crisis today. Ironically, the originators of the science of yoga, the great Rishis and gurus of ancient India, would likely have not even considered the training and experience of the typical modern-day yoga teacher to even be an adequate qualification to become their student!
It's difficult to have high standards in life, especially when it appears to you that very few of those around you share these same ambitions. A great deal of pressure is being exerted upon yoga teachers today to follow the group, and indeed a lot of barriers are being erected for those who do not—for those who have standards that are not even being recognized as relevant by the status quo.
For instance, one finds it increasingly difficult to teach yoga in North America now without 'yoga liability insurance', which of course can only be gained through membership with the growingly popular, yet still unofficial regulatory bodies. What a marvellous piece of propaganda and slick marketing campaign crafted to increase their memberships and, as a result, their strength -- a strength which is based upon little more than a growing membership!
Ironically, the rare one with higher standards is now being forced to submit to the lower standards of the ignorant majority. Not exactly a reflection of the yogic approach to life! The time is not far off (if it is not already here now) where a great guru from India, an accomplished master who has practiced and 'lived yoga' for decades upon decade would not be allowed to teach yoga in America, as they would not have the proper licence and insurance. How absurd!
Nevertheless, the institutionalization of yoga has now begun. Therefore, the current, as well as the aspiring yoga teacher needs to be pro-active in helping to craft a yoga environment that reflects quality, experienced instruction in yoga, that which is based upon adequate training, proper understanding and appropriate experience...
NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.
"The Science of Yoga is a course worthy of
leather binding and an honored place in the
finest libraries in the world
... It is indeed a masterful work."
Dr. John Michael Christian
Learn More About
The Science of Yoga Course