The state of Virginia is trying to regulate the schooling of yoga teachers by making the “schools” or training sites become vocational schools. Doesn’t Yoga Alliance already regulate this? Why regulate something that is already regulated by people that actually know about yoga? I think this is just a way for the state to make money on an art that doesn’t generate that much money to begin with.
In my opinion, a vocational school is one where when you graduate you can immediately go and make a living upon completion of that program. Can you do that with yoga? Not necessarily. Sure you can go teach, but most people do it on the side only because they have a love for the art. Sure, some of the people that are trained to teach these programs do it for a living, but they went through many certifications (with Yoga Alliance) to be able to train teachers, not just one training.
My favorite line from the article is, “It’s the students who determine whether you’re a competent teacher, not the state”. As yoga teachers, we know the dangers of certain poses (such as ones that require balance on the neck or head) and if we do not feel comfortable teaching these poses, then we will not. We have been trained to say, “I don’t feel comfortable teaching you this pose, but if you would like to learn I can refer you to my teacher”. We learn modifications for pregnancy, high/low blood pressure, bone issues (such as scoliosis), muscular problems and even depression… but if we do not feel comfortable we always have the right to say, “I do not feel competent to teach you with this problem, but let me refer you to someone who will know exactly what is good for your body”. And guess who teaches us to be so knowledgable? Our teachers who are certified trainers through Yoga Alliance!