Chronicles of being ::castellani:: Chapter 1 – imposed state regulation of yoga schools

Yoga Yoga CEO and articulate Texas Yoga Teacher

Yoga Yoga CEO and articulate Texas Yoga Teacher


On April 1st I am headed down to New Orleans to organize and educate teachers and studios on why state regulation of yoga teacher training schools as Vocational programs is ludicrous, what is really occurring and why it will inevitably hurt their businesses.

I don’t know if you have been following my blog at all or if your familiar with the events that are happening, but Yoga Alliance has been asked by local state governments in NY, VA, MO, TX, WA, and LA (most likely other states as well) to give lists of TT’s schools so that they can serve the studios with “Hey you’re being regulated so pay up or close up shop” letters.

Yoga media giants are silent, and it makes them look like they’re in on the joke, seriously.   Thinking that the state and their imposed regulation of yoga teacher trainings is basically making studios adhere to state appointed criteria…  that is pretty straight foreword.  When they (the Government) really have zip to contribute, no clue what they are talking about, and absolutely no ground to stand on.  Compliance is for people and businesses who think that it is “too much trouble,” to stand up for your rights…. (?) ….  I am not wrong.  Please read on.

YOGA ALLIANCE PREAMBLE TO CODE OF CONDUCTThis Code of Conduct is a summation and declaration of acceptable, ethical, and professional behavior by which all Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT) and Registered Yoga Schools (RYS) agree to conduct the teaching and business of Yoga. The Code is not intended to supersede the Code of Conduct/Ethics of any school or tradition, but is intended to be a basis for yoga ethics.

Code of Conduct
As a Registrant of Yoga Alliance and as a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) or representative of a Registered Yoga School (RYS), I agree to uphold the ethical goals set forth in the following Code of Conduct:

1. Uphold the integrity of my vocation by conducting myself in a professional and conscientious manner.

2. Acknowledge the limitations of my skills and scope of practice and where appropriate, refer students to seek alternative instruction, advice, treatment, or direction.

3. Create and maintain a safe, clean, and comfortable environment for the practice of yoga.

4. Encourage diversity actively by respecting all students regardless of age, physical limitations, race, creed, gender, ethnicity, religion affiliation, or sexual orientation.

5. Respect the rights, dignity, and privacy of all students.

6. Avoid words and actions that constitute sexual harassment.

7. Adhere to the traditional yoga principles as written in the Yamas and Niyamas.

8. Follow all local government and national laws that pertain to my yoga teaching and business.

Yoga Alliance has been “regulating” yoga since 1999,when they formed, but what does that exactly mean?  …. Yoga Alliance hasn’t said much except that they saw the regulation coming.  That doesn’t cut the cake, sorry.  Not a good enough answer.  If Yoga Alliance is regulating yoga, their lack of foresight and leadership is inexcusable.  Quite frankly, we don’t know what Yoga Alliance or Yoga media giants are thinking or doing because they don’t return phone calls or respond to emails and don’t let the public know whats going on until it’s happened.

We do know for a fact that they rolled over on all the TT schools when NY, VA, MO, TX, WA, and LA asked for a list of schools.

This is not a time for silence or compliance, this is a time for action.

Yoga Alliance is not regulating yoga because they are 10 employees and and 10 trustees that are over worked and too burdened to provide a response.  That is why they provide zero guidance to Yoga Teachers, or studios.  As a matter a fact they have been telling schools to comply and become vocational schools, which is absolutely unacceptable.

If you want my honest thoughts on it… lets keep in touch, and lets see what happens.

I, for one, am excited to see whats around the corner, and I know that most yoga teachers aren’t actually are aware of whats happening.

Government regulation of Yoga Studios will mean either pay $5000.00 each year to license  your teacher training school, or shut your  doors and lose 35% of the studios over all income, thats all there is too it.   And if yoga teachers think they’re not next on the list, they’re wrong.  With regulated schools comes regulated teachers and then you have to get your yoga teaching certificate diploma at the accredited teacher training school, that pays $5000.00 a year to say you’re qualified.

And let me tell you, I haven’t run into a teacher yet, who hasn’t asked me tips on making more money.

That should tell you something.


12 thoughts on “Chronicles of being ::castellani:: Chapter 1 – imposed state regulation of yoga schools

  1. It would be interesting to know if gov’t is regulating martial arts schools, dance schools – and why not cycling studios, and all of their TT programs?


    • You know, thats the interesting thing. Martial arts schools have belts. Dance schools have levels or years of practice. Cycling studios (to my knowledge) don’t have training specific classes, Pilates has intensive training classes and yoga studios… have problems because they have specifically named courses called Teacher Training programs. That is, in essence, the issue which stems from calling teacher trainings the terms “Teacher Trainings.” Thanks for the comments, Jen and Andrea!

      – Brian


  2. I was just audited by EDD in Cali and they insisted that I have employees, rather than the Independent Contractor that we all agreed on. It’s crazy, now i have to pay worker comp, and 12% taxes. And some of our teachers only teach 1 or 2 classes per week. It’s a rip off, and has changed the model of my business to a degree that is no longer fun or financially stable, especially in this economy. (March is the new January for folks renewing or trying yoga for the first time.)
    It only took one teacher once employed at a corporate job to file for unemployment that threw me into this audit. The tax attorney didn’t get me the result i was looking for……
    peace and blessings to you Brian. Thanks for the reports


  3. The studio I was certified to teach yoga at in Louisiana just happened to go through all the licencing before the legislation went into effect. I wondered If I would then be considered a licenced yoga teacher? And am I grandfathered in if I was certified by that school before they became licenced… tricky tricky! And Yoga Alliance… I only hear from them when they want my renewal fees… and NO I didn’t renew! NO ONE outside of the yoga community knows who YA is. No student has ever asked me “are you RYT 200 or 500 or ERYT”?
    I feel like its time to change the name of my profession Brian!


    • It is a tricky solution.

      I just posted more food for thought over on, Thanks for hanging with me guys.

      I am on my way to New Orleans to help organize a few different options.



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