What does it mean if Jeannine Frest of Yoga Alliance has resigned?

Yoga Alliance’s “CEO R. Mark Davis” has instigated the issues of “vocational Regulations” to our local city governments.

Read the quote and addmission:

http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=139374655483&topic=10965

Yoga Alliance President & CEO R. Mark Davis has had conversations with regulating bodies around the country, including Virginia, regarding the laws that apply to yoga teacher training. In these conversations he has:

1. Explored every possible exemption for YTT’s based on state laws.

2. Educated regulators that YTT does not represent a postsecondary vocational school career path.

3. Educated the state about how enforcement of a law with very high application fees (such as VA) causes undue financial burden on small schools.

4. Successfully persuaded states to adopt Yoga Alliance’s 200 hour standard as the benchmark for the curriculum requirement of the licensing process. The self-regulatory role the standards play is crucial because if a state chose to develop their own requirements without fully understanding yoga the impact could be detrimental to the yoga community as a whole. A number of states simply require proof of registration with Yoga Alliance, thereby reducing the application paperwork.

5. Worked with the media to educate them about the issue and providing historical and factual statements for accurate reporting.

Possible reasons they suggested for every state to adopt the “Yoga Alliance” standards?

To insure there survival.  That’s it.   Yoga Alliance has attempted to see to it that they remain the “governing” body of yoga.

The Fallacy of Yoga Alliance:

  1. Yoga Alliance is a 501c3 public charity, and cannot fundraise, or lobby for yoga teachers, or yoga studio rights, and therefor can only be a registry of yoga teachers, teacher trainings, and studios… Yoga Alliance is a registry that doesn’t have any governing force, and only governs through suggestion.
  2. The pre-emptive, pre-meditated “suggestion” that the local city governments to adopt Yoga Alliance standards has been done on purpose.
  3. The initial NY yoga Teacher Trainings came under scrutiny,  the Yoga Alliance response was “we saw regulation coming…”  (because they suggested it).

Both people and companies communicate through their inherent behavior.  When people act with bad behavior they are punished.  When corporations act with bad behavior, the public may chastise the company but on a base level people accept that corporations naturally “do bad things.”

Contrary to their actions, their Mission Statement says differently:

“Our mission is to lead the yoga community, set standards, foster integrity, provide resources, and uphold the teachings of yoga.

We do not claim to “represent yoga” in the United States, but do represent our registrants and support all yoga teachers, whether or not registered with our organization.”

YogaAlliance.org

Does Yoga Alliance regulate yoga for America?  If so, what does it mean when the longest employed Yoga Alliance worker resigns?

People have commented  on my blog and on my groups in Facebook, that their questions go unanswered, and they have not received a calls back from their initial inquiry. Before the resignation of the longest standing employee, Yoga Alliance fired three other employees.

Clearly they’re understaffed.  So why would Yoga Alliance fire three employees, and then out of sheer frustration, the longest employed worker resigns?

I did not want this outcome for Yoga Alliance, my feeling on this matter is that there the board are dictators.  I wanted something different.

If American yoga is to survive, we need to take stock of the exact events that have occurred and clean up our own backyard.  American yoga is in the middle of a few choices.  Would Yoga Alliance have us choose to support an organization that openly disregards the requests of the people they claim to serve?

Decide for yourself, the entire Facebook quote is below:

#1 Post

From a Yoga Alliance Group Forum:

In these three posts about the Virginia State Yoga Regulation Yoga Alliance explains that they have had “conversations” with regulating around the country. So when Yoga Alliance says that legislation is coming, they are absolutely right, because they preemptively opened Pandora’s box. If I am to understand correctly, what looked as though would guarantee them more RYT’s sign-ups has actually backlashed… and their silence surrounding the issue has publicly exposed their part in the debacle of State Regulation. What probably seemed like a smart decision, will most likely be their demise..

Yoga Alliance response to Pat Pao and Jennifer O’Sullivan

Yoga Alliance Dear Pat and Jennifer:

Thank you for your comments. The intention behind our responses was to educate about the nature of the regulation. One of the big rumors about this topic is that the state is trying to regulate yoga. In fact the enforcement of the law is directed at operators of teacher training businesses, not yoga teachers or yoga specifically as could be perceived based on that post.

Laws regarding the regulation of teacher trainer programs exist in all 50 states. Due to the increased popularity and visibility of YTT programs some states are just now becoming aware of YTT programs and are beginning to enforce these laws. Other states, such as Wisconsin, have been doing so since 2004.

Designed for consumer protection the laws focus on the business aspect of running a teacher training program, ensuring that basic business practices are being followed and that these businesses are operating ethically. While the states decision to enforce their laws is solely their own, the issues they are attempting to address are very real. We receive numerous complaints a week regarding the very issues these regulations are seeking to address.

As a public charity, Yoga Alliance is not a membership organization and therefore we focus our resources in two program areas: education and standards. We educate regulators about how current or new laws will affect yoga. Our promotion of the standards have protected yoga from outside interference for the last decade ensuring your adherence to the voluntary standards means something in society. Across the country we educate the public about yoga and its health and life changing benefits. We also educate employers of yoga teachers about the importance of the RYT designation and the larger role the standards play in protecting the health and welfare of society.

Yoga Alliance President & CEO R. Mark Davis has had conversations with regulating bodies around the country, including Virginia, regarding the laws that apply to yoga teacher training. In these conversations he has:

1. Explored every possible exemption for YTT’s based on state laws.

2. Educated regulators that YTT does not represent a postsecondary vocational school career path.

3. Educated the state about how enforcement of a law with very high application fees (such as VA) causes undue financial burden on small schools.

4. Successfully persuaded states to adopt Yoga Alliance’s 200 hour standard as the benchmark for the curriculum requirement of the licensing process. The self-regulatory role the standards play is crucial because if a state chose to develop their own requirements without fully understanding yoga the impact could be detrimental to the yoga community as a whole. A number of states simply require proof of registration with Yoga Alliance, thereby reducing the application paperwork.

5. Worked with the media to educate them about the issue and providing historical and factual statements for accurate reporting.

6. Identified potential new sources of revenue for YTT programs that become vocational school licensed. Licensed schools may be eligible for workforce development and veterans affairs funds.

Thus far regulators in VA have considered these messages resulting in:

1. Removal of the $1,000 per infraction compliance penalty. SCHEV is currently revising the compliance law in order to reflect this change.

2. Allowing YTT’s to pay the application fee over time, as opposed to all at once. This $2,500 application fee is written into the statue and cannot be amended by SCHEV into a sliding scale.

3. Allowing YTT programs currently in progress with a finish date after 12/31/09 to be completed so the students and school would not suffer any compliance action.

4. Clarification that the annual renewal fee is calculated only on YTT income, not the total income of the business. SCHEV is also rewriting this renewal fee to reflect a sliding scale based on revenue with a minimum $250 payment.

September 3, 2009 at 1:53pm
http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=139374655483&topic=10965

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2 thoughts on “What does it mean if Jeannine Frest of Yoga Alliance has resigned?

  1. Namaskar,

    Reading your inside view is quite interesting and eye opening. I am not nearly as involved in the behind the scenes talks of the American Yoga movement as you are. Mostly my background is in India, though I am becoming increasingly more active here in the states.

    You raise many interesting points. Thanks for the article.

    Satyam

    p.s. Jeannine lives near me and has come to my classes on more than a few occasions. She is a wonderful person and an advanced practitioner.

    Like

    • That’s great. Pleas tell her I said hello. Thank you for your kind words too.

      I need to be better, do more, there is always something.

      I would love to know more about your experience with India.

      Brian

      Like

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