Chronicles of being ::castellani:: Chapter 2 – imposed state regulation of yoga schools

Yoganomics @castellani and Yoga Therapy President John Kepner

Yoganomics @castellani and International Association of Yoga Therapists President, John Kepner

At best right now, the state regulation issue being discussed is too theoretical, and I feel compelled to encourage action, not discussion.

I welcome your participation and your constructive input, but we don’t need theory, we already have principals to guide us.

What people are not acknowledging is that 22 states have Yoga Teacher Training regulations in the local government workforce commissions. They are enforcing new state laws that are making yoga studios pay back taxes on students and employees that have not previously existed.

The sheer dollar range is absolutely absurd… costs are between $2,000 – $50,000.

The people who are writing in this forum need to see the Regulation reality exactly for what it is: A Yoga Alliance induced suggestion for a tariff on the industry they claim to serve and protect.

ALL CAPS are not going to change the fact that there are 35,000 YA members that are being taken complete advantage of by a corporate influenced and manipulative Yoga Alliance.

If anyone wants to talk about the VIOLENCE or more specifically the corporate tyranny, then start by understanding what the real problem is.

Think about the statement: ” I am prepared to adjust to state regulations, but I also think that yoga is not about regulation, it’s about letting go and feel how your body responds to the action.” – taken from an actual discussion.

Why are we prepared to allow Government regulation? That means that unqualified State officials will determine “qualified state approved” yoga teachers and teacher trainings. The State will be setting the standards… Does that make sense? No, they are absolutely unqualified.

To clarify again, Yoga Alliance is a 501c3 Non-profit corporation that has been setting the standards for yoga since 1999. As a 501c3 NP they are extremely limited to what functions they can provide and what functions they can’t.

Yoga Alliance’s ex-President/CEO Mark Davis spoke with local city governments in individual states, and preemptively suggested to them to adopt Yoga Alliance Standards when they decide to tax Teacher Trainings. This fact was admitted to and posted on a Facebook discussion for the Virginia Teachers against Regulation. Yoga Alliance has manipulated their own paying registrants, and has not responded to the majority of questions they received, or any phone calls or emails.  The only politically motivated answer they have given is “Comply with your State Laws.”  The State Regulation issue is nothing but a ploy by Yoga Alliance to insure their own survival.

The Bhagavad Gita was not written to make people flaccid and docile…  the Bhagavad Gita is about a split in human consciousness before Arjuna makes a decision to goto war.  He must choose to cast aside his fear and make a decision… or he can hesitate about whether it is the “right decision,” or not. This is similar to what American Yoga is being asked to do.  We must now make a decision about the future of yoga.

Are we to accept what the corporate giants of yoga hand down to us?

This is about our future, about the future of all of yoga really.  Yoga Alliance wants to be the key rule maker for yoga.  Yoga Alliance is corporately tied into US yoga… WHY?

The 35,000 – 40,000 Yoga Alliance subscribers do not even make up a twelfth of the practitioners in America, yet the control and dominate our industry as if they had more power than they actually do.  Yoga Alliance does not have enough subscribers to not call their customers back.  They do not have enough subscribers to remain silent for a year and a half while New York Yoga Teachers were fighting to remain autonomous.

Neither the Yoga Alliance Chair, Lynn Busnell or the new YA President John Matthews have returned my phone calls or my emails.  Make no mistake, the actions that Yoga Alliance has taken are deliberate, cognizant decisions and each member of the board is fully committed to.  Yoga Alliance’s agenda is about surviving the future as a “501c3 yoga registry” that amounts to an over glorified bean counter.

Think about why International Association of Yoga Therapy is so highly regarded.  IAYT is respected because because their standards are autonomous, decisive, and more intensive than most forms of yoga.  IAYT teachers are more qualified than most yoga teachers, and that cannot be contested. They are one of the few forward thinking lineages.

If yoga is going to survive this YA debacle, then every form of yoga: Hatha, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Yoga Therapy, Anusara, Jivamukti, Ananda, Anusara, Ashtanga, Baptiste, Bikram, Forrest Yoga, Hot, Integral, Integrative Yoga Therapy, Ishta, Kali Ray Tri Yoga, Kripalu, Kriya, Kundalini, Partner Yoga, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, Power, Prenatal/Postnatal, Purna Yoga, Restorative, Satyananda Yoga, Scaravelli, Shadow Yoga, Sivananda, Svaroopa, Synergy, Tantra, VariYoga, Viniyoga, Vinyasa Flow, Vinyasa Krama, White Lotus, Yin Yoga, Yoga For Children – – will need to accept that either we hang together or run the risk of fading away separately.

This is not about the spiritual aspects of yoga, but rather this Regulation Issue is mainly about applying the principals of yoga into your practice and into your daily business life.

If you want to find out what is happening, or what you can do to participate, my phone number is 415-513-2248.

Thank you and namaste,

Brian Castellani


3 thoughts on “Chronicles of being ::castellani:: Chapter 2 – imposed state regulation of yoga schools

  1. Brian,

    Why have so many yoga teachers given their power away to YA?

    What do they do for teachers? Give us credibility?

    What about attracting students based on our true skills and practice not some 200 or 500 hour decal that you pay for as a member of YA.

    Take your power back teachers – don’t give YA another dime.

    Richard Bird
    Aspen Colorado


  2. Brian you speak a mouthful. Thank you for spreading the word. In my indepth yoga study this month I am discussing YA and the other options and I will be sharing this post. is one option that I am working on to help promote unity amongst wellness professionals. The founder has created an amazing forum to unite Wellness professionals based upon intention and years of practice and continued study, not based upon some 200 hour or 500 hour curriculum. There will be a minimum of years of practice and study in an effort to legitimize not just yoga but all of the wellness modalities using peers. Check it out and I will continue to follow you and look forward to cheering co-creating with you.
    See you on the mat!


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