Attempts To Regulate Yoga Get Yogis Steamed

09.03.09 | FL News Team

The state of New York's attempts to regulate yoga have turned its normally tranquil yogis into a firebreathing, political force. Officials in New York want to require certification of yoga teacher training programs. The instructors are responding with a mantra of "no way" and are looking at hiring a lobbyist for their cause. Practitioners of yoga say autonomy is fundamental to what they do.


The idea of regulating yoga instructors first came to the attention of New York officials last spring. That's when the state's education department announced training schools could face fines up to 50-thousand-dollars if they did not submit to state regulations governing vocational training. After a big fight from yoga proponents, those plans were dropped. The state legislature is giving consideration to a measure that would exempt yoga instructors from vocational school certification.


New York is not the only state where yoga is a target for potential oversight. In Virginia, yoga training programs are fighting a directive they submit to certification there. Every state requires vocational schools to meet certification standards. The Yoga Alliance reports just 13 states actively enforce the requirements for yoga teacher training programs.