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The latest hot topic in the yoga world is about how much Yoga Alliance sucks.

This is mostly done by teachers that conduct teacher trainings. While they were content to send their checks to Yoga Alliance (YA) in the past, they now have a problem with the organization. The list of complaints begins with YA’s lack of services, focuses on YA not checking training programs for compliance, and some even mention YA not having consequences for programs that do not comply with standards or have multiple complaints against them.

But Yoga Alliance recently began having the students of teacher training programs review those programs, basically checking on the programs to make sure the Registered Yoga Schools are delivering the product they promised through YA.

Does anyone else think it’s strange that so many teachers are speaking out about YA now that they have actually implemented checks into the compliance of teacher trainings?

Clearly, if you’re complaining about a problem after it’s been solved, that problem wasn’t really the issue.

But what is the issue? Why do so many teachers and yoga teacher trainers have a problem with Yoga Alliance? Does Yoga Alliance really suck?

Yes. Yes, it does.

The sheer volume of spam emails from them alone is infuriating, and while they do not sell their members email addresses and info, they share that info with their “partners.” (I’m not sure how someone becomes a partner, but I imagine it involves some form of payment.)

The Yoga Alliance survey (conducted with Yoga Journal – one of their “partners”) is nothing more than a marketing survey to promote specific brands. It has no relevant information for yoga teachers that would help them increase their income, better market to students in their area, or even get a better understanding of the average income of most teachers.

Yoga Alliance does have scholarships for teacher training programs, but the money for those scholarships actually come from the donations of Registered Yoga Schools and Teachers. And it only benefits new members.

The only benefit they give to their long-time members are their  free online workshops, but those teaching these courses are not getting paid. Yoga Alliance is perpetuating the worst aspect of being a yoga teacher: working for free.

Yes, YA might suck, but it’s the only thing we have setting standards, and if you think the standards are already too low, imagine a world without any standards at all.

The standards are actually created by a board of yoga teachers, as are compliance requirements. Unfortunately, some of the teachers on those boards are idiots (if you hijack a meeting of the Compliance Board with your opinions on Standards, you clearly don’t know what compliance means.)

Another exercise in futility is to consider what a room full of yoga teachers actually looks like. Iyengar, Ashtanga, Hatha, Kundalini, Sivananda, all representing their dogma and all experts in their field – experts that will refute any other opinion, view point, lineage, or fact. Do you think any kind of consensus could be reached?

Trying to get yoga teachers to agree to anything is like herding cats in the rain.

Let’s face it, the problem with YA isn’t YA – it’s the members. We sit around and complain instead of getting involved and changing it for the better.

So stop bitching about the problems and do something about it. Get involved, join a board, and be willing to listen to opposing viewpoints and compromise to find a solution. Then we can get a professional organization that we all can stand behind.

Don’t waste your time. Yoga Alliance isn’t interested in changing and you don’t need to be a member to teach. Save your money. Don’t join.