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Within the UK, the BWY is the most commonly recognised Yoga teacher registration.
There is a rival UK Yoga teacher's group called the Yoga Register, but they are not as well known.
Yoga Alliance and the International Yoga Federation are the two largest Yoga teacher registration associations. Hence, if you are within the UK, it would be best to Network with a UK based registry at this time and right now BWY is the top UK Yoga teacher association.
One point to make. If your classes are very large, and you are very popular, you might consider joining one of these registries. But if you are teaching a few friends in your loft, why bother? These organizations are all about the money and they don't even know the people they register. Often the magazines play it up to make the public think registered is better, but is it really? I know many teachers who do not bother to be registered, but they are very good. So, where is the logic in it?
You raise many sensible questions. It is true there are many skilled gurus who refuse to join the Yoga Alliance or any other registry. The reason is simple - Controlling Yoga is about ego. Soon they will be selling other yoga products, making mats, and competing with Giam and Hugger Mugger. Watch them expand into other areas of Yoga. It will happen.
In answer to Samira: No you don't have to join BWY. But just like YA they claim to hold all the cards. The Yoga Register is a nice group to consider. Realizing that YA has expanded to your side of the Atlantic makes me realize they are on a global quest of imperialism. Stark contrast from the BWY policy of excluding anything that is non-UK. Not even former colonies are welcome to join BWY. Hard to say what to choose between snobbery and an aspiring yoga business monopoly. BWY and YA are kindred organizations with hidden purposes.
Pranam Gator and friends,
Many yoga instructors are not correctly informed. There is no government which requires registration or certification at this time. This is a complete myth. But if your practice expands you should become certified. This makes sense for professionalism and in case of liability. I like the approach of Aura and Paulji that basically certification is a starting point. What if someone becomes a yoga instructor today and later decides to become a doctor tomorrow? The point being, why spend $15,000.00 on certification for teaching yoga? How often have you met someone who spent over ten thousand dollars on yoga education and then only ds it part-time once a week? Too often!!! Many spend small fortunes and learn nothing about how to find a job. For a little less than $500 someone can learn from Aura about teaching and about marketing. Some teachers think business of yoga is bad. I think: Losing your life savings is bad. Borrowing from your family and never paying back the thousands of dollars you borrowed is bad. Spending so much tens of thousands to become a yoga teacher and then giving up is bad. Why become registered? This is for someone who has decided to teach 100% of the time and who dsn't own their own studio. It makes sense, but getting registered right away is buying a cart without an ox. There is always time to attend a full time training for the contact hours with Paulji or another ERYT. This for future thinking. But to spend so much without students is completely ridiculous and a waste of money.
Peace be to You.
About Samira's question - A UK based yoga organization seems to be a logical choice, but there are many yoga teachers in the UK who join Yoga Alliance. It is a matter of choice. Many teachers do not join registries at all.
About the politics - There is much poor information that is circulated by the authors who mimick poorly informed web sites. Check with local authorities and you will be better informed. Government regulation of yoga is a myth. The motive of any registry should be considered. Grabbing power is an obvious motivation. The desire to be a policeman can be over powering. Yoga instructors need organizations that help. But we are seeing groups that function to discredit anyone who dsn't belong to their club. Disunity seems like the opposite of yoga.
This concept of yoga teacher registration tends to be a volatile idea. Some yoga teachers apparently feel slighted by more than one registry. For this reason, it is a good thing that the teachers in the Aura forums have an open dialogue with each other, even if we don't agree. There is a need for an interactive yoga teacher community and it appears that Aura has given us a solution.
This model is informative and costs you nothing to join. There are many teachers on this forum who don't share the same beliefs but we can peacefully resolve any sticking points. I don't feel like we need another registry model in the US. But we need a place to go to get reliable answers from other yoga teachers.
The fact that we can get all of this free and the Yoga Alliance will honor CEUs for non-contact hours toward your next RYT is a plus. In short this site is one of the most useful archives for yoga teachers on the internet. I know of only a few sites with this much depth. IAYT has a huge archive too, but the Aura model has so many articles and the access to free or paid yoga videos. So maybe this is the top interactive yoga site for teachers and students.
You have shed light on an obvious but overlooked benefit as a member of Aura's yoga teacher community. There is no dogma. You aren't obligated to take any Aura courses - although you can get non-contact CEU's for the Alliance if you are an RYT. You aren't required to be an Aura graduate to be a member. Right now the counter clicked to 11,000 members! Honesty is welcome even if you don't agree with Paul. It seems like everything any of us could ask for. But some of the best things in life are taken for granted simply because they're free.
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