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Is Yoga Alliance Closing?
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sandy

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December 2, 2010 - 8:41 pm
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The main issue of this thread is whether YA is on the verge of closing. The smoke signals, tea leaves, and crystal balls say this is uncertain at this time. Service is poor and the staff doesn't have answers for policies that were set in motion by the previous staffs. Constant relocation, training employees, and not being sure what their mission is has caused YA to lose credibility. They opened in 1999 and may have reached their height five years later but slowly they have slid into a tail spin weaving yarns about why you should be a member. Some misguided yoga teachers actually believe it is required by the government. No government anywhere states that you have to register. When or if the government is involved you will pay Uncle Sam - not YA? You spend alot of money to be registered for what? My money goes toward continuing education. If Uncle Sam wants to see my credentials, I'll be okay. I'm not going to present a card from a company that didn't test me and never saw me teach.

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perdy

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December 21, 2010 - 9:46 pm
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Thank you. How did YA dodge regulation in Virginia? Surely, they must have been warned by the Commonwealth of Virginia to cease and desist from producing their yoga credentials. Is it legal for YA to process yoga teacher registration?

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castellani

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December 22, 2010 - 4:43 am
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Even though my inside source says they never moved to Maryland, I "thought" they had moved to Maryland to avoid Virginia all together.

To my understanding this is what occurred.

Background:

Yoga Alliance Board Members: Lynn Bushnell, Gyandev McCord, Virginia S. Cowen, Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Joanne L. Perron, and Arun Tilak ( are all board memebers however I think I am missing one person).

Acting President 2009 - 2010 Mark Davis

YA Contract Employee EARLY 2000 - Present - John Matthews.

Current Acting Yoga Alliance President Now: - John Matthews

For the years of 2008, 2009, to the beginning of 2010, Yoga Alliance has not publicly communicated with any outside media sources, except Yoga Journal about conferences.

They did not return phone calls, nor did they explain the regulation situation to

states.

So what did they do??

FACT: Yoga Alliance (as any non-profit or business) is required by law to hand over any information that a state requests if it pertains to proprietary taxes within that state.

FACT: Mark Davis, under John Matthews suggestion and Yoga Alliances Board's recommendation, called states and educated them on Yoga Alliance 200/500 hour curriculum, what it entailed and why it would be a good move for states to adopt the 200/500 hour standards.

WHAT Yoga Alliance DID NOT DO (ALSO A FACT):

Yoga Alliance did not provide any help to Virginia Yoga Studios, and the actual burden of changing Virginia state law was placed entirely on "The Health Advantage Yoga Center" owner Susan Van Nuys. (Susan Van Nuys is really a hero, as is Alison West of New York, whom without these two individuals, and all those volunteers that helped them, I personally believe that all yoga regulation would have passed)

Susan Van Nuys footed the organized people around the entire VA State Yoga Community, paid the major portion of the bill - the cost for lawyers, the costs of the lobbyists - and to her own studio's considerable loss.

At no time has Yoga Alliance offered money to Susan Van Nuys or to the "Yoga for New York," organization. (Alison West of Yoga for New York)

Yoga Alliance lied to VA, and NY teachers, studio owners and practitioners by skirting the actual truth, by saying Yoga Alliance was not aware of any credentialing involvement Yoga Alliance or what Mark Davis may have said. (complete lie)

My information comes from Yoga Alliance, itself, mind you. Not only do I have documents stating exactly what they did, but I also have statements from employees.

Yoga Alliances board does not make decisions about "state credentialing" at all, mainly because they are 501c3 and "it's out of their scope." However, I firmly believe (my own opinion) that the two decision makers of Yoga Alliance are Lynn Bushnell (who works for YogaWorks) and John Matthews (Long time contract employee of Yoga Alliance since 2004 or 2005) (also something that John Matthews failed to mention to people).

(As far as John Matthews actual employment dates, I am on vacation - and I don't have the exact dates in front of me)

So, how did Yoga Alliance dodge the ENTIRE Virginia Yoga Teacher Credentialing Process?

Yoga Alliance specifically and very deliberately buried their heads in the sand and rarely, if not at all, answered their phones or emails for an entire year and a half.

Yoga Alliance's official statements were (and I quote:) "Yoga Alliance just isn't prepared to make a statement about Regulation on such short notice."

And that was all that was ever said to me.

How much time do they need? I got tired of waiting for an action that never came. I became focused on pointing out their every legal flaw and business contradiction (at my own public expense). Now, even though I am sure they will laugh and say "it just isn't true," ... I can fully time their responses by what information I decide to release to the public.

I will not lie, some yogis absolutely hate me, and they totally let me know it too... but most yogis, like the literally hundreds of teachers and studios that have emailed me from all over the world, they support Yoganomics and what I am doing 110%.

You know I will be the first to admit, my writing isn't always polished, sometimes I am missing tact, or maybe a details of an important fact. But I always get the facts straight eventually. Yoga Alliance will never come after me legally because I have the documented proof to back up everything I say... And if the day ever comes that they want a legal battle, I will rain down on them, on particularly John Matthews for manipulating the truth. If there is one thing I absolutely stand up against it's manipulative big business that thing they can get away with lying by ignoring people and the truth.

So, when I tell you that John Matthews just held an "apologetic" small gathering in TX, VA, and NY, that is all fact. And when I say that at that at those small gatherings, when John Matthews is so apologetic to teachers, studios and practitioners of TX, VA, and NY - that it's all basically under false pretense, that too is fact.

John Matthews is flat out lying about, not only his involvement, but Mark Davis's Involvement, and also the Yoga Alliance Board's involvement, too.

So .... Ask yourself... "Is the cost worth the value of what you actually receive?"

If I am going to succeed at changing Yoga Alliance for the betterment for the whole of Yoga - then the change must come from within yoga itself. It must come from us.

If Yoga Alliance is going to be actually useful - it is time that we collectively - RIGHT NOW - call them out and make them honest and transparent, and force them, to get back on the path of being a useful and yoga minded Organization that can take yoga into the next decade. .... OR it's just not worth it to anyone who practices yoga.

It just isn't worth it.

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lea

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December 22, 2010 - 1:58 pm
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Thanks Brian,

You helped fill in the blanks.

As a footnote:

If a company is pulling in millions of dollars by creating fear - their business plan is working.

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Yogalady

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December 22, 2010 - 3:50 pm
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I would like to add that there are other options to YA. Iwellpros.org is a new organization who's mision it is to create synergy amongst wellness professionals with monthly roundtable discussion calls, open forum and a one time fee for a life time membership. Her hope is to create meetup groups across the US to help create unity amongst the wellness community and if you need a "card" to show that you are a member of an organization, for what ever reason, you get that too.

As a studio owner and teacher I have never been asked to show my YA card or certification. I teach at the hospital and my teachers are all amazing teachers and none of them have a YA registration. Why waste your money? I remember a time when YA was so important to me, and then as I found out that it was a a voluntary registry, that there was no one out there to make sure that schools that registered were doing as they said I was a little suprized. What is the point I thought? Then I started to have teachers come to me boasting 500 RYT teacher training and certification only to find out they could not teach! I was floored, what school in their right mind would graduate someone that could not lead a class. For me, if I am not confident to let my teachers lead a class alone at my studio, I will not let them go out and teach with my recommendation. They spend many hours co-teaching and being mentored at my studio before I then let them teach solo and then they know they have the green light to go out into the community. Gotta run more later.

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laparadis


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December 22, 2010 - 6:05 pm
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Hi, I just visited http://www.Iwellpros.org The life membership is a great offer. I'll let the word out to every yoga teacher I know. Iwellpros should contact Paul about the benefits with an article for the weekly Aura newsletter that is sent worldwide. The benefits are better than YA and you're right - nobody ever asked me to see my YA card. Students, fitness centers, and companies could care less about YA membership.

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ashmin

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December 22, 2010 - 10:06 pm
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I do not like YA's propaganda. No teacher has to be registered anywhere! It is a completely deceitful tale and YA makes rules for yoga teachers who love to be told how to think (yogabots). But YA is not a part of or recognized by any government. This membership with other wellness professionals is a good idea.

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Patel

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December 23, 2010 - 1:18 am
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What more could we ask for? An organization that has a mission to create synergy amongst wellness professionals is what we need. Thank you Yoga Lady.

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MSook

29
December 23, 2010 - 6:32 pm
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Thank you Brian,

Now I know why Yoga Alliance has two addresses! They jump back and forth to and from Maryland and Virginia.

Shanti

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stuv239

Forum Posts: 3
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December 23, 2010 - 9:25 pm
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They keep moving, don't answer their phones, and when they do they don't make sense. Sounds like their closing to me. Haha!

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dilipji

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December 27, 2010 - 5:26 pm
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LOL, I'm with Stu. Why put money in their pockets? This doesn't make any sense at all. Why do Yoga teachers pay YA? Is it the bad service, the need to be spanked, or the need to belong to a flock of sheep? They don't regulate anything. No government recognizes them and they copied the IYF standards.

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ASKumar

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December 28, 2010 - 3:22 pm
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I for one, am not laughing. The words of Mr. Castellani are very serious. To say this company (yoga alliance) is only an American yoga problem is not enough. Yoga Alliance has tried to control Yoga everywhere. Now, to know of back room dealings and secret power players gives me a deep sickening feeling down to the core of my stomach. The states did not need the Yoga Alliance services because the states answer to no one. If Yoga Alliance did secretly offer their services to be the watch dog of yoga for the states; it is shameful behavior. Yoga teachers are indeed responsible for elevating the status of Yoga Alliance. As gurus and teachers, we could use a lesson in leadership. Do not worship companies, governments, or people. For this we should be ashamed and we should understand this great lesson. With all of this learned we also know that Yoga Alliance only holds perceived power because we paid them dues. Stop paying and they will submit to an open admission of wrong doing.

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Mila

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December 28, 2010 - 7:54 pm
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Hi ASKumar, It is agreed - Mr. Castellani points out some disturbing happenings. If true, none of us should consider backing the YA.

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rose

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December 29, 2010 - 6:29 pm
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I can't believe there are so many posts on this thread that itt has been a hot thread twice this month. Yoga teachers need to have an honest organization to network and share thoughts. This forum is just such a place. The wellness professional organization also sounds like a good idea. YA had a monopoly, but their motives have become problematic. It doesn't look good for them in the long run.

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dcalvert

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January 3, 2011 - 2:23 am
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I agree with tintin. Who cares about these "cash" register companies? Be yourself and teach yoga. I'm proud to be an independent teacher. No need to listen to companies that want to dig into your pockets for wall paper - JUST get on with it and teach yoga classes. Don't talk about it - just do it. That's what my man Bikram says. Stop your crying and start working in your yoga classes. Walk the talk.

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vasana1

36
January 21, 2011 - 7:57 pm
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Misinformationn is how politicians get elected. Yoga Alliance writes rules like a bunch of lawyers. Just think about it.

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laparadis


Forum Posts: 146
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January 27, 2011 - 12:17 am
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Read this post about yoga alliance. It hits the nail on the head.

https://www.yogadork.com/news/make-up-or-break-up-yoga-alliance-what-have-you-done-for-us-lately/

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Peter Lock

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January 27, 2011 - 9:46 am
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Yoga Alliance is closing the window of credibility. The alleged creator of guidelines for yoga teacher training can now close the door on being trustworthy. Their reputation has been permanently tarnished right down to their supposed member numbers. Would love to know how many teachers quit being members.

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sandy

Forum Posts: 34
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February 10, 2011 - 6:26 am
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There is no need to join YA. I teach five classes a week and that's enough for me. I'll continue monitoring Yoga Alliance as an independent teacher. This yoga forum is a good example of karma yoga in the form of unity, information, and continuing education. As a yoga teacher I like the idea that Aura has a no membership fee required policy. My first TTC was 200 hours with a non-registered school in India. I had great teachers and wouldn't trade it for a YA card. Now, if I decide to enhance my education the online yoga teacher courses from Aura are my best choice for value and flex time.

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Gator

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February 13, 2011 - 6:37 pm
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The government makes regulations not some self appointed non-profit company that's propped up by a secret society of rich ashrams!! Think for yourselves. Yoga Alliance is founded on trickery (legal speak) and fear (of not being in the cheerleader club). Now they've appoinbted a new face. Now they've turned the whole staff into RYTs. Just a few months ago there was hardly one to be found. They promoted themselves over and over while we sheep (yoga teachers) put them on a pedastal. Sorry, but think for yourselves, Yoga is about self-inquiry not "bah bah bah" like a heard of mindless sheep.

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