All courses and workshops are independent, and you can take any course at any time. This is a program of study with no set endpoint, and is intended for those already teaching, that have completed basic training or our Foundations program, though it does not have to have been here at The Bhakti Yoga Movement Center. You can begin at anytime just by showing up, as there is something being offered each and every season.  There is no application process at all, nor are there any requirements, as there is no “goal” or set of hours to complete. Its simply a self-study (svadyaya) program for all that are seeking depth and understanding. If you have questions about how to get going, please email weloveyou@thebymc.com.

Regarding our divestment from the Yoga Alliance:

We have divested from the Yoga Alliance entirely. This decision has cost us money and students both, but it is the right thing for us and for our community. Yoga Alliance does not value tradition, the lineage-based teachings, or the deeper roots of the practices, and is basically set up to create yoga teachers a commodity product that they can sell in the "marketplace" of yoga and to that, we deeply object. We participated for years in that capitalistic, commodified system and no longer wish to contribute to the deeper, painful colonization and co-opting of yoga. This is one way that we are walking that talk. Please see the statement below if you would like to read more.

Statement on Divestment from the Yoga Alliance

We deeply object to the Yoga Alliance. The Bhakti Yoga Movement Center has dissolved our relationship with the Yoga Alliance and their registration service as of 2019. I had personally been a member of YA since 1999, and found absolutely no utility to the entity of the Yoga Alliance and its "governing body" over these 13+ years as a registered school, other than in name only. I am deeply concerned that they lack ethical oversight, compliance enforcement or accountability protocol for their schools or teachers, as well as their business-based way of furthering the appropriation of the teachings of yoga from their source by cheapening "standards" for yoga teachers so they can make money. Thus we do not feel they represent a significant source of credibility in the teaching of yoga. I am concerned about their effect on the seperation of yoga from its roots and origins as an indigenous Indian tradition by way of watering down any requirements and qualifications that they deem necessary for teaching these practices.

According to the Yoga Alliance, no specific curriculum is required, nor is there any required assessment of a registered teacher’s skill. Ever. And there are no known plans to change that. It is this massive omission that in part has gotten us where we are with modern yoga yoga right now-- trainings with arbitrary curriculum being taught to prospective teachers who don’t know any better by underqualified teachers that cannot answer basic questions about yoga history, philosophy or lineage; this situation was borne of and is propelled forward by Yoga Alliance.

There is always the question: How do you regulate yoga? It has always been a wild practice, and it appears in many different forms through many different traditions and lineages. Yoga Alliance simply requires that a certain number of hours be spent covering each of five areas of study that they designate as important, with no specificity given on how to fill those hours, nor any follow-up on whether or not a school, once registered, ever actually sticks to that curriculum. As listed on their website, a registered 200-hour training (the level that 85% of their 100K+ registered yoga teachers hold) must include 100 hours of yoga practice (whatever that means; we assume it means asana), 25 hours of teaching methodology, 20 hours of anatomy, 30 hours of philosophy and ethics, and 10 hours of practice teaching. Any poortion of any of these hours can be taken online or through books, with no accountability. And, the content of each area of study is left up to the school and once submitted (in the loosest possible terms, believe me, these applications have no oversight) that is the last you hear of them except to tell you that your dues are up and you have to pay them fees again for another year. As a school with some source tradition connections, extremely high integrity, a high bar and a threshold of 300+ hours of entry-level Foundational training (which still is not enough!) we have always insisted on more than 200 hours in our basic training, a focus on safety, equity/inclusion, and a strong basis in the lineage and philosophy of yoga. We also require ongoing continuing education and advanced study for our teachers rather than simply the easily-bought ERYT500 stamp from the YA.

We realize that this may be controversial, and will cost us some potential trainees/students, but as they are basically the wikipedia of yoga, simply an online registration body/directory and have offered little else since their inception, they continue to offer nothing other than a logo after one's name or school with no real follow-through or follow up on curriculum, compliance enforcement of standards, ethics and beyond. But someone, somewhere, has to break the iron fist that this organization has around the throats of yoga, and not simply go along with them simply because "they are the only thing available." There are many schools that are also divesting across the U.S. and beyond.

Here is a very well-stated piece on leaving Yoga Alliance by Josh Schrei, if you are interested in another angle on this.

Here is another excellent piece on "metaregulators" like Yoga Alliance, from across the pond: "Practitioners who (in lieu of having an identifiable commercial product to sell) may join a metaregulator and become part of the metaregulator's income-generating inventory, touting the metaregulator's membership insignia they become a product of the metaregulator, no matter what the training style, individual experience or knowledge gains they may offer as human beings." Read more here.

We work hard to make this program an embodiment of integrity, ethics and high teaching standards, as well as respect for the tradition. If you have any questions about or wish to comment on how this affects you and your study here, please do be in touch at weloveyou@thebymc.com


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