Ok, so I have mixed feelings about the Yoga Alliance in general but I don't really want to get into that debate here. So please don't take this post to be a structured or informed discussion on the YA - it's just my personal perspective.
So yes, although I am a yoga teacher, I am not registered with the Yoga Alliance. I used to maintain my registration, but recently I let it expire and decided not to renew it or update my membership with my 500hour certification.
Most of my reasons for this are practical: I don't run any courses or offer any certificates, I'm not employed by a yoga studio or anyone else who requires or prefers their teachers to be registered, and since I don't teach yoga for money (I collect donations through my classes, and those go to charity), I don't need professional insurance. Even if I did, I don't think that YA registration is a requirement to teach yoga or be insured for it - certainly not where I live!
So from a practical perspective, I don't see the point. Why should I pay the YA $80 per year so that I can have a few letters next to my name? What do I get out of it?
The YA, on their website say that I should register to "enhance my credibility" as a yoga teacher, since their "designations are the premier forms of recognition for Yoga teachers". According to their criteria posted online, if I were to register, I
could call myself an "E-RYT 200, RYT 500", which sounds pretty impressive and
gives me a momentary ego-boost, but that's really about it. Oh, except they will send me a graphic image that I can use on my marketing materials. Ooooooh.
What bothers me is that there's no method of really verifying those
certifications and what they mean. So while I support the notion of having set standards for yoga teacher training, what good is a
standard if it's not upheld? Yes, I have to scan and upload my YTT
certificates, but nobody verifies the quality of those teachings or the standard of my knowledge. I would also have to log my continuing
education hours, which are also unverified, and finally, my teaching
hours, which, again, nobody has to verify. So I could easily pretend
that I have tons of continuing education and thousands on teaching hours, even if this weren't true. Now I know we expect all yogis to be honest, but let's be honest - not everybody is!
This strikes me as a pretty big problem for something that claims to be the international industry standard in yoga teaching. Of course, as yoga becomes more widespread, I suspect we will see more state or country-based regulation of yoga teachers, as in some countries already, which has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. But in the meantime, I don't think I'll be re-registering with the YA anytime soon.
The only thing i can think of that would make me change my mind would be if I wanted to teach on courses or offer my own trainings, in which case I think itis only fair to give students the option of registering with the YA themselves. Of course, I might think differently if I were employed by a studio or trying to teach full-time - what do you readers think?