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The Yoga Blog

What’s the difference between Yoga Alliance Professionals and Yoga Alliance?

“What’s the difference between Yoga Alliance Professionals and Yoga Alliance?” 

It is one of our most frequently asked questions, so we thought we had better explain. 

Critics will say we’re biased, and they’re right, we definitely do think we have more to offer than Yoga Alliance (YA). Nonetheless, here we will endeavour to be fair and objective to answer the question at hand. 

But first, perhaps it’s best to highlight our similarities. Yoga Alliance, based in the US, and YAP (that’s us) are both not-for-profit membership organisations that register yoga teachers and yoga training providers...annnd that’s pretty much where our similarities end. 

So on to the differences...Yoga Alliance Professionals is a professional membership body for yoga teachers and trainers, dedicated to empowering yoga teachers like you to create a fulfilling, rewarding career that you can be proud of. We are invested in your professional growth and development. Our online platform is full of innovative tools, resources and expertise to support you through your Career Path. 

Yoga Alliance, based in the USA, describes itself as a “voluntary credentialing system”. Both yoga teachers and training schools that meet the organisation’s criteria can apply to join and will be featured on YA’s listing directory. 

And this is the sticking point. Yoga Alliance’s criteria.

For Yoga Alliance, 2 years of teaching experience is sufficient time to run a foundation yoga teacher training course. Yes, you heard right - 2 years of teaching experience to train others to become yoga teachers. The lead trainer on the course must teach 34% of the course.

On the other hand, Yoga Alliance Professionals requires yoga teacher trainers to have at least 8 years of teaching experience and 4000 teaching hours to run a foundation course. Why these requirements? Because we feel that in order to produce skilled, knowledgeable and safe yoga teachers, the individual training ought to have a vast amount of experience and expertise themselves. 

The result is that yoga teachers who are accredited with Yoga Alliance Professionals have been trained to the highest degree, and have the badge to show it.

In our opinion, offering yoga teacher training shouldn’t be a quick way to make some cash. Obtaining trainer status is a marker of professional dedication, commitment and development. It’s an opportunity to share real insights from teaching yoga and to give back to the yoga community. 

And while we maintain these high standards, we do not discriminate against yoga teachers who graduated from non-registered training schools. As long as the course meets our minimum standards, we will accept yoga teachers who want to join our community. 

We recognise that for whatever reason, some trainers do not want to register with Yoga Alliance Professionals. And that’s okay - we’re here to make partnerships, not enforce sign-ups. But that doesn’t mean their students need to be penalised. For anyone who wants to join us and wants to learn, we’re open to it.

Our friends over the pond only accept graduates from registered training schools, which means a training provider must have registered with Yoga Alliance in order for their students to gain the certification. 

So these are the key differences between Yoga Alliance and Yoga Alliance Professionals. The former is a directory for yoga teachers and trainers, the latter, an inclusive space for yoga professionals to learn, develop and grow (and yes, we also have a directory for your accredited yoga teachers). 

For more details about what you get with Yoga Alliance Professionals, click here. 

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