Heads Up

Experts meditate on licensing yoga teacher-training programs


Published:

Yoga in Michigan now has something in common with coiffeurs and cocktails. Last April, the state began requiring yoga studios that offer teacher-training programs to obtain licenses, similar to cosmetology and bartending vocational schools. The new requirement has elicited mixed feelings in the yoga community.

The license allows yoga studios to run teacher-training programs under standards that were designed by the national non-profit, Yoga Alliance, an organization founded 10 years ago “by a group of yogis to set standards for yoga-training teaching,” says Mark Davis, Alliance CEO.

Although studios without teaching training programs aren’t required to obtain the license, many adopt the Alliance standards because, “They create more credibility in the marketplace, they keep out unethical operators just setting up shop anywhere, and there are more options for revenue,” Davis says.

Not everyone favors the license. Eric Paskel, Yoga Shelter co-owner and founder, says regulating yoga schools and adopting other organizations’ standards inhibits the spiritual side of the practice. “[Yoga] is like 31 Flavors. I have no business saying what another studio does,” Paskel says. “If it works for the studio or the teacher, who am I to say otherwise?”

Davis counters: “Yoga has morphed to a Western model of exercise.” Because of that, many industry professionals believe standards need to be in place to protect the student from injury and poorly trained teachers.

Paskel says such instances are rare. “It doesn’t happen because we’re guiding students into themselves and, 99 percent of the time, an injury occurs when a student doesn’t listen to their own body.”

Despite such objections, Michigan has proceeded to require schools to purchase licenses or face closure and hefty fines.
The laws aren’t out there to control yoga,” Davis says. “It’s about ‘are you running a safe business?’ ”

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

I Tried to Stop Smoking Through Hypnosis

Hour Detroit Editor Steve Wilke tries an unconventional method of kicking a years-long habit

Web Exclusive: Meeting the Beatles

Fifty years ago, a Detroit-area teenager won a contest to meet The Beatles.

Rocking in Style

John Varvatos and Alice Cooper talk about their musical and fashion influences — and Detroit’s comeback

A Mission for Medicine

For 24 Detroit-area health care providers, a trip to Kenya revealed their limitations — and renewed their calling to help others

Well-Versed in Classics

DSO oboe player tools around town in a rare pair of turquoise 1962 Lincoln Continentals
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. The Makings of the Shinola Hotel
    When the Detroit brand’s first foray into hospitality opens its doors, it’ll offer customers...
  2. My Two Christmases
    An Armenian-Iranian, Detroit-based writer reflects on transposing the holiday across continents
  3. New Year’s Eve, Brooklyn Style
    Tips for celebrating 2019 from the pros at Brooklyn Outdoor
  4. Main Review: SheWolf
    Born in Detroit but inspired by Rome, SheWolf takes diners on a culinary journey
  5. The Art of Gifting
    Metro Detroit tastemakers from all walks of life offer a glimpse of what’s on their holiday...
  6. Comeback Catering
    Dish, in Detroit, pushes through hard times with consistently delicious food
  7. Meet the Makers: Tait Design Co.
    How an after-work hobby ascended to a booming business
  8. Precious Metals
    Layering necklaces, stacking rings, and placing bangle upon glitzy bangle: a definitive guide to...
  9. Food Recipe: Braised Beef Brisket
    Chef Aaron Lowen, of Empire Kitchen & Cocktails, shares one of his favorite holiday recipes
  10. An Hour with ... Ricki Friedman
    Founder, Break the Weight