Good video Brian. I forwarded it to my #1 list and then sent an additional email to add the comments here. You can use some of it on your blog if you like but it’s way more than 2 paragraphs. ;- ) Carol
Re. the issue of state regulation of yoga teacher training:
Brian Castellani is the one person currently doing the most raise the issue of state regulation of yoga teacher training programs as licensed career schools. Brian attended the Texas Yoga Conference in Houston last month and made videos of the meeting between yoga teacher trainers and representatives from Texas Workforce Commission, the agency that seeks to close down any yoga teacher training programs that cannot afford licensing, claiming that we fit the definition of a career school and are therefore operating illegally.
The video link that I sent in the previous message features Robert Boustany speaking out for a de facto distinction between yoga teacher training and career schools. Arguing with him is a member of TWC. Brian is also going soon to a conference in Louisiana for the same purpose.
Only the very largest teacher training programs will be able to afford the many thousands of dollars required to even begin this process, and even they will have to end up significantly increasing the tuitions of their programs to cover the costs of licensing, audits, and staff to take care of time-intensive paperwork. For the very large schools, possibly the only ones left standing, it can be a benefit as all their competition disappears. If this happens, Yoga will become standardized, students will be limited to studying only the styles large schools teach, and the rich variety of less well known styles, such as Vanda Scaravelli’s, get swept under the so-called rug.
One of my chief concerns due to living in this state is that if teacher training is regulated, it is merely a foot in the door to eventually regulate and tax everything related to Yoga, include teaching, standards for certification, whether we are allowed to give hands on assists, etc. Even the massage therapy and chiropractic practitioners in Texas have been challenged in the past (at the request of physical therapists and medical doctors) as to their being “permitted” to touch clients.
The TWC representative says that will not happen, that they do not seek to regulate Yoga per se, and that is probably factual. Their agency apparently does not yet enforce regulations of other aspects of avocational pursuits. It may be another agency with a different agenda and different regulations that will be used to increase the reach of regulations over individual teachers and yoga studios. There is already a hint of that when TWC regulations define even an individual yoga teacher who offers workshops as a “career school,” requiring all the licensing regulations of a true career school, under certain circumstances.
We as yoga teachers and yoga students must organize and speak with one voice if we are to have any chance of changing the law, so that thousands of yoga teacher training programs across the USA do not fall victim to state regulation of our programs. The best way to do that at this point is to become a member of Texas Yoga Association. Doing so will keep you apprised of new developments and let you know when you can participate in demonstrations, petitions, letter writing campaigns to your senators and representative, letters to the editor of your local newspaper, etc., whatever we need to make happen, so that Yoga can stay true to its thousands of years old history–free and unencumbered by government.
Do I have the freedom of speech to pass on to students what it takes to be a responsible yoga teacher? Do I have the freedom of speech to share with them what my experience has taught me? Or do I have to pay the state to have the right to do that? Do you?
These are the questions at stake here. Please take time to watch the youtube video link that I forwarded in the previous message
Thanks for being you.
NOTE: Carol Stall practices and teaching Yoga and meditation classes and workshops; training yoga teachers; finishing up a yoga dvd; and is actively working on two books to publish relatively soon.