The new Yoga Alliance Standards have left our minds a little bit confused, and we know that after reading all those changes on their you will have many, many questions. Whether you are a school or a teacher, we did our best to try to clarify any untied ends from their announcement. The following Questions & Answers may help you comprehend better how these changes will affect you.


Is there any change on the evaluation process or registration fees to join YA as a new registered Yoga School?

Yes. The new application process that will be used to evaluate aspiring RYS from the beginning of February 2020 will be slightly different.

The cost for the application will remain the same ($400) and the credential dues too ($240), but schools will have to renew every year (from July 2019).

Beginning February 1, 2020, when applying or renewing under the new RYS 200 standards, schools will pay first an application fee and once its accepted, a credential fee. Once the credential fee is paid, the school can start displaying its Yoga Alliance RYS credential and access the benefits of Yoga Alliance membership. Each year payment can be submitted three months prior to the school’s renewal date.

Where do I submit my updated syllabus when ready? How long will it take to be reviewed and accepted?

In the Yoga Alliance website, you can submit your updates through the “Manage School” section of the School Dashboard. The new RYS 200 standards will take effect beginning February 1, 2020, and you should be receiving and email when the system is upgraded to support your submission.

They will be reviewing applications continuously to make it a quick process so the schools can keep operating normally.

If my school is not yet registered with Yoga Alliance, by what date can I apply under the updated standards?

If you are a school applying for the first time, it will be better to wait til February 2020 to register your school. From that date, the new standards will begin to apply and you won’t have to renew next year under the new standards. Unless you are in a hurry to register your school, wait til February to start your collaboration with YA.

When do the new syllabus must be updated to meet the new standards?

If you are a registered yoga school you have one year from your next renewal in 2020. That means that if your RYS 200 gets renewed on June 2020, you will have until June 2021 to make all changes needed to meet the new standards.

If you are already registered but for some reason inactive, you will have to renew your registration and then you will still have one year from your 2020 renewal date to submit your actualized curriculum.

If it’s your first time applying, from February 1 2020 you will apply under the new standards.

What happens if I don’t submit my syllabus by my next renewal date in 2020?

If you do not submit your syllabus by your next renewal date in 2020, you will not be able to renew your school again in 2021. Then, your school will no longer hold the Yoga Alliance credential, and your trainees will not be able to register with Yoga Alliance after completing your training.

So who can teach the YTTC from my school? Is there any requirement for my faculty?

Yes. By February 1, 2022, any Lead Trainer from a RYS 200 will have to hold the E-RYT 500 credential. The Lead Trainer will have to deliver 75% of the 200 hours from the course. The remaining hours can be taught by other members of the team, with no specific requirements for them.

Will YA charge me a fee while submitting the update from my curriculum?

There is no fee to submit the changes on your curriculum.

Is it really necessary to change my syllabus and update with YA?

These changes have been decided through a public survey, the Standards Review Project.

The Yoga community wants YA to be more credible and serious about regulating the Yoga industry, and these changes have been taken to start walking the path towards this expectations.Therefore, adapting into the new standards will hold more credibility for schools and teachers.

Yoga Alliance has not really audit the schools before, how will they make sure that all schools are complying with the new standards?

Well, that will still be difficult to know, and til the moment no audition have been done regularly by them. They are committed to change this through different actions, for example:

The new application process includes a 20-point checklist and an academic-style peer review review panel which will ensure a fair, consistent, and thorough review process of each application.

They said they will be updating their policies regularly to encourage accountability and to monitor compliance through a grievance policy. Also, each RYS owner will be required to agree to and uphold an Ethical Commitment and will have to share with Yoga Alliance their own school policies for grievances, sexual misconduct, code of conduct and refunds, among others.

Every school will have to assess its trainees for knowledge, skills, and experience across 13 competencies to grant them the certification.

What do they mean by classroom hours?

We understand that classroom hours are those hours where you are whether learning from the faculty or the material they provided such as audios, videos or other online material. They do not include the time you spend doing homework and assignments or taking extra yoga classes.

The fact of having more classroom hours will increase expenses for my school/business.

Yoga Alliance is trying it’s best to implement this changes progressively and their goal is not to upset any school’s livelihood. You will have one year from your renewal in 2020 to uplevel your standards.

In addition, with the new standards, schools will be able to implement online education delivering up to 40 hours from the curriculum (20 hours from Anatomy & Physiology and another 20 hours in Yoga Humanities) in that format, which can help optimize costs.

Did the educational categories change with the updates?

Yes. The five educational categories have been condensed into four, with thirteen competencies defined within.

Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle and Ethics have been renamed as Yoga Humanities and Teaching Methodology and Practicum are both under Professional Essentials.

How do I divide the hours of the training into these new four categories and competencies?

Techniques, Training, Practice requires 75 hours

Professional Essentials requires 65 hours

Anatomy & Physiology 30 hours

Yoga Humanities 30 hours

Each RYS has flexibility within these 4 categories with respect to how to allocate hours across each competency underneath.

Can I be creative with my syllabus and include other topics not mentioned on those categories and competencies?

Yes, feel free to add any additional topics you desire to support your school’s methodology, lineage and style. Yoga Alliance asks for 200 hours as a minimum requirement, but many schools operate under the RYS 200 credential with more than 250 classroom hours. These topics may include Reiki, Ayurveda, Thai massage, etc and will not be part of the core curriculum.

What happens with the ‘contact’ and ‘non-contact’ hours from the curriculum?

The Updated 200 RYS standards will no longer use the nomenclature of contact and non-contact hours. Rather, the new RYS 200 standards use the term classroom hours, that will be the total of the course with 200 classroom hours.

A minimum of 160 hours must be taught in person, and up to 40 hours can be done online (up to 20 hours from the Anatomy & Physiology and up to 20 hours from Yoga Humanities).

Hours that trainees spend completing projects, writing reports, doing homework, and attending yoga classes are not included as classroom hours. Nonetheless, Yoga Alliance encourages Registered Yoga Schools to keep including homework components in their syllabus to reinforce the learnings of the program.

Which information do I need to submit with my updated syllabus?

The new application will include various checkpoints, an updated curriculum and hours-by-competency allocation; the overall schedule; manuals and other training materials; letters of intent; and more.

Will Affiliate RYS 200 schools be affected by these changes in some way?

The option to be an Affiliate RYS 200 will no longer be available with the new standards.

A current Affiliate RYS 200 may continue to offer the training program of the parent school until the parent submits its updated syllabus within a year from its 2020 renewal date. Once the parent school submits an updated syllabus, the Affiliate RYS 200 relationship will be terminated, and the Affiliate RYS 200 will no longer hold the RYS 200 credential.

The ex-Affiliate school will have to register as a standalone school.


I am already a 200 RYT. Do I need to take another RYS 200 that is operating under the new standards in order to stay an RYT?

None of this changes will affect the credentials you already have. But if you graduated from a 200 Hours course and didn’t registered yet, you may still register to become an RYT 200 as long as your school was an active RYS 200 when you graduated.

Are there any changes in the RYT policies?

From February 1, 2020, new and old Registered Yoga Teachers will have to agree to an Ethical Commitment to ensure appropriate behaviour.

Will there be required courses or actions to be taken to hold my current credential?

From February 2020, Yoga Alliance will offer an Online Course on equity in yoga that will qualify as 10 Continuing Education credits that all RYTs must complete in the first year of this new commitment.

What is meant by equity in yoga?

Yoga Alliance described this concept as it follows:

“Equity is a slightly different term from equality; equity ensures that we all have the resources needed to reach a goal while equality provides everyone access to the same resource, regardless of the needs of an individual or group. In addition to representing quality and safety in yoga teaching, Yoga Alliance credential will signal an awareness of and commitment to changing the social and systemic inequities that currently exist in yoga so that the practice is more accessible to all populations.”

When will the changes of the Lead Trainer requirements take effect?

From February 1, 2022, a Lead Trainer of any RYS 200 will need to hold the E-RYT 500 credential and teach at least 175 hours from the core curriculum. You will have more than 24 months to upgrade your credentials if you need to. Before this date, the current Lead Trainer requirements will be applied.

What it means to be a E-RYT 500?

Teachers can register as an E-RYT 500 if they have successfully completed a 500-hour yoga teacher training registered with Yoga Alliance and have taught a minimum of four years since completing training with a 200-hour RYS. The 500 hours can come from one school or a combination of a RYS 200 and RYS 300.

To get the E-RYT 500 applicants must submit a minimum of 2,000 hours teaching experience. At least 500 of these hours must have been taught after completing training with a RYS 300 or 500.

Is there an alternative way to become a E-RYT 500?

Many experienced teachers with no RYT credential share similar or even greater knowledge, principals and commitment than RYT, that’s why Yoga Alliance will announce a clear alternative pathway for all RYT credential registrations soon.

What do I do if I don’t have the time or money to upgrade my credential to an E-RYT 500 in order to be a Lead Trainer?

If you want to lead teacher trainings registered with Yoga Alliance, these changes will apply to you as their policies are now defined and determined to support the quality and safety in the teacher trainings. You have more than 2 years to take the courses needed and start teaching to reach the 2,000 hours of experience to become a Lead Trainer.

You will always be able to teach regular classes out of teacher trainings and even teacher trainings in schools not registered with Yoga Alliance if you don’t share their beliefs.


Are there changes regarding the RYS 300 and RYS 500 credentials?

Changes for the RYS 300 and RYS 500 credentials will be announced next year in June 2020, effective for new schools February 1, 2021 and current schools January 1, 2022. Until these changes are announced, schools should keep following the current standards.

Can I register my school as an RYS 300 without being a RYS 200?

Yes! Now RYS can renew an RYS 200 and RYS 300 separately in their account. From October 1, 2019, they will allow an RYS 300 to register as a standalone school without an RYS 200.

We know every Yogi and School holds a different situation here, so If you still have any doubts or a specific situation that needs individual attention, you can send an email to Yoga Alliance directly at They are committed to be online during this transitional time to accommodate everyone into these prompt changes.

Good luck with this and remember: the one and only permanent thing in life is CHANGE.