Frequently Asked Questions

Membership Renewal Extension FAQs

Does the membership renewal extension apply to the YACEP credential as well?

Yes. If you have an active YACEP credential, it will also be extended with your teacher registration.

Will I eventually have to pay back my membership dues for the length of time I defer payment under the extension?

No. You will not need to pay back your membership dues given your need of an extension. When the extension is over, you will simply resume payment of your usual membership fee.

I just paid my membership renewal, but I couldn’t really afford it. Is there a way I can get this payment refunded and apply for this extension as well?

We are so grateful to those who have been able to pay their dues during this time. However, we will work with you on a case-by-case basis in this situation. Please contact us by emailing info@yogaalliance.org if this is your circumstance.

What if my location and community are under “shelter in place” beyond September 30?

We are monitoring developments of COVID-19 daily, as well as gathering internal data in order to make the necessary decisions regarding additional extensions. If you know you already have extenuating circumstances, please contact us by emailing info@yogaalliance.org so that we can work with you to accommodate your needs.

Can “former” schools and teachers apply for the membership renewal extension as well?

Yes, if you have not renewed since January 2020 due to a COVID-19 hardship, this extension also applies to you. We will work with you to reactivate your account with an extension. Please contact us by emailing info@yogaalliance.org to do so.

If an RYS applies for this extension, will the Lead Trainer’s membership automatically be extended as well?

Yes, as each school is required to have at least one current Lead Trainer in order to renew membership.

I am qualified to register as a yoga school and/or yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance, but I am not yet a member. May I use the membership renewal extension?

No, at this time, the extension is only applicable to current Yoga Alliance members.

Does this extension apply to upgrades to RYT applications?

No, this extension is specific to current membership dues and does not include upgrades or new application fees.

Coronavirus and COVID-19

What are the best resources to which to refer regarding the coronavirus and COVID-19?

Yoga Alliance strongly encourages everyone to consult their national, state, and local government and health departments to monitor the recommendations and requirements in your particular region. We are referring to the professional health organizations World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which are highly credible sources of information that are updated on a regular basis.

What are Yoga Alliance and the Yoga Alliance Foundation doing to assist members at this time?

This Emergency Relief Fund for yoga professionals is one of many measures that Yoga Alliance and the Yoga Alliance Foundation are initiating in response to COVID-19. Other member response actions include a membership renewal extension, a temporary provision to allow for more yoga teacher training to support physical distancing and allow more yoga teacher training to move online; tools and guidance to facilitate a shift to virtual training and teaching; online workshops addressing business and professional needs during the crisis; options for member dues relief; and virtual gatherings to maintain community and connectedness in a time of stress and physical isolation.

In addition, Yoga Alliance has shared information to its members in the United States on updated legislation as it pertains to small businesses and independent contractors. We also continue to advocate externally on behalf of our members’ needs.

How can I help support yoga professionals who are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19?

We have established a secure donation mechanism that interested parties can use to contribute to the Yoga Alliance Foundation Emergency Relief Fund. 100% of donations made to the Fund will be passed directly to yoga professionals in need.

Organizations interested in pledging support or serving as partners can email foundation@yogaalliance.org.

Yoga Alliance Foundation Emergency Relief Fund

How can I help support yoga professionals who are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19?

We have established a secure donation mechanism that interested parties can use to contribute to the Emergency Relief Fund. 100% of donations made to this Fund will be passed directly to yoga professionals in need.

Organizations interested in pledging support or serving as partners can email foundation@yogaalliance.org.

Who is eligible for funding support through Yoga Alliance Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund?

All yoga professionals around the globe who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 are eligible to apply for funding support (including Yoga Alliance members and non-members).

While we understand the financial disruption of this pandemic is felt by many, the most important Emergency Relief Fund criterion is in the urgency of meeting basic human needs such as food and shelter.

How much financial support will be provided through the Emergency Relief Fund?

Approved applicants will receive a minimum of $150 USD and a maximum $1,500 USD. The amount is based on level of income loss and financial hardship, with adjustments for the cost of living. It is intended to provide short-term, emergency relief in a time of acute need.

Will the Emergency Relief Fund provide support for yoga studios and schools?

Currently, the Emergency Relief Fund supports yoga professionals as individuals by offering short-term assistance to meet basic and essential needs. This means that studio and school owners can apply for individual support due to financial hardship, but the Fund cannot provide business-level grants. Yoga Alliance and the Foundation will continue to seek out and share resources to complement the offerings of the Emergency Relief Fund, including many options for business support.

Updates will be shared in Yoga Alliance communications as well as on yogaalliance.org and yourya.org.

When does the application for the Emergency Relief Fund open, and what is the deadline to apply?

The application opens on May 26, and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis for as long as funds are available. Early submission of applications is encouraged.

What are the criteria for determining who receives financial support?

The most important criterion is the urgency of need. Funding will be prioritized for those whose economic survival depends on their yoga teaching income and who can no longer earn this income due to COVID-19 to meet their basic needs such as food and shelter.

Where can I find information on how to apply for Emergency Relief Fund support?

Please follow this link for details on eligibility requirements and instructions on how to apply, as well as general information about the Emergency Relief Fund.

Is information on the Emergency Relief Fund available in languages other than English?

Please follow this link to access detailed information and instructions on how to apply to the Emergency Relief Fund with multiple language options. Click the “Translate” button on the bottom right of the webpage to see language offerings.

How have you engaged the yoga community in planning this emergency relief response to COVID-19?

The Yoga Alliance Foundation has established an advisory committee that represents a cross-section of perspectives and lived experiences. This committee offers input to inform the criteria for selection of beneficiaries, and it is helping the Foundation ensure a community-centered and equitable approach to the distribution of funding.

Who are the partners in this effort, and what is their role?

The Yoga Alliance Foundation is partnering with organizations with expertise in assessing applications and economic need, awarding recipients, and administering funds objectively, responsibly, and swiftly. Emergency Relief Fund partners meet criteria anchored in yogic values, and they align with our mission of leveraging yoga for social impact and fostering an expansive, accessible, and equitable yoga community.

Current program partners are Ivy Child International, a global nonprofit that partners with systems of education and care to enhance wellbeing through innovative and culturally responsive programs, and Reclamation Ventures, an impact investing fund that invests in the development and growth of underestimated entrepreneurs in wellness.

What else are Yoga Alliance and the Yoga Alliance Foundation doing to assist members at this time?

This Emergency Relief Fund for yoga professionals is one of many measures that Yoga Alliance and the Yoga Alliance Foundation are initiating in response to COVID-19. Other member response actions include a membership renewal extension, a temporary provision to allow for more yoga teacher training to support physical distancing and allow more yoga teacher training to move online; tools and guidance to facilitate a shift to virtual training and teaching; online workshops addressing business and professional needs during the crisis; options for member dues relief; and virtual gatherings to maintain community and connectedness in a time of stress and physical isolation.

In addition, Yoga Alliance has shared information to its members in the United States on updated legislation as it pertains to small businesses and independent contractors. We also continue to advocate externally on behalf of our members’ needs.

 

Transitioning Your School or Business to Online

My yoga school is facing large income loss due to COVID-19. Is Yoga Alliance offering or considering renewal extensions, waived fees, lowering dues, or payment plan options?

Yoga Alliance recognizes and understands the financial impact this pandemic may have on our members. As such, we are actively considering how best to accommodate any extension of membership or other consideration to acknowledge the financial hardships many schools and teachers are experiencing during this unknown time, and we will publicly share these updates as we have them.

Can an RYS (all designations) utilize distance learning for teacher trainings during this time?

Yes, effective now through September 30, Yoga Alliance has made a temporary provision to allow its schools to offer contact hours in any category via a virtual format during currently active teacher trainings or any teacher training set to begin between now and September 30.

Please note: the original end date for this provision was communicated as June 30. However, after hearing the continued need for flexibility in member scheduling and decision making, we extended the provision for three more months. We will continue to evaluate the need for this provision and its corresponding timeline throughout the duration of the pandemic.

We request that schools make every attempt to deliver virtual training(s) LIVE to replicate their in-person training(s) as much as possible. This includes our Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Providers (YACEPs) as well and any training being offered for Yoga Alliance continuing education hours.

To leverage this temporary provision, please be sure to email us at info@yogalliance.org with the name of your RYS, the dates of your training program overall, specifically the dates of the portions of the training to be offered virtually, and the total amount of contact hours you will be delivering virtually. Once you’ve sent this information to us, we’ll log it into your account based on the date the information was sent.  You do not need to wait for Yoga Alliance’s approval as we do not want to disrupt your ability to move forward with your training.

I have always offered classes and trainings online. Does this mean I can automatically receive a Yoga Alliance credential now that trainings are being moved to the virtual space? 

No. The temporary provision allowing schools to offer contact hours in any category via a virtual format is only available for schools who had their in-person trainings disrupted due to COVID-19 and social distancing. Further, this temporary provision is only active for a limited amount of time and ends September 30. To receive a Yoga Alliance RYS credential, one must complete our new and enhanced application and review process.

If I make the choice to reschedule my training and not move my RYS online for virtual learning, do I need to refund trainees who can no longer attend the new dates?

There are a few options. Since you have decided to not offer training online, you can reschedule for a later date, or provide trainees with a refund. We recommend referencing the cancellation/refund policies you have in place and determining if adjustments are necessary to support your business and your trainees.

Do my virtual teacher training classes need to be live-streamed, or can they be prerecorded?

Our online best practices states one should vary the delivery of the online content, providing a balanced blend of prerecorded and live material in order to serve multiple modalities of learning.

For more on bringing your business or classes to the online space, please refer to our Professional Resources webpage.

Yoga Alliance states that the temporary provision for virtual learning is allowed for teacher trainings through September 30. We are offering an upcoming international training and need to plan. Can we safely offer this training in the upcoming months?

We understand that many countries are just beginning to face COVID-19. As such, we will continue to review the facts and communicate to the larger membership our recommendations on all teacher trainings.

As a studio owner, can I file a claim with my insurance company for the business interruption that COVID-19 has caused?

To address insurance policy concerns, please refer to your specific insurance policy and contact your insurance company with additional questions. Members are advised to carefully and thoroughly read their unique insurance policies and to seek further professional advice as needed.

Yoga Alliance is holding a workshop with our Alliant Insurance Partners on Friday, April 10 at 2pm ET. Registration details for this event will be made available on our Events page. We also recommend that you carefully review the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which offers federal support for small businesses during this time.

Transitioning Your Teaching to Online

There has been a recent increase in free online yoga, and teaching yoga in-person (in a classroom, studio, or otherwise) supports my livelihood. Does Yoga Alliance have any advice on how to monetize and/or be paid for virtual teaching?

Yoga Alliance is working with leaders in the virtual space to provide tools for members on how to best offer online classes and be financially compensated for their service. We also acknowledge some studios and teachers will want to offer free classes as part of Seva, which may conflict with the need to maintain yoga professionals’ livelihoods. We will hold conversations on this dialogue to better understand how to address this unique situation. Please regularly check out our Events page, yourya.org, and/or keep your eyes on your email for our COVID-19 bulletin for more information. 

Additionally, we recommend that you carefully review the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which offers federal support for small businesses during this time.

Will teaching yoga classes virtually count as teaching hours?

Yes. Hours that are taught virtually may be counted as regular teaching hours. As a reminder, Yoga Alliance recommends all RYTs utilize their dashboard to keep track of the hours they teach. 

How do we offer distance classes for those who don’t have access to technology or aren’t as technology savvy, such as the elderly, the hard of hearing, those in mental health facilities, or those in prison?

We understand that social distancing causes certain barriers and that not everyone has access to the technology required to learn via online classes. In the absence of virtual accessibility, teachers may recommend or use other resources, such as yoga texts, journaling, audio recordings, and traditional play-back videos.

Is it OK to continue holding private sessions during this time?

Yoga Alliance has highly recommended social distancing as a means of preventing the transmission and contraction of COVID-19 and therefore has strongly recommended that all in-person instruction halt at this time. Everyone should consult their national, state, and local government and health departments to monitor what the local recommendations are for your particular region. Organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are highly credible sources of information that are updated on a regular basis.

How can we balance/reconcile the need for social distancing to slow the spread of the virus with the call to help those in need—not just with the physical practice of yoga, but in larger community efforts, such as helping feed school children who rely on school meals and collecting supplies for the elderly and immunocompromised?

We understand there are many communities and volunteers that are supporting these efforts across the globe. Many already have plans in place to accommodate the needs of their unique communities while respecting professional health recommendations. To get involved, we recommend checking with your local government and volunteer organizations for more information.

Does my insurance cover online teacher trainings and classes? How do I go about finding out? What do I do if they do not?

To address insurance policy concerns, please refer to your specific insurance policy and contact your insurance company with additional questions. Members are advised to carefully and thoroughly read their unique insurance policies and to seek further professional advice as needed.

Additionally, Yoga Alliance is holding a workshop with our Alliant Insurance Partners on Friday, April 10 at 2pm ET. Registration details for this event will be made available on our Events page.

If I offer virtual classes, do I need different liability waivers?

Sample release and liability waivers can be found here. However to address be sure to refer to your specific insurance policy and contact your insurance company with additional questions. Members are advised to carefully and thoroughly read their unique insurance policies and to seek further professional advice as needed.

Additionally, Yoga Alliance is holding a workshop with our Alliant Insurance Partners on Friday, April 10 at 2pm ET. Registration details for this event will be made available on our Events page.

Is my credential at risk if I do not follow the recommendations provided by Yoga Alliance communication regarding COVID-19? I feel I know my business and circumstances best and feel more comfortable making my own decisions.

No. Your credential is not at risk.

We at Yoga Alliance are committed to adopting the practices that offer the best protection for our communities. Due to the increasingly rapid transmission of COVID-19, we are aligning with other global institutions and organizations to do our part to limit the spread of this disease, hence our strong recommendation that we limit in-person instruction at this time.

We know this is likely to cause extreme hardship for yoga schools, studios, and contractors. We don’t make this recommendation lightly but do so in the interest of preserving public health, which we can only do together.

If you would like more information about how we arrived at this decision, please click here for a more comprehensive statement.

What are the music copyright considerations for playing music while teaching my class virtually?

Playing music during a yoga class, regardless of location, constitutes as a public performance, which means one should receive permission from the copyright owner. Rights are typically attained through the payment of a licensing fee to a Performing Rights Organization (PRO).

For more information, you can also refer to our music copyright  online workshop and article for a crash course in music licensing. If you are seeking more information on Internet law, you can watch this online workshop, “Internet Laws for Yoga.”

Please note, this information covers music licensing in the United States. If you are a member outside of the US, please consult a legal professional within your country.

Becoming & Staying Certified Online

I am unable to meet my continuing education hour requirement because my course was cancelled due to COVID-19. What can I do to make up those hours?

In light of this pandemic, you may temporarily utilize online courses as contact hours for continuing education through June 30.

Given social distancing requirements and recommendations, will Yoga Alliance relax the requirement for teachers to be in front of trainees, i.e., can we allow trainees to either teach live via video for their teacher’s feedback and/or record themselves teaching to send to their teacher for review?

Yes, Yoga Alliance will allow trainees to teach live via video and/or record themselves teaching live to send to their teacher for review.

For the Lead Trainer observation requirements (and other teachers), will Yoga Alliance accept hours where a trainer is teaching via Zoom or other virtual platform and the trainees are watching them from afar?

Yes. Yoga Alliance will accept hours where a trainer is teaching via an online and/or virtual platform for trainees’ observation.

I am actively enrolled in an RYS 300 professional-level training to up-level to Yoga Alliance’s new Lead Trainer requirements. Given the circumstances, will Yoga Alliance be extending the time Lead Trainers have to up-level to the new trainer requirements?

As of right now, we are not altering the date of February 2022 by which all Lead Trainers need to hold the E-RYT 500 credential. That said, we will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and will provide updates on any changes that we feel are prudent to make in light of this extenuating situation.

If your RYS 300 does not currently know of our temporary provision to allow for virtual learning, please ask them to contact us so that we can work with them to limit any disruption to your current learning environment.

Building a Community Online

What are the best practices for online learning?

To review online learning best practices, please refer to the online learning best practices included in the Guide to RYS Application, and/or review the Standards Review Project Online Learning working group paper about considerations as they pertain to online learning.

For more, please visit our Events page for workshops and dialogues on this and other topics relevant to the current status of our industry, and/or visit our Professional Resources webpage.

What platforms do you recommend for both virtual classrooms and online learning?

Yoga Alliance members receive a discount with Teachable, which is an online platform created specifically for online course generation. Members receive between 15-30% off subscriptions by logging into their Yoga Alliance dashboards.

Other online platforms  that include both free and paid-for options include Canvas, Skype, Zoom, Vimeo, YouTube, Facebook Live, IGTV, and Crowdcast. We recommend members research and explore platforms at their convenience to choose the one that is right for them.

For more on bringing your business to the online space, please refer to our Professional Resources webpage.

Is there a way to connect with other Yoga Alliance members to share resources and information?

Yes. We have created a private Facebook group for exactly this purpose. Join “Yoga Alliance Community in the Time of COVID-19” to connect with one another and openly share resources and experiences. This group is intended as a member-centric platform for member-led and member-driven conversations.

Re-opening Your Studio and Transitioning Back to In-Person Teaching