What the world doesn’t need now: yoga licensing
Admittedly I’m not a yoga person, but here in the North East we’re getting drowned in governmental regulation. Now they want to license yoga instructors:
Efforts at Regulation Have Yoga Teachers Bent Out of Shape
It seemed like a good idea at the time. Ten years ago, with yoga transforming itself into a ubiquitous pop culture phenomenon from a niche pursuit, yoga teachers banded together to create a voluntary online registry of schools meeting new minimum standards for training instructors in the discipline.
But that list — which now includes nearly 1,000 yoga schools nationwide, many of them tiny — is being put to a use for which it was never intended. It is the key document in a nationwide crackdown on yoga schools that pits free-spirited yogis against lumbering state governments, which, unlike those they are trying to regulate, are not always known for their flexibility.
Citing laws that govern vocational schools, like those for hairdressers and truck drivers, regulators have begun to require licenses for yoga schools that train instructors, with all the fees, inspections and paperwork that entails. While confrontations have played out differently in different states, threats of shutdowns and fines have, in some cases, been met with accusations of power grabs and religious infringement — disputes that seem far removed from the meditative world yoga calls to mind.
I can smell the fetid odor of taxation rising from the arithmetic:
Regulators said that licensing the schools would allow states to enforce basic training standards and protect customers who usually spend $2,000 to $5,000 on training courses, not to mention provide revenue for cash-starved governments. “If you’re going to start a school and take people’s money, you should play by a set of rules,” said Patrick Sweeney, a Wisconsin licensing official, who believes that in 2004 he was the first state official to discover the online registry and use it to begin regulating yoga teaching.
I was telling a friend that I’m having so much fun at tango that if the goverment finds out, they’ll tax me for it.
I hope I’m wrong.
UPDATE, Sunday 12 July
Welcome, Eternity Road readers.