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:

one organization claiming control of the training + government regulation + bureaucracy = taxes
Sure enough,
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
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6 Responses to “What the world doesn’t need now: yoga licensing”

  1. dan shepherd Says:

    Fausta you are in N.J. I’m sure Tango Night can be found in the tax code.

  2. Pat Patterson Says:

    They’re not going to take these new rules lying down are they?

  3. 11B40 Says:


    I started taking yoga lessons (if that’s what you call them) about eighteen months ago. What I learned was that the guys doing the waterboardings are not only wasting our most precious liquid but also missing out on the infliction of some serious pain. I would recommend my teacher, a kindly Jewish lady, for a position with Mossad or at GITMO in a New York minute. The still functioning part of my brain is quite convinced, at this point,that yoga may well be some kind of subversive Hindu payback on the West for all those years of British colonialism.

    Don’t license them; deport them.

  4. Francis W. Porretto Says:

    “They’re not going to take these new rules lying down are they?”

    Of course not! Lotus position.

    But seriously, it’s time for a huge campaign of passive resistance against the usurpation of powers not constitutionally granted. State governments are under the same obligation as Washington to justify their decrees and exactions by reference to their constitutions — and we’ve let them get away with murder for far too long.

    The keys to resistance of taxation are:
    1) Not to use legal tender;
    2) To stay clear of the regulated banking system, which has become an arm of the State;
    3) Not to buy anything from any government, nor from any organization that sells goods seized by governments.

    The avoidance of legal tender would be difficult at first, but thanks to a number of popularizers and the rise of private mints, it’s begun to catch on. Needless to say, if you keep your wealth in the form of precious metals, you have to secure it privately; you certainly can’t deposit it in a checking account or safely use a bank’s safe-deposit box. And as for the last point, the Amish know how hard it is to tax a man when he has no legal tender to seize…if no one will buy the cows seized from him.

    If we don’t get this ball rolling, pretty soon everything will be either compulsory or forbidden…and all of it will be taxed.

  5. Helen Says:

    Remember what Reagan said: “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” That goes for everything in life.

  6. yoga mat bags Says:

    There’s a lot of noise around this subject, I just wanted to say that licenses won’t make good instructors