Last Updated: November 7, 2023
Yoga Alliance (YA) has new standards for a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training, RYS 200.
YA has added the new 2024 training provisions for Registered Yoga Schools (RYS) and they include important updates about the Lead Trainer credentials for an RYS 200.
The provisions matched what our YA account rep told us in an online meeting. Unfortunately if you have questions about these provisions, you can no longer call YA to talk to someone. But you can email or make an appointment to meet online, so if you aren’t sure what this all means for your yoga teacher training plans and RYS, we recommend contacting YA.
Yoga Trainer Fast Track schools can take their time to decide on a format moving forward. We’ll make sure your transition to the new provisions goes smoothly. That’s part of your service. Plus YA hasn’t opened RYS upgrading yet, so you’ve got time to think about your upgrade.
Big Changes in Distance Learning
The big news in Training is that “Distance Learning” is now allowed in perpetuity, meaning the days of training “in the physical presence of your trainer” are gone. That’s a huge change from the 160 hours that had to be in-person before COVID. Now distance learning can be 100% of the training. The new stipulations are with live training and pre recorded training.
What exactly is distance Learning?
We’ll be meeting with YA to clarify a few of the official policies around distance learning. One thing that has us confused is what counts as distance learning. The YA website says:
- Require 100% of the minimally-required hours to be classroom hours [?] tied directly to the core curriculum and learning objectives;
- Classroom Hours Definition: occur in the physical, online real-time, or online pre-recorded presence of a Lead Trainer, Trainer, or other faculty.
- The Guidebook to RYS Application (p. 51) describes many Distance Learning Best Practices including: The delivery of distance learning content should be varied, providing a balanced blend of prerecorded and live, interactive material in order to serve multiple modalities of learning. Recommend to only utilize content that Lead Trainer has either thoroughly vetted or created or curated themselves.
- Then the Guidebook says the training must include:
“Competency assessment throughout the program is key, to show knowledge integration (such as quizzes, video submissions, essays).”
If a student is required to videotape themself teaching and upload it, that doesn’t meet the classroom hour definition. Would those be extra hours in the 200 Hour training?
What about homework assignments? Any hours that aren’t classroom hours would not count towards the 200 hour training. However they can be added as additional hour, for example, you could offer a 220 hour training with 200 classroom hours and 20 hours of homework.
New Synchronous Hours for Yoga Teacher Training
The other big announcement is that 15% of any training must be synchronous (live online or in-person). This translates as a minimum synchronous hours of:
- 200 Hour RYS = 30 hours live
- 300 Hour RYS = 45 hours live
- 500 Hour RYS = 75 hours live
- Children’s RCYS = 14 hours live
- Prenatal RPYS = 13 hours live
This is quite a change from before COVID when only 20% could be distance learning. Yoga Alliance has basically flipped the script for Yoga Teacher Training based on what we experienced about distance learning during COVID.
Of course, the new 15% is the minimum synchronous hours in a training.
You can offer more live hours if you want to create an interesting training with more interaction. It will be up to each yoga school to decide.
Application and Upgrading for Yoga Alliance RYS’s
Schools applying for the RYS credential will need to specify which hours are synchronous in their RYS application. Upgrades for current RYS schools is still on hold. RYS’s under the olds standards will eventually have to update their YA curriculum, but the date for these updates has not been announced.
Lead Trainer Requirements for RYS Trainings
When we drill down into the numbers, we see that Lead Trainers must still teach 150 hours of the training. However, YA doesn’t specify whether these hours need be live or asynchronous. Upon consulting with our YA rep, we learned that it is up to the RYS whether hours taught by the lead trainer or other trainers. Schools can also decide which educational categories these hours come from.
Until 2024, Lead Trainers can still hold the E-RYT 200 credential. YA states the Lead Trainer requirement will change to E-RYT 500 on January 1, 2025. Right now an E-RYT 200 can be a lead trainer until Dec. 31, 2024.
Opportunities for Yoga Teachers to Lead Training
This means that a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) could lead between 30 – 50 hours of live training (either in person or online) and the remaining 150 – 170 hours can be recorded distance learning. This format complies with the YA requirements for a training.
This creates new opportunities for yoga teachers and studio owners who do not have a lead trainer to license recorded teacher training and teach the remaining live hours themselves.
Are you a Continuing Education Provider?
Continuing Education can also be offered in a distance learning format, whether asynchronous or synchronous.
Yoga Alliance Core Curriculum for 2024 Onward
If you are an experienced Yoga Teacher considering offering Yoga Teacher Training, take note: Yoga Alliance’s School application process changed on Feb. 27, 2020 to reflect the new Yoga Alliance Standards.
Yoga Alliance Standards Series
- Enhanced Lead Trainer Requirements: this page explains what they are and when you will need to have them by if you are a Lead Trainer or thinking of becoming a Lead Trainer of a Yoga Teacher Training.
- New Application Process, Educational Categories and Core Competencies: All Registered Yoga Schools will require a new syllabus. Let’s look at the changes,
Part 1: Enhanced Lead Trainer Requirements
The standards for lead trainers of a Yoga Teacher Training are changing significantly, from E-RYT 200 to E-RYT 500. The deadline for this change is still under review because of the COVID provisions.
At this time, to lead a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training you need to be an E-RYT 200, meaning you have:
- a minimum 200 hour training from a YA-RYS,
- at least 2 years since graduating from the RYS,
- 1000 hours of yoga teaching experience since graduating from the RYS
Question for Yoga Alliance: We’ll confirm with YA whether the minimum hours taught by a lead trainer has increased from 65 to 150 at this time.
Current vs. Enhanced Lead Trainer Requirements
At some point the Lead Trainer requirements for a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training change to E-RYT 500, meaning you have:
- a minimum of 500 hours of training from YA registered schools,
- at least 4 years since graduating from the RYS,
- 2000 hours of yoga teaching experience, with a minimum of 500 hours since graduating from the 300 HR or 500 HR RYS.
That’s more than double the training and experience!
What Else Changes for Lead Trainers?
Another change is the number of hours the lead trainer must teach. Currently, the Lead Trainers must teach 65 hours of the 200 Hour training.
Schools registering under the NEW standards require 150 hours taught by Lead Trainers (with the E-RYT 500 designation). RYS’s can have up to five lead trainers in their school. 50 hours can be taught by other specialists in the educational category.
How to Get a 200 Hour Yoga School?
At Ambassador Yoga, our goal is to support experienced yoga teachers to offer YA Registered Yoga Teacher Training, so the YA changes are big news with new opportunities for teachers.
If you have the E-RYT 500 designation with Yoga Alliance you will be able to open a 200 Hour Registered Yoga School. You can write your own yoga school syllabus and manuals or get support and license our 200 Hour program. We will give you everything you need to register with Yoga Alliance too.
If you are an experienced Yoga Teacher who is not eligible to register with Yoga Alliance as a Lead Trainer. Ambassador Yoga can accept experienced Yoga Teachers who want to become Lead Trainers and use 150 – 170 Hours of recorded training with a YA qualified Lead Trainer. This means you would teach 30 – 50 hours of the YTT and offer a YA-RYS training even if you are not a Registered Yoga Teacher.
Alternately, you can register a training with other organizations where you qualify, like Canadian Yogic Alliance or the International Yoga Federation, or remain an unregistered school like many schools. You will be required to inform your students of your status on your website and intake forms.
Do the Yoga Alliance Changes Affect You?
What has been your take on the new Yoga Alliance Standards? Have they affected you? Are you considering leaving Yoga Alliance? Have you already left?
We have seen so many E-RYT 200’s lead amazing Yoga Teacher Training programs that have changed the lives of their students. We hope people continue to consider their options to offer training even though it may seem confusing. We help make it easier.
We’d love your thoughtful feedback if you have any to share.