Money Grab: Virginia Tells Yoga Teacher Training Schools to Submit and Pay Up

Following in the footsteps of Michigan, Arizona, and New York, Virginia has decided that it too needs to require it’s yoga teacher training programs to file for a state “Certificate to Operate.”

Citing Virginia Title 23 of the Code of Virginia, the Commonwealth is requiring all teacher training schools to:

  1. Attend a new school orientation. In Richmond. For $150.
  2. Submit a complete certificate application plus a fee of $2500. To see the 16 forms that need to be completed, click here.
  3. Undergo a site visit – not sure what comes out of this.

I’ve also learned:

  • There is a recurring annual fee of $2500 to maintain the “Certificate to Operate.” That’s a whole lotta dough to a yoga studio!
  • Each school / studio must submit to random audits. For any violation (that could mean having the logo on the wrong spot in your documents), there is a $1000 fine per violation. SCARY.
  • In addition, the Commonwealth will determine additional fees to be paid based on the studio’s income (overall income or teacher training income, we’re not sure). SCARY.

Virginia Title 23, chapter 21.1 23-276, 1-276 of the Code of Virginia states that

  • No person shall open, operate or conduct any postsecondary school in this Commonwealth without a certificate to operate such postsecondary school issued by the Council.
  • “Postsecondary school” or “school” means any entity offering formal instructional programs with a curriculum designed primarily for students who have completed the requirements for a high school diploma or its equivalent.

But yoga teacher trainings are not postsecondary! The Commonwealth has been advised of this but they say “pay up” anyway.

Hmmm…money grab? I think so!

So far we know that 4 studios in VA have decided to hang up their teacher training mats, leaving us with just 20 teacher training programs in the entire state. Not good for the public, not good for the studios, and not good for the Commonwealth as that means less income for them to tax!

Double Dog Yoga specializes in Absolute Beginner vinyasa (flow) style yoga classes. We offer small group and one-on-one instruction that ideal for people who have always wanted to try yoga but not sure where to begin. Vinyasa yoga is a practice in which a series of postures (asanas) are linked via your breath. The result is a flowing practice that may improve your cardiovascular system, enhance your flexibility, and build strength. Learn more about Double Dog Yoga by visiting our site at


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10 Responses to “Money Grab: Virginia Tells Yoga Teacher Training Schools to Submit and Pay Up”

  1. Olga Rasmussen Says:

    This is truly frightening. How does it impact on other training programs – such as pilates, etc.? I am wondering if there is any way to fight this?

  2. doubledogyoga Says:

    There’s always a way 🙂 I’m putting together a plan as I write this… we HAVE to fight this. And it WILL eventually affect other teacher training programs – anyone teaching people to be pilates teachers, martial arts, coaches. VA has already targeted someone who teaches how to shoe horses.

    • Jean Says:

      It is about the money. SCHEV (State Council of Higher Education for Virginia) currently requires that any proprietary school that grosses anywhere from $0 (that’s zero) to $50,000 pay an annual “fee” of $500. That means any training school, not only Yoga teacher trainings, has to pay the State of Virginia $500 every year, even if they gross only $300. In addition, teachers have to pay for a surety bond. (It’s not as bad as it used to be. When SCHEV first took over supervision of proprietary schools a few years ago they were actually demanding a $1500 annual “fee.”)

  3. doubledogyoga Says:

    And just in case you are not from VA and thinking this won’t impact you…it’s happening in NJ now too..

  4. Jill Cheretis Says:

    This is just another example of big government. Whenever goverment gets as big as its getting – in all aspects of our lives – regulations, taxes, fees, and more will be imposed. I will not be suprised if the goverment also regulates what is taught (what can be said, what cannot be said.) It is a true sign of the times. In Greece – socialism is a way of life. They cannot even train any type of teacher (including yoga instructors) there without a goverment approval on the their teacher training. Hate to be negative, but how do you fight government regulations? These are our elected officials in VA (although reelection is just around the corner).

  5. Ann Says:

    I’m appalled at this. Money grab for sure. What a travesty!! I’d like to help in protesting. Disgusting!

  6. In the Midst of a Recession, VA Bullies Yoga Studios into Paying Unreasonable Fees « Double Dog Yoga Blog Says:

    […] Double Dog Yoga Blog if you can breathe, you can do yoga! « Money Grab: Virginia Tells Yoga Teacher Training Schools to Submit and Pay Up […]

  7. Licensing Update: Virginia Joins in ‘Pay Now or Pay Later’ The State vs. Yoga Studios Says:

    […] June 5 update: Handed down from upon high, the Commonwealth known as Virginia has joined in on the clampdown […]

  8. Education Jobs Blogger Says:

    If Yoga Teaching training was good before it was “taxed”, why the new resolution? Is there any legitimate reason for paying a certificate to operate?

  9. doubledogyoga Says:

    nope! just a way to get $$ from small businesses!

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