Yoga Regulation: India Weighs In

iyaDid you know that last year the Indian government formed the Indian Yoga Association (IYA), described as “a self-regulatory body responsible for establishing standards for accrediting yoga institutions, yoga curriculum, and yoga therapy?”

Maybe I was asleep at the keyboard and missed this important event in yoga news? But a quick google search doesn’t turn up anything so maybe this was all done very quietly and without fanfare? The first official meeting of the IYA (which is led by BKS Iyengar!) was in December of 2008 – where are the meeting minutes?! Just kidding! The full list of council members is here.

Their charter is here.

India is of course the birthplace of yoga and generally accepted as yoga’s “motherland.” So in a way it’s no surprise that the Indian government wants to protect yoga’s heritage and create standards for both the education and practice of yoga. I cannot imagine this is an easy task, given the numerous variations of yoga that have emerged. Of course, just defining the word yoga would be a monumental endeavor!

I’m mostly wondering, though, what does this mean for us yoga teachers and practitioners in the West? Will IYA declare that some currently popular forms of yoga in the West aren’t actually “yoga?” Will we need to meet certain standards to use the term “yoga?” What if the IYA and the Yoga Alliance disagree? What if the IYA doesn’t agree with the standards set forth by the Commonwealth of Virginia? Who then is the ultimate authority?


On another note, a HUGE  THANK YOU to yogadork for helping spread the word about the MONEY GRAB in VA.

AND…if you are wondering what happened to the recipes and cuddly dog photos, don’t worry you can find them on my new blog Enjoy!


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