Yoga Therapy Policy

Last Updated: April 3, 2018

Yoga Alliance’s Code of Conduct includes the following commitment, binding on all registrants: each registrant agrees to “acknowledge the limitations of my skills and scope of practice and where appropriate, refer students to seek alternative instruction, advice, treatment or direction.”

While some members of the yoga community have chosen to advertise themselves as offering “yoga therapy” services or training in “yoga therapy” techniques, Yoga Alliance Standards for Registered Yoga Schools do not include any instruction in yoga therapy techniques or other methods of diagnosing or treating a mental or physical injury or illness. Therefore, no Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School or Registered Yoga Teacher may rely on or use their RYS, RYT, or YACEP Designations to hold themselves out as qualified to work as a “yoga therapist” or to train others in “yoga therapy” methods.

Yoga Alliance considers “yoga therapy” references to include the terms “yoga therapy,” “yoga therapist,” or any claim to provide yoga-related training or instruction designed to diagnose or treat mental or physical health conditions, injuries, or illnesses. As a matter of policy, Yoga Alliance will not allow Registry directory listings to include “yoga therapy” references. Directory listings may describe, however, an emphasis on the therapeutic benefits of yoga practice and may reference the therapeutic benefits of yoga in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In addition, directory listings may include a link to an independent website in that provides more information about the teaching or training practices of the teacher or school.

In marketing or advertising materials that are independent of the Registry directory, a teacher or school that references “yoga therapy” services or training must identify the source (other than Yoga Alliance) of certification, accreditation, licensure, or other credential on which they base their “yoga therapy” offerings. For example, a teacher who is a licensed physical therapist may have a website or use advertising materials identifying themself as an RYT and as a “PT licensed in {states},” offering “yoga therapy as a component of my physical therapy practice.” Failure to identify a credential or qualification related to the teacher or school’s “yoga therapy” work or training activities would create the incorrect impression that the Yoga Alliance registration provides the foundation for the claimed “yoga therapy” expertise.

Consistent with the procedures in the Code of Conduct, Yoga Alliance will revoke a member’s right to use the RYS and RYT Registry Marks for violating this policy. Prior to revoking a registrant’s right to use the Registry Mark, Yoga Alliance will provide the registrant notice of the basis for the potential revocation and an opportunity to respond in writing. Any registrant currently using “yoga therapy” references in violation of this policy must remove all such references from their websites, advertisements, directory listings, and other public materials by October 1, 2016.

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