New Yoga Teacher Standards

New Standards for Registered Yoga Teacher Trainers, Yoga Teachers and Yoga Schools

We begin a new chapter in the world of yoga for teachers and students as Yoga Alliance begins to implement their new standards. It is a timely follow-up to last month’s article Empowered or Overpowered, and a start toward protecting ourselves and our students. It is the first phase of educating students and teachers what is expected as ethical behavior from a yoga teacher, and teachers are expected to abide by these ethics.

Yoga Alliance now requires all registered yoga teachers and schools to abide by an Ethical Commitment. This includes taking a course in ethics and abiding by their Code of Conduct, Scope of Practice, and Equity policies.

The new standards can be reviewed here. Registered schools and teachers will all meet these new standards by February 2022. You will be able to trust then, that all Lead Trainers for teacher training programs will have their E-RYT500 certification. To become an E-RYT500 (Experienced 500 hour teacher), a teacher has a minimum of 2000 hours of teaching and four years of experience. 200 hour registered yoga teachers who lead a yoga teacher training will need to upgrade from E-RYT200 to E-RYT500 and expand their education, knowledge and skills of yoga beyond the foundations.

Are you are a Lead Trainer who needs to upgrade, or a passionate yoga instructor who wants to learn more beyond the basics? Then consider our upcoming 300 Hour Professional Yoga Teacher Training. This is being offered in four locations over these next two years.

Not everyone may be thrilled about these new standards, but they are well overdue and arrived at through a very thorough process of input from numerous sources. The new standards reflect what the majority asked for. And one of the most important result of these will be a safer environment for our teachers and students.

I believe in life-long learning! Since yoga has been my path since 1973, I can honestly say that the more I learn, the more there is to learn. Yoga is full of layers that you can only comprehend as you continue to study and practice (like it is with any science). Studying yoga and expanding our knowledge base isn’t just about meeting standards, its about our yoga journey, our life-long path in yoga.

Refresh and Reboot Yoga TrainingMugs McConnell, E-RYT500 and co-founder of SOYA, has been practicing yoga for 47 years, teaching for 42, and training yoga teachers for 25 year. She is the author of Letters from the Yoga Masters, a book rich with classical techniques and rich stories shared with her from her teacher, Dr Hari Dickman.


What Will Happen When I Meditate

What Will Happen When I Meditate?

 Used with permission from Dr. Lorin Roche

The main thing you will experience is rhythm, the continuous ebb and flow of many intersecting rhythms, because that is what life is. Your body and mind are composed of complex symphonies of rhythms.

The sensuous texture of meditation is infinitely varied: there are all kinds of subtle sensations, internal imagery, and sound effects. Experience changes moment-to-moment and is always sort of a surprise, like a good movie. One moment you will be in the bliss of an inner vacation, then suddenly you will be thinking of your laundry list. You will never have exactly the same experience twice.

In general, your experience will probably move among the following:

  • Relaxation and relief.
  • Sorting through thoughts about your daily life.
  • Reviewing the emotions you felt during the day and giving them a chance to resolve.
  • Brief moments of deep quiet and inner peace.
  • Near-sleep and dreamlike images.
  • Healing: re-experiencing and then letting go of old hurts.
  • Tuning up: your nervous system fine-tuning itself to the optimal level of alertness.

Every thirty seconds or so, you will probably find your body shifting from one to another of these moods or modes.

You may feel relaxed during all these phases, but the aim of meditation is not relaxation. Meditation is an evolutionary instinct that works to make you more alert and capable of adapting after meditation.

Excerpt from Meditation Made Easy book by Dr. Lorin Roche. Dr. Lorin Roche will hold a free Global telegathering meditation on Thursday, March 19th at 5pm PT. To sign up go to



From Natasha Scott’s Collection of Short Stories – her Journey on the Yoga Path.

I am writing this in Melaque, Mexico, while setting up to lead the SOYA 200hr Teacher Training. I find myself thanking the Divine for every step that has led me here.

The day I signed up for the SOYA yoga teacher training, a lifetime ago, I was following something inside of me that I couldn’t define. Something that was BIG. I found myself handing over 24 post-dated cheques for a 2 year extended 500hr training.

As I drove home after handing in the cheque’s on the first day of training I clearly remember the conflict inside of me. My head was telling me, “How in hell are those cheques not going to bounce? What have you done?”

I felt tears running down my cheeks as I drove home because I didn’t have a good come back for my mind. All I had was this clear, strong, deep feeling inside my heart, leading me to this training. All I could hear from my heart was….. “trust”. I would later find out this word “trust” was to be one of my favourite Sanskrit words: Ishvarapranidhana, meaning surrender to the Divine flow.

When I got home my husband was waiting for me at the front door, along with our toddler and newborn. He had the beautiful news that the property we had been trying to sell….SOLD. And that is how I paid for a teacher training that would pay me be back a million times over. The training that would change the entire path of my life, and allow me to live my dharma. The path that would lead me to this moment in Mexico.

I imagine that if you are reading this, you too have experienced a call, a leap of faith for something you can’t verbally describe to others. When you start connecting to your true self you live in better alignment with the “I” that is undefinable. The true you (awareness) feels amazing, like coming Home, or should I say like coming OM.

OM is often described as saying YES to life, saying yes to your dharma. I often find myself wishing for everyone to experience this. However, everyone must find their own path here. I am so incredibly grateful for all those who have inspired me to listen to something BIG so I don’t have to pretend to be small. Because none of us are small. None of us are definable. How amazing that I get to witness people coming OM. Let the training begin. Swaha❤ 🕉 ⭐

TrustNatasha Scott is the owner of Starlit Yoga and a Lead Trainer for SOYA She specializes in yoga for chronic pain, prenatal and children’s yoga. Natasha will be leading the 200 hour Foundation Immersions at the lovely God’s Mountain Estate from April 13-29th near Penticton, and at Villa Xochipilli in Melaque Mexico Nov 20-Dec 6th. She will also lead the 300 Hr Professional Immersion at God’s Mountain Estate in two modules beginning in Oct 2020.