National yoga certification could be coming to India

The Indian government might piggyback on an effort to standardize the teaching of yoga and establish a certification program — and it might unveil details on International Yoga Day, reports say.

One of those reports, from the Times of India, says the goal is to instill some quality control:

“In the absence of a regulatory authority , the government is thinking of bringing some quality control,” says Ishwar V Basavaraddi, di rector of Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, an autonomous institution under AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy , Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) ministry , refusing to elaborate further. This is based on global standards.Anyone can get certified based on their knowledge and teaching skills,” says H R Nagendra, chancellor of S-VYASA Yoga University and PM Narendra Modi’s yoga therapist.

Even before the current government took an interest, a group of renowned gurus has been working on ways to standardize the teaching of yoga. The aim is to stem what they call a “dilution of the traditions”. Also, countries like the US and Germany have long stolen a march in certifying yoga teachers and giving it a professional touch.

In a bid to catch up, the Indian Yoga Association, a self-regulatory body consisting of 15 yoga schools, has readied a draft list of 10 types of teachers, based on training, experience and academic work. For instance, a juniorlevel instructor needs a minimum of six month certification course while a therapist should have at least a PG diploma in yoga therapy . Those with a medical degree and a PG diploma in yoga therapy can become `yoga chikitsa paramarshaka’. Doctorate is a must for lecturers and professors just as in any academic discipline. The association is also working on developing curriculum and accreditation guidelines for institutes.

It sounds like one of the concerns is just having anyone show up in Rishikesh and claim to be a yoga teacher. (I’d argue there’s a long, long history of that. But perhaps not quite to the grand extent in today’s global environment.)

The story lists some of those association members, and KPJAYI isn’t among it, nor any I recognize as “Ashtanga.” And no sense of what this effort might mine for a place that does its own authorization/certification. I also think what might be interesting is how India would handle foreign teachers coming in for retreats/trainings.

Posted by Steve


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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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