Introduction to the Council
The Council was registered on April 23, 2012 in response to the growing concern among the top yoga institutions of the world that efforts to maintain yoga standards had been hijacked by unqualified, self-appointed groups resulting in standards and certifications that did not mean much and was confusing the world.
The reality of yoga is that as a spiritual practice it was never seen as a profession in India, the land of its origin. It was seen as a volunteer service. However, today yoga is viewed by some as a profession as groups within the western world have led organized efforts. While this has given much boost to research yoga and bring greater awareness of yoga in the world, it has also diluted the essence of it. It is the hope of the Council to restore the purity of yoga by recognizing appropriate spokespersons for yoga, and with a peer accreditation, democratic approach, to election of Council Directors and to accreditation, instead of a self-appointed approach.
Only institutions are members of the Council, and individuals awarded certification by such accredited institutions may be submitted by the institution to the Council for loading in the searchable database. Once entered in the database by a member institution, the database listing will be displayed for 3 years from the date of certification, and thereafter proof of continuing education requirements must be met to renew for another 3 years.
The Council has authorized 3 types of certification for member institutions :
- AYI – Accredited Institution Yoga Instructor who is eligible to teach a specific yoga regimen in which s/he has been trained, in a manner that is safe. This may also be offered as part of a Bachelor’s degree program.
- AYT – Accredited Institution Yoga Teacher who is certified as capable in customizing yoga exercises according to the need of an individual. This may also be offered as part of a Master’s degree program.
- AYTh – Accredited Institution Yoga Therapist who is certified as a specialist for remedial yoga therapy for specific disabilities or disease conditions.
- AYTP – Accredited Institution Yoga Therapy Physician who is certified as a AYTh and is also a licensed Physician.
- AYTSP – Accredited Institution Yoga Therapy Specialist Physician who is certified as a AYTh, is also a licensed Physician, and is specialized in a practice specialty for yoga therapy.
In addition, the Council also has provision to recognize Masters and Fellows of the Council who have demonstrated extraordinary achievement and contribution to the field of yoga.
The seed of this organization was the signing of an agreement at Mumbai, India on March 25, 2012 by three institutions, two from India and one from the United States. Thereafter, it was registered as a non-profit in the state of Maryland (USA) on April 23, 2012. By that time, and thereafter more institutions joined. The following reputed institutions are charter members by virtue of being the initiators or by joining the group (by invitation) prior to development of a formal application process on June 15, 2012:Amrit Yoga Institute, Florida, USA (www.amrityoga.org)
Dev Sanskriti Vishwa Vidyalay (Shanti Kunj), Haridwar, India (www.dsvv.org)
ICYER – International Conference for Yoga Education and Research, Pondicherry, India (www.icyer.com)
Kaivalyadhama, Lonavla, India (www.kdham.com)
Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation, Chennai, India (www.khyf.net)
Life in Yoga Institute, Maryland, USA (www.lifeinyoga.org)
SVYASA, Bengaluru, India (www.svyasa.org)
The Portuguese Confederation of Yoga, Lisbon, Portugal (yoga-samkhya.pt)
The Yoga Institute, Mumbai, India (www.theyogainstitute.org)
YogaLife Institute, Pennsylvania, USA (www.yogalifeinstitute.com)
All like minded yoga institutions are encouraged to join this effort to make yoga standards more meaningful for the world. Please click here to download an application form in Microsoft word format.