Council for Yoga Accreditation International (CYAI) is a Global Forum that recognizes the broad application of yoga philosophy and approaches in many fields and is modeled as a knowledge integrator for global advancement.

Introduction to the Council

The Council was registered on April 23, 2012 in response to the growing concern that yoga standards did not reflect the deeper aspects of yoga –- largely focused on Hatha yoga ignoring other traditions and principles of yoga from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. India, being the originator of yoga, understandably the majority of the yoga institutions (of high reputation) represented in the formation of the Council were from India, although the Council was registered in the United States. At the outset the focus was on institutional accreditation, and thereafter by March 2015, the Council also developed three standard tests as a single certification standard for three levels of yoga certification. Before these could be implemented, on June 21 2015, yoga standards were announced in India with the involvement of the Indian government and affiliated bodies. This resulted in cascading forces that initially froze activities for a couple of years, then a decision was taken to have higher Council standards, and thereafter under duress resulted in eventual withdrawal of the Indian Institutions in 2019.

Thereafter, some non-Indian members worked to reorganize the Council with a new orientation with revised by-laws approved on September 15, 2020. The focus was to address not only the shortcomings in standards and applications that initially caused the formation of the Council, but also to address the shortcomings of the Indian standards.

Following are the differences: :

  • Defining yoga in terms of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and having standards that are not based on practice approaches. While current standards of many bodies focus on Hatha Yoga practice approach, our approach is inclusive of all traditions of practice whether from the Tantra and Bhakti traditions, or from spiritual traditions outside India.
  • Application of yoga focused on all aspects of life and scientific knowledge, including different cultures and medical sciences. The intent being better global health, and global peace through recognition of unity in the diversity of religious traditions.
  • Active integration of traditional medicine concepts like bio-meridians (Naadis in Yoga, Mai in Chinese Medicine) to track impact of practices.
  • Use of scientific measurement tools (like Electro-Photonic Imaging [EPI]) to enable objective measurement and analysis of yogic practices.
  • Membership opened globally to all who have an interest in existential knowledge enhancement. Individual and organizational membership is open to all who wish to learn and impact the knowledge development process. Among them some organizations may seek accreditation and some individuals may seek certification.
  • Board membership expanded to include 9 yoga experts and 6 scientific and spiritual experts irrespective of religious affiliations.

The Council has authorized 3 types of certification for individuals :

  • AYI – Accredited Yoga Instructor who is eligible to teach a specific yoga regimen in which s/he has been trained, in a manner that is safe.
  • AYT – Accredited Yoga Teacher who is certified as capable in customizing yoga exercises according to the need of an individual.
  • AYTh – Accredited Yoga Therapist who is certified as a specialist for remedial yoga therapy for specific disabilities or disease conditions.

All like minded individuals and institutions are encouraged to join this effort. Please click here to register for membership.