State legislation seeks to exempt yoga from trade school regulations

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - Introduced to the Idaho legislature last Friday, House Bill 108 states it exempts yoga teachers from registration similar to trade schools.

In the midst of some confusion about requirements for yoga instructors, the state house bill wants to make things clear.

"The [Idaho State Board of Education] had contacted some of these yoga teacher training programs asserting that they may be required to comply with regulations meant for schools providing vocational, technical, or provisional training," said Barbara Dobberthien, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Yoga Alliance, a nonprofit association representing the yoga community.

She went on to say yoga teacher training programs would have to pay fees and comply with regulations similar to that of a welding or truck driving program.

"Really a poor fit for a yoga program,” Dobberthien said.

Local yoga instructor Kirsten Clancy echoed this sentiment.

"If it costs more money or if there's more technical hoops to jump through, it might discourage someone who is just doing it for their own personal gain,” she said.

Dobberthien said most yogi's take the advanced courses called 'yoga teacher training' or YTT for themselves, not for teacher certification.

"Most participants attend typically to deepen their practice in a group setting, and completion of a YTT program is not a prerequisite to teach yoga,” she said.

Both Dobberthien and Clancy said very few people actually make a living by solely teaching yoga.

"Yoga instruction is not a licensed profession in Idaho or anywhere in the country," Dobberthien said.

House Bill 108 wants to keep it that way.

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