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Elevated RYS 200 Standards

Core Curriculum

In June 20190, Yoga Alliance launched new Elevated Standards to replace our Legacy Standards underlying the foundational Registered Yoga School (RYS) 200 credential. This adaptation substantially increases the baseline for this credential, providing consistency across RYS 200s and building confidence in the quality and safety of service that our members deliver to their communities.

  • Legacy RYS 200 Standards: YA standards crafted and implemented prior to February 27, 2020. RYS 200 programs were initially asked to up-level by February 2022, however, due to COVID-19’s impacts, the original February 2022 deadline for current RYS 200 members to meet these up-leveled Standards has been put on pause. Members will be informed of all relevant changes as they develop.
  • Elevated RYS 200 Standards: Enhanced standards launched on February 27, 2020 as a result of the community-led Standards Review Project. All aspiring RYS 200 programs must now apply under these standards.

Within the Elevated Standards is a shared core curriculum inclusive of lineage, style, and methodology. This curriculum includes a clear breakdown of four Educational Categories and 12 competencies encompassing respective sub-competencies [?]—all of which must be tested [?] for integration and application of knowledge.

Under these modernized standards, each RYS also assesses the knowledge, skills, and experience of its trainees prior to certifying them as 200-hour teachers against this core curriculum.

New RYS Core Curriculum
While the core curriculum requires 200 hours of instruction and training embodying the Educational Categories and competencies above, RYS 200s are encouraged to offer additional hours as desired or needed to expand upon their unique yoga focus(es). We value the respective points of view and areas of interest for all yoga school members, and promote additional education to support the lineage, style, or methodology unique to them.

What has changed?

When compared to our Legacy Standards, the Elevated Standards do the following:

  • Embrace an Hours + Competencies model centered around a common core curriculum made up of four Educational Categories, 12 competencies, and many sub-competencies, moving away from strictly an hours-based model based on Educational Categories;
  • Require 100% of the minimally-required hours to be classroom hours [?] tied directly to the core curriculum and learning objectives;
  • Allow for a maximum of 40 classroom hours to be delivered online (shared across the categories of Anatomy & Physiology and Yoga Humanities. See the RYS 2021 Online Teaching Exemption for more information.
  • Require RYSs to assess the knowledge, skills, and experience of their trainees prior to certifying them as 200-hour teachers (something that many Legacy RYSs currently do as a “best practice”); and
  • Increase the requirements of the RYS 200 Lead Trainer.

Lead Trainer Requirements

As part of the Standards Review Project, we took an in depth look at what qualified yoga teachers to lead teacher training programs around the world—the results of which are detailed within the Teacher Trainer Qualifications working group paper. From this exploration, we adapted the Lead Trainer Requirements within the Elevated Standards to better promote consistency, quality, and safety within YTT programs.

Notably, under the Elevated Standards, all Lead Trainers must hold the E-RYT 500 credential and teach at least 150 of the minimally-required 200 hours of the foundational teacher training program. Each RYS 200 may also have up to five Lead Trainers.

Lead Trainer Pathway For New RYS Standards


Registered Yoga School (RYS) Application Process

  • To meet the Elevated Standards, existing RYS 200s must up-level by February 2022. [?]
  • New applicants for any Registered Yoga School (RYS) credential will apply under the strengthened application and review process, providing greater shared accountability to meet or exceed Yoga Alliance’s standards.

This enhanced application allows for a deeper understanding of an applicant’s yoga teacher training program, including schedule, curriculum, assessment methods, and training manual(s) and other materials.

Application Resources

We respect and value the work, energy, time, and love that goes into becoming a Registered Yoga School. To help, we’ve put together a variety of resources to streamline the RYS applicant process.

Application Resources

We respect and value the work, energy, time, and love that goes into becoming a Registered Yoga School. To help, we’ve put together a variety of resources to streamline the RYS applicant process.


About Sunday morning

Sunday Morning Contemplation is informed by Eastern and Western contemplative traditions. The first, lectio divina has its origins in 6th century Europe. It unfolds in four steps or stages: reading (lectio), reflecting (meditatio), responding (oratio), and silent abiding (contemplatio). Our Eastern inspiration come from the Indian Upanishads (800-200 BCE), where contemplative practice consists of three steps or stages: listening (śravana), reflecting (manana), and meditating (nididhyāsana or dhyāna). Our contemplative practice on Sundays embraces both approaches, and each contemplation will be based on a reading from either tradition.

The texts and teachers I have chosen played a significant role in my life and I believe have much to offer. I will read presellected texts, slowly, with pauses between verses or quotes. The readings will be accompanied by soothing background music. To lessen distraction, I suggest participants close their eyes and listen. However, the screen will display the text so that people can choose to read along or mute the sound and read on their own. If there is time remaining after the contemplative period, participants can choose to either leave or stay for a short discussion.

As a preface to the reading, I will provide a 10-15 minute introduction to the text. When relevant, I’ll review facts about the author/teacher’s life. I will also present a brief explanation of the terms and language encountered in the reading.

Finally, when the contemplation is over, all texts read will be available online to read and/or download at any time on the website.

What I mean by
The Symbolic Life

This website makes liberal use of classical Indian visual art and refers mostly to traditional Indian texts (for example, the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutras) in the courses, seminars, and discussions on offer. However, I am not presenting lessons in Hinduism; in fact, teaching mainstream Hinduism is neither my area of interest nor expertise. Rather, my interest in Yoga and Tantra is grounded in the concrete situation in which we find ourselves, in the places where we arrive and from which we depart. Beginning in the here and now, we will explore the underlying meaning of the symbols, stories, images, philosophies, and techniques found in Indian philosophical texts and practice, in light of our world and our current circumstance. We will excavate the meaning of the aphorisms and teaching stories; the symbolic figures of gods, people, and nature; and the sometimes terse, sometimes poetic, philosophy of the texts. Thus, in referring to the Symbolic Life of Yoga and Tantra, I mean not just the symbols themselves, but the rich explication of life that the symbols represent.

Our lived, concrete situation is wonderfully captured in the Sanskrit word loka, whose ancient meaning is “the world.”  The root meaning of both the Sanskrit loka and the English locate (and local, locale, and location) is identical. In the ancient Indian mind, the world is where we are located, in our current circumstance. Thus, the meaning of the symbols of Yoga and Tantra can occur only in the now, in the places where we find ourselves, and not in any imagined ancient and/or foreign world.

To emphasize our place of origin and return, I use the terms “archetypal” and “symbolic” quite frequently. Archetypal meaning is associated with the universal and collective aspects of human experience—what we intimately share with all others regardless of culture or era or epoch—while symbolic language forms a bridge between the realms of the universal with the culturally specific and local. Symbols are the scaffolding upon which human beings build a world and imbue it with meaning.

Think for a moment of pain and pleasure, sorrow and joy, hatred and love, and greed and generosity—universal experiences that ancient Indian thinkers called the dvandva-s. This Sanskrit term is a combination of two words, or rather, one word spoken twice: the word dva (meaning the same as the English “two”) duplicated. Dvandva is commonly translated as “the pair of opposites” or literally “the two-twos” (dvadva). The ancients who coined this compact symbol gave voice to an archetypal human experience that can be further unpacked to reveal deep insights into the human condition. Once we gain an understanding of the various symbols of Yoga and Tantra, we can further excavate their meaning and the archetypes they convey, and thus gain access to, in a practical and meaningful way, the vision of life experienced by the sages. These insights are available to us and are still relevant today, as are the resilient and adaptable techniques and forms of practice that can help us lead richer and more fulfilling lives