Texas Yoga Association:
It has been a very active year since the Texas Workforce Commission challenged our current way of sharing yoga with the public. The Texas Yoga Association stood up to the challenge with several other “warriors” of Texas. The TYA, working diligently with our elected representatives in the Texas State Legislature, succeeded in getting a bill filed that will be the vehicle for exemption of yoga from state attempts to impose burdensome and intrusive regulation through the Texas Workforce Commission.
The latest developments in the effort to get YOGA exempted from the TWC's regulatory control is underway. It has been a very long and arduous process. Our bills seeking to keep regulation out of our yoga have finally been filed in the Texas Legislature. Our first bill (Yoga Exemption Bill) was filed by Rep. Larry Phillips and our second bill (Definition of Post-Secondary) has been filed by Rep. Jim Murphy. With the efforts of the Texas Yoga Association and with the help from Yoga Alliance, we are getting closer to reaching our goal of keeping Yoga free from Governmental control. There is much work to be done and we anticipate that the TWC and others will continue to push for regulation that will mount a strong challenge to these bills. Things are looking up for Texas Yoga and let's cross our fingers and "yogi toes" that this bill becomes law and that the teaching of yoga will be exempt from state regulation.
We would like to thank John Matthews, current president from Yoga Alliance, for stepping forward to help us in our efforts. We were very proud to see YA come to our front yard and to be of service. This is unity at its finest and only gratitude is what we feel. Let's change the law Texas!"
"I am neither an optimist nor a pessimist. I am a possibilitist." ~Max Lerner
Message from Yoga Alliance
Various departments of government in many states are looking to yoga schools as a new source of revenue in hard times, often invoking a public safety or consumer protection mandate as rationale. This has created a great deal of stress and hardship for many schools, particularly small schools. Because so many schools are small and operate at the margin of profitability, there is a very real fear that heavy handed and ill-informed regulation will drive out of business otherwise viable establishments that are needed to meet the growing public demand for competent instruction. If there are fewer schools there will be fewer teachers, and if there are fewer teachers there will be less yoga at a time when what is desperately needed is more yoga.
So what can we do? Stay informed! If you teach or prepare others to teach, or if you practice and expect to be taught by someone knowledgeable and able, you need to know what the regulatory apparatus in your state looks like and whether it includes yoga within the scope of what it has authority over. If it does, you need to know whether it actively regulates yoga, considers yoga to be within its scope but has traditionally ignored yoga, or - most importantly - is considering or planning to move to a more aggressive regulatory posture towards yoga in your state.
Organize - Establish relationships with other schools and teachers in your state and develop pro-active plans to shape how and whether your state includes yoga in what it believes it has control over. Don't wait until the regulators have shown their hand. Our friends in Virginia, New York, Texas and elsewhere can tell you that once the state machinery is moving it is much more difficult to react. Don't wait until the wolf is at the door.
Educate your constituents - Make sure your students and your friends know what is at stake and find ways for them to be involved.