Thursday, February 17, 2011

Yoga Studios Establish Yoga Threat System

In response to the many complaints and concerns that Yoga Alliance has received from practicing yoga students, the organization has decided to initiate an early warning 'threat' assessment requirement for yoga teachers. This volunteer system stems out of alleged abuses students have encountered from teachers while practising yoga in public studios. The complaints range from overcrowded classrooms to non-harmonious yoga music. Though it is believed that most yoga teachers oppose the enactment of a 'threat' system, students and a majority of studio owners support this as way to weed out rouge and out-of-control teachers "who insist on doing crazy ass stuff that stress out students."

Though the initial number of threat warnings will be somewhat limited, they are nonetheless the most egregious of complaints cited against teachers and some yoga studios. These include:

Crowded classrooms
Partner poses
Excessive chanting
Yoga teacher BS
Creepy yoga music

Other warnings likely to be added in the future are warnings for overpriced classes, teachers engaging in spiritual platitudes and/or labored metaphors and yoga classes that attract a high number of students who exhibit hideous yogatude tendencies.

The threat system will be voluntary for the time being but the initial guidelines have already been hammered out. Yoga studios will be required to post the level of threat that each yoga teacher poses on its website alongside the teacher's name. In addition, a yoga threat meter is to be placed on the reception desk at the beginning of each class and adjusted accordingly to the teacher that is instructing the class.

"We feel that we have now gone to the next logical step in rating teachers beyond their 200 and 500 hour certifications", explained Jenni-ji, spokesyogi for Yoga Alliance. "Without a reliable guide and tracking of a teacher's classroom behaviors, the student is at the mercy of a teachers’ idiosyncratic behavior. If we can warn yoga students about teacher’s unhealthy tendencies such as spouting unending philosophical hooey and that most feared of all yoga phrases, "Okay students, choose a partner for the next pose", we feel we have fulfilled our purpose as an oversight organization for yoga. Though we will most likely never be able to weed out all the problem teachers, we feel that students will now have a better chance of guarding themselves against yoga teachers that are simply crazy.”

All in all, yoga students seem to really like the new system. As Yogi Crocket explained, "In the past, there was no of telling what kind of crap a teacher was going to pull during class. Now at least, if the Yoga Class Advisor sign shows a high possiblity of partner poses, I can leave, then and there and go to another studio. This is brilliant! I'm a little surprised that YogaDawg didn't come up with this idea."