Does Certification of Yoga Instructors Guarantee
Competence or Protect the Pubic?

ON CERTIFICATION: I am all for as much training as a person can get. And Yes, I train yoga & bodywork therapists & teachers. HOWEVER, the idea that a 200 or 500 hour “certification” process gives ANY assurance of competence or proficiency at all is, I believe, presumptuous and misguided.

EXAMPLE: I’ve worked with long-time licensed Physical Therapists who know next to nothing about how to actually work with yoga poses effectively and safely. What some of them do with their patients is, to be frank, appalling to me. And, to be further frank (sorry), I know even fewer yoga teachers who I would put that kind of faith in. They might be wonderful teachers of yoga postures. But here’s the kicker:

There are certain things taught in most yoga classes — most commonly the tucking of the pelvis or “scooping” of the sacrum (which are really the same things) — that I believe are Primary Causes of long term degeneration of hip, knee & facet joints and spinal discs. The same process in turn causes various problems like sciatica, numb legs, plantar fasciitis, restless legs, and many other such problems. Yet you’ll find the vast majority of yoga classes, books and videos teaching this very action. In fact, they even teach that doing so “protects” the back! Now, maybe I am wrong about all that. But EVERYONE I’ve shown my theories to on that issue has either agreed with me (and actually been pretty upset that they had been teaching this very action for so many years), OR, they had NO refutation at all of what I was showing them. So, if something that common is so dangerous, and it is being taught in programs that are “certified” by Yoga Alliance, what are you going to do with THAT piece of data? What ELSE are they teaching, or NOT teaching?

(That, along with other reasons, is why I terminated my membership in Yoga Alliance long ago.)

David Scott Lynn (DSL)
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