I was on a website the other day that referred to itself as offering IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapists) yoga therapy certification. As of right now that does not even exist according to IAYT. And even if it did, 500 hours is not considered sufficient for yoga therapy training. 200 hour yoga teachers are performing physical therapy treatment descriptions, schools are offering certifications in all sorts of specialties as though they are nationally recognized, when the “certification” is really a certificate of training from that particular school and may not be recognized nor accepted anywhere else.
It is when yoga instructors begin to march to the marketing drum, how many students they can cram into a training, or when they offer certifications without clear explanation of what they are awarding, is why we need to have some kind of licensing policy. Many have gone past the point of harmless and have stepped into creating harm. Either through misrepresentation of ability to clients, or by taking money from students who are not savvy about certifications versus certificates of training. Very different concepts.
At The Yoga Connection, we offer a 200 hour Yoga Alliance teacher training (preparing for a 500), and a Yoga Alliance accredited Pre/Post Natal teacher training. All other trainings are certificates of training until some governing body determines that there is a need for curriculum. So there is no such thing as a nationally recognized Senior yoga certification (even Carol Krukoff’s Yoga for Seniors is a certificate of training not a certification which Duke is very careful to describe), or a Yin training or PTSD or any thing else at this present time according to the 2 governing bodies in yoga: Yoga Alliance and IAYT.
It is up to the student to be vigilant and investigate the qualifications of the training programs and the program offering a training ethically should be clear about what trainings are recognized certifications and which are certificates of training.
If not, eventually states will step in as yoga becomes more popular. There is money to be made by licensing but it creates a standard of professionalism & accountability that, I feel, many yogis and yoginis are not living up to.