Dear RYS Member,

We at Yoga Alliance hope that you and your loved ones, both inside and outside of yoga, are safe and healthy during this uncertain time. As the coronavirus’s impact and reach continues to grow, and the idea of “social distancing” becomes a reality in more locations, we have been hearing questions from many in our community about how to continue to deliver yoga instruction–which may be more important than ever–in safe and effective ways.

Specifically, many of you, our Registered Yoga Schools (RYSs), are seeking to continue your active teacher training programs while limiting potential coronavirus exposure to trainers and trainees and, as such, have asked whether we could allow you to deliver contact hours in a distance learning format. While the up-leveled RYS 200 standards do allow for a limited number of classroom hours to be delivered online within two of the four Educational Categories, all of our RYS 300 and RYS 500 members as well as those RYS 200 members that have not yet up-leveled are operating under standards that do not allow for any contact hours to be delivered online.

However, given the unique situation we are all in with respect to COVID-19, and in response to members’ concerns about their communities’ safety, we have decided to temporarily allow our schools to offer contact hours in any of the five Educational Categories in a virtual format during currently-active teacher trainings from today (March 13) until April 13, effective immediately. We request that schools make every attempt to deliver this virtual training LIVE, so as to replicate their in-person training(s) as much as possible.

Yoga Alliance is monitoring the COVID-19 developments daily and will be re-assessing this temporary provision on a weekly basis. If it is necessary to extend this allowance, we will let you know.

If you plan to take advantage of this temporary provision and thereby offer some of your teacher training(s) virtually during this time period, please email with the name of your RYS, the dates of the your training program overall, specifically the dates of the portions of the training to be offered virtually, and the total amount of contact hours you will be delivering virtually with no restriction on Educational Category. Member Support will respond and confirm your plans for temporary virtual training delivery in order to document that your RYS is still in compliance with our standards during this unique time.

As we know that many of you may be new to delivering learning virtually, we have compiled additional resources for your consideration:

  1. The RYS Online Learning Best Practices as part of the Guidebook to RYS Application in support of the up-leveled standards;
  2. The Online Learning working group paper from the Standards Review Project;
  3. The COVID-19 resource page on our website.

In addition, Yoga Alliance leadership will host two Facebook Live sessions this Tuesday, March 17 at 10am and 6pm ET to discuss this new temporary provision.

We understand that some members may be concerned about the quality of the yoga teacher trainings offered in this way. We also expect that some may prefer a more formal “application” process to facilitate Yoga Alliance’s future accountability efforts. We weighed both of these considerations—and many others—and have decided that it is most important at this time to keep our member schools operating with confidence that they are doing so safely and to keep this simple so that you can focus your attention and energy on your trainees. Your work and the service you offer to your community are more important than ever in these moments—we are honored to support you.

Thank you for your service to yoga and for allowing us to support you in your work. Please reach out to Member Support Monday through Thursday from 10am until 6pm ET and Friday from 10am until 5pm ET at 1-888-921-YOGA (9642) or via email at

Yours in Yoga,

Shannon Photo and Signature