Credentialing and Policy Update for Yoga Teachers and Yoga Therapists: Implications for Yoga Research and Yoga Therapy Research

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In January 2016, Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance (YA) released the 2016 Yoga in America Study. According to this study, the number of people participating in yoga in the United States has surged from 20.4 million in 2012 to over 36 million at the beginning of 2016. For the 2,021 persons over the age of 18 who were surveyed, the top three reasons given for participating in yoga practice were enjoyment, health benefits, and stress relief.

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The surge in the popularity of yoga and its use to enhance health and reduce stress begs the question, “What oversight exists to assure the safety and welfare of the more than 36 million yoga practitioners?” The answer comes in the form of self-regulation of the industry by YA and the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) and the voluntary participation by yoga teachers and yoga therapists.

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