Image via: Flickr.com/meglet127
Yoga is soothing for the mind, body and soul--so too is it sustainable when it comes to low-carbon exercise. No high-tech gear, gadgets or electricity required.
Shouldn't such a good, green thing be accessible to its students and teachers? I certainly think so. The state of New York seems to differ. They're threatening to make being a yoga instructor or studio owner challenging with lengthy forms, tests and licensure procedures, in addition to expensive license renewals. Yoga with a Side of Stressful Bureaucracy: An Antithetical Mix
As a teacher, I'm familiar with the already ever-present time and budgetary costs that come with attaining a legitimate teaching certificate. I dished out a decent chunk of change, and time studying/observing classes to graduate from a Yoga Alliance 200-hour certified Teacher Training course. As a yoga studio business partner, I've seen the myriad of loops that had to be jumped through in order to certify prospective teachers. It's already a very rigorous and thorough process that doesn't need any further complications--not to mention massive fines (we're talking $50k being slapped on a small studio which would close all but the McYoga studios).
What's the point? It's safe to say that the state is recognizing the popularity of the practice and is trying to cash in. Whatever the case, there is something studio owners, practitioners, fans, and we yoga teachers can do.
A group of yogins from Yoga For New York is lobbying for a bill this Monday, February 1, 2010 that will help instructors and yoga studio owners continue business as usual, without burdensome and expensive government licensing and regulations.
Help Protect Yoga in New York!
Here are the instructions sent via Yoga For New York.
Make ONE or TWO Calls to the NYS Senate on Thursday, January 28, or Friday, January 29 or Monday, February 1. (Please mark your calendar to call this Monday!)
Our target: We are only calling those State Senators who are also member of the Senate Higher Education Committee: Suzi Oppenheimer (Westchester), Liz Krueger (Manhattan), Kevin Parker (Brooklyn), Shirley Huntley (Queens), George Onorato (Queens), Jose Serrano (Bronx), Darrel Aubertine (Jefferson / St Lawrence), Ken Lavalle (Suffolk), John Flanagan (Suffolk), Joe Robach (Monroe), Jim Alesi (Monroe), Joe Griffo (Oneida), George Maziarz (Niagara), and Kemp Hannon (Nassau)
Call (518) 455-2800 (the government operator) and say "May I speak with Senator ______ office" (Ask for the Senator who represents the county closest to you in the above list. If there is more than one - call two times!)
Here's what you say - keep it simple, say these words and make sure you say the bold part!
"My name is __________________I live/work in the Senator's district and I am calling to urge his/her support for S.5701A which will be on the Higher Education Committee meeting Tuesday (Feb 2). S.5701A will protect yoga teacher training from burdensome government regulation and ensure that yoga studios stay in business. Thank you"
And let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org how it went. We like to count!