Bills Preventing NY Yoga Licensing Signed

NEW YORK -- A move to license yogis was nipped in the bud last week when New York Gov. David Paterson signed two bills into law that exempted yoga teacher training programs from state regulations overseeing vocational training.

The identical bills, S.5701 / A 8678-A, were sponsored by Sen. Eric Schneiderman and Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal.

“This legislation is important in that it will not place added expenses on our local governments, in addition to not enacting stricter requirements on New York's yoga studios during these difficult times,” Paterson said in a statement.

Many yoga teacher trainers in New York received a letter last spring from the state’s education department that said they must suspend their training programs or be subject to fines of up to $50,000 if they did not submit to state regulations.

In response to the notice, yoga trainers organized into groups to meet and lobby against the requirements. One such group, Yoga for NY, voiced concerns that yoga teacher trainers and aspiring yoga teachers would be unable to survive an elaborate, costly and time-consuming licensing process.

“This is not just a great day for yoga, this is a great day for the health of both residents and small businesses in this state,” Alison West, executive director of Yoga for NY, said in a statement.

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