Tag Archives: teaching

Yoga Licensing in New Jersey and Beyond?

J. Brown alerted me to a piece of legislation approaching the New Jersey legislature that would attempt to require state legislation for fitness professionals, including yoga teachers. If passed, NJ teachers would be required to get a 300-hr certification from the state (superseding Yoga Alliance), renew a $150 license every two years, complete 25 hours of continuing education every two years and if they decided your specialty was not safe, it would be illegal to practice it.

Leslie Kaminoff has some good commentary on this bill, and his fight against the New York version in 2005. (“This really boils down to Naturopaths, Homeopaths, and Reflexologists seeking to establish for themselves a less demanding form of medical licensing; and in the process, dragging everyone else into State controlled licensure with them.”) It is being presented as a bill to “open access” to alternative medicine (probably trying to draw it into the insurance system), but it gives the state unlimited regulatory potential.

To protest this dangerous precedent, contact Rep. Joseph J. Roberts, Jr. (D), who is sponsoring the bill. Submit this form (he’s District 5 / Brooklawn), call (856) 742-7600, or write:

Rep. Joseph J. Roberts, Jr.
Brooklawn Shopping Plaza
Rt. 130 South & Browning Rd.
Brooklawn, NJ 08030

Here’s what I wrote, feel free to copy:

I am writing to protest your sponsorship of the Fitness Professional Licensing act. There is no need to draw yoga teachers into the mire of the insurance system. Yoga Alliance is doing a fine job ensuring the protection of consumers with its two-level certification system. Homeopaths and naturopaths should pursue a similar organizational body, rather than muddling all groups together in state licensing. Please withdraw your support of this bill, and respect the safe and supportive structure that the yoga community already has.

Please send an objection to Rep. Roberts, and forward this info to other yoga teachers, esp. those who teach in New Jersey.

No More Mommyspeak

I had such a bad week last week. For various reasons I was in a fog and didn’t practice for six days. Friday I finally took class, and my appreciation for each pose was enormous, almost worth the stiffness. The risk of daily practice is getting into a making-myself-do-it mindset, where I’m at war with my discipline. I should quit more often! Not that I recommend sitting around eating cookies though.

Unfortunately I was a bundle of anger in Saturday’s class. It was a strength-building vinyasa class, where we held lots of warriors and triangles for 5-9 long breaths. Boring, imbalanced and painful. We did a long, physical and emotionally-challenging Hanumanasana (splits), and then without a transition took wobbly, vulnerable legs up to Forearm Stand freakout recipe for me. I took child’s poses as needed, stretched it out a few times, but couldn’t escape the worst part: Aerobic Mommyspeak. I have a pet peeve of pet peeves, whiny little grievances, but I really react (poorly) to instructors who travel two octaves per phrase, imploring you to “push push push GOOOOOOOD!!! Lift and hoooooooold it there and breaaaaaaaaaaaathe… YES!” without a pause to think. I know I should just breathe, and let it flow over me without reacting, but such theatrical drama is intended to trigger an emotional response, so of course I have one. Moods flavor a class as much as any theme, so the yippy stressball instructors can please stay at the gym. To date I have found one single pilates instructor that I like; they tend to use this language. No offense some people love the cheerleader pep-talks, but I don’t. I had to appreciate the muscles she gave me and get out of there.

Sunday was much better, a nice blend of poses and breathing. There are some new instructors at my local studio, I hope they are good. I made a note on my calendar, “everyone has something to teach you” but it is hard to listen some days…