YAA Equivalency Certification

Why Certify?

Why Certify?

There is currently no legislation or licensing requirements for regulating yoga teachers in Alberta. Anyone can teach yoga in the province. Furthermore, teacher training programs exist that can train you to teach yoga in as little as one week, with no prior yoga experience required. So why would a yoga teacher voluntarily submit to the stringent certification and recertification requirements set by the YAA?

It is precisely because they believed in setting high standards to benefit and protect the public that dedicated local yoga teachers banded together to form the Yoga Association of Alberta forty years ago.  Now a thriving community of mutual inspiration and cooperative peer support, the YAA is recognized as having some of the highest training standards in North America.

The Equivalency Certification Program offers individual assessment, recognizing high standards of yoga teacher training obtained either provincially or internationally in a diversity of styles. In order to qualify, a teacher must meet all of the same requirements as the YAA-TTP (300 hour program), and be recommended by a Senior Teacher as being able to teach a hatha yoga class effectively and safely. More than one teacher training program can be combined and credit may even be granted for many classes and workshops taken outside of a formal teacher training program.

The Yoga Sutras call for steady practice over an extended period of time, along with devotion, discipline, deep understanding and faith. The Bhagavad Gita defines yoga as skill in action. Yoga teachers and yoga teacher training should exemplify these qualities.

YAA Equivalency Certification Requirements

Please note that a prerequisite of 2 years of regular hatha yoga practice in formal classes plus apprenticeship with an experienced Senior Teacher over a minimum of 2 years are two of the defining requirements for recognizing a teacher’s certification. An established personal practice and an apprenticeship take precedence over any short-term training.

The hourly requirements for YAA Hatha Yoga Equivalency Certification (300 Hours) are:

  • 2 years minimum time period since entry into your first Teacher Training Program
  • 100 hours of weekly Hatha Yoga classes with Senior and/or Intermediate Teachers since entry into your first Teacher Training Program
  • 100 hours of Hatha Yoga Workshops including 3 International Teacher Workshops, or equivalent
  • 10 hours of Anatomy and Physiology
  • 20 hours of Psychology / Philosophy
  • 10 hours of Breath Awareness
  • 10 hours of Meditation
  • 10 hours of Special Concerns & Therapeutic Applications
  • 40 hours of Apprenticeship and Supervised Teaching
  • YAA Residency Requirement: a minimum 10 hours of attendance at classes or workshops led by a YAA Senior Teacher or YAA sponsored International Teacher (YAA-TTP Teaching Skills Workshop or two YAA-TTP Saturday monthly classes recommended)
  • In addition, a student is required to complete equivalent written assignments, and CPR Certification.

Upgrading opportunities are available for those who do not meet the full YAA requirements. Details would be dependent on individual assessment.

YAA Certified Hatha Yoga Teachers meet professional upgrading standards and maintain regular attendance in both classes/workshops and teaching hours, and apply for recertification every three years. With further training and experience, YAA Certified Teachers may also qualify for 500-Hour Certification, 600-Hour Certification (Intermediate Teacher Status), 800-Hour Certification (Senior Teacher Status) and Permanent Certification. See the Recertification page for details.

Application & Further Information

If you wish to apply for YAA Hatha Yoga Teacher Equivalency Certification, please follow the following process:

  • Download the  Application Forms.  If you have Excel, you can also download the Excel-Version-Summary-Sheet.  Click here to see an Example Summary Sheet.
  • Submit completed documents following the Certification Checklist.  Documents can be mailed or scanned directly to cert@yoga.ca.
  • Ensure your YAA Membership is up to date, and submit the $75 Certification Fee (valid for 3 years). YAA membership is required and must remain current throughout your certification.  Membership is different from Teacher Certification. Payments may be made online, by cheque, or by credit card through the YAA office.
  • The YAA Teacher Training & Certification Committee will review your completed requirements and advise you as to whether you meet the YAA Initial Certification requirements. If you are missing requirements, your training can be considered for credit towards the YAA Teacher Training Program  Details are dependent on the training you have already acquired.  Questions may be directed to: cert@yoga.ca.

For Further Information:

Download the Full Equivalency Certification Guidelines with all Appendices

Or by Section:
Equivalency Certification Guidelines
Appendix A – Definition of Hatha Yoga
Appendix B – YAA Mission Statement and Code of Ethics
Appendix C – Asana / Pranayama Required Practices
Appendix D – Reading List
Appendix E – Effective Teaching Skills (Currently Under Revision)
Appendix H – Equivalency Certification Application Forms

Excel-Version-Summary-Sheet (Appendix H-2) can be very useful if you have Excel.  Click here to see an Example Summary Sheet.

With further training and experience, the YAA also recognizes teachers for 500-Hour Certification, as well as 600-Hour Certification (Intermediate Teacher Status), 800-Hour Certification (Senior Teacher Status), and Permanent Certification.  Further details and application forms can be found on the Recertification page of our website.

Questions may be directed to: cert@yoga.ca.

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