As the demand for yoga continues to grow in this fitness happy state, the question of whether certain yoga classes need to be government certified has costly implications that critics say will drive small operations out of business.
The potential stressor in the studio comes after a yoga teacher complained that only six yoga teacher-training studios were following an oft-ignored 2002 law that required they be certified with the state. In response the Division of Private Occupational Schools mailed out 82 letters, asking program operators to provide a brief summary of their operation, a copy of a school catalog and brochure and their recruiting materials.
Teacher-training programs that are required to be certified must pay fees to the state. The state charges $1,750 for an initial provisional certificate that is good for up to two years, then $1,500 for a renewable certificate good for three years. It also charges $175 for every “agent” authorized to enter into a contract with a student, plus $3.75 per student per quarter. In addition, schools that have been certified must secure a minimum bond of $5,000, which is based on the amount of tuition collected.
Among those who receive a letter was Annie Prasad Freedom, owner of Samadhi Center for Yoga in Denver.
“I said, ‘Screw it,’ ” Freedom said, “and threw the letter in the trash.”
She said she received a similar letter from the state several years ago. She said she felt bullied into paying a fee because the state used “scare tactics” that implied her yoga studio would be shut down. Freedom said she never completed the required paperwork.
State records show Freedom paid $1,500 in May 2006.
“I think it’s a joke,” Freedom said. “How in the world can you have people manage yoga who don’t know anything about it? It seems to me like the government is just trying to squeeze money out of us.” Continue reading >>