Teach Is There a New Yoga Alliance Competitor on the...

Is There a New Yoga Alliance Competitor on the Scene?


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Yoga Unify (YŪ), a new nonprofit organization that launched in September, aims to set new standards for yoga teachers, prioritize ethics, provide educational resources to students, and unify the community in ways that Yoga Alliance (YA) has not, says Heather Shereé Titus, co-founder of YŪ.


Titus, who is also the director of the Sedona Yoga Festival and—small detail—the stepdaughter of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, says that YŪ will serve both teachers and students and will have a governing body that represents the yoga community from the ground up. She says that while at a first glance it may appear YŪ is reinventing the wheel, the organization is, in fact, an entirely new vehicle. “I don’t want to replicate—I want to be a resource,” she says.

Two of YŪ’s key principles are fostering pathways to becoming a yoga teacher outside of the 200-, 300- and 500-hour teacher training models, and acknowledging that not everyone can and should be a teacher. “If every student who begins a serious practice of yoga is guided to a teacher training, then we naturally have an imbalance,” explains Titus. It’s become common practice in the industry for studios to churn out teacher trainings not just for profit, but for survival. What’s resulted is an over-saturation of teachers (for every one student, there are two teachers in training), many of whom graduate with the bare minimum qualifications and lead teacher trainings on their own, according to Titus. The issue is only exacerbated by a proliferation of COVID-era teacher trainings being offered online. “This is why we support the lifelong student journey as something to be honored on its own merits.” YŪ will do this through course offerings at various levels for myriad styles and specialities that chart a clear course for education—similar to 100-, 200-, and 300-level college courses.

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