Hello Yoga, you wanted acceptance? Here you go! But it’s gonna cost ya!
Life just got a little bit stricter, and costlier, for Michigan yoga studios hoping to make a healthy buck training new yoga teachers. The state Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth has caught wind of this here yoga boom and wants to protect us all from fraud, see! They’ve come to crash the party, enforcing a requirement that all studios be licensed by the state, as in required to purchase a license. Why? Because by definition these yoga studios churning out dozens of “certified” teachers fall under the same category as other vocations like bartending, pet grooming, medical assistance and business schools.
“If you teach a trade, occupation or vocation, and you charge a fee, you need a license to do it in Michigan,” says Mike Beamish of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth.
Simple! But obviously studio owners are not thrilled.
Says Brian Granader, owner of Red Lotus Yoga in Rochester Hills,
“Nobody has ever said we are trade. We don’t look at ourself that way. We aren’t teaching small-engine repair or medical procedures here,” Granader said. “So few people go on to become a yoga teacher. A majority do it for personal growth.”
Is that relevant? He ended up paying, reluctantly. Though Mr. Granader did add that perhaps the license added some credibility.
Of the schools contacted by the state since February and March, four have filed for licenses, four are in the process and four have closed (don’t know if this is directly related to the licensing). The owners of the remaining 17 who’ve yet to respond could face 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
OK, on one hand we sympathize with the stubborn studio owners – having to suddenly owe money sucks! And to the government? Blech! And on top of the license fee there’s also a $5,000 surety bond the owner must purchase to indemnify the financial loss of the students. Pain in the ass!ana. But, kinda boo hoo ya know? (we don’t own a studio by the way)
Hate to say it, but we sorta have to side with the state here.* Listen studio owners, if you’re taking your training seriously (as you should for $2,000+ !) then you gotta be a big kid and pay up like everyone else. You were just lucky to have slipped through the cracks this long. Besides, we don’t hear you complaining about paying the Yoga Alliance. And what does that really get you?
*commenter and YD pal Linda made the fine point that the license fees are just another moneymaking tactic from the state. Are they fair in general?
Full Disclosure: Certain disgruntled Yoga Dorks, who will go unnamed, are indeed still grumbling, having yet to pay off a teacher training debt. argh.
State: Yoga Schools Must Be Licensed [Detroit News]