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Update: Victory for NY Yoga Studios! Licensing Shakedown Squashed

in Business of Yoga, YD News

justice-scales-yoga-vs-stateHear ye! Hear ye! We have most fortunate news! NY Studios are off the licensing hook! (pretty much, just need the little ol bill to get the full pass)

Exemptions have been introduced and plans that would have had yoga studios (with teacher training programs) paying the gov through the nadis, including $50,000 fines, have been dropped. Hooray! Phew, New York studio owners can now breathe a sigh of relief and exultation at last. We don’t own a studio, but if we did we’d sure be thanking the fine and swift efforts of the hardworking team from Yoga Association of NY (now with brandy new website yogaforny.org).

The Lowdown

The Department of Education dropped plans for the license requirement after Democratic Sen. Eric Schneiderman, who represents Manhattan and the Bronx, and Asssemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, of Manhattan, introduced bills that would offer licensing exemptions. The exemptions would apply to the instruction of students who enroll in courses for leisure, hobby or personal enrichment, including yoga.

Education Department spokesman Tom Dunn said in a written statement, “The Department was able to work with Senator Schneiderman, who proposed legislation to allow licensing exemptions for yoga instruction similar to those available in other fields such as the arts or music.”

Says Tom Dunn playing nice.

But Schneiderman got in the last jab in his written statement: “Next time, the state will think twice before threatening a practice that brings so much tranquility to New Yorkers” Zap! POW! right in the kisser.

We were feeling pretty fantastic about this great news until Robert Cuozzi (owner of Heartspace Holistic Yoga Studios) came in with a surprise uppercut. About teacher training and teaching yoga,

“It’s like going to acting school; I mean you may be the next Meryl Streep, but you may not — you may be waiting tables for the rest of your life.”

Geez man, who brought the party pooper? Besides, we’re all Meryl Streeps in yoga, are we right? Can we get a what what? And just for your information, we’ll be waiting tables AND teaching yoga! ..heh…we guess he’s mostly right. We get it though, yoga affects different peoples’ lives in different ways.

While NY is doing the happy dance, we mentioned the other day how VA Yogs are still toiling away at finding common ground with their own state grab-asana. Could this news set the precedence for ruling in the Lovers’ state, and possibly the rest of the country? (you know other states are already firing up their official stationary – watch out Cali)

Congrats again to NY united Yogis!


UPDATE: YogaCity NYC advises us to stay vigilant on this bill until it passes. If you’re looking for way to help make it happen contact Denise Kronstadt, PR/Lobbying Chair for Yoga for New York, at denisekronstadt@gmail.com. Help make it permanent law .

EarlierVA Licensing Update: Yogis Rally Rebuttal, Open Avocation vs. A Vocation Debate

NY State Licensing Update: Part “DO”, Yoga Association of New York (YANY) is Born

11 comments… add one
  • That’s good news. I’m glad I’m retired.

  • Maybe Cuozzi is talking about the Cult of the Celebrity Yoga Teacher??

  • What fabulous news! Congrats to all NY yogis – you are all so inspiring. Now let’s hope VA does the same….

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