≡ Menu


New York yoga studios are facing a crucial question that could make or break their business: are yoga teachers employees or independent contractors? This has been a hot topic not only recently, but drawn out over the past few years, stemming back to the tax audits which took place in 2011 and 2012. At the [...]

1 comment

This is huge news for NY yoga studios. Once again Yoga for NY has triumphed over the NY government. The meetings, fundraisers and petitions seem to have paid off as guidance was handed down Wednesday stating that yoga studios will NOT have to collect sales tax on classes.


With all the deserved criticism being leveled upon the yoga industry of late, it’s important to distinguish between the influence of corporate business and what is happening at the grassroots. There is no better example of the disparity between these two mores than the efforts of Yoga for NY, an organization of yoga centers and teachers that have banded together to see that their interests are represented in local government.


Is yoga fitness? Should it be taxed as so? Will practitioners have to pay for it? These are questions on New York studio owners’ minds lately. For years yoga has slid by without paying NY sales tax. That changed last April when the New York Department of Taxation and Finance ruled to include yoga studios in the category of businesses based around fitness rather than movement spaces (dance studios aren’t taxed). Since then, yoga studios have been getting audited across the city and the tax man is coming to collect, which could slam some and bankrupt others.


Some of you may be aware of Yoga for NY and the battle they fought two years ago (and won) against NY State over licensing fees. They organized to rally against government regulation but have stayed united as an organization ever since. A few weeks ago, YFNY came together again to discuss recent legal challenges, predominantly, the sales tax issue, that isn’t only affecting NY but other states and studios across the country.


Yesterday the Who’s Who of steamed and concerned NY Yogis gathered together in a cramped midtown Manhattan yoga studio to grill hear from freshly appointed Yoga Alliance President John Matthews, an even-tempered gentleman with a slight drawl and southern-bred manners, who had no idea what he was getting himself into. Mr. Matthews stepped up to [...]


Free to Om. Oh it is so official. Governor Paterson has signed the bill! NY yogis (studios with teacher trainings) are now lawfully exempt from government regulation and costly licensing fees. Karate instructors can rejoice as well (they’re included!) as NY Governor David P-dog signed the legislation just earlier today. “This legislation is important in [...]


Earlier this month we reported that the bill passed through the Senate and State Assembly. Now NY Yogis anxiously await Governor Paterson’s signature on the dang thing so it can be official: yoga teacher training will be exempt from state government regulation — along with martial arts so we found out: Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal [...]


The mission is underway and you can help! Haven’t been keeping up? Read about it here and here. In short, NY State is in the process of shaking down yoga studios for cash and control over teacher training programs. Yoga for NY is an organization of teachers and studios across the state rallying together to [...]