Submitted on September 14, 2021@1:49:PM

For more information on BC Covid-19 passport please refer to this BC government link..


Submitted on December 10, 2020@2:55:PM















Submitted on October 13, 2020@12:50:PM

We are happy to announce that Hub International is now providing Canadian Yoga Alliance members with online insurance. For members, please login to your account to purchase directly from the online application. For public inquires, email headoffice.cya@gmail.com


Submitted on September 28, 2020@6:07:PM

The COVID-19 case count summary provided by the CCCS (Canadian Critical Care Society) on this page is for general information purposes only. All information on this page has been sourced by the below Provincial/Territorial links. The summary overview is updated every 24-48 hours, and will indicate when it was last updated. ( Sept. 28, 2020)

Case Counts


Submitted on September 21, 2020@3:37:PM

CYA is happy to announce that Hub International will now be offering the online insurance endorsement indefinitely.
For members that have already purchased the additional online coverage it extends for the duration of the policy; whereas for new applicants, as of Oct. 1 2020, may apply online via our preferred partners area on the members only pages. Cost for general liability remains at $150/m/annum; with additional endorsement for online at $10.00.


Submitted on June 06, 2020@3:30:PM

This link has helpful information from the Canadian Business Resilence Services and is offering advice from accounting professionals to help negotiate application for loans to help struggling businesses and incentives to stimulate economic regrowth.

Business Resilience Service


Submitted on May 18, 2020@2:25:PM















Submitted on April 05, 2020@6:38:PM

This link has helpful information from the Government of Canada about COVID-19

Public Health Services


Submitted on March 31, 2020@3:47:PM

Due to the COVID-19 crisis and social distancing, members now have access to on-line insurance for the next 6 months. This applies to individual yoga teachers , studio's and school training. If you have more questions about our on-line specifications, please contact CYA at headoffice.cya@gmail.com.


Submitted on January 31, 2019@5:13:PM


Ontario’s travel industry is regulated. The Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) is Ontario’s Travel Regulator and is responsible for administering the provincial legislation governing the travel industry in Ontario found under the Travel Industry Act, 2002 (the Act). TICO’s mandate is to ensure that anyone involved with selling travel in Ontario is doing so in accordance with the Act.
The Act defines travel agent as “a person who sells, to consumers, travel services provided by another person,” and a travel service is “transportation or sleeping accommodation for the use of a traveller, tourist or sightseer or other services combined with that transportation or sleeping accommodation.”
TICO has seen an increase in individuals and/or businesses whose primary purpose is not selling travel services (i.e. yoga studios, yoga instructors) engaging in the sale of travel services (yoga, wellness retreats) to consumers. These individuals or businesses sometimes engage in activities that may fall under the Act and require TICO registration. By organizing and offering the sale of overnight yoga retreats (transportation and/or accommodation) and collecting customer monies for these services without TICO registration or without proper affiliation with a registered travel agency, Ontario based yoga instructors may be considered to be selling a travel service and acting as a travel agent without TICO registration which is a contravention of the Act.
TICO has created guidelines designed to assist those who may be engaging in sale of travel services to better understand when registration under the Act is required. The guidelines can be reviewed at the following link, https://www.tico.ca/travel-professionals/resources-guidelines/special-interest-travel.html
TICO would like to inform Ontario members of the Canadian Yoga Alliance that overnight retreats can be organized as long as they comply with the guidelines provided. If you require further clarification on these guidelines or have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our office. You can also obtain more information on TICO and its registration process by visiting our website, www.tico.ca.



Anabel Andre, Compliance Officer
Tel: (905) 624-6241 or Toll Free: 1-888-451-8426 ext. 241
Fax: (905) 624-8631 Email: aandre@tico.ca

Free Toronto Yoga Show Passes

Submitted on March 06, 2017@9:50:AM

CANADIAN YOGA ALLIANCE is happy to offer free passes to the Toronto Yoga Show.
Please click here for your free pass.

You may keep the free pass on your phone and use it to get into the show.

Fri, Mar 31, 2017, 10:00 AM –

Sun, Apr 2, 2017, 6:00 PM EDT

Metro Toronto Convention Centre

255 Front St W

Toronto, ON M5V 2W6


Arthritis Research Foundation Fundraiser

Submitted on February 09, 2017@4:13:PM

Do yoga to beat arthritis!

Join us Sunday, March 5 for Power of Movement, the Arthritis Research Foundation’s annual yoga fundraiser.

A morning event consisting of interactive vendors, prize draw, live yoga music, snacks and drinks, and an hour and a half of specialized yoga (for all ages and abilities).

Be a part of this year’s amazing fundraising efforts as an individual participant or team member and earn amazing incentives from VIA Rail and HBC! Check out Power of Movement incentives for more details about the program. Can’t make it to one of our Event Day locations? Register as a virtual participant and think of us wherever you choose to practice!


When & Where

Sunday, March 5

9 am – 1 pm

Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo and Whitby

See you on the mat!

March 1-7 2016 International Music Festival

Submitted on December 28, 2015@6:49:PM

Dear Divine Soul,

Warm greetings from your friends at Parmarth Niketan Ashram on the holy banks of Mother Ganga, in the lap of the Himalayas, at the birthplace of Yoga --Rishikesh, India!

We are so excited to write to you about our 17th annual International Yoga Festival, to be held March 1-7, 2016. The International Yoga Festival is a world famous gathering of yogic masters, practitioners and seekers from all over the world, coming together as a family to deepen our practice and understanding of Yoga.

It is our great pleasure to present this opportunity for yogis and yoginis world-wide to travel to our ashram in India and enjoy classes in yoga from all the major lineages, including Kundalini, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Jivamukti, Ashtanga and Kriya, as well as courses in Pranayama, Meditation, devotional chanting (kirtan), and Reiki by leading yogis in each field. Spiritual discourses on the yoga sutras, yogic scriptures and ancient Indian philosophies, such as Ayurveda and Vedanta, as well as cultural song and dance performances will deeply enhance the experience of yoga in the body, mind and spirit.

Our renowned festival has been featured in the international media by sources such as TIME magazine, the New York Times, CNN, CNBC, Vanity Fair and others.

Additionally, we have started a special program this year through which the first participant to register from each country will become that country’s official ambassador. This great honor will include special privileges, opportunities and a unique gift.

We are happy to invite you and your community to join us this March, and we would deeply appreciate your sharing the media materials attached to this message, to spread the word about our unique and exciting event. We feel very blessed to offer those with a penchant for holistic living, complete wellness and personal growth, the opportunity to be a part of our week-long festival.

In addition to the attached media materials, we invite you to visit www.internationalyogafestival.com to learn more about the week’s events and to register your participation. Please also enjoy our video about the International Yoga Festival and like our Facebook page www.facebook.com/InternationalYogaFestival.

Donate. Sponsor. Volunteer.

Submitted on November 25, 2015@12:15:AM

How to help the Syrian refugees.

Congratulation to the Prime Minister of Canada!

Submitted on October 20, 2015@1:12:PM

The new face of Canada is young, intelligent, healthy and of course, has great hair !
Congratulations Justine Trudeau!

Justine Trudeau

17 Global Goals as set by the UN

Submitted on September 28, 2015@5:44:PM

28 September 2015 – Never before has such a large share of humanity enjoyed so good a life, “yet never before have we been at greater risk of fundamentally disrupting the basic living conditions on our small globe,” the President of the General Assembly warned today, challenging the United Nations to generate the political will to end conflict and poverty and invest the trillions of dollars that will be needed to build a sustainable global infrastructure over the next 15 years.

This 70th anniversary of the United Nations must be a defining year to confirm and invigorate the universal values that we – the peoples – agreed upon in the Charter. No one shall be left behind,” Mogens Lykketoft urged Heads of State and Government and other high representatives gathered for opening session of the Assembly’s annual General Debate in New York.

With this in mind, he recalled that just four days ago, the United Nations adopted adopt the new framework, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, composed of 17 goals and 169 targets to wipe out poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate over the next 15 years.

“Now, we face the even more daunting task of transforming our vision into action,” said Mr. Lykketoft said, underscoring that the ambition of UN Member States will only be realized in a world of peace and security and respect for human rights – “not in a world, where investment in armament and wars more and more absorbs and destroys a huge share of the resources we have committed to invest in sustainable development.”

Moreover, those ambitions could be dashed in a world, where war, poverty, hunger, deep inequalities and poor governance are drivers of ever growing waves of refugees and uncontrolled human migration – and count heavily among causes of conflicts, which in turn affect and uproot many more people.

“Governments will also only succeed in implementing this great agenda with the continued and expanding participation of all stakeholders – parliamentarians, leaders of regions, cities and local communities, civil society, youth, religious communities and trade unions, business and academia worldwide,” the Assembly President declared, adding that progress on the Global Goals demands that Member States acknowledge that the world today is more interconnected than ever before.

While noting that the landmark Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) had seen the number of people worldwide living in poverty reduced by half, he said that with the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), however, “we acknowledge that eradicating poverty in all its forms is only possible with a much more complex transformation of the entire global economy, the environment and social structures.”

“We realize that we cannot rely only on the traditional growth model of the past fifteen – or the past seventy – years. Incredible and unsustainable inequality in income, wealth access to resources and to quality education and health services must be overcome, Mr. Lykketoft said, also vigorously underlining that equal rights and opportunities for girls and women are crucial preconditions for a sustainable future everywhere.

Calling for an end to unsustainable production and consumption, for rich countries to live up to their development commitments and for national governments to do more to fight corruption, he said: “It is due time for far reaching decisions to bring an end to devastating conflicts and to start investing big in sustainable development. Action is needed now.”

“If we fail, we run the overwhelming risk of unmanageable and inescapable damage to the political, social, ecological and climate balance on our planet. If we fail, the SDGs will never be reached because the resources needed will be swallowed up in addressing crises and conflicts,” said Mr. Lykketoft, also warning that failure to stop climate change could lead to “catastrophe.”

“I am sure that Member States – building on our great 2030 Agenda – will increase efforts to make human rights a reality for all people without discrimination – from fundamental rights such as safe access to food, clean water, quality health and education services and decent work,” he said, urging action on civil and political rights such as freedom of expression and association; from the rights of migrants and indigenous peoples to those of women, children and persons with disabilities.

Stretching the Limits at International Yoga Day

Submitted on August 10, 2015@10:11:AM

Click here to view pictures.

ParQ Question

Submitted on March 11, 2015@6:28:PM

ParQ and ParQ+ are only required for those CYA instructors who also do Personal Training. Those who instruct the other Practice specialties do not require their clients to complete these forms.

CYA Members Free Entry /April '15 Yoga Conference

Submitted on March 05, 2015@10:09:AM

The Yoga Conference has graciously given CYA members free passes to the three day Yoga event in Toronto.

To access, click here and enter in your CYA profile status

Hope to see you there!

New YA president Richard Karpel Stepping Down

Submitted on March 04, 2015@8:20:AM

view entire article here

Earlier this week Yoga Alliance quietly announced in an email to its members that Richard Karpel, President of Yoga Alliance and the Yoga Alliance Registry, will be stepping down later this year. This is somewhat unnerving and unfortunate news. Some may remember Karpel joined the organization as president in 2012 and basically saved YA from imminent demise. Under his leadership, YA went from a sad state of affairs of being practically useless to the community, to being a more supportive, outspoken and, dare we say, commendable entity taking responsibility and taking a stance on matters of importance (see: YogaGlo patent issue, the Yoga Tax, health insurance perks, and actually answering phone calls.) With Karpel leaving, will that be the end of Yoga Alliances rise to any shred of reliability?

I have loved every minute I have served as Yoga Alliances president, working on behalf of the yoga community. But its time for me to move onto the next chapter in my life and career, Karpel is quoted in the newsletter that was sent out late on Wednesday night with the subject line Announcement from Yoga Alliance.

The email listed the many changes that happened under Karpels watch including a re-branded website and a refreshed mission to be more accountable and active in professional yoga space, as well as, in short, getting their shit together. Read the entire email online here.

A second email from the YA board of directors followed earlier today acknowledging Richard Karpels announcement and his accomplishments, as well as attempting to answer a lot of questions that likely flooded their inboxes, which we assume went a lot like WTF? and Whos taking over now? and What does it all mean??

According to this email from the board, Chief Operating Officer Barbara Dobberthien will be taking over the commanding position.

United Nations Declares June 21 as World Yoga Day

Submitted on February 20, 2015@2:58:PM

New Delhi: In a proud moment for India, the United Nations will declare June 21 as World Yoga Day on Thursday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged the world community to celebrate Indian yoga at the international level in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in September.

The decision is being seen as a huge diplomatic win for India. 170 nations had supported Modi's proposal. European Union president Herman Van Rompuy had also told Modi in November that the 28-member EU supported his idea for a Yoga Day at the UN.

"Three months ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed to the world community that India's yoga should be celebrated as World Yoga Day. I am happy to inform you that we have received support of 170 nations and four days from today, the United Nations will declare June 21 as the World Yoga Day," Swaraj had said on last week.
Keeping his focus on the importance of Yoga, Modi had named Shripad Naik as the minister for Yoga and traditional medicines in the cabinet reshuffle in November.

"International day of yoga, as our PM said in his speech, will encourage the growth of a sustainable pattern of consumption and lead to a balance between man and nature. Here in New York we believe that it will be celebrated in the way all other internatonal days are celebrated," India's envoy to UN Asoke Kumar Mukerji said.

Yoga guru Ramdev had also supported Modi in his move. "By bringing Yoga glory on the global stage, Modi has paid a tribute to the legacy of our Yoga Hrishis. India owes its identity to Yoga. This will be a day not only of formalities like posters and banners, but on this day, crores of people will venture out of their homes to practise Yoga. This means honour to India and Indianness," Ramdev said.

In his speech at the UNGA, Modi had said, "Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day. Yoga is an invaluable gift of our ancient tradition. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature."

Yoga is the 5,000-year-old Indian physical, mental and spiritual practice that aims to transform body and mind. "Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well being," he had said.

Participate in our Spring News Letter/Journal

Submitted on February 17, 2015@3:00:PM

Namaste! We are looking for submissions for our spring Newsletter/Journal Canadian Yogi.

We're anxious for spring and with that the CANADIAN YOGI newsletter/journal is calling out for article submissions, upcoming Canadian yogic events & articles of yogic interest. Canadian Yogi is our version of what's going on in Canada with yogi's minus the superficiality of selling yoga stuff. This is a free newsletter and we are looking for participation of content from CYA members.
Our theme , if you would like to contribute as a writer, is your opinion on music in your yoga class and in particular your thoughts about SOCAN, a non-profit organization that demands licensing fees for playing music in yoga classes. We want your opinions and stories or your thoughts on this issue; lets talk about it and perhaps with a little CYA petition, we can let SOCAN know how Canadian Yogi's really feel about the business of collecting fees for your playing background music in yoga classes.
Articles should be between 200-400 words.
If you wish to advertise, please send your logo & advertisement. The ad can be in a .pdf or .jpg format;however, please send high resolution ads & pictures.
If you would like to submit an article of interest relating to yoga other than the introduced theme, please do send as well. We want your creative input; this is what Canadian Yogi is all about!
All participants should send a color head-shot and a small bio- of themselves and the business they run (if they are business or school owners).
We're really looking forward to the spring issue of Canadian Yogi but without your input, we don't exist!
The dead-line for submissions is March 15.
Please submit your material to canadianyogi@canadianyogicalliance.com

Participate in our Spring News Letter/Journal

Submitted on February 17, 2015@2:57:PM

Namaste! We are looking for submissions for our spring Newsletter/Journal Canadian Yogi.

We're anxious for spring and with that the CANADIAN YOGI newsletter/journal is calling out for article submissions, upcoming Canadian yogic events & articles of yogic interest. Canadian Yogi is our version of what's going on in Canada with yogi's minus the superficiality of selling yoga stuff. This is a free newsletter and we are looking for participation of content from CYA members.
Our theme , if you would like to contribute as a writer, is your opinion on music in your yoga class and in particular your thoughts about SOCAN, a non-profit organization that demands licensing fees for playing music in yoga classes. We want your opinions and stories or your thoughts on this issue; lets talk about it and perhaps with a little CYA petition, we can let SOCAN know how Canadian Yogi's really feel about their business.
Articles should be between 200-400 words.
If you wish to advertise, please send your logo & advertisement. The ad can be in a .pdf or .jpg format;however, please send high resolution ads & pictures.
If you would like to submit an article of interest relating to yoga other than the introduced theme, please do send as well. We want your creative input; this is what Canadian Yogi is all about!
All participants should send a color head-shot and a small bio- of themselves and the business they run (if they are business or school owners).
We're really looking forward to the spring issue of Canadian Yogi but without your input, we don't exist!
The dead-line for submissions is March 15.
Please submit your material to canadianyogi@canadianyogicalliance.com


Submitted on November 27, 2014@9:10:PM

Karma Teachers" Centre for Yoga and Meditation: Open to the Public!
Offering free or by donation yoga classes to promote the act of selfless giving.

Master Iyengar

Submitted on August 21, 2014@10:26:PM

Our Condolences. A great Master Teacher.
For more details, Article on Passing.

CBC Looking for Smart Yogis for TV Show

Submitted on April 16, 2014@2:53:PM

Good morning, yogis!

We are currently casting for CBC’s hit TV show, “Canada’s Smartest Person" - a groundbreaking interactive competition series that challenges preconceived notions about intelligence and inspires a nation-wide conversation about what it means to be “smart".

The focus of this CBC series will be to show the country that there is a lot more to intelligence than simply being a trivia buff, excelling at math or having a high IQ score. Our Casting Team is on the hunt for Canadians who are ready to put their smarts to the ultimate test!

We are scouring the country for 'Canada’s Smartest People’, and we thought some of those very people might be yoga enthusiasts and and/or colleagues of yours. We are approaching associations like yours, in the hopes that they will nominate their best and brightest for this nation-wide challenge.


“Canada’s Smartest Person” is guided by the theory of Multiple Intelligence and the idea that smarts come in many forms - linguistic, physical, musical, visual, interpersonal and logical. Participants will be challenged in all areas for a more comprehensive measure of brainpower and overall intellect. The Theory of Multiple Intelligences redefines what it means to “be smart” and only a rare few excel in all of the different categories.


We have attached our casting notice and would really appreciate if you would distribute it amidst your circles and share it with anyone you feel might be interested. Selected candidates from the application phase will be contacted for an interview and further testing over the months of May and June 2014.

“Canada’s Smartest Person” is not only an educational program with a powerful message that we can all be smart it’s also super, SUPER fun!


We can’t wait to hear from you.

Start flexing those neurons, Canada!

Kik Di Nino & Lauren McCuaig

The Casting Department
E-mail: casting@smartestperson.ca
Office: 416-205-3363 ex. 3345

First Cancer Exercise Specialist Training in CA

Submitted on April 15, 2014@10:00:PM

This past weekend Andrea Leonard, (CYA-RYS) - Cancer Exercise Specialist Training Institute put on the first training in Richmond Hill, Ontario Canada.CYA was happy to be part of the training with 20 members present including founder of CYA, Violet Pasztor Wilson.
If you are interested in attending the next training in July 2014, please contact Andrea at empowersurvivor@earthlink.net

Michael Tellinger to run for the Ubuntu Party

Submitted on April 15, 2014@4:44:PM

Ubuntu Party elections in South Africa based on the philosophy of Ubuntu.

For more details, view Michael Tellingers U-tube video here.


Submitted on February 13, 2014@8:19:PM

Standards without oversight are not standards. They’re suggestions.

Last month, Yoga Alliance launched a new website that makes real changes to our credentialing system and introduces a brand new concept to the community – Social Credentialing. The changes are designed to address a glaring weakness in the way the system has operated for the last 14 years: We provided no oversight of our own standards.
Under our old system, after we approved a yoga school’s registration, we had no idea whether they followed the curriculum they submitted with their application, or even whether their lead trainers were qualified to teach yoga. The new system gives Yoga Alliance new, robust tools with which to provide transparency and oversight. It enforces accountability by letting us all know whether our Registered Yoga Schools are following the standards they have agreed to uphold. It also provides the schools with feedback to help them improve the educational experience their student customers receive so they can teach yoga safely and competently.
But James Brown thinks we should change our standards before we fix the system used to enforce them.
Mr. Brown published a blog post on his American Yoga School website accusing Yoga Alliance of “ruining yoga.” Mr. Brown contends that yoga is producing an “enormous amount of injury”; that those injuries have been caused by incompetent yoga teachers; that it’s our fault that those teachers have been poorly trained; that our new social credentialing system is “too little, too late”; and that the primary solution is for Yoga Alliance to dictate a “specific curriculum” that all registered yoga schools must follow.
Despite our different perspectives, we agree with Mr. Brown that our objective should be to promote the safe and competent teaching of yoga. But his solution to the problem puts the cart before the horse.
What difference would changing our standards make if we have no way of knowing whether schools are in compliance?
That is why we focused first on increasing the oversight and transparency of our current standards, while working concurrently on a process with our Standards Committee and subcommittees to review every facet of our credentialing system. Kerry Maiorca, the chair of our ethics subcommittee and a member of our board of directors, recently published an article on YOGANONYMOUS about the work the committee is doing to establish a new, more rigorous Code of Ethics; the weakness and unenforceability of our current Code has long been a sore point with many Yoga Alliance members.
Another subcommittee is developing an alternate pathway to registration that many highly qualified yogis who have been studying and teaching yoga for years are almost desperate to see us enact. Next on the committee’s agenda in 2014 is a process that will eventually lead to vast improvements in our Continuing Education program; incorporation of distance learning standards into our credentialing regime; and a thorough review of the standards themselves that will lead no stone untouched. Everything is on the table, including the potential for a yoga-teacher certification, an idea of which Mr. Brown appears to be particularly fond.
Mr. Brown’s opinions and the conversation they have sparked provide an excellent demonstration of the wide variety of opinions that exist within the yoga community about the challenges we face. Here are a few comments posted to his blog:
Dan: “Where is the parampara in modern yoga, its certainly not with yoga alliance. Bring back the good old days where we used to get slapped about and yelled at if the senior teacher saw we were putting ourselves in danger or lacking integrity.”
Grateful: “My suggestion to improving quality and accountability in our profession is to use YA to designate mentor teachers. Yoga teachers would be required to complete some hours of mentorship that includes practice, study and observation of skill. Mentors would then report to YA that their mentees were qualified to continue holding their credential- or alternatively, make recommendations for further growth and study.”
Wendy: “Replace ‘yoga’ with ‘pole dancing’ and it’s the same issue! Huge classes taught by people who started by watching Pole Dancing How-To videos or YouTube.”
Maureen: Guru driven yoga styles, yoga celebrities, yoga clothing, yoga products, yoga retreats, yoga websites, blah blah blah. This is a spiritual practice (or breath practice since the word “spirit” means to breath) and asana a sacred geometric communication system to God to align with sacred earth and space frequencies on a daily basis.
Chris: Part of every yoga training should be training in physical therapy. Physical therapists are the ones who have to deal with whatever went wrong in a yoga class.
Charlotte: “I would love to see yoga schools required to be accredited by an entity such as a state department of education”
Derek: And again, I am stating some of “my yoga standards” only to point out that broad “standards” are well nigh close to impossible to get a consensus on, and would very likely be an imposition on a large percentage of equally qualified Yoga instructors who don’t agree with whatever these older yogis sitting around the dinner table are insisting is the true yoga.
Stef: “If we truly understood yoga, we would not be encouraging more restriction, we would be encouraging more freedom. We are trying to get yoga to fit into modernized western greed & it’s not going to work no matter how many regulations we put on it because the more we try to fix in this consciousness, we may eliminate one problem but create several more in the process.”
Yoga Alliance staff is made up of hard working, mission-driven professionals, most of whom were yoga teachers long before joining the Yoga Alliance team; many of them still teach. We know that we’ll need to continue to make sweeping changes to provide the public with the transparent credentialing system it deserves. We also know that many individuals in the yoga community — Mr. Brown is clearly one of them — are not yet aware of the changes we have already made and recently began to implement.
The conversation around change is needed, but the manner in which we have these conversations matters too. Mr. Brown’s article was both extreme and inflammatory (he called it “How Yoga Alliance is Ruining Yoga”), and ill-considered — a particularly noxious combination. He met with our staff back in September, ostensibly to learn more about our standards. But his brief dismissal and inaccurate description of the sweeping changes that we are initiating (i.e., “They are going to add a Yelp-like feature to their website.”) make it clear that his only real interest was in twisting our words to support his extremist opinions.
Mr. Brown posted his article on Jan. 8. We drafted a response and submitted it the next day as a comment on his blog. However, he refused to post the comment, preventing visitors to his website from considering our point of view unless we removed certain information that he disagreed with. We saw no problem with the information, and declined to remove it.
On the morning of Jan. 10, without any notice or explanation to his readers, Mr. Brown deleted a section of his original article that quoted a prominent yoga teacher in a manner that suggested that she agreed with his argument. (He also removed a photo of her that he had used to illustrate his post.) Later that day, we received a private email from that teacher, who is registered with Yoga Alliance and is also the lead trainer for a Registered Yoga School, letting us know that she was “horrified at his attempt to associate me with his article.”
Mr. Brown still hasn’t informed his readers or explained why he deleted the material from his blog.
We eventually agreed to remove the information that he found so upsetting, and our comment was finally posted on his blog on the afternoon of Sunday, Jan. 14, long after the herd had moved on. YOGANONYMOUS has kindly agreed to publish our response to Mr. Brown below:
Yoga Alliance is far from perfect.
We have acknowledged repeatedly that we have much work to do to add rigor and credibility to our credentialing system. But James Brown’s blog post, claiming that “Yoga Alliance is ruining yoga” is misinformed about our role and the real challenges we face; makes broad assertions about sweeping trends in yoga, and provides nothing more than anecdotes to support them; and mischaracterizes the changes that we are presently making to add rigor to our credentialing system.
It is especially surprising to read such harsh criticism from an individual whose RYS 200 has been registered with us since 2009 and also recently completed our process to register a 300-hour teacher-training program.
Mr. Brown notes that Pam Weber, our director of standards, told him that we would not review our current standards until “next year.” What he fails to mention is that the interview was conducted in September 2013. It is now “next year.” In 2014, our Standards Committee will develop more robust ethics standards and will begin the process of revamping our continuing education program and undertaking a thorough review of our current training standards. As part of that review, the committee may decide to consider a certification program for yoga teachers, as Mr. Brown recommends.
But our first objective, which we have been working towards for the last 18 months, was to ensure that there is meaningful oversight of our current standards. That’s what our new social credentialing system, which was just instituted last month, is designed to do.
Oversight is critically important for the credibility of our system, because until now we have had no meaningful way to monitor the actions of Registered Yoga Schools. Just as traditional yoga was passed from guru to student, the Yoga Alliance system entrusts the lead trainers of our registered schools to be responsible for delivering a quality program. (Mr. Brown neglects to mention that in addition to the training standards, our credentialing system establishes minimum requirements for training and experience for the teachers at our Registered Yoga Schools.) In the past, there has been no way for us to respond to complaints from students of teacher-training programs that are registered with us, even if the information we received was troubling.
Let us share with you an example of an RYS that we have received multiple complaints about over the last several years. In the span of three weeks, we received three separate complaints after the school’s most recent training this fall:
[Editor’s note: When initially published, this article contained three examples of complaints we received about an unidentified RYS.]
While these three complaints certainly strongly suggest that the RYS in question falls short of Yoga Alliance standards in multiple ways, our organization does not have the staff or infrastructure to conduct the kind of expensive, time-consuming investigations necessary to verify the accuracy of these complaints. For an organization of our scale (44,000+ RYTs and 2,900+ RYSs in 76 countries) and level of resources, there was nothing we could do but grit our teeth.
Under Yoga Alliance’s new social credentialing program, the schools’ own trainees will be our “investigators,” providing feedback about their training experience in the form of ratings and comments. The system will provide a wealth of information to potential trainees, along with insight into the school’s culture and training experience. The system will shine a light on the schools that are delivering quality programs as well as those that are not meeting their students needs and might consider a different yogic path.
Mr. Brown mischaracterizes our social credentialing system and says it is too little too late, but imagine how the school mentioned above would have to change their business practices if these complaints were brought to the light of day. It will take time, but our new system will provide the public and the yoga community with a much clearer picture of the quality of the teacher-training programs that are registered with us.
“Instead of telling trainings what should be taught,” Mr. Brown complains, “Yoga Alliance simply requires that a certain number of hours be spent covering each of five areas of study, with no specificity given on how to fill those hours.” He also complains that “no specific curriculum is required to be taught.”
Mr. Brown is apparently unaware that most yoga teachers and schools don’t want a credentialing organization to tell them precisely how to teach yoga, or that it would be impossible to forge a consensus in the yoga community about a “specific curriculum.” In fact, one of Yoga Alliance’s guiding principles since it was founded in 1999 is protecting the rich diversity of yogic thought and style. That diversity and flexibility is precisely the reason that yoga has survived for 5,000 years and has transcended boundaries of geography, religion, language and culture and spread to every corner of the globe.
“There are great teachers out there,” Mr. Brown notes in one of his statements that we agree with. “But they are great in spite of Yoga Alliance, not because of it.”
It is not Yoga Alliance’s role to “create great teachers.” We were established by the yoga community to set minimum standards for yoga teacher-training programs. It is up to the schools that register with us to provide the training that enables their students to flourish, and it is the responsibility of individual Registered Yoga Teachers to practice and study their way to greatness. Perhaps it is this fundamental misunderstanding of the role of credentialing organizations that leads Mr. Brown to lay the blame for all of yoga’s perceived ills at our doorstep.
Mr. Brown praises William Broad’s column about injuries in yoga that appeared in the New York Times Magazine and his book on the same subject, and quotes him as follows: “Yoga’s exploding popularity — the number of Americans doing yoga has risen from about 4 million in 2001 to what some estimate to be as many as 20 million in 2011 — means that there is now an abundance of studios where many teachers lack the deeper training necessary to recognize when students are headed toward injury.”
We disagree. We think that the explosion of popularity in yoga means that more people are interested in pursuing the practice for health and wellness and that more people than ever are eager to spread the power of yoga by teaching others about its beauty and the fulfillment and growth it can bring. Does this mean that we think there isn’t room to improve the quality of yoga teaching? As the largest support organization for yoga in the world, no group is more concerned about spreading the power of yoga in a safe, professional and competent manner than Yoga Alliance.


Submitted on February 04, 2014@9:02:PM

In January 2014 , Swami Maitreyananda declined the chair of the green party and his candidacy for senator of Uruguay for the next elections in 2014. As a former general secretary of the green party and leader of pacifist ecologist movement of Uruguay, Swamiji support other candidates.

Swamiji is agreed to by the president of International Yoga Federation, but ask to yoga federation of india and the yoga associations of America and Asia for have 2 or 3 working presidents, (vicepresidents).

Swamiji is also considering whether to accept the presidency of Sivananda Yoga Association.

Swamiji meet all at the genral assembly of Uruguay in March, France in May and Malasya in September 2014

Thank you to all

Swami Asuri Kapilananda


Submitted on December 06, 2013@10:40:PM

Throughout the world, Nelson Mandala is remembered and will be remembered through his values, spirit, hope and purpose.


Submitted on November 22, 2013@8:38:AM

To all the wonderful Yogis out there!

Sunday 23rd of February, from 11AM-1PM will be our next WORLD YOGA DAY.

We are excited to get together again!! We also want to thank you for your great effort and achievement this year.

457 yoga schools from 52 countries raised 35.850 Euro/52.6530 $. ABSOLUTE RECORD!
This is unbelievable and means a lot to many people in need. FIAN send a thank you letter around which you´ll find attached.

In 2014 we will dedicate our efforts to OXFAM to help refugees from Syria.

Oxfam is aiming to reach up to 650,000 refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and inside Syria. Oxfam helps to afford safe housing, food and basic goods. The organization is improving the water, sanitation and hygiene conditions in various locations to ensure people who are living in refugee camps or temporary settlements have access to safe water and sanitation facilities. You will find more infos on our website.

You may have noticed that news on Syrian people have almost vanished - but the disaster continues and Syrians need our help.

So please spread the word and JOIN US today on www.world-yoga-day.net to be part of our wonderful event.

Looking forward to hear from you,


WYD Team
Samira Radsi
Brückenstr. 4
10179 Berlin


Submitted on October 16, 2013@10:26:AM

October 13, Sunday

1. swapnil-Karamdeep (India)
2. yogeshwari-Vaishnavi (India)
3. Kirti Insan- Joshnavi (India)


1. Karamdeep (India)
2. Kirti Insan (India)
3. Yogeshwari Rajumistry (india)
3. Y. Joshnavi


1. Yogeshwari Raju Mistry (India)
2. Purva Shivaram Kinare (India)
3. Matsova Milena (Russia)
3. Swapnil insan (India)


1. Karamdeep-Swapnil Insan (India)
2. Kirti Insan- Y.Joshnavi (India)
3. Yogeshwari Raju Mistry- Purva Kinare (India)


1.Yogeshwari Raju Mistry (India)
2. Karamdeep (India)
3. Vaishnavi (India)
3. Swapnil Insan (India)


1. Swapnil Insan-Karamdeep (India)
2. Yogeshwari-Purva kinare - India
3. Alina Gdbzalilova-Matsova Milena - Russia
3. Kirti Insan -Y. Joshnavi


1. Yogeshwari Raju Mistry (India)
2. Swapnil Insan (India)
2. Karamdeep (India)
3. Pozdeeva Natalia )Russia)
3. Vaaishnavi Andre (India)

October 13, Sunday


1. Tania (Bulgaria
2. Urmila Minanath Mure (India)
3. Smolianskaia Faina (Russia)


1. Sandeep Bhpkar (India)
2. Ivan Vlason (Bulgaria)
3. Mikhalev Aleksandr (Russia)


1. Tanya (Bulgaria
2. Urmila Minanath Mure (India)
3. Neelam Kumari (India)


1. Saandeep Bhpkar - India
2. Ivan Vlason (Bulgaria)
3. Mikhalev Aleksandr (Russia)


1. Tanya (Bulgaria)
2. Neelam Kumari Insan (India)

1. Sandeep Bhpkar (India)


1. Prudence (United States
2. Tanya (Bulgaria)
3. Urmila Minanath More (India)


1. Mikhalev Aleksandr (Russia)
2. Sandeep Bhpkar (India)
3. Chandrakant Pangare (India)


1. Neelam Kumari Insan-Urmila Minanath More (India)
2. Chandrakant Pangare-Sandeep Bhpkar (India)


1. Neelam Kumari Insan-Urmila Minanath More (India)
2. Prudence-Grace USA - France
3. Chandrakant Pangare-Sanddeep Bhpkar (India)

1. Chandrakant Pangare-Sandeep Bhpkar (India)
2. Neelam Kumari Insan- Urmila Minanath (India)
3. Mikhalev Aleksandr- Faina Smolianskia (Russia)


1. Mikhalev Aleksandr, Smolianskaia Faina, Goorshkova Nadezhda, Babenko Ida, Pozdeeva Vera, Egorova Elena, Sergeeva Liidia (RUSSIA)

2. Neelam Kumari Insan, Sandeep Bhpkar, Chandrakant Pangare, Urmila Minanath More (INDIA)


Giorgi Berdzennishvili - Georgia


1. Giorgi Berdzenishvili (Georgia)

Eugenia salas - Argentina


1. Eugenia Salas (Argentina)


1. Pauline Geslin (France)


1. Daniel PETROV (Bulgaria)


Daniel Petrov (Bulgaria)


Pauline Geslin (France)


1. Justine naska - Isabelle Drisdy (FrancE)
2. Pauline Geslin- Morgane Le Goff (FrancE)


1. Justine NasKa-Pauline Geslin (France)


1. Pauline Geslin- Morgane Le goff (France)
2. Fernando Estevez Griego - Eugenia Paola Salas (Uruguay-Argentina)


1. Morgane Le Goff-Pauline Geslin - France

CYA On-Line & Live-In Yoga Teachers Training Progr

Submitted on March 04, 2013@3:20:PM

An on-line and live-in ashram style YTT program. This is an
on-line YTT program that is completed at home on your own time. The on-line learning consists of three modules covering Indian Religion and Philosophy and Anatomy & Physiology 101. Philosophy Modules (approximately 70 hrs. of study required) are downloaded and review questions emailed to our YTT faculty for grading. Anatomy consists of an interactive learning platform inclusive of on-line tutoring, professor feedback and grading. Anatomy covers 17 lessons (approximately 40 hours of study). Students do not have to complete the modules before attending the two-week Ashram-style live-in program. The Live-in consists of the Asana Practicum, Meditation & Pranayama categories. Yoga Life-style, Ethics, How to Teach, and the Business of Yoga are also included. There will be two sets of dates per year(spring & fall for the Live-in portion). The program certifies the student as a CYA-RYT200 and insures the student up to 1 Million dollars for the first year following certification.

For more details visit our web-site, here. Registration can be anytime.

Georg Feuerstein - Author & Indologist

Submitted on September 04, 2012@1:46:PM

Georg Feuerstein

News release

Noted Indologist, German-Canadian author of more than 30 books related to Yoga, and self-described “champion of traditional yoga,” Georg Feuerstein has died at the age of 65 on August 25, 2012.

His wife and teaching partner, Brenda L. Feuerstein, made the following announcement on the Traditional Yoga Studies Facebook page:

“It is with great sadness that I announce that my husband and spiritual partner, Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D., left his body on August 25, 2012 at 9:10 PM.

At this time, I would like to request prayers from the worldwide community for Georg’s transition through the afterlife states and for a swift rebirth.

In lieu of flowers and gifts, Georg had requested a scholarship fund be set up to enable incarcerated people the opportunity to participate in our distance learning courses. More information about the fund will be available this week.

As information about the scholarship fund emerges, I’ll post updates here on IAYB”.

Georg Feuerstein made an immense contribution to the understanding and transmission of yoga in the West. The Yoga-Sûtra of Patanjali: A New Translation and Commentary (1989) and Tantra: the Path of Ecstasy (1998) are widely considered to be among the best works on these subjects. His thorough and well-researched books, including The Yoga Tradition, The Deeper Dimension of Yoga and The Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation (among many, many others), are required reading for yoga teacher training programs around the world.

In his books Green Yoga (2006) and Yoga Morality (2007) he turned to the need for educating the public, particularly those in the Yoga community, as to the necessity of leading a life which would help the planet reverse the effects of global warming

In recent years, Feuerstein has worked to promote the “authentic yogic teachings” by offering distance learning courses – including an 800-hour course on the history, literature and philosophy of yoga.

This news release is submitted by his friend and colleague, Marshall Govindan, Life Memberof the World Council of the IYF. Email: satchidananda@babajiskriyayoga.net

Workshop-Founder of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy

Submitted on May 08, 2012@10:42:PM


By Michael Lee, MA, Dip.Soc.Sci

Our effectiveness in navigating our way through life is largely dependent upon our mental clarity and our capacity to manage our emotional experiences.

To navigate anywhere, you need to know where you are starting and where you are going. In life this means being able to take an honest self-evaluation of where you are at any given time. Are you mostly happy? Do your relationships work in ways that fulfill you? Are you doing work you love? These are but a few of the important questions you might want to answer.

To answer these questions though, is not always an easy task. Often our answer is “I don’t really know.” And that’s fine. Our lives are so busy we often don’t have time to sit with ourselves and know what’s happening, or even what we want. Furthermore, we have learned that trying to figure all the answers out just by thinking about them for a while doesn’t work too well. Maybe it’s better than not thinking about them, but maybe there is a better way to go about it – like completely stopping thinking for a bit.

Time and time again when practicing Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, we find that our bodies are a much more reliable source of awareness than our minds. At least from the notion of “port of entry”. In other words, if we use our body as a way “in” to our awareness, and then are able to connect body and mind, the clarity that comes is much more pure than if we had gone straight to our thinking mind as our first port of call.

The same is true for our emotional lives. And even more so! Our bodies reflect our emotions amazingly well. Just look at someone who is depressed. Their body often says it all. By tuning in to our bodies, we can gain enormous awareness around our emotional state of being as well as our emotional needs and how we can use our emotions to guide us in making life choices.

Like to find out more and explore this process further? Learn how to connect body and mind and use them as your inner compass? This is why I’m now offering a weekend workshop to help people learn how to use their body as a way of navigating life with emotional and mental clarity. It’s based on the Phoenix Rising process which I first developed in 1985 and that has served hundreds of thousands of people around the world since. Now I have developed a workshop and simplified the process to the extent that you can learn the basics and apply them to your own life with relative ease in a few short days even if you have a limited exposure to yoga (or even if you are an advanced practitioner.)

I will be offering this workshop at Kripalu over the weekend of Aug 17th-19th, 2012. Please join me and tell your friends. I promise you a weekend that could change your life. To find out more and to register click here.


Michael Lee, is the founder of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, the author of two books, a world renowned teacher and conference presenter, a pilot and flight instructor, a father of five, and an adventurer who is still enjoying the ride down the river of life despite the rapids. snags, rocks and waterfalls he has encountered along the way.

Sanatana Dharma Video

Submitted on February 21, 2012@2:10:PM

The Perfection of Dharma
A New Video Presentation With
Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya

Sanatana Dharma is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets, and the eternal path to self-realization for all living beings. In this highly inspirational talk, Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya reveals the very essence of the path of Dharma spirituality and Yoga practice. Sri Acharyaji explains in his celebrated, no-nonsense style what constitutes the very perfection of Dharma.


Yoga joins Hindus & Buddhists together / Sri Lanka

Submitted on February 02, 2012@3:25:AM

Yoga brings Hindus and Buddhists together in war torn Sri Lanka

“While since ancient times, various communal groups have competed with one another militarily, politically, and culturally, Babaji’s cherished teaching, “unity in diversity” through the practice of Yoga, is helping to heal the fear induced divisions created by political and religious leaders in Sri Lanka. In order to help bring the Sinhala and Tamil communities together on the basis of Yoga, Babaji’s Kriya Yoga Order of Acharyas Trust has translated, published and distributed several of its publications in these two languages. Consequently, in October 2011, of the sixty persons who attended the Kriya Yoga initiation seminar given at its Colombo ashram by Acharya Satyananda, forty of them were from the Sinhala Buddhist community. Among them was a revered Buddhist monk. A newly formed Working Committee of six members from both communities has recently assumed responsibility for managing the activities of the Trust. These include free public yoga classes, pujas, and satsang meetings of initiates, every week, the organization of pilgrimages to Katirgama, and the translation and publication of books on Kriya Yoga into the Sinhala language. Babaji’s Kriya Yoga is a synthesis of Yoga Siddhantham, the teaching of the Yoga Siddhas. This synthesis was created by Babaji Nagaraj, beginning with what he learned from his first Siddha guru, Boganathar, at Katirgama, Sri Lanka. The holiest shrine to both Hindus and Buddhists in Sri Lanka is the Muruga temple complex at Katirgama. Uniquely, its Hindu and Buddhist priests share responsibilities for all of the activities conducted there. The Babaji shrine in Katirgama has recently been renovated with a new ceramic tile surface. A granite monument, with an inscription in Sinhala, Tamil and English now commemorates this sacred site. A mandapam portico will soon be constructed at its entrance to provide shade. Plans for a meditation hall to its rear have been prepared.”


Marshall Govindan (member of World Advisory Council of IYF)

2-Day TT for Individuals With Cancer/Nov. 11-13,

Submitted on October 18, 2011@2:42:AM

This November, the Healing and Cancer Foundation in collaboration with the University of Calgary will be offering a Yoga Thrive Teacher Training program for yoga teacher's interested in teaching yoga to individuals with a cancer diagnosis.

The Healing and Cancer Foundation welcomes:

Yoga Thrive Teacher Training: Teaching Yoga to individuals with a Cancer Diagnosis
November 11th-13th
Therapeutic Approach Yoga Studio, Halifax NS

Spaces are limited.

Please email: info@healingandcancer.org with any questions or inquiries.

Rob Rutledge
Love. Inspire. Empower.
Dr. Rob Rutledge, MD, FRCPC
Radiation Oncologist, Nova Scotia Cancer Centre
Associate Professor, Dalhousie University

Chair and CEO, Healing and Cancer Foundation


About The Healing and Cancer Foundation
The Healing and Cancer Foundation arose out of the 10-year collaboration of an oncologist/Associate Professor and a psychotherapist/teacher and their experience cancer weekend retreats in 20 cities across Canada and abroad. Our mission is to help people affected by cancer with a practical, integrated approach to their diagnosis. We offer life skills training and a unique perspective on mind, body and spirit that, when combined with conventional medical care, can transform the experience of illness into a journey toward wholeness.

Great Deals for Members/ Yoga Life Style

Submitted on September 22, 2011@2:38:PM

Yoga Life Style

CYA Condolences to Former NDP Leader, Jack Layton

Submitted on August 22, 2011@6:43:PM

August 20, 2011

Toronto, Ontario
A beautiful letter written to Canadians by Jack Layton before his death early today.

Dear Friends,

Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit, and my determination.

Unfortunately my treatment has not worked out as I hoped. So I am giving this letter to my partner Olivia to share with you in the circumstance in which I cannot continue.

I recommend that Hull-Aylmer MP Nycole Turmel continue her work as our interim leader until a permanent successor is elected.

I recommend the party hold a leadership vote as early as possible in the New Year, on approximately the same timelines as in 2003, so that our new leader has ample time to reconsolidate our team, renew our party and our program, and move forward towards the next election.

A few additional thoughts:

To other Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: please don’t be discouraged that my own journey hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope. Treatments and therapies have never been better in the face of this disease. You have every reason to be optimistic, determined, and focused on the future. My only other advice is to cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey, as I have done this summer.

To the members of my party: we’ve done remarkable things together in the past eight years. It has been a privilege to lead the New Democratic Party and I am most grateful for your confidence, your support, and the endless hours of volunteer commitment you have devoted to our cause. There will be those who will try to persuade you to give up our cause. But that cause is much bigger than any one leader. Answer them by recommitting with energy and determination to our work. Remember our proud history of social justice, universal health care, public pensions and making sure no one is left behind. Let’s continue to move forward. Let’s demonstrate in everything we do in the four years before us that we are ready to serve our beloved Canada as its next government.

To the members of our parliamentary caucus: I have been privileged to work with each and every one of you. Our caucus meetings were always the highlight of my week. It has been my role to ask a great deal from you. And now I am going to do so again. Canadians will be closely watching you in the months to come. Colleagues, I know you will make the tens of thousands of members of our party proud of you by demonstrating the same seamless teamwork and solidarity that has earned us the confidence of millions of Canadians in the recent election.

To my fellow Quebecers: On May 2nd, you made an historic decision. You decided that the way to replace Canada’s Conservative federal government with something better was by working together in partnership with progressive-minded Canadians across the country. You made the right decision then; it is still the right decision today; and it will be the right decision right through to the next election, when we will succeed, together. You have elected a superb team of New Democrats to Parliament. They are going to be doing remarkable things in the years to come to make this country better for us all.

To young Canadians: All my life I have worked to make things better. Hope and optimism have defined my political career, and I continue to be hopeful and optimistic about Canada. Young people have been a great source of inspiration for me. I have met and talked with so many of you about your dreams, your frustrations, and your ideas for change. More and more, you are engaging in politics because you want to change things for the better. Many of you have placed your trust in our party. As my time in political life draws to a close I want to share with you my belief in your power to change this country and this world. There are great challenges before you, from the overwhelming nature of climate change to the unfairness of an economy that excludes so many from our collective wealth, and the changes necessary to build a more inclusive and generous Canada. I believe in you. Your energy, your vision, your passion for justice are exactly what this country needs today. You need to be at the heart of our economy, our political life, and our plans for the present and the future.

And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come, New Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you. My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

All my very best,

Jack Layton

For Immediate Release: WHITE LAMA

Submitted on August 18, 2011@9:11:AM

The spellbinding, untold story of Theos Bernard,
the pioneer of Hatha Yoga and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy in the Western world


The Life of Tantric Yogi Theos Bernard, Tibet's Lost

Emissary to the New World
By Douglas Veenhof

It is estimated today that nearly eighteen million people in North America alone practice some form of Yoga at studios, gyms, or clinics. As popular as this practice now is, it is difficult to imagine that less than a hundred years ago, if a student wanted to take up yoga, he would have had to travel around the world and spend months trying to penetrate secret societies of Asian sanctuaries. In 1937, Theos Bernard changed all of that.

In WHITE LAMA: The Life of Tantric Yogi Theos Bernard, Tibet's Lost Emissary to the New World (Harmony Books; May 10, 2011; $27.50; Hardcover), Douglas Veenhof tells the colorful story of Theos Bernard, a pioneer of Hatha Yoga, Tantra, and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy in the West. Self-described as the “first white lama,” Bernard was the third American ever to set foot in Tibet and may very well have been the first American ever initiated into Tantric practices by the highest lama in Tibet. When he left this sacred land, he was sent home with fifty mule loads of the finest editions of essential Buddhist scriptures from government and monastery vaults and in many ways was the first person to bring such insight into Tibetan practices in the Western World.

In WHITE LAMA, Theos Bernard's life, works, and eventual disappearance are chronicled in a stirring work of narrative nonfiction, loaded with rich characters such as Charles Lindbergh, Lowell Thomas, Ganna Walska, and W.Y. Evans-Wentz and supplemented with fascinating original photographs from Theos’ trips to Tibet.

Part biography, part adventure story, and part history of the Tibetan people in a way that has never been told before, WHITE LAMA takes an intriguing look at Tibet in the first part of the 20th century and pays homage to the visionary man who introduced Tibetan Buddhism and Hatha Yoga to the Western world.

CONTACT: Anna Mintz

(212) 572-6186


CYA mention in Maclean's Article, March 4, 2010

Submitted on March 10, 2010@7:30:PM

Isn’t it bad karma to stalk a Yogi?

The aspirations at yoga studios may be high-minded but some seek more than a workout
by Joanne Latimer on Thursday, March 4, 2010 12:12pm - 3 Comments

Isn’t it bad karma to stalk a yogi?

It’s not unusual for handsome young yogi “Ben” to receive tokens of affection from his students. Sometimes he gets books. Sometimes it’s herbal tea. But recently, one student sent him a box of four dead rats after a private yoga session at her home. “She asked me to stay for dinner but I could see she set the table with silverware and candles, so I declined,” recalls Ben, who doesn’t want to draw negative energy to his studio by using his real name. “Soon after, the box of rats arrived. It also contained a long letter explaining how the rats were a reflection of her love for me. I had to get a restraining order.”

Yoga studios may have high-minded aspirations, but the sexual component won’t go away. Transgressions occur on both sides. Witness the popular YouTube series, Inappropriate Yoga Guy, lampooning men who come to yoga classes to hit on women. “It’s a bawdy affair,” quipped John Philp, author of Yoga, Inc. “There were sexual harassment suits flying fast and thick in the 1990s against yogis, yet yogis are targets, too. Yoga Journal, the industry’s bible, calls it the pedestal problem.”

Dave Bruni, a yogi at Downward Dog in Toronto, who is in a committed relationship with another yogi, reports that while 99 per cent of the attention he gets (including being asked out for tea) is non-sexual, “sometimes students cross the line. Recently, I had a student come up before class, onto my mat, and whisper ‘I’m not wearing any panties.’ ”

How do female yogis cope? “It’s part of the job,” said Sadie Nardini, an instructor at YogaWorks in Manhattan. “I’ve been stalked, given inappropriate presents, asked out three times since I got married last year, and I’ve seen teachers teach a whole class to the sexy guy in the front row.” Montreal-based yoga enthusiast and event producer Jay Iversen has seen the reverse, too: “Over the years, I’ve noticed some male teachers are drawn to adjusting the beautiful women in the class. It’s only human nature.”

Let’s not forget that, in these situations, everyone’s a consenting adult, and that is exactly what makes the ethics of yogi-student relationships so fraught. “Sexual politics on the yoga mat are complicated,” explains London, Ont., native and Bikram yoga student Wayne Norman, a professor of ethics at Duke University. “Taking a yoga class is not the same as taking a pottery class. It involves a higher level of trust.” Students are often looking for more than a workout. Some don’t just want a guru or a girlfriend; they want a parent. Yogi Allison Ulan, co-founder of Ashtanga Yoga Montreal, took a personal vow not to get involved with students, but the studio itself—like most—has no official policy against dating. “We deal with the issue extensively in teachers’ training and on a case-by-case basis,” says Ulan, a pro at redirecting student crushes. “As soon as you set yourself up as a yogi, you get projection—lover, parent, best friend. Some new teachers start to believe the projections and that sexual energy can cause harm. Teachers need to send out the right signals.”

What happens when signals aren’t enough? “Remain aloof,” advises Darby, the founding guru at Sattva Yoga Shala in Montreal. (He’s known internationally by his one name.) “Be nice, but don’t respond. If you want something to happen [with a student], it will. You’re in control.”

The Canadian Yoga Alliance has no interest in trying to control yogis with a code of ethics. “It’s not our mandate,” says co-founder Violet Pasztor Wilson. “We’re a networking tool.” Nobody, notes Philp, “wants to have these delicate conversations. Any other industry—psychology, physiotherapy—would be crying out for regulation at this point.”

Diane Bruni, owner of Downward Dog in Toronto and Dave Bruni’s sister, takes offence at the suggestion that regulation is necessary. “We consider ourselves a community, not an industry,” she said. “We have no policy or code of conduct because we rely on common sense.”