Continuing Education for Yoga Alliance

Continuing Education (CEU) Needed for Yoga Alliance

Continuing education is a formal learning experience that does not focus on a college degree but focuses on expanding your knowledge and skills in a field. There are several continuing education yoga classes you can complete to become certified.

What are the continuing education yoga certifications? There are several continuing education yoga classes you can participate in. Each one is at a different level and can provide you with the credentials to teach yoga or be a lead trainer of yoga teacher training. The yoga training classes you can take to continue your education include:

  1. RYT 200
  2. E-RYT 200
  3. RYT 500
  4. E-RYT 500
  5. RCYT
  6. RPYT

In yoga, the most excellent teachers never stop being students. That is why when you become a registered yoga teacher, you are still required to complete continuing education courses. This article will discuss common Yoga Alliance certification questions and how to become certified.

Article Topics

What is Yoga Alliance?

Yoga Alliance is a non-profit association that represents the yoga teaching community. Their purpose is to regulate yoga training programs and specifications in the US. They aim to hold yoga teachers and schools accountable for what they share with the yoga community.

Becoming a registered yoga teacher (RYT) through Yoga Alliance shows that you have a basic understanding of asanas, yoga history, pranayama meditation, anatomy, and teaching skills. When you become certified through Yoga Alliance to teach other aspiring teachers, you are in charge of sharing that knowledge with them.

How Many CEUs do you Need for Yoga Alliance?

The Yoga Alliance requires that yoga teachers take at least 30 continuing education units (CEUs) every three years from when they first registered as a yoga teacher. The best way to earn CEUs is through contact hours at a yoga studio or conference, but you can also earn one CEU hour for every five hours of non-contact study. Non-contact studies include reading books, magazines, watching videos, or enrolling in online classes.

Within a three-year timeframe, yoga teachers are required to have 45 teaching hours and 30 hours of yoga-related training. The 30 hours of yoga-related training has to be at least ten contact hours, and no more than 20 hours can be no contact.

Any yoga teacher training hours before registration does not count as continuing education. Within each three-year period, if you have any extra earned hours, they do not roll over to the next period.

Registered Yoga Schools

If you are looking to become a certified yoga teacher, you need to complete training at a Yoga Alliance certified yoga school. Yoga Alliance offers five registered yoga school credentials within three levels.

Foundational level:

Professional level:

  • RYS 300: Professional level training with a minimum requirement of 300 instructional hours. The RYS 200 needs to be completed before this level.
  • RYS 500: A combination of the RYS 200 and 300.

Specialty level:

RYT Credentials

Because the Yoga Alliance certification requires the teacher to meet Yoga Alliance standards, you will need to become a YACEP (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider).

The Yoga Alliance offers six different RYT credentials depending on the completion of a registered yoga school’s curriculum, a minimum amount of teaching hours, and the acceptance of Yoga Alliance’s ethics. There are also three different levels of credentials.

Foundational level:

  • RYT 200: Basic level for teachers graduating from an RYS 200-hour program.
  • E-RYT 200: Teachers graduating from an RYS 200-hour program that have also taught for 1,000 hours within two years.

Professional level:

  • RYT 500: Completed a 200-hour program plus a 300-hour yoga training program or a 500-hour program.
  • E-RYT 500: Completed a 200-hour program plus a 300-hour program or a 500-hour program and have also taught for 2,000 hours within a minimum of four years. 500 teaching hours must be done after program completion.

Specialty level:

  • RCYT: Registered yoga teachers who graduated from a registered children’s yoga school.
  • RPYT: Registered yoga teachers who graduated from a registered prenatal yoga school.

Do Yoga Certifications Expire?

To maintain your RYT certification through Yoga Alliance, there are five requirements you need to follow, which are:

  1. Abide by their codes of conduct
  2. Abide by their policy on The Use of Yoga Therapy Terms
  3. Provide feedback to your registered yoga school
  4. Submit continuing education hours every three years
  5. Pay the annual renewal fee to maintain the designation

Follow those five steps, and you’ll be fine. If you want a more in depth answer to does a yoga certification expire, check out that article!

What is YACEP?

YACEP stands for Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider. This program allows teachers to lead courses that count towards Continuing Education hours for registered yoga teachers. The YACEP is only accessible to an E-RYT registrant. Once you become registered as an E-RYT 500, you can then provide continuing education workshops and become a lead trainer of a 200-, 300-, or 500-hour teacher training.  

Adding the YACEP designation to your yoga credentials can give you several benefits:

  • More students
  • More growth
  • More exposure
  • More experience

How do you Become Yoga Alliance Certified?

When becoming Yoga Alliance Certified, there are specific criteria that the yoga school has to meet. Each program needs to spend a set number of hours in several categories. These are the five Yoga Alliance’s educational subjects based on an RYS 200.

SubjectIncludes (but not limited to)Hours
Techniques, Training, and Practice· Learning yoga technique and asana.
· Pranayama
· Meditation
A mix of practicing technique and training.
100 hours:
· 75 minimum hours of contact
· 50 minimum hours with lead trainer
Teaching Methodology · Teaching styles
· Communication skills
· Addressing the specific needs of people
· Business aspects
25 hours:
· 15 hours of contact
· 10 hours with lead trainer
Anatomy and Physiology · Human anatomy and physiology
· Energy anatomy and physiology
· Anatomy and physiology’s application to yoga
20 hours:
· Minimum of 10 contact hours
Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle, and Ethics · Concepts of Karma and Dharma
· Teacher-student relationships
· Understanding the value of teaching yoga
· Philosophies and traditional studies
30 hours:
· 20 minimum hours of contact
Practicum· Practicing teaching
· Giving and receiving feedback
· Noting others’ style of teaching
· Assisting other students during teaching
10 hours:
· 5 minimum hours of contact
· 5 hours with lead trainer

The remaining hours can be contact or non-contact hours. Non-contact hours can include:

  • Audio recording
  • Yoga webinars
  • Reading
  • Attending yoga classes outside of the program

These are the standard requirements an RYS needs to hold. However, Yoga Alliance does not make visits or observations while granting a school with the certification. So, there is no proof of a school’s integrity of a program.

Therefore, Yoga Alliance has changed its requirements for teacher training schools.

  • The RYS needs to submit a copy of their syllabus
  • Mandatory tests for students
  • Required completion of an online yoga course
  • Lead trainers need to complete an E-RYT 500
  • Standards review
  • Approval process for becoming an RYS is more thorough

Becoming a Registered Yoga Teacher

It is beneficial to become a registered yoga teacher through the Yoga Alliance. Once you are an RYT, you can take the next steps needed to become a registered yoga school.

To become an RYT, you would first need to:

  • Complete a 200-, 300-, or 500-hour program from a Yoga Alliance certified school
  • Pay applicable fees
  • Participate in required continuing education programs

Once you complete a registered yoga teacher training, you can become a member of the Yoga Alliance. Once you become a member, you can update your teaching hours as you go, and eventually, you will get an invitation to upgrade to the next level. If you want to eventually get to the professional level and add the YACEP designation, there will be additional training you would need.

RYS Approval Process

Yoga Alliance has begun to take a more in-depth look at applications to become a registered yoga school. Applications used to need to be approved by only one person on the board, but because of their new higher standards, they now require the application to be reviewed by three people of the board.

When a school is looking to become a registered yoga school, they will first need to be an E-RYT 500 and have the YACEP designation. If they hold these certifications, they will then need to send in their:

  • Manual
  • Syllabus
  • Letter of intent
  • List of policies

Can You Become Yoga Certified Online?

There are yoga teacher training courses that are offered online that provide you with five self-paced modules. You will receive a teacher training manual and have access to various training videos. Along the way, you will be given quizzes, and you are required to take videos of yourself teaching.

However, most online yoga training courses are not registered with Yoga Alliance.  There are have been accessions made in 2020 due to the virus outbreak and the Yoga alliance has allowed for online and virtual training to count for certified YTT hours. Yoga Alliance does not normally accredit online training because of the standards they require.

It’s important to note, some people believe it is essential to be registered through Yoga Alliance, but some don’t view it as a necessity.  The Yoga Alliance is seen as an international standard for Yoga Training however there are some great studios out there with excellent instruction that aren’t a part of the organization.  That decision is up to you.

Is a Certification Required?

Legally, a yoga certification is not required. However, many studios require their yoga teachers to have one. Yoga organizations were not established until the late 1990s, so the most world-renowned yoga teachers are not considered certified.  With the advent of the internet and ability to live stream courses it’s even become possible for you to acquire your yoga certification online.

When you acquire certification, it shows that you have taken the time to dig deep into the world of yoga and improve your practice. The more training you have received, the more experience you have at leading a class and being able to communicate with other yogis.

Having a certification looks good on your resume when you are trying to get a job at a reputable yoga studio. They will most likely hire you if they see that you have gone through the proper training and have many hours under your belt (or mat).

Does Yoga Alliance Provide Insurance?

Along with teaching yoga asana, you are also helping to guide students into proper form. You will teach them why and how poses work and the proper adjustments needed to improve alignment. When someone doesn’t understand proper alignments, injuries are more likely to happen.

Whether you are teaching your students new inversions in a regular or dedicated yoga inversions class or guiding them through restorative yoga poses, accidents are possible. So, it is a good idea to protect yourself while you are teaching. However, Yoga Alliance does not provide you with any insurance.

Yoga Alliance recommends you have insurance for you and your studio, and they do offer a discount for their members. The insurances they use are:

Yoga Alliance Benefits

When you become a member of the Yoga Alliance, you are given several benefits that are aimed to support you and your work. These benefits include:

  • Discounts on yoga products
  • Discounts on yoga services
  • Discount on insurance
  • Unlimited access to past online workshops
  • Internationally recognized credentials

Marketing on the RYT directory


Whether you are looking to become a registered yoga teacher or want to expand your training to a higher level, there are different programs you can participate in. There are many benefits to becoming a registered yoga teacher. If you choose to go through a program that is certified through Yoga Alliance, there will be specific requirements that you will need to follow.