As the Washington Post‘s Maria Glod reports, a group of yoga instructors in Virginia have asked a federal judge to kill the state’s plan to begin regulating instructor training. Under the plan, the state would certify (for a fee) yoga instructors in the same way that it certifies other vocationally-trained professionals, including dog groomers and bartenders. Yoga enthusiasts have responded to the plan by gesturing toward yoga’s supposed religious essence:
“Yoga is the study of the self through direct experience,” Suzanne Leitner-Wise, a plaintiff and president of U.S. 1 Yoga Teacher Training said outside federal court in Alexandria, where the lawsuit was filed. “You simply can’t put regulations on that. It’s just dumb.”[…]
Yoga instructors say many devotees enroll in instructor training to expand their knowledge. Many see teaching yoga as a quest for enlightenment, not a way to pay the bills.
“It has been passed down for thousands of years by sages to their students,” said Beverly Brown, a plaintiff. “To me, teaching yoga is a statement of my purpose, or dharma.”
Read the entire piece here.