What is needed for RYT 200 with Yoga Alliance?


he version of yoga practiced today is very different from the ancient form, and Yoga Alliance has adapted to even modern changes in recent years. As a result, they have set a high standard for yoga teachers across the world. Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) 200 is the benchmark that Yoga Alliance has set for their teachers, and obtaining this certification can be rather simple.

To obtain an YTT 200 certification, Yoga Alliance requires its trainees to complete 200 hours of training from a registered location. In addition, the trainee must complete all 200 hours from within the same school and cannot combine hours from different schools to meet the hour quota.

Many who are interested in yoga know certain standards to follow when teaching a yoga class, and the Yoga Alliance sets those standards. Those standards include “high quality, safe, accessible, and equitable yoga teaching.” If you plan on teaching a yoga class or dream of opening a yoga studio, read on to learn more about obtaining an RYT 200 certification, as it may be a necessary step for you in becoming a yoga authority.

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What Does RYT 200 Mean?

RYT 200 is a distinction given to individuals whose training meets the basic requirement standards set by Yoga Alliance. RYT stands for “Registered Yoga Teacher.” 200 stands for the 200 hours of completed study an individual has undertaken to be certified.

There is no official schooling in a university done with the end goal of obtaining a degree. Still, RYT 200 is specific to Yoga Alliance in that you can do any number of yoga teaching courses and training hours. Still, neither will go toward an RYT 200 certificate if those courses and hours are completed at a location not recognized by Yoga Alliance.

What Is RYT 200 Certified?

Becoming RYT 200 certified recognizes that you have completed 200 face-to-face hours of classroom study and practicing technique and form in a school recognized by the Yoga Alliance.

RYT 200 is essentially a certificate of merit that gains you standing in the Yoga world, and completion of the program deems you trained and fit enough to teach a class.

What Is the Difference Between RYT and RYS?

Registered Yoga School, or RYS, is much the same as RYT, as both distinctions are given through Yoga Alliance, but they do have differences:

  1. Registry
  2. Different RYS levels
  3. Standards and credentials
  4. Application process

To become RYT certified, one has to study at an RYS.


The RYS classification is granted to schools or programs that fulfill certain criteria set by Yoga Alliance. An RYS “must submit its training’s syllabus to Yoga Alliance, be verified by our credentialing team, and be current with annual fees.” Yoga Alliance clarifies that this is not a certification, and they cannot offer accreditation to schools. Instead, RYS is a registry.

A registry is a formal list of certain information maintained by a professional association. This association grants recognizable credibility to the person or entity that is a part of the registry. Yoga Alliance has developed a high set of standards that honor core values and diversity while promoting safety and competency. Programs or schools must meet these standards before they can be part of this registry.

Standards and Credentials

RYS standards cover questions, comments, and topics over eight key areas that include but are not limited to Scope of Practice, Code of Conduct, Core Curriculum, and Integrity. To gain credentials, one must review the RYS standards and gather the necessary material.

Be sure to review the resources Yoga Alliance offers to answer any questions you may have about the application process. Then, fill out the application and wait six weeks for the peer-review application process. Once accepted, you can then register your school or program through Yoga Alliance as an RYS.

Application Process

Once you choose a program you feel is the best fit for your school, Yoga Alliance requires a complex checklist to apply for credentials.

  1. Letter of Intent: “A Letter of Intent, written to Yoga Alliance, that communicates the teaching lineage, style, and/or methodology of your yoga school and online yoga teacher training program.”
  2. Training Manual: provides a guide to design and outline of teaching program
  3. Training Schedule: provides an understanding of the timeline from start to finish
  4. Policy Outline: “Schools are required to submit Anti-Harassment, Attendance, Code of Conduct, Grievance, Refund, and Retaliation Policies.”
  5. Certification: Applicators are required to be RYT certified before applying for RYS and must provide proof
  6. Curriculum: Applicant must provide a comprehensive outline of the core curriculum
  7. Trainee Selection Process
  8. Background/Experience for Lead Trainers and Faculty
  9. Trainer to Trainee Ratio

These checklist items allow Yoga Alliance to ensure your school is serious and willing to undertake the duty of teaching yoga with great care.

How Do I Get RYT 200?

Not every practicing yoga teacher is RYT 200. Since it is a distinguished achievement, there are steps you must take to receive and maintain this status.

One must do two things to get RYT 200 registered through Yoga Alliance: complete 200 hours in the core curriculum and maintain RYT 200 Registration.

Complete 200 Hours in Core Curriculum

The core curriculum is complex and requires hours in several different disciplines according to the Yoga Alliance’s standards for the RYT 200:

ryt 200 yoga alliance - Complete 200 Hours in Core Curriculum

75 Hours Techniques, Training, and Practice:

  1. Asana
  2. Pranayama and Subtle Body
  3. Meditation

30 Hours Anatomy and Physiology:

  1. Anatomy
  2. Physiology
  3. Biomechanics

30 Hours Yoga Humanities:

  1. History
  2. Philosophy
  3. Ethics

50 Hours Professional Essentials:

  1. Teaching Methodology
  2. Professional Development
  3. Practicum

Once you complete 200 hours without changing schools, you can register for RYT 200. When approved, you must complete the next step.

Maintain RYT 200 Registration

Once you are RYT 200 registered, you must consistently abide by the Yoga Alliance code of conduct in your teaching as well as the “Yoga Therapy Policy.”

In addition, every three years, you must complete 75 hours of your Continuing Education Requirement which consists of both teaching yoga and training yoga under one of four of the Yoga Alliance’s educational categories.

Teaching or training before registration does not count toward your Continuing Education hours. Lastly, you must pay the annual renewal fees, which are $65.

Can You Teach Yoga Without Yoga Alliance?

The short answer is yes, you can teach yoga without being registered through Yoga Alliance. If you are interested in teaching yoga but are not registered, the best option you have is to call local gyms, yoga studios, or community centers and ask what their requirements are for teachers and go from there.

You may not need to be RYT 200 registered if you plan to give private lessons and teach in your own home. Additionally, an RYT 200 certification may get you the respect of your peers, but there are not many other advantages that obtaining one affords you.

Final Thoughts

Obtaining an RYT 200 certification is relatively simple. After 200 hours of teaching and training, you will be registered with Yoga Alliance, and there are plenty of options available for you to begin your yoga teaching journey. If you choose not to get RYT 200 registered, remember that some yoga students may avoid your services.

If you have the funds to pay for yoga teacher training and can spend two to five months studying to become RYT certified, you should consider it. Becoming certified ensures that you are capable and knowledgeable enough to maintain a certain level of quality and professionalism.

Caleb Sharbono is a writer, bio-hacker, wellness advocate, and yogi. Caleb, who grew up on a small Montana ranch, joined the Navy at 17 to study cryptology. He later graduated from the US Naval Academy with a Minor in Mandarin, a Bachelor's in General Engineering, and a Major in English Literature. Caleb's interests and career cover diverse industries and disciplines. Caleb lives in San Antonio and is a Certified Yoga Instructor. He is also studying Zen Buddhism, practicing Holistic Psychology, and working towards his 300-hour yoga teacher training.


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