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Big changes in Yoga Certification scheme

As you know that the Yoga Certification Scheme was shifted from QCI to MDINY last year (April 2018). Then MDINY, Ministry of AYUSH Government of India constituted Yoga Certification Board for the implementation of the scheme.

You can find the details about Yoga Certification Board (YCB for short) here.

Yoga certification Board

YCB ( Yoga Certification Board) has announced some major changes in Yoga Certification Scheme. These changes were implemented from April 1, 2019.

In short, YCB has re-segregated the current levels of Yoga Scheme. It has introduced 3 levels of Yoga Professionals now.

As in earlier scheme specifications, there is no educational requirement for open candidates.

The main changes are there with regards to increased coverage of syllabus of all the the 3 levels and requirement of duration of courses for certified schools. 

Here is what new definition of different levels of Yoga scheme are:

Level 1: Yoga Protocol Instructor

If you are appearing for Level 1 as open candidate, then there is no eligibility criteria. You can directly register for the exam through a PrCB and appear for same.

But, if you are planning to do a certified course to be certified as Level 1 on course completion, then there is a pre condition.

The course needs to be equivalent to not less than 200 hours. This means the minimum duration course you must have attended is 1 month (which incidentally is equal to RYT-200 of Yoga Alliance).

Level 1 certificate now makes you eligible to teach Common Yoga Protocol on International Day of Yoga and teach Yoga classes in parks, societies & RWAs.

The syllabus is much more elaborate too. You can download the syllabus by clicking this link > Level 1.

Level 2: Yoga Wellness Instructor

For open candidates, there is no eligibility criteria.

But for certified course, the full time course needs to be not less than 400 hours of duration ( or 3 months). It is 6 months for part time students.

Few important points of new syllabus are:

  • Brief introduction to Samkhya & Yoga Darshana
  • Life sketches and teachings of Yoga masters (Maharishi Ramana, Sri Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda & Swami Dayanand Saraswati)
  • Principles and practices of Jnana, Bhakti & Karma Yoga.
  • Knowledge of Patanjali Yoga Sutra with focus on selected sutras.
  • and more.

Hence, if you are open candidate, please go through the syllabus in detail and prepare accordingly.

Use this link to download the syllabus for Level 2 by clicking this link > Level 2.

Level 3: Yoga Teacher & Evaluator

This is currently the highest level of Yoga Certification currently. The current highest level of certificate in the scheme is now Yoga Teacher & Evaluator.

For certified schools, the course duration now needs to be 800 hours in total.This is equal to 9 months for full time course or 15 months for part time course.

You can download the syllabus for Level 3 exam by clicking below:

Yoga certification Level 3 syllabus

Main changes in the scheme requirements

One of the main change in the scheme requirements is that it has made course completion as bare minimum criteria to appear to the certification exam itself.

Earlier the scheme had lateral entry option to experienced teachers and professionals in the field of Yoga. You were required to demonstrate the required knowledge and teaching skills to be able to clear the exam.

Now, you need to have attended a course with minimum contact hours to be able to appear for exam. 

In laymen terms it means that even if you have gathered knowledge over last few years of teaching, unless it is backed by a course, you simply can not appear for certain levels.

This is a clear departure from earlier specifications for the scheme exams.

How this change in eligibility impacts RYT-200 courses?

The biggest way these changes have impacted RYT-200 courses (most popular course of Yoga Alliance certified schools) is that now that can only appear for Level 1 exam here.

If you want to appear for Level 2 exam, then you need to complete RYT-300 too so that your are eligible for Level 2 exam. For Level 3, You might need more than 800 hours of education to appear for the exam.

The reason for these changes is that a teacher of yoga needs to have in-depth knowledge about asana, anatomy, texts and philosophy about the field of yoga.

A teacher is the one who represents the field of yoga to his students. A professional who has trained under guidance of a senioer teacher for approximately two years (even 1 year in some cases ) at minimum is the one who can handle the rigour required for such presence.

Thus these changes are implemented on immediate basis.

But no where it has mentioned in the changes that these changes have made the RYT-200 irrelevant. It simply states that 1 month of training makes you better suited for wellness related profile.

On the other hand this doesn’t stop you from appearing in higher levels of the certification exams, all you need is required competence. Which means deeper understanding of the texts, with certain key sutras to be on top of your head.

What changes you need to prepare for new format of exam?

The major change in the examination process now is the focus on demonstration and candidate’s knowledge from Yoga texts perspective. YCB has issued detailed syllabus regarding the same.

Analysis of the syllabus shows that now you need to read more books with focus on specific topics to prepare for the exam.

Earlier, the scope of questions in theory exam was limited. This has changed in new format.

Moreover, earlier Level 1 professional was required to demonstrate his/her command on asana practice. Level 2 & Level 3 had focus on demonstrating understanding & teaching skills. This has been reduced to give more value to physical demonstration of their practice in practical exam.

Thus, to appear for exams now, You need to focus on:

  • Asana demonstration – Earlier Level 2 demonstration was evaluated but overall there was equal weightage (marks wise) to teaching skills too. Now, in current changes, asana demonstration is of highest importance. Especially, for Level 1 & Level 2.
  • Theory from Hatha Pradipika, Yoga Sutra, Shrimad Bhagvad Geeta & Gheranda Samhita. Specific sutras and shlokas are mentioned in the syllabus, which you need to know in depth for the purpose of the exam.
  • More detailed knowledge of human biology, psychology & physiology. Yoga for Wellness has more focused description in the new detailed syllabus.
  • Readings on Applied Yoga.