Yoga teachers want to introduce quality standards for yoga teacher training and support in New Zealand for yoga teachers.
The issue will be at the national hauora yoga conference in Auckland on November 23. The conference will be held in conjunction with the New Zealand exercise industry conference Fitex, which is being run by Exercise NZ.
Richard Beddie, chief executive of Exercise NZ, says New Zealand is changing the way it supports yoga.
“The staging of the inaugural New Zealand yoga conference is the first step in a new direction and will be a memorable one.
“While yoga values and respects Indian teachings, a strong belief in our Kiwi identity has led to discussion on how yoga standards can include New Zealand needs.
“Many see the value of joining a yoga professional organisation which reflects the qualifications and experience of each member, supports them and provides representation and advocacy for the yoga community.
“The yoga community sees the relevance of aligning teacher training with best practice worldwide. The basic de facto qualification for yoga teaching in New Zealand is the Yoga Alliance 200hr standard.
“Most training providers include the 200hr standard and teachers with this qualification may join the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) administered by Exercise New Zealand. Some training providers also meet the more demanding standards of Yoga Australia.
“The conference’s teacher training panel will discuss standards and New Zealand. Could standards be more relevant to New Zealand, such as including a module in Te Ao Māori – the Māori world?
“The conference will discuss a proposal for a professional and representative Yoga New Zealand organisation, with support from Yoga Australia and Exercise New Zealand.
“Yoga NZ would be run by a council representing the NZ yoga community, provide member benefits, and recognise teachers and training providers who meet basic and Yoga Australia standards for yoga teaching.”
Yoga is surging in popularity all around New Zealand, while organised sport is in decline, Beddie says.
Yoga is one of New Zealand’s most popular forms of exercise, with more than figures showing its practice has grown by as many yoga providers as gyms around the country.
“It has got so big as an exercise that we are staging the inaugural yoga conference in Auckland in November. Yoga has doubled in the last five years and just keeps growing largely due to its versatility,” Beddie says.
- Make Lemonade