Open letter from to Skills Active regarding the proposed regulation of ‘Yoga’

Open letter from to Skills Active regarding the proposed regulation of ‘Yoga’

Dear Ms Larissey,

Re: Proposed National Occupational Standards for Yoga

I anticipate that you will be receiving an increasing number of communications on this topic. Most of these will be from practising Yogis and Yoginis; many of whom will have followed the yoga path for decades.

Personally, I believe that “yoga” must first be defined before anyone might try and apply rules to it. We have Physiotherapists who adopt yoga techniques in their practice. Teachers who employ yogic meditation in their classes, Acupuncturists who will use Yoga Techniques to pacify their clients. And, of course, the group of friends who gather together for a yoga experience – with no formal training between them. Come to think of things, this latter group probably includes half the Hindu population in the UK who might also consider their ‘yoga’ as part of their faith. How does one produce an all-encompassing definition?

However, my concerns here stem from a different view point. As an insurance broker offering insurance to a diverse range of Yogis and holistic therapists (practising everything from Accupressure to Zoopharmacognosy) the principal complaint we hear concerns the compulsory insurance sold with membership of some groups. Indeed, some of the larger groups are known to have told their trainees that they will not be allowed to teach yoga unless they remain members and continue with their insurance.

It wasn’t all that long ago when Building Societies and Banks used to practise something similar; insisting that mortgagees placed their home insurance with the lender’s “in-house” scheme – whether or not the cover was most appropriate or competitively priced.  This practise is no longer allowed in the home buyer’s market. Should it be allowed here?

Yours sincerely

Nick Elwell
Tel: 01367 246130