The Bell Tolls: Now They’re After Yoga Instructors

Years ago, one of the biggest motivators for my starting the project was that state governments were making it impossible to braid as a legally legitimate profession.  I wanted to render the laws that basically made braiding without a license illegal, but at the same time made getting a license impossible, obsolete.  Online and offline, we’re doing pretty good at making natural hairstyling education that meets and exceeds the U.S. federal standard, accessible to anyone who wants to put in the time and effort.

This sounded an alarm to others whose professions are currently unregulated or only mildly so because they are traditional practices: one day, your state government could arbitrarily decide that your job is illegal, and that you should have to go to a school that doesn’t exist for a license that they hope never exists.  The bell tolled on braiding, and now it seems that they’re going after Yoga instructors next.

Y’all better wake up.  It is happening in Virginia.  If the past is any teacher, somewhere in Texas, a Yoga instructor’s on her way to getting strip searched and jailed for telling people that stretching is good for them.


My pronouns are whatever you're comfortable with as long as you speak to me with respect. I'm an Afruikan and Iswa refugee living in Canaan. That's African American expat in Israel in Normalian. I build websites, make art, and assist people in exercising their spirituality. I'm also the king of an ile, Baalat Teva, a group of African spirituality adherents here. Feel free to contact me if you are in need of my services or just want to chat.


  1. Is telling someone their job is illegal or preventing just some random person giving themselves the tittle “yoga instructor” without any training in A&P or health&fitness . To an extent this could be argued that “they” are trying to protect the public.

  2. That’s the argument they usually give for these things, but it seldom pans out that way. All it does is make it impossible for anyone to legally do the job at all. It’s a circle game.

    The state requires that in order for someone to get a license, they have to get certification from a state recognized school. There are no state recognized schools because none of the instructors could go to a state recognized school because no state recognized school exists. So nobody can get a license.

    It almost always starts at the school level. After that, they start arresting yoga instructors because none of them could get a state recognized education. If it wasn’t for IJ most of these laws would get passed without a popular vote or without an informed popular vote, without people’s knowledge. Then suddenly people start getting arrested.

    They got away with it in some states with braiding. Now they’re one by one going through the traditional professions.

    I could see if they required a physical education degree to teach Hatha yoga. That would make sense, and there are plenty of colleges that teach phys. ed. There are however, more disciplines of Yoga than Hatha.

    Personally, much like with braiding, this looks like a money grab to me. They’ll take advantage of people’s ignorance to get insane fees from Yoga schools who are trying to comply with the laws, but then turn around and have them hanging on a string worried about state regulators who’ve never done Yoga in their lives.

  3. I also have a dark foreboding that next is martial artists and other fitness instructors.

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  • You’ve read the article, now get the t-shirt! :-D