I’ve been thinking why anyone would join IYNAUS and/or become a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher (CIYT). Back in late 2018, I inquired to the IYNAUS Director of Operations (the one who is now circulating a letter regarding the power abuses of the IYNAUS president) about the number of IYNAUS members. She replied around 5000. The 2021 IYNAUS Impact Report on the IYNAUS website boasts that IYNAUS gained 500 members for a total of 3200 members, which means the membership dropped to at least 2700, if not lower. Somewhere since 2018, IYNAUS lost nearly half its membership. Also, almost all of the Iyengar Institutes have closed their studios and function online only. In order to use the Iyengar name, a studio must only offer Iyengar yoga and all teachers must be certified. Who is this serving? To me, it’s like a pyramid scheme where the people at the top benefit . The studio near me dropped the Iyengar name and now offers classes from other systems in an attempt to keep the doors open. Maybe membership dropped because of Covid. I let my membership lapse when I witnessed how IYNAUS and the upper echelon behaved around the Manouso situation. Behind the cloak of ethical standards and sanskrit mumbo jumbo (check out the IYNAUS website), there were many who stood to gain a lot from banishing Manouso. Maybe CIYTs didn’t want to be forced to take workshops from senior teachers who inspire about as much as a dead fish and only teach online now though studios are open. CIYT’s are required to take 30 hours of continuing education each year or risk losing their Iyengar teaching certificate. I’ve noticed that many senior teachers offer continuing education workshops online. I am especially intrigued by an upcoming online therapeutics workshop for autoimmune diseases and am curious how an online therapeutics course can be effective. I looked at the daily schedule and thought who in their right mind would be beholden to a computer screen for that long for so many days, much less take off a week of work and pay $475 to do it. Nobody can pay attention that long. Maybe IYNAUS membership plummeted because IYNAUS merged into Yoga Alliance which rendered the Iyengar Yoga Teaching Certificate meaningless. Now you can pretty much teach Iyengar yoga without going through the certification process and you are free to teach what you want, where you want, and study with whomever you want. The only caveat is you can’t use the Iyengar name. And, based on my experience with the general public, there isn’t a lot of name brand recognition with Iyengar Yoga. IYNAUS makes a big deal about protecting the brand, but its main focus is putting money in the pockets of the people at the top. It does this by recruiting members. I have come to the conclusion that IYNAUS needs people more than people need IYNAUS.
To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears. To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the foolOctavia Butler