Last month I blogged about attempts by various state governments to regulate yoga instructors by forcing them to obtain a costly government license. Today the Washington Post has a story on Virginia’s efforts to place the government boot on the necks of its yogis:
The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia recently declared that studios offering yoga teacher instruction must be certified. That involves a $2,500 fee, audits, annual charges of at least $500 and a pile of paperwork.
Let’s call this what it is: extortion. And if you still harbor the illusion that bureaucrats don’t sit around thinking up ways to pilfer more money from productive members of society, think again:
In Virginia, yoga teacher training first hit the state’s radar late last year after a state employee conducting school audits happened upon an advertisement, said Linda Woodley, the higher education council’s director of private and out-of-state postsecondary education. Before that, Woodley said, ‘I was not aware they existed, and they were not aware we existed.’
Well congratulations, Ms. Woodley – the yogi community now knows you exist.
Studios can teach lotus poses to as many clients as they like, state officials said. But teacher training programs, which the state views as similar to dog grooming, massage therapy or other classes intended to prepare someone for a job, must be certified under state law. (For instance, Simply Ballroom Dance Teachers Academy, Danny Ward Horseshoeing School and Jiggers Bartending School are certified.)
Virginia citizens should sleep sound at night knowing ballroom dance teachers, horseshoers, and bartenders are government certified.
Woodley said it’s also about ensuring that students who plunk down cash for training programs that can run a few thousand dollars are getting their money’s worth. Plus, she said, being listed on the government registry will give schools a marketing tool, like a Good Housekeeping seal of approval.
Good Housekeeping seal of approval? Ladies and gentleman, this is the mentality of the state bureaucrats that the federal government has tasked with “stimulating” the economy with YOUR money.