Teaching is Not a Crime: Challenging Virginia's Unconstitutional Regulation of Yoga Teacher Training

Uploaded by InstituteForJustice on 01.12.2009

Yoga teacher training is something that goes back thousands and thousands of years. This is a
tradition that's been passed on generation to generation.
I don't think it should be the state who decides whether or not we can continue this
-In Virginia you can teach anyone anything except how to earn an honest living.
There the state is insisting that instructors who train new yoga teachers get the government's permission
to teach or face serious penalties. -The state council sent some
information to
some of the Yoga studios to tell them that they had to be
regulated, or that they would

close us down. -Virginia Law requires anyone who teaches marketable skills
to get a permit to operate a vocational school.
That includes people who teach you how to use a computer, tend a bar,
groom a pet,
and people who teach you how to become a yoga instructor. -Complying with Virginia's vocational
school laws can be very burdensome for small businesses.
Applying means you have to pay a 2,500 dollar application fee,
get your curriculum approved by Virginia bureaucrats, and fill out dozens of hours of paperwork.
But not applying means you could be subject to thousands of dollars in fines for even
a year in jail. -This is really a lot to ask of a small yoga studio. We don't have staff
to do all of this so to see all of this work that was being piled onto us
as well as the fees was quite overwhelming.
-I'm a
small business, I'm trying to make a living at doing something that I love to do.
If I did have to comply with the Virginia regulations then I wouldn't be able to
-These laws are more than just bad policy -
they put real people out of work, and
beyond that, they're unconstitutional.
The First Amendment protects the right to speak and to listen to speakers of our choice.
This means the government has no role in saying whether you can make a yoga dvd,
write a book, or a magazine article about yoga,
or teach a yoga instructor course.
-My students and I have a right to be talking about philosophy, to be talking about a
way of life without the state interfering with that freedom.
-To protect economic liberty
and the right to speak freely, the Institute for Justice and its clients have filed a
federal lawsuit challenging Virginia's unconstitutional regulation of teaching. -I think I do
have the right to stand in front of people and say this is how I teach yoga, these are my methods, these are my beliefs, these are the things I've studied and I want to share that with you.
-Freedom of speech is too important for Virginia to censor teachers.
That's why we're going to fight this law.