Monday, August 24, 2009

Big yoga

Hey missy, you got a license for that?

Last month I wrote about government targeting the yoga industry for increased licensing. Today's Washington Post picks up the story:
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.
How did this come about? Essentially a bureaucrat looking to keep herself busy:
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."
Think about that. Before Woodley and the state of Virginia decided to get involved people were attending yoga classes and managing themselves just fine. Instructors offered a service and customers freely paid them. Those customers that did not enjoy the service or found it somehow lacking presumably stopped attending or went to a different instructor.

Now the state, in a never ending bid to protect people from themselves, is injecting itself in the middle of a consensual act between two adults. Yoga providers are now being burdened with paperwork and fees that will serve as a drain on economic activity while providing no discernible benefit, all in a time of recession.

Perhaps worst of all is that if this stays in effect you can bet that support for it will slowly grow among some of the larger yoga studios, who will use the licenses and fees as a barrier to keep competitors out of the market.

HT: Ted Dehaven.

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