Yoga teachers praise new law on schools

Posted: March 4, 2015 at 6:49 pm

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Cindee Joslin, the owner of a school in Bentonville that teaches yoga instructors, was preparing for her first training session when she received a letter from a state regulatory board in July notifying her that she had to get a license or apply for an exemption. Otherwise, she risked being fined.

At the time, her future students had paid their tuition and had temporarily relocated from other states.

"I was very concerned -- very, very concerned," said Joslin, owner of Yoga Story. "I was on pins and needles there for awhile."

Seven months later, because of a change to Arkansas law that the state's 12 yoga teacher-training schools initiated, Joslin tossed out the "stack" of paperwork she had been working on to receive a license.

"I was so relieved when I got to throw that away," she said. "It's a huge victory."

Twenty days after Sen. Uvalde Lindsey, D-Fayetteville, and Rep. Charlie Collins, R-Fayetteville, introduced a bill to exempt yoga teacher-training schools from the authority of the state Board of Private Career Education, Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed it into law.

The legislation, enacted Feb. 11, amended the code governing the board -- which oversees private post-secondary career schools for fields such as real estate, bail bonds, and tattooing and body piercing -- to prevent it from exerting its authority over yoga teacher-training programs and other instructor-training programs, including dance, music, horseback riding, and sewing, knitting and other needle-crafts.

Lindsey said the programs were "avocational and recreation" and therefore should not be regulated by the state. Collins said the board's action to license the schools was "government overreach" because "there was not a breakdown in their system as it currently existed."

Now, the state Board of Private Career Education is sending back applications and refunding fees submitted by three yoga teacher-training schools that went through with the licensing process.

"We will not license them," said Brenda Germann, the state agency's director. "We'll go from there and move on. If they need us for anything, we're here."

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Yoga teachers praise new law on schools

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March 4th, 2015 at 6:49 pm

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