Yogis Against the State

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The New York Times reports on an unlikely new front in the war on meddlesome and unnecessary occupational licensing laws:

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Ten years ago, with yoga transforming itself into a ubiquitous pop culture phenomenon from a niche pursuit, yoga teachers banded together to create a voluntary online registry of schools meeting new minimum standards for training instructors in the discipline.

But that list-which now includes nearly 1,000 yoga schools nationwide, many of them tiny-is being put to a use for which it was never intended. It is the key document in a nationwide crackdown on yoga schools that pits free-spirited yogis against lumbering state governments, which, unlike those they are trying to regulate, are not always known for their flexibility.

Citing laws that govern vocational schools, like those for hairdressers, chiropractors and truck drivers, regulators have begun to require licenses for yoga schools that train instructors, with all the fees, inspections and paperwork that entails. While confrontations have played out differently in different states, threats of shutdowns and fines have, in some cases, been met with accusations of power grabs and religious infringement-disputes that seem far removed from the meditative world yoga calls to mind.

Read the rest here. Reason takes on occupational licensing laws here, here, here, and here.

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  1. Can Boo-Boos be far behind?

  2. I don’t do yoga, but isn’t a good deal of it – the most traditional kinds – an outgrowth of religion?

    Wouldn’t there be a 1st Amendment defense against such a registry?

    Kevin

  3. You know what would be more awesome than regular faith healing? Faith healing WITH STRETCHING.

    Seriously, wtf?

  4. Crap, most of those dumbass politicians and bureaucrats think “yoga” is that fruity-flavored goop you eat out of little cups. Who the hell are they to say whether a yoga instructor is qualified or not?

  5. Crap, most of those dumbass politicians and bureaucrats think “yoga” is that fruity-flavored goop you eat out of little cups. Who the hell are they to say whether a yoga instructor is qualified or not?

    They don’t care if they are qualified, they care if they are paying to be qualified.

  6. They don’t care if they are qualified, they care if they are paying to be qualified.

    Exactly. The bureaucrat who “verifies” that they are qualified is probably some fat sweaty perv who stares at the womens’ crotches as they stretch, and thinks a “downward facing dog” is a canine licking its own balls.

  7. Voluntary licensing is a perfectly good thing, and even government certification can be perfectly fine. But some bastard in government always turns it into mandatory government licensing.

    Even worse is the idiot (Jim Graham, D-Ward 1) on the DC Council who’s trying to bring a NYC-style medallion system to DC. You see, the DC taxi system is too free market, and has open entry of new operators. Apparently what DC needs is a way to keep those poor foreigners from trying to get ahead, and ruining it for DC residents with their lower taxi fares.

  8. See, this is what I come to H & R for*:

    Reminders that my insensate hatred of the minions of the Total State is perfectly justified.

    *I mean, besides the Congressional slash fiction.

  9. “Wouldn’t there be a 1st Amendment defense against such a registry?”

    As we learned here some time back, the cops can bust ya for holding bible study classes in your own home.

    https://www.reason.com/blog/show/133768.html

  10. Better not be stretching that *mind* w/o a license …

    Actually, iirc someone in H&R recently did “propose” government approval before obtaining knowledge of any kind.

  11. The most shocking thing about this report is that for a minute the NYT seemed to have a libertarian instead of a liberal bias in its reporting.

    There It is the key document in a nationwide crackdown on yoga schools that pits free-spirited yogis against lumbering state governments, which, unlike those they are trying to regulate, are not always known for their flexibility. Did you miss it?

  12. *I mean, besides the Congressional slash fiction.

    We need a web site up and running devoted to Sugarfree’s H&R fiction. I know there have been episodes I have missed where I skipped the post he put them on by a few references I have seen to them.

  13. “We need a web site up and running devoted to Sugarfree’s H&R fiction. I know there have been episodes I have missed where I skipped the post he put them on by a few references I have seen to them.”

    And I’m still hoping for a piece that includes someone with a fart fetish (but not in the South Park / San Francisco sense).

  14. Once Dhalsim gets involved, the gov’t’s gonna regret this.

  15. Traffic congestion in a residential neighborhood shouldn’t be a problem if yoginis hold classes in their homes. Their students can just fly in, right? 😉

    Kevin

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