Created out of one yoga instructor's realization that practicing yoga was being hindered by attempts to regulate the sport by the Texas Workforce Commission in 2008. The government agency claimed yoga studios and schools were teaching outside of the state guidelines for postsecondary education. Their choices: pay a $50,000 fine, acquire the proper postsecondary school certification, shut down business or file for an exemption from the state.
Yoga instructor Jennifer Buergermeister identified a greater issue than the fine: small, locally owned yoga studios were closing left and right after feeling the burden of the new government restrictions, while the bigger, corporate yoga studios could afford to keep their doors open. The result would be a culture of corporate-run yoga practices. Buergermeister decided to open the Texas Yoga Association in 2009 to combat the government regulations, with the hope of keeping small yoga studios alive and thriving in the local Houston area and the rest of the state.
"We intend to support and maintain freedom to teach and share the art of yoga and meditation as it was always intended by advocating politically for yoga in Texas; to facilitate a global transformation through action by demonstrating cooperation; and to shift old paradigms that include fear, greed and competition into healthy, sustainable systems by promoting unity among our members and friends across the United States and beyond," Buergermeister says.
The Texas Yoga Association has become a bit of a hub for yogis to appreciate their spiritual practice together. With membership information, links to news that affects yoga instructors and students all over the state and events including an annual free yoga day, the organization brings people together from all over the state in honor of yoga.
"We intend to also advocate for an promote the spirit of Texas yoga and Texas talent," Buergermeister says.
Throughout the year, the Texas Yoga Association hosts multiple events. The organization just hosted the Texas Yoga Conference for the eighth year in a row to bring yoga teachers and motivational speakers together for a three-day retreat that celebrates mindfulness. The annual Free Day of Yoga 2016 will be held on September 5 in participating studios across the state.
Yogis interested in membership with the Texas Yoga Association can visit their website to find out how to become a member, participate in events and about the benefits that come with membership.