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Learn about the directors and how YAP came to be.
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Best Practices

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The Team

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A brief history of Yoga Alliance Professionals



Yoga Alliance UK is founded by Bruce Mackay and Brian Cooper.

Membership Levels


We amended our membership levels to move away from RYT and updated our badges.



We changed our name to Yoga Alliance Professionals to represent ourselves as an international organisation for professionals yoga teachers.



2021 sees the introduction of exciting marketing tools and strategies to help our members thrive as Yoga Professionals and get more leads. Our focus is on closer personal contact and support to fully understand our members’ goals and pain points.


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Already a teacher member? Book a call with your account manager here!


Yoga Alliance UK was officially established in 2006 after Brian was in discussion with the then CEO of  Yoga Alliance in the USA, Stephen Russell.  Although they were not interested in having a presence, Stephen was supportive of setting up a parallel organisation in the UK. Shortly after Yoga Alliance UK was founded, Stephen left the board and all communication between the two organisations stopped. 

The impetus to establish Yoga Alliance UK came from two main sources: the first was the declining standards in teacher training, and the second was to stand up to the attempted hijacking of yoga by the fitness industry.

Brian Cooper, PhD
Co-Founder and Director

Brian has been practising yoga for over 45 years, and teaching since 1988. He established the highly respected Union Yoga Training in 2000. As well as running major yoga centres in Edinburgh, Brian also founded one of the early eco yoga centres in the remote northwest of Scotland. Brian has a very scientific and no-nonsense approach to yoga and is a truth-seeker. He was one of the first group of Ashtanga Yoga adopters who trained with the late Derek Ireland. That group included John Scott, Liz Lark, Hamish Hendry, Gingi Lee and others and they were responsible for the growth and expansion of Ashtanga Yoga in the UK. 

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Bruce Mackay
Co-Founder and Director

Bruce's background is more the meditation and esoteric side of the practices. He has visited ashrams in India, worked with a shaman in the mountains of Peru, completed long Vipassana meditation courses and carried out 41-day fasts in the jungles of Thailand. He has a fascination with how to take an idea in mind and make it a reality. He started practising Iyengar yoga in 1992. After studying Ashtanga Yoga for many years with Brian, by 1999 he was teaching. That same year he co-established The Yoga Shop UK to source and manufacture quality products.


Together they opened Union Yoga Studio in 2004. Brian ran the Teacher Training program while Bruce managed the studio and workshop program. It involved inviting many top name teachers from around the globe to teach in Scotland and the UK.

By 2006 the overwhelming feedback from visiting senior teachers and Brian's teacher training courses was that the level of practice and teaching was dropping dramatically.

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Best Practices

Where there are qualifying criteria stated, these are our MINIMUM requirements. We also have a series of recommended Best Practices, which while not compulsory are much closer to the levels we'd like to see all Trainers and Teachers adopt. Check our website for more details on Best Practices.

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Always Expanding

Yoga Alliance Professionals has grown to become an internationally recognised yoga organisation, with members and training courses all around the world! 




Training Courses



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The Structure

Yoga Alliance Professionals is a full Not for Profit organisation with 100% of the membership fees invested in the business.

You can find our details on Companies House under;

YOGA PROS ORGANISATION LIMITED is a Scottish registered Company Number SC502923 with the trading address at:

10/2 Beaverhall Road, Edinburgh, EH7 4JE, Scotland, UK

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Already a teacher member? Book a call with your account manager here!

Meet The Team

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Claire Campbell
Head of Operations

I manage the team here at Yoga Alliance Professionals and love having an overview of the whole organisation. I enjoy hearing what our members are doing, feeding off their needs and helping the team to do their job to the best of their abilities. I have a passion for organising processes and people (someone has to), problem-solving and making sure everything runs smoothly! I've gained experience in large corporate organisations and small businesses and continue to learn. In my spare time, I enjoy practising yoga and attempting to live healthily!

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Louise Murray

The favourite part of my job is speaking to Senior Teachers and Trainers.  Every day I speak to yogis at different stages of their careers. I am able to get a good insight into what it takes to run training courses and studios and the challenges members face. The thing that comes across clearly...always...is their passion.  I feed off that energy and it makes my job an absolute delight.

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Kayleigh Knott
Project Manager

My favourite part of my job would be helping to solve problems with our members getting the best out of your membership. I also enjoy monitoring and ensuring everyone is on track for targets and projects and if not solving how to get over this. In my spare time I try and self practice yoga but if not you’ll catch me at a music festival.

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Mark Keenan
Account Manager

I’m fairly new to yoga and I have loved getting to understand the depths of yoga from speaking to our members.  Hearing our members’ passion for the discipline is incredible and the politics that surround yoga have been eye-opening.  I feel strongly about wanting to help yoga teachers develop their passion…and it has inspired me to delve deeper into my own yoga practice. I’m a total people geek, so my role is to fully assist and encourage our members in using the facilities of our platform to ensure they are getting the best out of their memberships and overall support them in a successful yoga career.

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Kirsty Darroch
Account Manager

I started practising yoga in University and it’s been great to have an opportunity to deepen my knowledge and expand my practice by immersing myself into the yoga community. I am so happy to be able to assist our members in their yoga careers and help them to utilise their membership to its full potential. I really enjoy working with the fantastic team here at YAP. We have such a great group of people, working to make Yoga Alliance Professionals the best it can be.

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Aimee Williamson

I create the landing pages and other graphics for Yoga Alliance Professionals. I enjoy putting myself into the members shoes and making sure everything is easily accessible while being pleasing to the eye. Another part of my role is to look after the trainee members! I love speaking with trainees on the phone to hear about their goals, fears and helping them out in any way I can during this life changing time.


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