The very first card I ever received was a library card. I remember how cool it was to see my name on the shiny surface, the protective cover that came with it, and finding the perfect place to store it so I wouldn’t lose it (which I ended up doing repeatedly).

My next card was from the official David Cassidy Fan Club that came in the mail (after what seemed like an eternity when you’re 10-years-old), along with an autographed photo that I was sure he signed just for me. Swoon! For David, I had to go and buy my first wallet so I could carry my Fan Club ID with me wherever I went. And who can forget the very first time you got a business card printed by your employer with your name on it? Why is it that a piece of paper with our name printed on it can bring such a feeling of pride, belonging, and accomplishment?

Over the years my wallet has expanded as I’ve amassed a dizzying array of cards. Cards for business, shopping, a free frozen yogurt; you name it, I’ve got my name on a piece of plastic for it.

But recently, I got one of the coolest cards I’ve ever received in the mail: my official Yoga Alliance registration ID card. I don’t know why I waited so long, but I finally sent in my application after completing my 200-hour yoga-teacher training to become a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200) through Yoga Alliance®. I didn’t know I was going to get a shiny new official form of identification along with the package, so that was an extra-special treat. Plus, the coolest part is that I can now officially use the RYT (registered yoga teacher) designation after my name.

So, now I am an official card-carrying member of the Yoga Alliance. I join fellow professional yogis around the globe and will follow their code of conduct, which includes adherence to the traditional yoga principles as written in the Yamas and Niyamas.

My wallet just got a little fatter today, and the Yoga Alliance card is moving to the premier position so I can proudly display my new membership and pride in the fact that I am a yoga teacher.

– Maria, RYT