A year after trying to slap regulations on yoga teacher training courses, the city is retreating, and the army of free spirits prepares to claim victory. Last April officials made the mistake of lumping yoga in with a host of other activities—hair dressing and truck driving among them—whose vocational schools would be required to undergo a long and arduous licensing process. But as the Times reports, the yoga community just wouldn't bend to those rules.

Now Gov. Paterson is expected to grant an exemption for yoga, that would mean teacher training programs—which are informal in the industry—could remain unlicensed along with vocational schools for "religion, painting and athletics. "This was just a bureaucratic error that I’m happy we corrected,” said Senator Eric T. Schneiderman, a Manhattan Democrat who sponsored the exemption bill. He added that “It’s a personal-enrichment and spiritual practice.”

In less zealous (or wealthy) yoga communities, including Virginia's and Michigan's, regulations have been successfully put in place, but in New York practitioners hired a lobbying firm that reached out to yoga enthusiasts in the legislature. They even established a nonprofit for the cause and made a fancy website to track the saga. “People doubted we could do it,” said Alison West, executive director of the organization, “Everyone is very excited.”