Integral Yoga® Teachers Code of Conduct
Section 1: Statement of Purpose
The Integral Yoga Teachers Council is committed to and holds high ethical and professional standards for all Integral Yoga teachers. It is the responsibility of Integral Yoga teachers to ensure a safe and supportive environment for imparting the teachings and for the wellbeing of the students. The Integral Yoga Teachers Code of Conduct provides clear guidelines for teachers so that the highest integrity is maintained at all times in the teacher-student relationship.
Section 2: Principles
Integral Yoga teachers agree to uphold the following ethical principles:
- To create and maintain a safe, clean and conducive environment for the practice of Integral Yoga.
- To conduct themselves in a professional and conscientious manner, maintaining appropriate relationship boundaries.
- To use respectful language free from profanity, prejudice, insults, abusive language or verbal threats.
- To avoid words and actions that constitute sexual or other forms of harassment.
- To acknowledge the limitations of their skills and scope of practice and, when appropriate, refer students to seek alternative instruction or guidance.
- To welcome all students regardless of race, religion, beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, age or cultural background.
- To welcome students regardless of physical limitations unless a student is beyond their ability to teach safely, and in such instances to try to refer them to a qualified teacher.
- To cultivate an attitude of Karma Yoga (selfless service) in their teaching and dedicate their teaching to the highest good of all concerned.
- To adhere to the traditional Yoga principles as defined in yama and niyama, the ethical foundation of Yoga as presented in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
- To dress modestly when they are teaching an Integral Yoga class or giving a talk on Yoga.
- To do their best to follow a vegetarian diet and refrain from any substances that are contrary to a yogic lifestyle.
- To follow all local, state and national laws that pertain to their Integral Yoga teaching and businesses.
Section 3: Professional Practices
In all professional matters, Integral Yoga teachers agree to conduct themselves in a manner that is ethical, appropriate and respectful of all concerned.
- Integral Yoga teachers use their knowledge and professional associations for the benefit of the people they serve and not to secure unfair personal advantage.
- Fees, financial arrangements and all contractual matters are discussed at the outset and established in a straightforward, professional manner.
- Integral Yoga teachers neither receive nor pay a commission for the referral of a student.
- Integral Yoga teachers do not speak ill of colleagues or other professionals.
Section 4: Student Relationships
It is the responsibility of Integral Yoga teachers to respect the rights, dignity and privacy of their students.
- Integral Yoga teachers recognize the trust placed in them and the unique power of the teacher-student relationship. They do not exploit that trust in any way or try to cultivate dependency of students. They avoid dual relationships with students (e.g., business or sexual relationships) that could impair their professional judgment and compromise the integrity of their instruction.
- Integral Yoga teachers do not engage in harassment, abusive words or actions.
- Integral Yoga teachers do not engage in sexual harassment as defined as, but not limited to: comments, gestures or physical contact of a sexual nature. Behavior, comments or humor that is offensive to anyone because of its sexual content or reference to gender or sexual orientation is unacceptable.
- Integral Yoga teachers recognize that their teaching may lead to physical contact with students, such as adjusting them in asanas, and exercise the utmost care. Touch is used only with students’ consent and with their wellbeing in mind, and free of any personal motive.
Section 5: Reporting and Resolution Process
Integral Yoga is committed to providing an environment that is free from inappropriate behavior or harassment of any kind. The complaint and grievance process provides that complaints be promptly and impartially investigated in a compassionate and professional manner.
The reporting process may be initiated by anyone. If any inappropriate behavior or harassment is verified in the investigation, prompt and effective action will be taken to remedy the situation. The complainant will be assured that an environment free from harassment has been restored and that there will be no retaliation of any kind toward anyone who participated in the investigation.
If a student feels that they have been subjected to, or have witnessed inappropriate behavior by an Integral Yoga teacher, that student should notify the local center (Integral Yoga Institute, Integral Yoga Center or Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville) where they take classes.
Contact email addresses are as follows:
- Human Resource Department of Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville ([email protected])
- Safety Coordinator of the New York Integral Yoga Institute ([email protected])
- Ethics Committee of the San Francisco Integral Yoga Institute ([email protected])
- For other Integral Yoga Institutes and Centers, go online to iyta.org/directory for listings.