STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
members of the California Yoga Teachers Association recognizes the
sensitive nature of the student-teacher relationship. We believe that
it is the responsibility of the yoga teacher to ensure a safe and
protected environment in which a student can grow physically, mentally,
order to protect the student in this potentially vulnerable
relationship, as well as to uphold the highest professional standards
for yoga teachers, we agree to accept the following foundational
avoid discriminating against or refusing professional help to anyone on
the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or national
- To stay abreast of new developments in the field of yoga through educational activities and study.
- To seek out and engage in collegial relationships, recognizing that isolation can lead to a loss of perspective and judgment.
manage our personal lives in a healthful fashion and to seek
appropriate assistance for our own personal problems or conflicts.
provide rehabilitative instruction only for those problems or issues
that are within the reasonable boundaries of our competence.
- To establish and maintain appropriate professional relationship boundaries.
- To cultivate an attitude of humanity in our teaching, we dedicate our work to something greater than ourselves.
In all professional matters, we maintain practices and teaching procedures that protect the public and advance the profession.
use our knowledge and professional associations for the benefit of the
people we serve and not to secure unfair personal advantage.
and financial arrangements, as with all contractual matters, are always
discussed without hesitation or equivocation at the onset and are
established in a straightforward, professional manner.
- We may at times render service to individuals or groups in need without regard to financial remuneration.
- We neither receive nor pay a commission for referral of a student.
- We conduct our fiscal affairs with due regard to recognized business and accounting procedures.
are careful to represent facts truthfully to students, referral
sources, and third party payers regarding credentials and services
rendered. We will correct any misrepresentation of our professional
- We do not malign colleagues or other professionals.
It is our responsibility to maintain relationships with students on a professional basis.
do not abandon or neglect students. If we are unable, or unwilling for
appropriate reasons, to provide professional help or continue a
professional relationship, every reasonable effort is made to arrange
for continuation of instruction with another teacher.
- We make only realistic statements regarding the benefits of yoga.
show sensitive regard for the moral, social, and religious standards of
students and groups. We avoid imposing our beliefs on others, although
we may express them when appropriate in the yoga class.
recognize the trust placed in and unique power of the student-teacher
relationship. While acknowledging the complexity of some yoga
relationships, we avoid exploiting the trust and dependency of
- We avoid those dual
relationships with students (e.g., business, close personal, or sexual
relationships) that could impair our professional judgment, compromise
the integrity of our instruction, and/or use the relationship for our
- We do not engage in harassment, abusive words or actions, or exploitative coercion of students or former students.
forms of sexual behavior or harassment with students are unethical,
even when a student invites or consents to such behavior involvement.
Sexual behavior is defined as, but not limited to, all forms of overt
and covert seductive speech, gestures, and behavior as well as physical
contact of a sexual nature; harassment is defined as, but not limited
to, repeated comments, gestures, or physical contacts of a sexual
- We recognize that the
teacher-student relationship involves a power imbalance, the residual
effects of which can remain after the student is no longer studying
with the teacher. Therefore, we suggest extreme caution if you choose
to enter into a personal relationship with a former student.
respect the integrity and protect the welfare of all persons with whom
we are working and have an obligation to safeguard information about
them that has been obtained in the course of the instruction process.
- All records kept on a student are stored or disposed of in a manner that assures security and confidentiality.
- We treat all communications from students with professional confidence.
supervising apprentices or consulting with other yoga teachers, we use
only the first names of our students, except in those situations where
the identity of the student is necessary to the understanding of the
case. It is our responsibility to convey the importance of
confidentiality to the apprentice or consultant.
do not disclose student confidences to anyone, except: as mandated by
law; to prevent a clear and immediate danger to someone; in the course
of a civil, criminal, or disciplinary action arising from the
instruction where the teacher is a defendant; for purposes of
supervision or consultation; or by previously obtained written
permission. In cases involving more than one person (as student),
written permission must be obtained from all legally accountable
persons who have been present during the instruction before any
disclosure can be made.
- We obtain
written consent of students before audio and/or video tape recording or
permitting third party observation of their sessions.
current or former students are referred to in a publication, while
teaching, or in a public presentation, their identity is thoroughly
ASSISTANTS, STUDENTS, AND EMPLOYEES
yoga teachers, we have an ethical concern for the integrity and welfare
of our assistants, students, and employees. These relationships are
maintained on a professional and confidential basis. We recognize our
influential position with regard to both current and former assistants,
students, and employees, and avoid exploiting their trust and
dependency. We make every effort to avoid dual relationships with such
persons that could impair our judgment or increase the risk of personal
and/or financial exploitation.
- We do not engage in sexual or other harassment of current assistants, students, employees, or colleagues.
- All forms of sexual behavior, as defined in Section 4.6, with our assistants, students, and employees are unethical.
advise our assistants, students, and employees against offering or
engaging in, or holding themselves out as competent to engage in,
professional services beyond their training, level of experience, and
- We do not harass or
dismiss an assistant or employee who has acted in a reasonable,
responsible, and ethical manner to protect, or intervene on behalf of,
a student or other member of the public or another employee.
yoga teachers, we relate to and cooperate with other professional
persons in our immediate community and beyond. We are part of a network
of health care professionals and are expected to develop and maintain
interdisciplinary and interprofessional relationships.
- Knowingly soliciting another teacher’s students is unethical.
Speaking of other teachers with disrespect is unethical.
advertising, including announcements, public statements, and
promotional activities, done by us or for us, is undertaken for the
purpose of helping the public make informed judgments and choices.
do not misrepresent our professional qualifications, affiliations, and
functions, or falsely imply sponsorship or certification by any
and brochures promoting our services describe them with accuracy and
dignity. These promotional materials should be devoid of exaggerated
claims about the effects of yoga. We may send them to professional
persons, religious institutions, and other agencies, but to prospective
individual students only in response to inquiries or as long as that
promotional material is sent to a reasonable audience in a noninvasive
- We do not make public statements which contain any of the following:
A false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive or unfair statement.
A misrepresentation of fact or a statement likely to mislead or deceive
because in context it makes only a partial disclosure of relevant
A statement implying unusual, unique, or one-of-a-kind abilities,
including misrepresentation through sensationalism, exaggeration, or
A statement intended or likely to exploit a student’s fears, anxieties, or emotions.
A statement concerning the comparative desirability of offered services.
or announcements by us of workshops, clinics, seminars, growth groups,
or similar services or endeavors are to give a clear statement of
purpose and a clear description of the experiences to be provided. The
education, training, and experience of the provider involved are to be