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Code of Conduct
Our Code of Conduct is intended to provide specific standards to cover most situations encountered by our yoga teachers. Its primary goal is the welfare and protection of our students, teachers, yoga community, and the public. It articulates the ethical standards that our teachers must follow. The Code of Conduct is intended to elevate the professionalism and integrity of our yoga teachers by adopting uniform standards for behavior yet recognizing the diversity of the many traditions of the teaching and practice of yoga.
Teachers will seek to:
comply with all legal and business requirements that apply to their business;
ensure all advertisements relating to the benefits of yoga are accurate, fair, and not misleading;
treat employees, assistants, students, colleagues, and other wellness businesses fairly, transparently and honestly in the course of all business dealings; and
follow sound environmental and sustainable practices in their professional and personal lives
Professional Growth/Continuing Education
Teachers shall maintain the integrity, competency, and high standards of the yoga profession by continuously striving to improve their skills through keeping current in new developments in yoga practice and by participating in continuing educational programs.
Teachers recognize the trust placed in them by their students and the power imbalance of the student-teacher relationship. Teachers shall avoid exploiting the trust and dependency of students. Teachers shall hold themselves out as stewards of safe and sacred spaces by maintaining clear personal and professional boundaries.
Teachers will continually be aware of their position of power and influence in their relationship with their students. Teachers will be mindful not to project their own agendas, perceptions, and outcomes on their students. Teachers will not seek to fulfill their personal needs at their students’ expense. Teachers shall maintain professional boundaries in relationships with students and avoid any relationships that may exploit trust between the student and teacher.
Teachers recognize that their purpose is to serve their student’s personal exploration and growth. Teachers will avoid any activity or influence that is in conflict with the best interests of their students or that may be solely for their own personal gain or gratification.
Teachers are committed to maintaining impeccable standards of professional competence and integrity.
Teachers are committed to promoting the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellbeing of their students. Teachers are committed to practicing yoga as a way of life, which includes adopting the fundamental moral principles of yoga and making their lifestyle environmentally sustainable.
Scope of Practice
Teachers shall represent their qualifications honestly and provide only the services they are qualified and certified to perform. Teachers shall not give medical advice. Teachers shall not recommend treatment, diagnose a condition, or suggest that a student disregard medical advice. Teachers shall refer their students to medical doctors or complimentary licensed professionals when appropriate.
Teachers shall keep all personal information disclosed by their students or clients strictly confidential. A teacher who receives personal information from a student or client may not disclose such information unless it obtains the written consent of the student or client. All discussions among teachers concerning students or clients shall be conducted in secure, non-public environments.
Teachers are part of the health care and well-being community and should strive to develop and maintain relationships within the community for the benefit of their students and their professional development. Teachers shall conduct themselves in an honorable manner in their relations with their fellow yoga teachers and other wellness practitioners. Teachers shall work to build the unity of their community by embracing diversity, collaboration and commitment the benefit of all.
Teachers shall practice tolerance and acceptance toward other yoga teachers, schools and traditions. Teachers shall not openly criticize practices followed by other yoga schools or teachers. However, teachers recognize that differences of opinion are to be expected, and they may be discussed in a sensitive and compassionate manner. When criticism must be made, it should be done with fairness, discretion and with a focus on the facts.
Advertising and Public Communications
A teacher shall accurately represent his or her professional qualifications and certifications along with his or her affiliations with any organization(s). Announcements and brochures promoting classes or workshops shall describe them with accuracy and grace. These principles are designed to uphold the quality of our teachings and shall be in compliance with legal guidelines for appropriate representation of our services.
Teachers will welcome, accept, and support all students regardless of religion, gender, sexual orientation, language, nationality, political, or cultural background.
Teachers will embrace yoga equity. Teachers shall seek to have an awareness and a commitment to making yoga more equitable, inclusive, accessible and diverse. This encompasses diversity, inclusion and accessibility in yoga. Teachers will make the conscious decision to address each of these issues thoughtfully and intentionally throughout their work in restoring equity to the yoga community.
Teachers will emphasize the importance of learning, teaching, and practicing yoga honestly, which means promoting equity, reducing harm, honoring and leveraging cultural differences, and fostering diversity and inclusion in all areas of yoga while honoring the integrity of yoga’s cultural and historical roots.
Harassment Against Members of Protected Class
We do not permit managers, employees, teachers, independent contractors, students, or others in the workplace to harass any other person because of age, gender (including pregnancy), race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, genetic information, or any other basis proscribed by law.
Harassment is unwelcome verbal or non-verbal conduct, based upon a person’s protected characteristic, that (i) denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward the person because of the characteristic and which affects their employment opportunities or benefits; (ii) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with their work performance; (iii) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment; or (iv) has the purpose or effect of creating a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.
Harassment includes epithets, slurs, name calling, negative stereotyping, insults, intimidation, ridicule, threatening, intimidating or hostile acts, denigrating jokes, and display in the workplace of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group based on their protected characteristic. Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated minor incidents may not rise to the level of harassment.
We do not tolerate sexual harassment in our studio. Sexual harassment refers to any unwelcome sexual attention, sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature when the conduct harms the person’s employment or working environment. We prohibit sexual misconduct in our studio. Sexual misconduct is any unsolicited and unwelcome sexual advance including requests for sexual favors, sexual touching, and verbal, visual, or physical conduct that creates a sexually hostile environment in a yoga class or studio. Sexual misconduct also arises if a teacher engages in conduct that has the purpose or result of requiring a student to submit to such conduct to obtain any benefit or privilege relating to the study or teaching of yoga.
While it is not possible to list all the circumstances that may constitute sexual misconduct, the following are examples of misconduct:
Sexual advances whether they involve physical touching or not;
Sexual epithets, jokes, written or verbal references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one’s sex life, comments on an individual’s body, sexual activity, deficiencies, or prowess;
Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons;
Unwelcome leering, whistling, brushing against the body, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments;
Comments or conjecture about a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity;
Inquiries into one’s sexual activities;
Sexually oriented asana adjustments or touch; and
Discussion of one’s sexual activities.
Teachers shall avoid getting into personal or sexual relationships with students that may result in the impairment of their professional judgment or that may compromise the integrity of their teaching. If a relationship begins to develop, the teacher should bring it to school management.
Missing Training Hours
We understand that students have important commitments outside of the classroom. Should extenuating circumstances impact attendance, students are permitted to miss class, provided they work with the program director to make up any missed hours. Students are responsible for rescheduling missed hours to make up any course material they have missed. There may be a fee associated with this.
Any student who is late for class by more than 15 minutes without prior approval will be docked an hour from their training hours and need to make up at the rate of $60 per hour.
If a student wishes to withdrawal from our program for any reason, they must first contact the program director to discuss their reasons for withdrawal. Refunds will be given in accordance with the program’s refund policy.
Student may receive a full refund 60 days prior to the training start date. If a refund is requested less than 60 days before the program start date the student will receive a refund of 50% of their tuition. No refunds will be given after program has started. If the school is unable to provide the training due to closures or other acts of God, full refunds of the remaining amount of course may be given, or an alternate date for the training may be provided.
Termination from Program
The program may decide to terminate any student’s participation in the program if: (1) false information was used in the admission process that materially affects the program; (2) a student missed more than 30 % of any subject category; (3) a student is absent for more than 3 days without contacting the program director; (4) the student fails to make timely payments of tuition; or (5) the student is unable to pass an assessment after being given 4 attempts. If the program decides to end the student’s participation in the program, the student is not entitled to any prior payments or fees. All prior payments and fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.
Termination from Program: Bad Conduct
No refunds will be given if the program removes a student from the program for bad conduct.
Bad conduct is violation of the Code of Conduct, gossip, harassment, bullying, or any other behavior that is inappropriate or disruptive to the welfare of the program or to fellow students.
Reporting of Policy Violations
We encourage anyone who has been the subject of sexual misconduct or of any other action that violates our policies or Code of Conduct to report the incident to our Ethics Committee, Human Resources department, or school management (henceforth referred to as the “reviewing body”).
The report should contain the following information:
Your full name;
Your email and phone number;
The name of the person the grievance is against;
A description of the policy violation;
The date and location of the policy violation;
Names and contact information of any witnesses with first-hand knowledge
of the situation; and
Any other credible evidence that is available to support the grievance.
In the interest of fairness, all reports must be made by the person who has personally experienced the misconduct. We will not investigate a matter based upon a third-party report of misconduct.
All reports must be made in good faith based on information the person reporting the incident reasonably believes to be accurate.
We may request additional information from the person reporting the incident throughout the course of review of the report.
We will take appropriate action to ensure compliance with our policies. The reviewing body will impose any sanctions that it feels are fair, just, and reasonable under all circumstances.
We will not allow anyone to retaliate against any person for making a report in good faith or providing information in connection with an investigation into an alleged violation.
Any information provided during a grievance review will be treated on a confidential basis. Similarly, any actions taken in response to the report will also be confidential.
Due Process and Procedure
We recognize that our school has an obligation to give a person accused of misconduct a reasonable level of due process. Because the person may lose his or her job and their reputation may be tarnished, the decision-making process must be fair and objective. Due process in this context does not mean that the reviewing body will conduct a mini trial, but it will gather all of the relevant facts surrounding the matter and make a fair and objective decision based on the facts. The reviewing body may need to interview the person who reported the situation, the person who perpetrated the misconduct, and any other people who have direct knowledge about the situation. We will examine all other credible and objective evidence about the situation.
After the reviewing body gathers the facts, we will determine if the allegations are credible.
If it is determined that is the case, the reviewing body will decide on the sanctions to impose and then communicate its decision to those involved.
We recognize the principle of “the punishment must fit the crime.” We do not sentence someone to life imprisonment for jaywalking. There must be a sense of fairness and moral proportion in judging these situations. All cases of abuse and misconduct, from inappropriate commentary to physical assault, will be judged objectively and the reviewing body will fashion a sanction that fairly and equitably addresses the situation, giving due considerations, to all the facts. In many cases, it may be hard to uncover all the facts, there m ay be conflicting facts, there may be conflicts of interest, and there may be circumstances and facts that weigh on both sides of the scales of justice.
However, the reviewing body will use sound and careful judgment in deciding what type of sanctions to impose. There are four options:
Do Nothing. The facts do not show that the person committed the policy violation.
A Warning. The facts show that the person’s actions were minor and that a warning is a fair sanction. The warning could be coupled with counseling.
Time Out. The facts show that the person’s actions were serious, and they warrant suspending the person from the studio or community for a decided amount of time. However, the actions were not so serious that they support termination of employment. For example, the person may be good hearted, but made a mistake in judgement. This may weigh toward leniency. The “Time Out” period is usually one year but it may be shorter depending upon the circumstances. During the “Time Out” the person gets counseling, does spiritual work, contemplates their actions, etc. After the “Time Out” period expires, the person can approach the reviewing body to ask to re-commence their teaching activities or allow them to rejoin the community. This body will then determine whether the person has resolved their issues and that it is appropriate for them to return. When making this determination, we will consider whether there has been a sincere apology and contrition, appropriate reparation to the injured parties, rehabilitation, and heart-felt change before the person may return. This decision will entirely at the discretion of the reviewing body.
Dismissal. The facts show that the person’s actions were so serious that they warrant dismissing the person from the studio or community. The person is dismissed, and their employment or independent contractor agreement is terminated.
We will not retaliate against any person for having reported or threatened to report harassment, discrimination, retaliation, or violations of our Code of Conduct or polices, or for participating in an investigation into any of the foregoing. Anyone who retaliates against a person will be subjected to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
We encourage any person — including employees, non-employees, and students — who believe they have been subject to retaliation to inform a supervisor or manager.
We have a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. We encourage anyone who has been anyone who is subject to this behavior to report it to the human resources department or school management. We will do everything possible to ensure that you are not retaliated against by anyone because you have reported misconduct.