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I've been back from Costa Rica for almost 36 hours. I'm here to report that I can still feel the sense of calm that I was able to achieve while I was there. The jungle was beautiful, the ocean was wonderful.....the country was the perfect place for me to visit at this point.
Candace's retreat offered great yoga (one morning, we even began before first light and ended with the dewy morning sun risen...loved that). I was fortunate enough to have met a wonderful group of women (including the YBC forum's own wonderful Brenskip55 and Clever Yoga's awesomely kind Ellie). The group of retreat participants was diverse, but we all got along and bonded. There was adventure, downtime, great food, lots of wildlife.....I loved it, and I was ready to come home when it was over (Which is, I believe, the mark of a great vacation.).
The departure of some of us, Candace and me included, was delayed for a day because of the eruption of a large volcano near San Jose, CR the day before our scheduled departure. Luckily, there was a room at a lovely hotel near the airport, a Hard Rock Cafe across the parking lot, and a tiny fitness center for some treadmill running. I spent that "bonus" night working on my yoga teacher training final exam components. All good.
And now I'm home! My family was so glad to see me (and I them). Life is back to normal, sort of. I feel like the better version of myself that I'd hoped. I put some things to rest while I was gone and nudged some other things to life. Taking a break from real life is good. I am grateful to have had the opportunity. Thank you, Candace, for providing the back drop!
The YBC Costa Rica 2016 girls, and our often-companion-during-yoga-practice dog. (He once gently head butted me during a practice while I was in Downward Facing Dog)
Playa Hermosa, taking in the sunset and just feeling the pura vida.
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Well, I was only able to actively participate in the yoga challenge for the first week before I got an injury. Since my doctor directed me to not to do yoga (barefoot exercises aggravate my foot), I've been trying to practice other parts of yoga, particularly meditation. But, I think there are the other principles beyond asana, such as ahimsa, being kind to oneself, that I learned.
Satya - not lying or truthfulness
Learning my own truth for me was to believe in my own intuition. I was afraid I was being a hypochondriac when I made a bunch of doctor appointments, but, it turns out I have midfoot arthritis. Now I am awaiting an MRI now to confirm forward treatment. I thought I failed not managing things on my own, but, I realized my pain was bigger than what I could control, so I sought outside help.
Sutra 1:12 on Vairagya - Non-attachment
I will pursue my health without "worrying ahead" about the outcome, but not be detached from my own well-being.
Ishvara Pranidhana - surrender to God or surrender to the universe
I'm not religious, but my teacher explained that it doesn't have to be "to God", but acknowledging that there is something bigger than yourself. Thus, I like the interpretation of "universe" more.
My pet rabbit of 10 years passed away from a stroke recently. I was surprised how intense my sadness was, even though we expected it since she was getting old. I was also surprised by my recurring dreams of "second chances" to save my rabbit. Then my therapist explained that feeling guilt can be easier than feeling sadness, and, guilt is a way of trying to regain control of the situation. After I acknowledged that death was out of my control, I could let go of the guilt. And, surrender.
I did a sequence in class that caught my interest, running through a similar sequence twice both times resulting in a 'side angle namaste twist', but gradually increasing it's intensity by changing which leg is forward while twisting in the same direction. The sequence:
1: Down dog, step through (left), crescent lunge, twist to the right with hands in namaste with arm on shin
2: Down dog, step through (right), crescent lunge, twist to the right with hands in namaste with arm on shin
3: Repeat opposite
I find this interesting as it may deepen the second round pose by doing a weaker variation first, preparing the body.
With walking out of the hellfire of an abusive life comes clarity.
I had thought that all I wanted in my life was to be left alone. But my clarity showed me different.
I was awakened to the thought that I don't actually want to be alone, I just want to be.
And so this shift of thought came over me and I realized I had found what I've been longing for all my life in yoga. To just be.
The process hasn't been quick or easy. Like all wounds they need time and care to heal so the rehabilitation can take place.
So the breaking down to build muscle can make me stronger,
the smoothing of the scar tissue can lengthen my reach,
and the silence can bring out what I already hold within, myself.
The International Yoga Alliance for Ethics (Code of Ethics) is dedicated to the promotion of right practice and justice in yoga for all practitioners/teachers/therapists and students of yoga, especially those who are susceptible to or have suffered bullying, stalking, emotional, physical and sexual abuse. We seek to raise awareness, offer support and help those affected stand up for their rights and reclaim their dignity. Our aim is to promote the implementation of a worldwide Charter through regulatory boards to ensure that each person is safe and protected in this discipline.
The International Yoga Alliance for Ethics (IYAE) is born out of the sincere effort to address the need for ensuring that the space for learning and teaching is safe and the teachings/healing is imparted in a manner that is ethical and consistent with the principles of yoga. In the wake of many scandals in the field of yoga and spirituality that continue to hit the headlines, this alliance has become a necessity. While many of these scandals get talked about, gossiped and forgotten along with the agony of the silent sufferers, the alleged perpetrators continue with their operations after a short period of retreat for “introspection and self-healing.” Consequently, abuse in many forms has often gone unchecked and unaccounted for, leaving a trail of shame and hurt and a very confused reaction from the larger community that participates, shuns or is indifferent to such happenings. The very path that is supposed to alleviate pain and suffering has actually become the source of greater suffering, distrust and disillusionment for many people around the world.
This Alliance seeks to operate through an open and transparent network of yoga schools, institutions, and studios across the world with a sincere, singular aim of establishing high standards of ethics in yoga practice where any transgression will be made accountable to the larger yoga community and law of the land. The code of ethics will form the basis for right practice in the field of yoga and yoga therapy, creating awareness among students and teachers about what is considered right and appropriate behavior and actions.
The code of ethics prescribed by the charter is not meant to be all-inclusive. While the standards set are meant to be directive, they are also meant to be aspirational.
Yoga is a method for transformation of the human system impacting all levels of being, including the body, breath, mind, personality, emotions, and their interactions. Yoga recognizes that a pure consciousness exists within each individual and is also influenced by all the levels of being of a person. The teachings of yoga emerged with the Vedas, other classical texts and a rich oral tradition. Yoga is a living tradition, meaning that as teachers gain new insight into its teaching, they share that in the context of their environment keeping its practices relevant in the modern world. Those practices include asana, pranayama, meditation, mantra, chanting, mudra, ritual, and a disciplined lifestyle. Yoga is the appropriate application of these practices and teachings to influence a student’s/client’s system in a helpful direction. Its usefulness is supported by an increasing amount of research evidence and contributes to the growing understanding and acceptance of its value as a therapeutic discipline.
Yoga teachers/therapists are personally responsible for their practice/teaching. This means they are answerable for their actions and omission, regardless of advice or direction from another professional. Yoga teachers/therapists recognize their ethical responsibility to maintain the standards of conduct and care, and of personal and professional development. Thus, yoga teachers/therapists commit themselves to the continual examination of their actions, motives and attitudes in their professional relationships to support the safety and welfare of their students/clients and to nurture the effective practice of yoga.
This Code of Ethics applies only to yoga teacher’s/therapists’ activities that are part of their educational, professional, or scientific roles as teachers/therapists. Areas covered include but are not limited to teaching group classes, one-to-one classes, counseling, research; supervision of trainees; public service; policy development; social intervention, and administration. This Code of Ethics applies to these activities across a variety of contexts, such as in person, postal, telephone, Internet and other electronic transmissions. These activities shall be distinguished from the purely private conduct of yoga teachers, which is not within the purview of the Code of Ethics.
Membership in the International Yoga Alliance for Ethics (IYAE) commits members and student affiliates to comply with the standards of the IYAE Code of Ethics and to the rules and procedures used to enforce them. Lack of awareness or misunderstanding of an ethical standard is not itself a defense to a charge of unethical conduct.
Section 1: Competence
These standards of competence are not meant to be all-inclusive, but to give the yoga teacher/therapist parameters for assessing their own competence.
1.01 Scope of Practice
(a) Yoga teachers/therapists provide services, teach, train student teachers/therapists, consult and conduct research with populations and in areas only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, supervised experience, consultation, study or professional experience.
(b) In populations that fall outside the yoga teacher’s/therapist’s training/experience, appropriate referrals to other health professionals are made available.
(c) Yoga teachers/therapists planning to provide services, teach, train teachers/therapists, consult or conduct research involving populations, areas of study, or practices that are new to them, first undertake relevant education, training, supervised experience, consultation or study.
(d) When yoga teachers/therapists are asked to provide services to individuals for whom appropriate health services are not available and for which yoga teachers have not obtained the competence necessary, yoga teachers with closely related prior training or experience may provide such services in order to ensure that services are not denied if they make a reasonable effort to obtain the competence required by using relevant research, training, consultation or study.
(e) In those emerging areas in which generally recognized standards for preparatory training do not yet exist, yoga teachers/therapists nevertheless take reasonable steps to ensure the competence of their work and to protect students/clients, supervisees, research participants, and others from harm.
(f) Yoga teachers/therapists never give a medical diagnosis to a student/client. This is the responsibility of a licensed medical practitioner.
1.02 Maintaining Competence
Yoga teachers/therapists undertake ongoing efforts to develop and maintain their competence, striving for professional excellence through regular assessment of personal and professional strengths and weaknesses and through continuing education, research, consultation and study. The minimum requirements for continuing education include 10 hours per year of education plus 15 teaching hours.
1.03 Personal Problems and Conflicts
(a) Yoga teachers/therapists refrain from initiating an activity when they know or should know that there is a substantial likelihood that their personal problems will prevent them from performing their work-related activities in a competent manner.
(b) When yoga teachers/therapists become aware of personal problems that may interfere with their performing work-related duties adequately, they take appropriate measures, obtaining professional supervision and determine whether they should limit, suspend or terminate their work-related duties. Professional supervision is consultation of a yoga teacher/therapist with another yoga teacher/therapist with at least 1000 hours of education and training and 2000 hours of teaching experience who is uninvolved in the matters for which the teacher/therapist seeks professional counsel.
1.04 Drug and Alcohol Use
Yoga teachers/therapists never provide professional services while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If taking prescribed medication, it is the responsibility of the teacher/therapist to consult with their medical physician regarding any side effects that could potentially impair their functioning or judgment in their professional duties.
Section 2: Human Relations
Yoga teachers/therapists shall hold themselves to the highest standard of integrity in all of their interpersonal interactions.
2.01 Avoiding Harm (Ahimsa)
Yoga teachers/therapists take reasonable steps to avoid harming their students, clients, student teachers, supervisees, research participants, and others with whom they work, and to minimize harm where it is foreseeable and unavoidable.
2.02 Unfair Discrimination
In their work-related activities, yoga teachers/therapists do not engage in unfair discrimination based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status or any basis proscribed by law.
2.03 Sexual Harassment
Yoga teachers/therapists do not engage in sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is sexual solicitation, physical advances or verbal or nonverbal conduct that is sexual in nature, that occurs in connection with the teacher’s/therapist’s activities or roles as a teacher/therapist and that either (1) is unwelcome, is offensive or creates a hostile workplace or educational environment, and the teacher/therapist knows or is told this or (2) is sufficiently severe or intense to be abusive to a reasonable person in the context. Sexual harassment can consist of a single intense or severe act or of multiple persistent or pervasive acts.
2.04 Other Harassment
Yoga teachers/therapists do not knowingly engage in behavior that is harassing or demeaning to persons with whom they interact in their work based on factors such as those persons’ age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language or socioeconomic status.
2.05 Conflict of Interest
Yoga teachers/therapists refrain from taking on a professional role when personal, scientific, professional, legal, financial or other interests or relationships could reasonably be expected to (1) impair their objectivity, competence or effectiveness in performing their functions as teachers/therapists or (2) expose the person with whom the professional relationship exists to harm or exploitation.
2.06 Exploitative Relationships
Yoga teachers/therapists do not exploit persons over whom they have supervisory, evaluative or other authority such as students, clients, student teachers, supervisees, research participants and employees. Exploitation is any action or behavior that puts the teacher’s/therapist’s needs or desires above those of their students, clients, student teachers, supervisees, research participants and employees. This includes instances where there may be benefit to the subordinate, but the motivation of the teacher/therapist is for their own benefit.
2.07 Seeking Counsel
Yoga teachers/therapists seek appropriate professional supervision for any circumstance in which the ethics of their behavior comes into question.
2.08 Multiple Relationships
Yoga teachers/therapists avoid exploitive multiple relationships. A multiple relationship occurs when a teacher/therapist is in a student-teacher relationship with a person and is at the same time, or sequentially, in another relationship with the same person. Yoga teachers/therapists make a distinction between normally occurring community interactions and multiple relationships. The boundaries of the student-teacher relationship should be clearly defined otherwise they have the potential to impair judgment, cause damage and undermine the purpose of the relationship. (See also 2.05 Conflict of Interest and 2.06 Exploitive Relationships)
(a) A yoga teacher/therapist refrains from entering into a multiple relationship if the multiple relationship could reasonably be expected to impair the teacher’s/therapist’s objectivity, competence or effectiveness in performing his or her functions as a teacher, or otherwise risks exploitation or harm to the person with whom the professional relationship exists. Multiple relationships that would not reasonably be expected to cause impairment, or risk exploitation or harm are not unethical.
(b) Considerations about potential exploitation include the nature and intensity of the professional relationship and of the secondary relationship, length of the relationship, amount of transference of the student’s/client’s issues onto the teacher/therapist, level of communication skills, and existence of an evaluative role.
(c) Yoga teachers/therapists are aware of the differences in power that may exist in their relationships with clients, students and supervisees. Yoga teachers/therapists will be sensitive to the real and ascribed differences in power, be sensitive to the position of authority of a teacher/therapist, and be responsible for bringing potential issues of this power differential into the awareness of those involved, and be available for reasonable processing with those involved.
(d) In some situations, for example in small geographical or rural communities, a multiple relationship that is non-exploitive may be undertaken. In these cases, the yoga teachers/therapists takes precautions to protect the student/client from exploitation and damage. Such precautions may include, but are not limited to, acknowledgment of the multiple relationships and its inherent risk to the student/client, ongoing dialogue, informed consent, documentation, and professional supervision.
(e) Barter is the acceptance of goods or services from clients in return for teaching/therapeutic services. Yoga teachers/therapists do not barter (including work exchange) unless the bartering arrangements are appropriate in the context of the therapeutic relationship, indicated by the needs of the student/client, and for the welfare of the student/client. Where bartering is used, the teacher/therapist and student/client make agreements in writing related to the exchange of goods or services to ensure that both understand the scope and limitations of the agreement. Yoga teachers/therapists consult or obtain supervision to ensure that the bartering arrangement is not harmful to the client, that the client is being given fair value in the exchange, and that no exploitation of and/or damage to the client is involved.
(f) If a yoga teacher finds that, due to unforeseen factors, a potentially harmful multiple relationship has arisen, the teacher takes reasonable steps to resolve it with due regard for the best interests of the affected person and maximal compliance with the Code of Ethics.
2.09 Cooperation with Other Professionals
When indicated and professionally appropriate, yoga teachers/therapists cooperate with other professionals in order to serve their students/clients effectively and appropriately.
2.10 Cooperating with Ethics Committees
Yoga teachers/therapists cooperate in ethics investigations and proceedings. In doing so, they address any confidentiality issues. Failure to cooperate is itself an ethics violation. However, making a request for deferment of adjudication of an ethics complaint pending the outcome of litigation does not alone constitute noncooperation.
2.11 Improper Complaints
Yoga teachers/therapists do not file or encourage the filing of ethics complaints that are made with reckless disregard for or willful ignorance of facts that would disprove the allegation.
2.12 Unfair Discrimination
Against Complainants and RespondentsYoga teachers/therapists do not deny people’s employment, advancement, admissions to academic or other programs, tenure, or promotion based solely upon their having made or their being the subject of an ethics complaint. This does not preclude taking action based upon the outcome of such proceedings or considering other appropriate information.
Yoga teachers/therapists refuse any gifts or benefits that are intended to influence a referral, decision, or yoga practice, or that is purely for personal gain and not for the good of the student/client.
2.14 Avoidance of False or Deceptive Statements
Yoga teachers do not knowingly make public statements that are false, deceptive or fraudulent concerning their research, practice or other work activities or those of persons or organizations with which they are affiliated.
Section 3: Student-Teacher Relationships
The role of a yoga teacher is to educate students in the practices of yoga including asana, pranayama, and meditation to address improved well-being at all levels including anatomical, physiological, mental, psychosocial, and emotional. With a minimum of 200 hours of supervised training and experience, yoga teachers are then qualified to bring a general knowledge of yoga to their students. (See also 7.01 Minimum Yoga Teacher Training Requirements)
The role of a yoga therapist is to apply the tools of yoga therapeutically as a complimentary health modality to support the client in managing health issues and viewing their condition from a fresh perspective. Beyond the minimum 200 hours of supervised training and experience required to become a yoga teacher, yoga therapists are also required to complete 800 additional hours of education and training to practice yoga therapy. (See also 7.02 Minimum Yoga Therapist Training Requirements)
The role of a teacher trainer is to train other yoga teachers/therapists. In addition to 1000 hours of education and training, trainers are also required to have 2000 hours of practical teaching experience to qualify as a teacher trainer.
Yoga teachers/therapists, like all health practitioners, are in a unique relationship of trust with their students/clients. The professional relationship is an unequal relationship, which results in a power imbalance. This is due to the teacher’s/therapist’s position of authority and specialized knowledge in relation to the student’s/client’s own health. A student’s/client’s desire to improve his/her own health leads to a need to establish trust in the professional much more quickly and completely than he/she might do otherwise. If a yoga teacher/therapist uses this position of power to violate boundaries, this is an abuse of power. When boundaries relating to personal dignity, privacy, control and professional detachment are breached, it can lead to, or be perceived as sexual abuse. Teachers/Therapists are responsible for setting and managing boundaries to ensure that the trust a student/client has placed in the teacher/therapist is not betrayed. In setting boundaries, teachers/therapists need to work to ensure that the student/client is progressing in a helpful direction and their words and actions will not be misinterpreted by the student/client.
3.01 Informed Consent
(a) When yoga teachers/therapists provide teaching/therapy, conduct research, offer counseling or consulting services in person or via electronic transmission or other forms of communication, they obtain the informed consent of the individual or individuals regarding the nature of the service, recommendations to proceed, and fees using language that is reasonably understandable to that person or persons, and provide sufficient opportunity for the student/client to ask questions and receive answers.
(b) For persons who are legally incapable of giving informed consent, yoga teachers/therapists nevertheless (1) provide an appropriate explanation, (2) seek the individual’s assent, (3) consider such persons’ preferences and best interests, and (4) obtain appropriate permission from a legally authorized person, if such substitute consent is permitted or required by law. When consent by a legally authorized person is not permitted or required by law, yoga teachers/therapists take reasonable steps to protect the individual’s rights and welfare.
3.02 Third-Party Requests for Services
When yoga teachers/therapists agree to provide services to a person at the request of a third party, teachers/therapists attempt to clarify at the outset of the service the nature of the relationship with all individuals involved. This clarification includes the role of the yoga teacher/therapist, an identification of who is the client, the probable uses of the services provided or the information obtained, and the fact that there may be limits to confidentiality. (See also 2.08 Multiple Relationships).
3.03 Group Classes
When yoga teachers provide services to several persons in a group setting, they describe at the outset the roles and responsibilities of all parties without showing favoritism or disdain for those persons admitted into the group. (See also 2.02 Unfair Discriminationand 2.05 Conflict of Interest)
3.04 Providing One-to-One Yoga Class/Therapy to Those Served by Others
In deciding whether to offer or provide services to those already receiving other health services elsewhere, yoga teachers/therapists carefully consider the treatment issues and the potential client’s welfare. Teachers/Therapists discuss these issues with the client or another legally authorized person on behalf of the client in order to minimize the risk of confusion and conflict, consult with the other service providers when appropriate, and proceed with caution and sensitivity to the student’s/client’s issues.
3.05 Sexual Behavior with Current Students/Clients
Yoga teachers/therapists do not engage in sexual behavior with current students/clients. Sexual behavior is defined, but not limited to all forms of overt or covert seductive speech, gestures, and behavior as well as physical contact of a sexual nature (See also 4.03 Sexual Touching)
3.06 Sexual Behavior with Former Students/Clients
(a) If a yoga teacher/therapist has worked one-to-one with a student/client, then they do not engage in sexual behavior with those former students/clients for at least one year after cessation or termination of the one-to-one classes/therapy providing no ethics have been violated under this code.
(b) If a yoga teacher/therapist has worked in a group class with a student/client, then they do not engage in sexual behavior with those former students/clients for at least three months after referring the student/client to another teacher’s/therapist’s class providing no ethics have been violated under this code.
(c) Meeting the appropriate waiting periods before engaging in sexual behavior with students/clients may not alone meet the standard for an ethical relationship.
3.07 Sexual Behavior with Relatives or Significant Others of Current One-to-One Yoga Students/Clients
Yoga teachers/therapists do not engage in sexual behavior with individuals they know to be parents, guardians, spouses, partners, offspring, or siblings of current students/clients in one-to-one class/therapy. Yoga teachers/therapists do not terminate the one-to-one class to circumvent this standard.
3.08 One-to-One Yoga Class/Therapy with Former Sexual Partners
Yoga therapists do not accept as one-to-one students/clients persons with whom they have engaged in sexual behavior.
3.09 Punitive Teaching Methods
It is never appropriate for yoga teachers/therapists to use punitive measures in their teaching methodology. Verbal abuse where demeaning language or humiliation is used or inappropriate references to a student’s/client’s anatomy are unethical. Other unethical teaching methodologies include, but are not limited to, slapping, hitting, grabbing, pulling, pushing, hair-pulling, stepping on feet, moving tissue, or threatening violence for non-compliance.
3.10 Terminating a Student-Teacher Relationship
(a) Yoga teachers/therapists terminate the student-teacher relationship when it becomes reasonably clear that the student/client no longer needs the service, is not likely to benefit, or is being harmed by continued service.
(b) Should a client desire to terminate the student-teacher relationship, yoga teachers/therapists provide professional insights into the benefits and consequences of this course of action without explicit or implicit coercion to maintain the relationship against the client’s wishes. At all times they make clear the client’s right to terminate when he/she chooses.
(c)Yoga teachers/therapists may terminate the student-teacher relationship when threatened or otherwise endangered by the student/client or another person with whom the student/client has a relationship.
Section 4: The Ethics of Touch
The use of touch has a legitimate and valuable role as a way to bring awareness when used skillfully and with clear boundaries, sensitive application and good discrimination. In many jurisdictions, there are laws governing the use of touch. It is the responsibility of the yoga teacher/therapist to determine if touching their student/client is legal in the geographical locations in which they work.
4.01 Appropriate Touch
(a) Always follow any laws governing the use of touch.
(b) Bringing awareness to an area with a neutral touch, not moving tissue, after getting informed consent, is undertaken after no less than five years of experience working as a yoga teacher/therapist. (See also 3.01 Informed Consent) In those first five years it is recommended that the new yoga teacher/therapist develop their communication and demonstrative skills.
(c) Yoga teachers/therapists evaluate the appropriateness of the use of touch for each student/client. They consider a number of factors such as the capacity of the student/client for genuine informed consent; the client’s developmental capacity and diagnosis; the transference potential of the client’s personal history in relation to touch; the client’s ability to usefully integrate touch experiences; and the interaction of the practitioner’s particular style of touch.
4.02 Yoga Adjustments
Weight-bearing touch with students is outside the scope of practice for yoga teachers unless they have accrued 1000 hours of education and training and five years of experience. For those yoga teachers/therapists who meet these criteria, caution must still be undertaken to assure that they are not acting in the capacity of a massage therapist or physical/physiotherapist unless they also possess those licensures.
4.03 Sexual Touching
Genital, breast, buttocks or other sexual touching by a yoga teacher/therapist or student/client, even over clothing, is always inappropriate, never appropriate.
4.04 Power Differential
Even in cases where touching a student has benefit, use of touch may make Students/clients especially vulnerable. Yoga teachers/therapists always remain mindful of the power imbalance that exists in teaching/therapy and pay particular attention to the potential for dependent, infantile or erotic transference and seek healthy containment rather than therapeutically inappropriate accentuation of these states.
4.05 Retraction of Informed Consent
Yoga teachers/therapists recognize and respect the right of the student/client to refuse or terminate any touch on the part of the teacher/therapist at any point, and they inform the client of this right.
Section 5: Privacy and Confidentiality
These guidelines are meant to protect the student’s/client’s personal information and provide a basis for developing trust between the yoga teacher/therapist and the student/client.
5.01 Maintaining Confidentiality
Yoga teachers/therapists have a primary obligation and take reasonable precautions to protect confidential information obtained through or stored in any medium, recognizing that the extent and limits of confidentiality may be regulated by law or established by institutional rules or professional or scientific relationship.
Established guidelines for protecting student’s/client’s personal information can be found in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the USA, the Data Protection Act (DPA) in the UK, Data Protection Directive in the EU, and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Document Act (PIPEDA) in Canada.
Before recording the voices or images of individuals to whom they provide services, yoga teachers/therapists obtain permission from all such persons or their legal representatives.
5.03 Minimizing Intrusions on Privacy
(a) Yoga teachers/therapists include in written and oral reports and consultations, only information germane to the purpose for which the communication is made.
(b) Yoga teachers/therapists discuss confidential information obtained in their work only for appropriate scientific or professional purposes and only with persons clearly concerned with such matters.
(a) Yoga teachers/therapists may disclose confidential information with written consent of the student/client or another legally authorized person on behalf of the student/client unless prohibited by law.
(b) Yoga teachers/therapists disclose confidential information without the consent of the individual only as mandated by law, or where permitted by law for a valid purpose such as to (1) provide needed professional services; (2) obtain appropriate professional supervision; (3) protect the student/client, yoga teacher, or others from harm; or (4) obtain payment for services from a student/client in which instance disclosure is limited to the minimum that is necessary to achieve the purpose.
When consulting with colleagues, (1) yoga teachers/therapists do not disclose confidential information that reasonably could lead to the identification of a student/client, research participant or other person with whom they have a confidential relationship unless they have obtained the prior written consent of the person or the disclosure cannot be avoided, and (2) they disclose information only to the extent necessary to achieve the purposes of the consultation.
5.06 Use of Confidential Information for Didactic or Other Purposes
Yoga teachers/therapists do not disclose in their writings, lectures or other public media, confidential, personally identifiable information concerning their students/clients, research participants, or other recipients of their services that they obtained during the course of their work, unless (1) they take reasonable steps to disguise the person or organization, (2) the person or organization has consented in writing, or (3) there is legal authorization for doing so.
5.07 Reports on Behalf of Third Parties
Before a yoga teacher/therapist prepares a report on behalf of a third party, such as an employer, insurance company, or other health professional, the teacher/therapist shall obtain the student’s/client’s consent in writing to the release of information to the third party and shall ensure at the outset that the student/client is aware of the purpose of the report and of the obligation which the teacher/therapist has towards the third party.
Section 6: Collegial Relationships
Yoga teachers/therapists maintain respect for colleagues. They refrain from the exploitation of professional relationships for personal gain, whether financial, personal, professional or for research purposes.
6.01 Resources for Exploited Students/Clients
If it appears that a student/client has been abused in a former or concurrent professional relationship, the yoga teacher/therapist informs the student/client how to seek appropriate recourse.
6.02 Factual Speech
The Ethical Guidelines of the IYAE makes no attempt to limit the free speech of its members. In exercising their right to free speech, yoga teachers/therapists ensure that their statements are professional, balanced. and factually accurate.
6.03 Ethical Violations of a Colleague
(a) If a yoga teacher/therapist believes that there has been an ethical violation by a colleague, he/she may bring it to the attention of the individual and seek resolution provided such action does not violate any confidentiality rights and does not involve exploitation. Colleagues should seek counsel, guidance, professional supervision, and consultations as needed in relation to the process and/or issues.
(b) If disputes of a serious nature arise between yoga teachers/therapists regarding professional matters, they utilize outside consultation if unable to settle the matter between them.
(c) If a colleague’s behavior has broken any existing laws, the yoga teacher/therapist has a responsibility to involve the appropriate authorities.
6.04 Intellectual Property
(d) When involved in professional writing for publicity, for inclusion in training programs, or for publication in journals and books, yoga teachers/therapists do not take credit for the intellectual work of others but accurately credit their sources and influences.
Section 7: Education and Training
These training requirements do not ensure competence and represent minimal standards for training. It is recommended that yoga teachers consider a 500-hour course before embarking on a teaching career. (See also 1.01 Scope of Practice)
7.01 Minimum Yoga Teacher Training Requirements (200 hours)
- Techniques Training/Practice100 hours
- Teaching Methodology30 hours
- Anatomy and Physiology 20 hours
- Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle and Ethics for Yoga Teachers10 hours
- Practicum10 hours
- Yoga Teachings and Philosophy35 hours
- Yoga and the Mind35 hours
- Perspective on Health and Disease from Yoga Texts50 hours
- Biomedical and Psychological Foundations170 hours
- Psychology and Mental Health40 hours
- Body and Mind Integration10 hours
- Teaching Methodology and Therapeutic Skills125 hours
- Yoga Therapy Tools and their Application256 hours
- Ethical Principles and the Therapeutic Relationship60 hours
- Legal, Regulatory, and Business Issues Pertaining to Yoga Therapy5 hours
- Personal and Professional Development and Continuing Education5 hours
Ninety percent of all training hours must be in direct contact with a yoga teacher/therapist with at least 1000 hours of education and training and 2000 hours of teaching experience.
Section 8: Research
To maintain the highest standards for research; yoga researchers shall examine the protocols, interactions with all persons involved in the research, and documentation for accuracy and integrity.
8.01 Approved Research Protocol
When taking part in clinical trials or other research, yoga researchers shall ensure that they adhere strictly to a research protocol that has been approved in accordance with rules made by an appropriate research ethics committee.
8.02 Protecting Research Participants
Yoga researchers shall obtain the informed consent of any person taking part in the research. (See also 3.01 Informed Consent)
(a) Yoga researchers shall accept only such payments as are specified in the protocol.
(b) Yoga researchers shall conduct the research uninfluenced by payments or gifts. (See also 2.05 Conflict of Interest)
8.04 Reporting and Publication
(a) Yoga researchers shall maintain adequate records.
(b) Yoga researchers shall record results truthfully.
(c) Yoga researchers shall make no unauthorized claims to authorship.
(d) Yoga researchers make no attempt to prevent publication of any criticism of the research.
(e) In their reports to payers for services or sources of research funding, yoga researchers take reasonable steps to ensure the accurate reporting of the nature of the service provided or research conducted, the fees, charges or payments, and where applicable, the identity of the provider, the findings and the diagnosis.
Section 9: Business Practices
Yoga teachers/therapists shall practice with honesty, integrity, and lawfulness in business.
9.01 Health and Safety
Yoga teachers/therapists shall provide a physical setting that is safe and meets all applicable legal requirements for health and safety.
Yoga teachers/therapists shall maintain adequate and customary liability insurance.
9.03 Accuracy in Advertising
(a) Yoga teachers/therapists shall accurately and truthfully inform the public of services provided.
(b) Yoga teachers/therapists shall honestly represent all professional qualifications and affiliations.
(c) Yoga teachers/therapists shall promote his/her business with integrity avoiding potential or actual conflicts of interest.
(d) Yoga teachers/therapists advertise in a manner that is honest, dignified, accurate and representative of services that can be delivered and remains consistent with the IYAE Code of Ethics.
9.04 Financial Matters
(a) Yoga teachers/therapists shall make financial arrangements in advance that are clearly understood by and safeguard the best interests of the student/client.
(b) Yoga teachers/therapists shall follow generally accepted accounting practices.
(c) Yoga teachers/therapists shall file all applicable municipal, state and federal taxes.
(a) Yoga teachers/therapists shall maintain adequate and truthful progress notes for each student/client/session/class, if applicable.
(b) Yoga teachers/therapists shall maintain accurate financial records, contracts and legal obligations, appointment records, tax reports and receipts for at least seven years.
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