The terms “us” or “we” or “our” herein refers to Yoga Alliance, Yoga Alliance  Australia, Yoga Alliance International.

Last Modified 10.2.2015

This Code of Practice is a declaration of acceptable ethical and professional behaviour by which all Yoga Alliance Australia® registered members: Yoga Teachers and Yoga Schools must agree to conduct the teaching and business of yoga.

As a Yoga Alliance RYT, ERYT or representative of a RYS, you agree to abide to this Code of Practice.

SECTION 1. Statement of Purpose: The Code of  Practice is a statement that provides clarity and guidance about ethical behaviour  and how parties to the Code are expected to conduct themselves at all times. The Code is comprised of a series of principles, which are applicable to the involvement of  Yoga Alliance Australia’ members with the public, students, employees, colleagues and other professionals.

SECTION 2. Professional Standards: Yoga Alliance Australia is an Organisation responsible for promoting professional Standards for Yoga in Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the world.  We work closely with other internationally recognised organisations to develop self-regulation initiatives. We develop policies and guidelines, and promote debate and change to  continually improve professional standards and conduct for Yoga Teachers and Yoga Schools. Yoga Alliance Australia’s Members must maintain high Standards of professional conduct and competence at all times which lie at the heart of best practice wherever practised in the world.

Yoga Alliance Australia’s registered Teachers and Schools will:

  1. Hold up-to-date and nationally recognised Yoga Body teaching qualifications (e.g. Yoga Alliance Australia®/Yoga Alliance Academy®  Gheranda Samhita Hatha Teacher Training Certification).
  2. Follow all policies and guidelines laid down by Yoga Alliance Australia® and hold-up-to-date appropriate Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance.
  3. Hold up-to-date Senior First Aid certificate.
  4. Hold up-to-date Working With Children (WWC) Card (if the teacher work in a child-related environment).
  5. Provide Services in compliance with the requirements of relevant Regulatory Bodies.
  6. Conduct fiscal affairs with due regard to recognized business and accounting procedures.

SECTION 3. Student Relationships: It is the teacher responsibility to maintain relationships with students on a professional basis.

Yoga Alliance Australia’s registered Teachers and Schools will:

  1. Strives to build the student/s connection to the teachings rather than to a personality. The teacher never considers him or herself a “guru” nor initiates anyone as a disciple
  2. Be open to instructing all students regardless of race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, and social or financial status.
  3. Develop a professional relationship with students (especially children and young people), based on openness, honesty, mutual trust and respect. Teachers must not exert influence to obtain personal benefit or reward.
  4. Always promote the positive aspects of yoga (e.g. non-competitiveness) and never condone rule violations such as bullying.
  5. Be fair, honest and considerate to all students and respect the customs, practices and reasonable ambitions of students.
  6. Ensure the activities advocate are appropriate for the age, maturity, experience and ability of the individual.
  7. Not abandon or neglect students. If the teacher is unable, or unwilling for appropriate reasons, to provide professional services or continue a professional relationship, every reasonable effort  must be made to arrange for continuation of instruction with another teacher.
  8.  Make only realistic statements regarding the benefits of yoga.
  9. Show sensitive regard for the moral, social, and religious standards of students and groups. Teachers must avoid imposing their belief on others, although they may express them when appropriate in the yoga class.
  10. Avoid exploiting the trust and dependency of students. Teachers avoid those dual relationships with students (e.g. business, close personal or sexual relationships) that could impair their professional judgment, compromise the integrity of their instructions and/or use the relationship for their gain. Teachers do not engage in harassment, abusive words or actions or exploitive coercion of students or former students.
  11. All forms of sexual behaviour or harassment with students are unethical, even when a  student invites or consents to such behaviour involvement. Sexual behaviour is defined as, but not limited to all forms of overt and covert seductive speech, gestures, and behaviours as well as physical contact of a sexual nature; harassment is defined as, but not limited to, repeated comments, gestures, or physical contact of a sexual nature.

SECTION 4. Description of Services: To help the public to make informed and appropriate choices of the quality, type and expected duration of services provided, Yoga Alliance Australia’s Registered Yoga Teachers and Registered Yoga Schools  must provide clear and accurate information about their professional qualifications and descriptions of services they are qualified to offer.

Yoga Alliance Australia’s  registered Teachers and Schools must not:

  1. Falsely imply sponsorship or accreditation by any organisation.
  2. Falsely describe their own professional qualifications.
  3. Falsely describe the services or products they provide.
  4. Falsely describe the benefits of any services or products they provide.
  5. Falsely make a representation of a fact, or a statement that may mislead or deceive because it is removed from its original context or makes only a partial disclosure of relevant facts.

SECTION 5. Professional Practices and Conduct: In all professional matters, teachers must maintain practices and teaching procedures that protect the public and advance the profession.

Yoga Alliance Australia’s  registered Teachers and Schools will:

  1. Always endeavour and to the best of their abilities adhere to the traditional yogic code of conduct and consistently display high standards of behaviour at all times.
  2. Be committed to maintaining impeccable standards of professional competence and integrity.
  3. Always comply with the laws current in their country or state.
  4. Be willing to accept students with physical disabilities, providing they have the skill to teach those students properly.
  5. Abstain from giving medical advice or advice that could be construed as such, unless they have the necessary medical qualifications.
  6. Show sensitive regard for the moral, social, and religious standards of students and groups. Teachers must avoid imposing their belief on others, although they may express them when appropriate in the class.
  7. Promote and respect the rights, dignity and worth of every human being.
  8. Strive to practice tolerance toward other Yoga teachers, schools, and traditions. When criticism has to be brought, this should be done with fairness and with focus on facts.
  9. Act reasonably and justifiably in identifying and resolving conflicts of values, including those of an ethical nature.
  10. Cooperate fully with other specialists (e.g. other teachers, doctors, etc.) in the best interests of the student.
  11. Respect the right and dignity of every person and treat everyone equally within the context of yoga.
  12. Acknowledge the importance of the proper context for teaching and agree to avoid teaching in a casual manner, which includes observing proper decorum inside and outside of the classroom.
  13. Embrace the ideal of truthfulness in dealing with students and others, including accurately representing their training and experience relevant to their teaching of yoga.
  14. Promote the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellbeing of students.
  15. Will not malign colleagues or other professionals.

SECTION 6: Students Safety. Safety is key to a strong yoga teaching practice.

Yoga Alliance Australia’s  registered Teachers and Schools will:

  1. Comply with the relevant legislative requirements relating to safety and care including Occupational Health and Safety and Duty of Care requirements.
  1. Place the well-being and safety of the students above the development of the practice and teaching of yoga.
  2. Support the safety of students in the teaching of yoga.
  1. Create a safe environment in the place where teaching yoga.

SECTION 7: Continuing Professional Development. The importance of continued education with any profession is paramountFor yoga professionals continuing education is essential to safe, effective  teaching  practice and continue to grow their yoga knowledge and teaching skills.. In a tough job market, increased levels of expertise can help yoga professionals to stand out among other job-seekers.

Yoga Alliance Australia’s  registered Teachers will:

  1. Retain a high level of competence through qualifications and a commitment to ongoing continuing education every year throughout the registration period with Yoga Alliance Australia.

 SECTION 8: Confidentiality: It is the teacher responsibility to respect the integrity and protect the welfare of all persons with whom they are working and have an obligation to safeguard information about them that has been obtained in the course of the instruction process.

Yoga Alliance Australia’s registered Teachers and Schools  will:

  1. Safeguard confidential information provided by a student and not seek personal advantage from it.
  2. Keep records on a student stored or disposed of in a manner that assures security and confidentiality.
  3. Treat all communications from students with professional confidence.
  4. When supervising apprentices or consulting with other yoga teachers they will only use the first names of their students, except in those situation where the identity of the student is necessary to the understanding of the case.
  5. Not disclose student confidences to anyone, except: as required 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 purpose of supervision of consultation; or by previously obtained written permission. In case 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.
  6. Obtain written consent of students before audio and/or video tape recording or permitting third party observation of their sessions.
  7. When current of former students are referred to in a publication, while teaching, or in a pubic presentation, their identity is thoroughly disguised.

SECTION 9: Grievances and Complaints. Where a student, member of the public or a Yoga Alliance ‘s RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) or RYS (Registered Yoga School)  has a grievance/complaint concerning a decision or a situation, they have the right to raise the grievance/complaint and to have that grievance/complaint considered with courtesy and without fear of prejudicial treatment.

Yoga Alliance Australia’s registered Teachers and Schools  will:

  1. Acknowledge that yoga students, members of the public or RYTs have the rights to raise complaints or grievances in relation to quality of teaching, professional misconduct or negligence, standard of service received.
  1. Take all necessary actions to try to resolve the grievance or complaints as outlined in the Yoga Alliance Australia Grievance/Complaint Policy. Through open discussion and communication, the parties may be able to identify the issues and resolve the problem without further intervention.

SECTION 10: Advertising. This section applies to material which draws the attention of the public in any advertising, including announcements, public statements and promotional activities  in a manner calculated to promote or oppose directly or indirectly a product, service, person, organisation done by Yoga Alliance Australia Members.

Yoga Alliance Australia’s registered Teachers and Schools  will:

  1. Promote their services in brochures, flyers, web-sites, social networks and other media with accuracy and dignity. These promotional materials should be devoid of exaggerated claims about the effects of Yoga.
  2. Any advertising, including announcements, public statements and promotional activities, is undertaken for the purpose of helping the public make informed judgements and choices.
  3. Send promotional material to a reasonable audience in a non-invasive way.
  4. Not make public statements which contain false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive or unfair comments about themselves, colleagues or students.
  5. Not make a misrepresentation of fact or a statement likely to mislead or deceive because in context it makes only a partial disclosure of relevant facts.
  6. Not make a statement implying unusual unique or one-of-a-kind abilities, including misrepresentation through sensationalism, exaggeration, or superficiality.
  7. Not make a statement intended or likely to exploit a student’s fears, anxieties, or emotions.
  8. Not make a statement concerning the comparative desirability of offered services against that of colleagues.
  9. Not make statement on Social Networks against students or colleagues.

Code of Practice Terms and Conditions for Registered  Yoga Teachers and Schools

Registered Yoga Teachers and Yoga Schools understand and agree that Yoga Alliance reserves the right based on its reasonable judgment of the evidence before it  to terminate their membership and the right to use the Registry Mark for failure to abide by any of the criteria  listed on this Code of Practice. Registered Teachers and Registered Schools agree to hold Yoga Alliance Registry harmless for any losses or damage they may incur as a consequence of the termination of their credentials.

Grievance/Complaint Handling and Resolution Policy and Procedure

Yoga Alliance Australia is committed to developing and maintaining an effective, timely, fair and equitable grievance/complaint handling system which is easily accessible to all complainants.

If you have a grievance or complaint  that is not resolved, to lodge your grievance/complaint please check the links below: