THE CONVERSATION: How should ethics be applied to teaching yoga today? Could a universal Code of Conduct lay the foundation for safer yoga education? As educators and practitioners, we know that proper training, ongoing education, and ahimsa are prerequisites for student safety—are the gifts of yoga better served when supported with a solid ethical foundation such as a Code of Conduct?
WHAT WE LEARNED:
Yoga professionals and practioners nearly unanimously agree on the adoption of a Code of Conduct as being very important. This came through loud and clear via our survey, the listening tour, the virtual town halls, and the working group sessions.
As we saw via our 12,000-respondent survey, 91% of professionals and 88% of practitioners reported being very interested in yoga teachers pledging to follow a Code of Conduct. Individuals from North America (Mexico, the United States, and Canada) were most interested than anywhere else in the world. Read more here.
Through the working group specific to Code of Conduct, there were a few insights that arose, including that any Code of Conduct should provide guidance on the following:
- Right balance between yogic and modern values
- Right balance between consent and touch
- Trauma sensitivity
- Teacher/student relationships
- Strong ethical principles in personal lives of yoga teachers, too
To learn more about this working group’s recommendations, please download the Code of Conduct Working Group Paper here. As a reminder, Yoga Alliance brought together a diverse spectrum of expert advisory voices to maximize the perspectives and resources within this area of inquiry. They represented one stream of input in the process, albeit an important stream. We thank them for their participation and dedication.
Note: these working group papers provide expert recommendations to Yoga Alliance and the yoga community for consideration as the Standards Review Project continues. They are not prescribed actions but rather insights from an experienced and dedicated group of subject matter experts. They were written by an independent third party. At this point in time, no decisions have been made regarding standards updates, and we welcome and encourage your feedback and comments regarding the entirety of the SRP process.