Code of Conduct
GYS is committed to maintaining high ethical values and integrity for our yoga teachers.
We believe that it is the responsibility of a teacher to ensure a safe environment in which our students can grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. Students are looking for guidance from teachers with authenticity, experience, and wisdom. Our Code of Conduct was developed to protect our students in this potentially vulnerable relationship with their teachers.
Teachers are encouraged to make yoga accessible and available to everyone. Teachers are encouraged to create integrated accessible yoga classes where all students can practice together. Teachers are encouraged to have an awareness and a commitment to making yoga more equitable, inclusive, accessible, and diverse. This includes the ways that a yoga practice can be modified to suit students with disabilities, physical challenges, chronic illness, older adults/seniors, and/or anyone who may not feel comfortable in a typical formatted mat focused yoga class. It also includes making classes welcoming to everyone, and approaching students in a trauma-informed way. Teachers are encouraged to obtain appropriate training to offer accessible/specialty yoga classes.
Teachers will be honest, straightforward, fair, and conscientious in conducting all of their business affairs. Teachers will manage their business affairs according to recognized standard business and accounting practices. Teachers will discuss all fees and financial arrangements in a straightforward professional manner. Teachers will seek opportunities to render service to individuals or groups who are underserved by the broader yoga community on a pro bono basis.
Professional Growth/Continuing Education
Teachers shall maintain and improve their professional knowledge and competence, strive for professional excellence through regular assessment of their personal and professional strengths and weaknesses, and through continued education and training.
Teachers shall demonstrate high regard for the moral, social, and religious standards of their students. Teachers shall avoid imposing their personal beliefs on their students, although they may express them when appropriate in the class and in a sensitive and careful manner. Teachers recognize the trust placed in them by students and the unique power of the student-teacher relationship. Teachers shall avoid exploiting the trust and dependency of students. Teachers shall avoid dual relationships with students (e.g. business, close personal or sexual relationships) that may impair their judgment, compromise the integrity of the teachings and/or use the relationship for their personal gain. Teachers shall not engage in harassment, abusive words or actions, or exploit students. Teachers recognize that the teacher-student relationship involves a power imbalance and shall exercise caution if the teacher chooses to get into a personal relationship with a student.
Teachers shall uphold the highest of moral standards. Teachers shall strive to ensure that their intentions, actions, and speech are based on honesty, compassion, selflessness, trustworthiness, and transparency. Teachers recognize that the process of learning is never complete, and they shall avoid portraying themselves as “enlightened” or “spiritually advanced.” Teachers recognize that they are walking on the spiritual path along with their fellow teachers and students. Teachers shall cultivate an attitude of humanity.
Scope of Practice
Teachers shall not abandon or neglect their students. If teachers are unable (or unwilling for appropriate reasons) to provide professional help or continue a professional relationship, they should make every reasonable effort to arrange for instruction for that student with another teacher. Teachers will not recommend treatment, diagnose a condition, or suggest that a Student should disregard a physician’s advice. We will refer our students to medical doctors or complimentary licensed professionals when appropriate. Students, unless certified with the appropriate health care licensing and/or have the credentials, will follow the same Scope of Practice as outlined above. RYT students are expected to familiarize themselves with the Yoga Alliance Yoga Therapy Decision. This is the best practice for all yoga teachers with a foundation in any training. Teachers should avoid giving any personal advice concerning a student’s personal life.
Teachers shall respect and protect the welfare of all of their students or clients. Teachers shall keep all personal information disclosed by their students or clients strictly confidential. All discussions among teachers concerning students or clients shall be conducted in secure, non-public environments. Teachers shall not disclose personal information belonging to a student or client except (a) to comply with the law or the order of a court; (b) to prevent bodily harm or danger to the client or to others; or (c) where the information has already been disclosed to the public. Teachers will obtain the consent of students before audio or video recording in class. Upon such consent, the use of their image which may be included in random photos or video taken throughout the course duration, may, but is not limited to, GYS publications and/or advertising/promotion, GYS website, social media* etc. Aside from the Student’s image, no name or other identifying information will be used without additional express permission. *We encourage Students to like and share GYS Facebook and Instagram posts and pictures. If used, we request that GYS be given photo credit in the form of a tag, hashtag or other acknowledgement.
Teachers are part of a network of health care and well-being professionals and shall seek to develop interdisciplinary relationships. Teachers shall conduct themselves in an honorable manner in their relations with their colleagues and other wellness practitioners. Teachers shall not openly criticize practices followed by other yoga schools or teachers.
Advertising and Public Communications
GYS shall provide students and colleagues with good quality and factual information about their professional qualifications, the services they provide and their teaching arrangements. Teachers shall put students first, preserve their trust and maintain the professionalism of the yoga community. Teachers shall not misrepresent their professional qualifications and affiliations or falsely imply sponsorship or certification by any organization or group.