Code of Professional Conduct

The standards of ethical and professional behaviour expected of Yoga Australia teachers


1. Teacher – Student Relationship

A good teacher – student relationship requires the teacher to have high standards of professional conduct. Yoga teachers need to respect the rights and dignity of all students. They also need to respect the trust placed in the teacher by the student. The following codes emphasise trust and safety as the basis for the teacher – student relationship. Please note, here the word ‘student’ includes those attending yoga classes, teacher trainees and those being mentored.

1.1 Respect and Rights

Yoga Australia teachers will:

1.1.1 Demonstrate respect to all students regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, physical and psychological limitation, sexual orientation or religious affiliation

1.1.2 Respect the values, beliefs and aspirations of all yoga students

1.2 Confidentiality

Yoga Australia teachers will:

1.2.1 Protect students’ privacy and right to confidentiality

1.2.2 Treat all information about students as confidential

1.2.3 Obtain consent from students before photographing, audio or video tape recording or permitting third party observation of yoga sessions.

1.2.4 Ask students’ permission before adding their names to mailing lists and be clear about the content of mail-outs. Respect also the students’ right to opt out of the mailing list.

1.2.5 On issues relating to duty of care, report any concern they have for the safety and wellbeing of their student to the relevant emergency support:

www.lifeline.org.au 131114

www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au 1300659467

www.kidshelp.com.au 1800551800

www.mensline.org.au 1300789978

or contact the Yoga Australia office (1300 881 451) and we will assist you on how to proceed with reporting. 

1.3 Effective Communication

Relationships based on trust and clear communication enable teachers to work effectively with their students.

Yoga Australia teachers will:

1.3.1 Communicate with students in a courteous, respectful, compassionate and honest manner

1.3.2 Communicate respect for students through actions, language and behaviour

1.3.3 Listen to students needs, concerns, and preferences.

1.3.4 Communicate clearly about ways to practise yoga safely.

1.3.5 Seek permission before, and be respectful when, physically adjusting a student

1.3.6 Make comments about a student’s practice that are constructive and positive and not denigrating

1.4 Safety

Yoga Australia teachers will:

1.4.1 Maintain a safe, clean and comfortable environment for the teaching and practice of yoga

1.4.2 Maintain safety procedures for yoga equipment.

1.4.3 Support the safety of students in the teaching of yoga

1.4.4 Adhere to relevant legislative requirements relating to safety and care including Occupational Health and Safety and Duty of Care requirements

1.4.5 Maintain public liability and professional indemnity insurance requirements

1.4.6 Maintain current first aid training qualification and competency

1.5 Professional Boundaries

Yoga Australia teachers will:

1.5.1 Be considerate of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs of students

1.5.2 Be considerate of the preferences and limitations of students

1.5.3 Maintain appropriate professional boundaries

1.5.4 Recognise the power-imbalance between teacher and student and not harass or exploit students physically, psychologically, emotionally, sexually or financially

1.5.5 Declare and take appropriate steps to address any conflict of interest that may arise in dealings with students

1.5.6 Avoid relationships that could compromise the integrity of the teacher-student relationship

1.6 Grievances

Yoga Australia teachers will:

1.6.1 Acknowledge the student’s right to make a complaint.

1.6.2 Take all necessary actions to resolve any complaints or grievances as outlined in the Yoga Australia Grievance Policy.

2. Relationship with Peers

These Codes outline a professional approach to working with other yoga teachers and relevant professionals.

Yoga Australia teachers will:

2.1 Speak respectfully of other yoga traditions and health modalities

2.2 Treat other yoga teachers and colleagues in a respectful manner

2.3 When appropriate, refer to and work cooperatively with other yoga teachers and relevant health practitioners, to meet the needs of the student

2.4 Consult and take advice from colleagues and mentors, when appropriate

3. Professional Practice

These Codes relate to maintaining the professionalism in yoga teaching as expected by peers, students and the community.

3.1 Professional Performance

Yoga Australia teachers will:

3.1.1 Maintain the currency of teaching skills and knowledge in accordance with Yoga Australia’s Guidelines

3.1.2 Acknowledge and teach yoga within the scope of one’s skills, knowledge and ability

3.1.3 Maintain their own yoga practice

3.1.4 Commit to ongoing professional development in accordance with Yoga Australia’s CPD guidelines

3.1.5 Agree to cooperate fully with any YA enquiry in relation to behaviour and responsibilities as a member

3.1.6 Abide by all YA policies and procedures

3.2 Integrity in Teaching

Yoga teachers will:

3.2.1 In all professional matters, act in a manner which honours the profession

3.2.2 Honestly, accurately and fairly represent the benefits and outcomes of yoga practice

3.2.3 Respect copyright and acknowledge sources when drawing on the work of others

3.3 Business Integrity

Yoga teachers will:

3.3.1 Abide by all relevant business and legislative requirements, including, but not limited to, insurance, work cover, pay and conditions, taxation, accounting, marketing and advertising, and copyright

3.3.2 Ensure all information relating to the benefits of yoga and information used for promotional and marketing purposes is accurate, fair, clearly stated and not misleading in any way

3.3.3 Treat all employees, the community, students, colleagues and other yoga businesses fairly, transparently and honestly in the course of all business transactions

3.3.4 As much as possible adhere to environmentally friendly and sustainable business practices, including, but not limited to, recycling, using energy efficient products, being energy efficient, reducing waste, saving water and travelling smarter

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