Yoga is a system of self-investigation, self-transformation and self-realisation. Its practices and lifestyle aim to integrate the body, mind, heart and spirit and awaken students to their innate wholeness.
The role of the yoga teacher is to guide and support students in their practice of yoga. Yoga teachers aim to nurture the physical, emotional, psychological, social and spiritual well-being of students.
This Statement of Ethics guides yoga teachers in their work of supporting students’ yoga practice. It is based on the traditional yogic ethical principles, the yamas and niyamas, as outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. This Statement of Ethics reflects the timeless, living principle that our essential nature is awake, aware, compassionate and peaceful.
Yoga Australia’s Code of Professional Conduct makes explicit the standards of ethical and professional behaviour expected of registered Yoga Australia teachers by their peers and the community.
This code is a practical application of Yoga Australia’s Statement of Ethics. It offers guidance to teachers in their role of supporting students in their practice of yoga.
This Code applies to all members of Yoga Australia. It also informs yoga students and the community of the level of professional behaviour required of Yoga Australia members.
A registered Yoga Teacher may pursue any activity that falls within the Scope of Practice. Currently, in Australia, Yoga Teacher registration is based on verification of initial and continuing competence through the professional body, Yoga Australia (YA). Some Yoga Teachers will hold additional qualifications that complement the scope of Yoga Teaching, which will permit such practitioners an extended Scope of Practice, for example being a registered psychologist, physiotherapist, doctor, naturopath etc. Such extended scope is beyond normal Yoga Teaching practice and is to be regulated by the scope and codes of the professional registering body of other such disciplines. The duty of care of a Yoga Teacher is to ensure the safety of a student at all times and to refer to a more appropriate therapist or medical practitioner when the student presents with symptoms outside the expertise of the teacher.
Outlining Yoga Australia student teacher guidelines to make students aware of their rights and responsibilities. This is a document that can be utilised by registered Yoga Australia teachers to provide information to their students and provide guidelines for conduct for themselves in professional settings such as Yoga Australia state meetings and conferences and first aid courses and continuing professional development events.
Yoga Australia aims to address grievances brought to its attention, as an essential part of maintaining both its own professional integrity and the professional integrity of the yoga-teaching sector. Reflecting the values of the Yoga Australia Code of professional Practice and Statement of Ethics, Yoga Australia aims to address complaints using processes that are based on the values of respect, confidentiality, goodwill and equality. Yoga Australia has recently migrated to Company Limited by Guarantee. As a result, our new constitution will now guide the grievance policy. A review is currently being undertaken and any changes to the grievance process will be communicated shortly.
Yoga Australia has been questioned at times on what to do when they have concerns for their own safety or that of a student. Students may make statements to the teacher that indicate they are a threat to themselves or another. Or that someone is a threat to them. This document aims to give an overview on what duty of care is and how it applies to yoga teachers