The Register of Mentors

Scope of Practice For Mentoring

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  1. The register of Mentors
  2. The scope of the mentoring relationship
  3. Mentors: Skills, qualities, responsibilities
  4. Mentees: Skills, qualities, responsibilities, and purpose

The Register of Mentors

Yoga Australia has initiated a register of teachers who wish to make themselves available for different forms of mentoring.  These senior teachers see themselves as having skills, experience, and qualities that enable them to take on the responsibilities of formal mentoring of other teachers. They have followed guidelines and an application process acknowledging their teaching and mentoring experience (as a mentee and, possibly, also a mentor) and any other experience, specialisation, and training they have.

As the peak body for yoga and yoga teachers in Australia, Yoga Australia creates guidelines and parameters to uphold standards and specify the scope of practice and roles. The following details the ‘Scope of Practice for Mentoring’, that registered mentors agree to.

The scope of the mentoring relationship

All forms of mentoring involve deep respect and honesty between the mentee and mentor, with mutual agreement on the parameters of the relationship from the outset.  Whilst the mentor is chosen because of their greater experience and wisdom, the mentoring relationships that Yoga Australia supports are collegiate ones – equals walking a path together.

Yoga Australia aims to support various forms of mentoring, from structured to very open and one-one to group mentoring.

A continuum from structured to open mentoring

Structured mentoring such as curriculum-based mentoring can be arranged around the need to upgrade or fill in gaps in training, or undertake specialised professional development.  The nature, length, content and outcomes are specified at the outset and some forms of contract, assessment and certification might be required.

Find out more

Open forms of mentoring

At the other end of the scale, open forms of mentoring begin with the intent of the mentee, the wisdom and qualities of the mentor and the unfolding relationship guides the personal and professional ‘work’ that is undertaken.

Many forms of mentoring are a mix of these.

One-one or group mentoring

Mentoring is most often a one-one relationship.  However, some mentors may offer small group sessions for mentees that have similar issues, interests or needs.  This is a form of professional development training, but one that is characterised by the fact that the mentor has or develops an individual relationship with each group member prior to the group session.

Mentors:

A mentor has skills, qualities, responsibilities…

A mentor is an experienced yoga teacher and practitioner with well-developed knowledge and lived experience of yoga and the capacity and willingness to offer guidance to other yoga teachers.

Mentors on this register have many of the following key skills, qualities, training:

  1. As senior teachers registered with Yoga Australia, all registered mentors have completed a minimum of 1000 hours of yoga teacher training and have been teaching for at least 10 years. Some have particular areas of specialisation.***
  2. The quality of an ‘acharya’, someone who is on a path to understand the depths of the yoga tradition, including not only the practice of yoga but also how it translates into everyday life. Mentors aspire to embody the teachings of yoga in life. Mentors may or may not come from the same tradition/training as the mentee.
  3. Well-developed communication and listening skills which include the ability to provide clear, non-judgemental feedback, and support processes that encourage deeper self-inquiry and reflection on issues arising in teaching.
  4. Natural respect and honouring of others, creating and holding trust and a safe space for the mentee. A mentor meets the mentee where they are and supports them to discover their own form of teaching and yogic journey
  5. An established path of self-study that brings them towards an understanding of their true self.
  6. Offering the service of mentoring with a spirit of humility.
  7. At least 12 months experience being mentored, and thus a familiarity of the nature of the mentor-mentee relationship.

*** FLEXIBILITY FOR RURAL/REGIONAL MENTORING ***

Teachers in rural/regional areas will have a diverse range of potential ‘distance’ mentors to choose from as the Register of Mentors fills. Yoga Australia acknowledges that sometimes face to face mentoring is necessary but not easily accessible in all areas. In such cases, a local level 2 teacher can be engaged as a ‘co-mentor’. This level 2 teacher will secure supervision from a Registered Mentor for a minimum of 1 to 2 hours in the preparation/establishment phase of the relationship and at least 1 to 2 hours every 6 months of the relationship. Yoga Australia encourages the level 2 teacher to check in more frequently as needed.

NB The level 2 teacher does not register as a mentor, but this ‘co-mentoring’ will certainly help them to reach level 3 status and register as a mentor, at some point, in the future.

Evidence of this supervisory/co-mentoring may include email confirmation of the appointment; minutes of the discussion (e.g. dot points outlined in an email); and sighted documents (e.g. session outlines, activities, tasks) including a signature, date of sighting and changes made. Evidence must be kept on file for Yoga Australia to access when required (e.g. During Audit, Grievance or Registration).

A mentor’s responsibilities as part of the mentoring process include:

  1. To create a respectful and safe space in which the mentee’s professional and personal development can be supported.
  2. To find a balance between respecting and affirming the mentee’s foundations, training, and inner knowing and offering the opportunity for change, new learning and developing alternative perspectives
  3. All mentoring relationships are guided by the Yoga Australia’s statements on Duty of Care, Statement of Ethics, Code of Professional Conduct and Student-teacher relationship guidelines
  4. If the mentee is a provisional member and teaching under the supervision of the mentor, the mentor has the responsibility to intervene where student/client welfare may be at risk.
  5. To develop a relationship of trust and connection with the mentee, gradually building an understanding of the practical and philosophical levels that the mentee may want/need to explore.
  6. To approach the mentoring role from a place of openness – without hidden agendas.
  7. Both mentees and mentors have a responsibility to ensure that their discussions are respectful, ensure confidentiality (eg. by de-identifying student information) and generally, uphold the Yoga Australia ethical guidelines
  8. To seek initial and ongoing agreement re times, schedule, length of sessions and cost and thus encourage a sense of commitment.
  9. To seek Continuing Professional Development that supports and develops their mentoring skills and wisdom.

Apply to be a mentor

 

Mentees:

 A mentee has skills, qualities, responsibilities and purpose …

Mentees can be either new or experienced teachers who are looking to extend and reinforce their confidence and proficiency in various aspects of yoga or teaching.  There may be a specific need to fill gaps in training, an intention to embark on a specialisation or a general seeking for guidance and a safe space for reflection on their teaching or yogic journey.

Qualities

A mentee who brings enthusiasm and curiosity to the mentoring relationship is likely to experience one of the richer, more inspiring relationships humanity has to offer. There is a balance to be struck between the mentee being open to learning and to alternative perspectives whilst also respecting and affirming their own life-experience, training, and inner knowing. A certain amount of trust is required – trust in the mentor and in the often unpredictable process of personal and professional unfolding.

Skills

Opening oneself to mentoring requires listening and communication skills, willingness and ability to ask questions, skills in self-monitoring and self-reflection. Mentees need to be prepared to be active in the relationship, do the work, think through issues and then seek the mentor’s input. The skills and dedication to one’s own yoga practices that were required in teacher training will also support the mentoring relationship.

Responsibilities

It is important that mentees take the initiative to meet the requirements of the mentoring relationship, once initial agreement on parameters has been reached . This includes payment or a negotiated exchange; observing agreements about length, frequency, focus and form of the sessions; punctuality and reliability; being prepared for, recording and following up the sessions. A keen sense of commitment and engagement is required.

Both mentees and mentors have a responsibility to ensure that their discussions are respectful, ensure confidentiality (eg. by de-identifying student information) and generally, uphold the Yoga Australia Ethical Guidelines. All mentoring relationships are guided by the Yoga Australia’s statements on Duty of Care, Code of Professional Conduct and Student-teacher relationship guidelines

Find a mentor

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