Yoga Alliance Anti-Harassment Policy
Last Updated: February 27, 2020
Yoga Alliance™’s mission is to advance the evolving profession of yoga teaching and broader connected community of students, individuals, and businesses through supporting the professional growth and development of yoga schools and teachers. As such, it is incumbent upon the organization to help ensure that yoga training and teaching environments are free from harassment. Yoga Alliance will not tolerate any form of harassment that violates this Policy.
Yoga Alliance prohibits the conduct outlined below by all Members. A Member is an individual or entity holding any active Yoga Alliance credential, including a Registered Yoga School (RYS™), a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT™), and/or a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider (YACEP™) credential.
- Harassment by a Member of any person based on age, gender, gender identity, pronoun use, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, body type, personal appearance, physical or mental ability, socioeconomic status, marital status, political activities or affiliation, or any other basis proscribed by local, state, provincial, national, and federal laws and regulations.
- Harassment by a Member of any person, either in person or through online activities now known or unknown, such as trolling, stalking, using hate speech, threatening, intimidating, falsely accusing, reporting of false Grievances, manipulating, or otherwise harassing in any form or manner.
- Sexual harassment by a Member of any person. Please refer to Yoga Alliance’s Sexual Misconduct Policy for additional information.
- Retaliation by a Member against any persons who report any instances of harassment.
This Policy applies to all Yoga Alliance Members in any context or environment where a Member presents themself (or is presented) as a Teacher, or a professional yoga educator (Teacher, Trainer, mentor, or other), including but not limited to: group and private yoga instruction; yoga instruction in ashrams, yoga Schools and yoga teacher trainings, studios, gymnasiums, fitness clubs, other schools and universities, medical facilities, group homes, prisons, public spaces, festivals, retreats; and all online spaces, including social media.
Activities covered by this Policy shall be distinguished from the purely private conduct of Members, which is beyond the purview of this Policy. However, action and behavior that is deemed by Yoga Alliance to be directly related to teaching or conducting the Business of yoga may fall under this policy at Yoga Alliance’s discretion. (For example, if a Teacher meets with a prospective Student in an office prior to a yoga teacher training and violates this Policy, that interaction may be considered part of the professional interaction even though it did not occur in the classroom or training space.)
Members should be committed to applying strong ethical principles in their professional and personal lives, and this should be understood as intrinsic to their practice and teaching of yoga.
Yoga Alliance reserves the right to investigate allegations of violations of this Policy regardless of membership status with Yoga Alliance at the time of the incident(s) that gives rise to the allegation.
Harassment: Harassment is unwelcome verbal or non-verbal conduct where: (i) the conduct denigrates or shows hostility or aversion towards the person and has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with their work, study, or other activity, (ii) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of the continued relationship, and/or (iii) the conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.
Harassment includes epithets, slurs, name calling, negative stereotyping, insults, intimidation, ridicule, threatening, intimidating or hostile acts, denigrating jokes, and display of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group based on their protected characteristic.
Harassment includes, but is not limited to: offensive verbal comments related to age, gender, gender identity, pronoun use, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, body type, personal appearance, physical or mental ability, socioeconomic status, marital status, political activities or affiliation, or any other basis proscribed by local, state, provincial, national, and federal laws and regulations; deliberate intimidation; stalking; following; harassing photography or recording; sustained and intentional disruption of class or other events; and inappropriate physical contact.
Retaliation: Retaliation is any adverse action or threat taken or made against an individual, including through third parties and/or legal counsel, for making a report of prohibited conduct or participating in any investigation or proceeding related to this Policy. Retaliation includes threatening, intimidating, harassing, or any other conduct that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging in activity protected under this Policy. Retaliation also includes maliciously and/or intentionally interfering with, threatening, or harming the academic or professional career or reputation of another individual before, during, or after the Investigation, Decision, and resolution of a report of prohibited conduct under this Policy in response to and/or on account of the report of the prohibited conduct. This provision applies to reports made or information provided in good faith, even if the facts alleged in the report are determined not to be accurate.
Reporting, Investigation, and Determination
Reporting, Investigation, and determination of violations of this Policy are subject to Yoga Alliance’s Grievance Policy, Sexual Misconduct Policy, and any other applicable policies of Yoga Alliance.