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Sexual Misconduct Statement

Last Modified: January 2020

Yoga Alliance serves to promote and support the integrity and safety of yoga practice and education. It is with a sad understanding we acknowledge that, as with many industries, the yoga and wellness communities are not immune to troubling acts of sexual misconduct. As an organization dedicated to serving yoga schools, teachers, and students, it is important we openly acknowledge this reality and simultaneously commit to implementing actionable policies and visible/accessible safe spaces to turn the page on this history.

Acts of sexual harassment, assault, or criminal activity of any kind made by any yoga school or teacher are unethical and illegal. These actions and behaviors will not be tolerated by Yoga Alliance. We condemn the physical, mental, emotional, financial, or spiritual abuse of any yoga student.

In 2018, we created a new and strengthened Sexual Misconduct Policy and launched a comprehensive and inclusive Standards Review Project to re-evaluate and update our teaching standards. A key pillar of this effort went into creating an Ethical Code of Conduct designed to define what is and is not appropriate. It is our aim to help protect public safety and to create a robust educational and reporting platform from which we can elevate the profession of yoga teaching.

As we undertook this critical effort, we benefited from the input of a diverse spectrum of expert advisory voices and relied on many qualified resources to help us develop our new policies and procedures. We were especially pleased to have RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) consulting with us as we worked towards our new standards of professional ethics and a deeper understanding of a yoga teacher’s appropriate scope of practice.

Yoga Alliance is continuously committed to directly addressing issues of sexual misconduct in our community. With this in mind, it is important to remember Yoga Alliance is not a law enforcement or judicial body itself. As such, we strongly encourage all victims and survivors of sexual misconduct or other crimes to immediately seek the highest level of professional assistance they are comfortable with, including contacting the police, a victims’ rights advocate, and/or a lawyer, in addition to filing a grievance with Yoga Alliance.

Very simply, every human being has the right to practice yoga free from abuse, harassment, and manipulation. To join the conversation, email IWantToHelpYA@yogaalliance.org.

2018 video by Shannon Roche, former COO and current President & CEO, on the issue of sexual misconduct in yoga and the critical conversation surrounding this sensitive and important topic

#ahimsanow

To join the conversation, please email us at IWantToHelpYA@yogaalliance.org.

Yoga Alliance is a nonprofit 501(c)(6). Yoga Alliance Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3). This website refers to the two organizations as "Yoga Alliance." Copyright 2020 Yoga Alliance. Yoga Alliance, the Yoga Alliance logo, RYS, RYT, and YACEP are registered marks with the USPTO and other jurisdictions.

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