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 Statement of Professional Standards
of the Federation of Ontario Yoga Teachers



Mission Statement

We, the teachers of the Fellowship of Ontario Yoga Teachers, believe we have the responsibility to provide a safe environment where the student can gain strength and grow on a physical, mental, social, ethical, emotional and spiritual level. We recognize the valuable teacher-student relationship and as such we shall strive to uphold the following standards.

General Standard

1.     We will establish and maintain appropriate professional relationship boundaries.

2.     We recognize and admit to our own limitations and know when and where to refer the student.

3.      We keep abreast of other healing modalities and new developments in the science of Yoga by
     attending lectures, workshops, and self study and by seeking out professional Yoga
     relationships through a multitude of organizations, colleagues and peers.

4.     We maintain a sadhana (Shula's note: this means spiritual practice) which promotes our
     personal lies to wholeness and balance.

5.     We avoid discriminating against or refusing professional help to any student/seeker based on
     their race, gender, sexual orientation, religious or national origin.

Professional and Student Relationship Standards

As the Fellowship of Ontario Yoga Teachers, we maintain practices and teaching procedures that protect the safety and health of the public and advance the Fellowship and the profession.

1.     We use our knowledge and professional associations as a guide to the skills, judgment and
     attitudes that are needed to practice safely. We recognize our knowledge, skills, attitudes and
     judgments are used for the benefit of our students and not to secure unfair professional
     advantage.

2.     Fees and financial arrangements, as with all contractual matters, are always discussed without
     hesitation or equivocation at the outset and are established in a straightforward, professional
     manner.

3.      We neither receive nor pay a commission for referral of a student.

4.     We conduct our fiscal affairs with due regard to recognize business and accounting procedures.

5.     We recognize that it is unprofessional to malign colleagues or other professionals.

6.     As FOYT-certified instructors we recognize that it is our responsibility to maintain relationships
     with students on a professional basis, as such we do not abandon or neglect students. If we are
     unable to continue to provide professional help, arrangement is made for continuation of
     instruction with another qualified yoga instructor.

7.      We make only realistic statements concerning the benefits of Yoga and we recognize our own
     limitations and refer accordingly.

8.     The goal of the Fellowship of Ontario Yoga Teachers is to provide, through qualified yoga
     teachers, the best possible health outcome for the student with no unnecessary exposure to risk
     of harm.

9.     Reflective practice - we continually assess our own practice to identify learning needs and
     opportunities for constant growth and improvement, this is recognized as the key to competence
     improvement. Ongoing feedback from peers, colleagues and students is essential to maintain
     competence.

10.     We do not exploit the trust placed in and unique power of the student teacher relationship. We
     do not engage in harassment, abusive words, actions or exploitative coercion of students.

11.     All forms of sexual behavior or harassment with students or colleagues are unethical.
     Sexual behavior: Is defined as, but not limited to, all forms of overt and covert seductive speech,
     gestures and behavior, as s well as physical contact of a sexual nature.
     Harassment: Is defined as, but not limited to, repeated comments, gestures or physical
     contacts of a sexual nature.

12.     We recognize that the teacher student relationship involves a relationship of influence, the
     effects of which can remain after the student-teacher relationship is over.

Ethical Behavior / Confidentiality

Respect for confidentiality is essential for the relationship between teacher and student. It is an aspect of respect for the student's human dignity and responsibility for self. We have an obligation to safeguard information about them that has been obtained in the course of an instruction process.

1.     Information about the student will be shared if withholding such information may cause harm to
     someone. In this cae, the duty to prevent harm overrides the responsibility of confidentiality.

2.     When referring to students in publications, written articles/public presentations, their identity is
     thoroughly disguised.

3.     It is our responsibility to convey the importance of confidentiality to our apprentices, consultants,
     peers.

Business Relationships

All relationships, be they with students, employees, consultants, or assistants, are maintained in a professional and confidential basis.

1.     We shall advise our assistants, students and employees against offering or engaging in or holding themselves out as competent to engage in professional services beyond their training/education level of experience and competence. We do encourage growth and development and self-study.

Interpersonal Relationships

As Yoga instructors, we relate to and cooperate with other professional persons in our immediate community and beyond. We recognize that Yoga is a discipline concerned with the promotion of well-being and as such we are a part of a network of health care professionals and are expected to develop and maintain interdisciplinary and inter professional relationships.

1.     We do not solicit another teacher's students.

2.     It is unethical to speak of other teachers with disrespect, or derision, either publicly or privately.

Advertising

Any advertising, including announcements, public statements, and promotional activities is devoid of exaggerated claims about the effects of Yoga. The purpose of advertising is to help the public make informed judgments and choices.

Advertising or announcement of workshops, clinics, seminars, conferences of other endeavors are to give a clear statement of purpose and a clear description of the experiences provided.

The education, training and experience of the providers involved are to be appropriately specified.