Code of Ethics

Definition: A systematic collection of rules of conduct guiding ethical behaviour.

The Iyengar Yoga Association of Canada (IYAC) has provided the Code of Ethics for all Iyengar Yoga teachers and student teachers. The Code of Ethics is applicable to all teachers and student teachers who are members of IYAC. Teachers should read and be familiar with the Code of Ethics.

The Code of Ethics corresponds to the yamas and niyamas of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and they are included at the request of Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar. The yamas and niyamas and their English translations are included in parentheses where appropriate.

1.   Applicability of the Code of Ethics

1.1 The Code of Ethics is not exhaustive. Failure to address any particular conduct does not mean that the conduct is necessarily ethical or unethical. Teachers and student teachers should adhere to and honour classical and legal codes of conduct.

1.2 Lack of familiarity with or misinterpretation of the Code of Ethics does not justify unethical conduct.

1.3 Failure to co-operate in an ethics investigation or proceeding by the IYAC ethics committee is a violation of these guidelines.

1.4 An Iyengar Yoga teacher or student who is uncertain of how the Code of Ethics should be applied in a particular situation should contact the IYAC ethics committee for guidance before acting.

1.5 The dissemination of the Code of Ethics is intended to assist teachers and student teachers, and does not create any liability on the part of the IYAC.
2.    Professional Ethics of Iyengar Yoga Teachers
2.1 (Tapas; ardour)  Iyengar Yoga teachers and student teachers dedicate themselves to studying, teaching, disseminating and promoting the art, science and philosophy of yoga according to the teachings and philosophy of Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar, and to maintaining high standards of professional competence and integrity.
2.2 (Svadhyaya; study of the self) Iyengar Yoga certified teachers and student teachers should study and stay current with the teaching and practice of yoga as taught by Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar, his family and those teaching in the Iyengar tradition; or, by participation in the Iyengar Yoga Association of Canada activities. This can be done either directly by study with the Iyengar family in accord with Patanjali's eight-fold path: or indirectly, by participation and study with certified Iyengar Yoga teachers of at least one higher level of certification.
2.3 (Satya; truth) Iyengar Yoga teachers and student teachers should accurately represent their education, training and experience.
2.4 (Aparigraha; non-coveting) While teaching, Iyengar Yoga teachers and student teachers should teach yoga according to the methods set forth by Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar. Teachers and student teachers should not mix contradictory or incompatible elements from other disciplines in their teaching. Teachers and student teachers should clearly distinguish Iyengar work from any related/ associated/compatible discipline they may draw upon, such as anatomy, physiology, philosophy, etc.

2.5 (Ahimsa; non-violence) Iyengar Yoga teachers and student teachers should strive not to be publicly critical of another Iyengar Yoga teacher's character or of any other systems of yoga.

2.6 (Asteya; non-stealing) Iyengar Yoga teachers and student teachers should not use any figure and temple service mark registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in the name of Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar, unless they have received approval from and have paid the required fee to the Service Mark committee of IYNAUS. (To be modified for Canadian teachers)

2.7 (Aparigraha; non-coveting) Iyengar Yoga teachers and student teachers should refrain from inappropriate advertising or other promotion that would in any way compromise their teaching role or result in conflict of interest.


3.   Responsibility to Students

Iyengar Yoga teachers and student teachers should:

3.1 (Satya; truth) Be truthful.

3.2 (Ahimsa; non-violence) Welcome all students with friendliness, warmth, and compassion, regardless of race, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age or disability. Treat all students with respect.

3.3 (Ahimsa; non-violence and Brahmacharya; continence) Not harass students (sexually or otherwise).

3.4 (Ahimsa; non-violence and Aparigraha;; non-coveting) Avoid intimate relationships with their students.

3.5 (Brahmacharya; continence and Aparigraha; non-coveting) Recognize when the student-teacher relationship has been compromised by the existence of an intimate relationship, and in such circumstances, assist the student in finding another Iyengar Yoga teacher if possible.

3.6 (Ahimsa; non-violence and brahmacharya; continence) Understand and apply appropriate methods of touch in assisting students.

3.7 (Aparigraha; non-coveting) Maintain the role of guide and inspire trust by example.


4.   Personal Responsibility

Iyengar Yoga teachers and student teachers should:

4.1  (Sauca; purity) Maintain a clean and well-groomed appearance,

4.2  (Sauca; purity) Dress in a modest manner while teaching yoga.

4.3  (Sauca; purity) Avoid misuse of substances such as drugs and alcohol.

4.4  (Sauca; purity) Be mindful of speech.

4.5  (Tapas-svadhyaya; study of the self) Maintain a regular personal practice.