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Ethics

The Anusara School of Hatha Yoga represents a global network of yoga teachers committed to that which is life-affirming, truthful, and freedom-enhancing. 

The School’s ethical precepts are designed to guide teachers’ behavior as students, teachers and members of a community in a way that reflects the highest standard of human behavior.

The Seat of the Teacher

As yoga teachers and students, the teacher’s behavior reflects upon the great tradition and lineage of yoga which Anusara yoga represents. Consequently, the School compels its members to uphold the highest of standards that reflect the life-affirming principles of the School. Students must be able to trust and take refuge safely in the seat of the teacher.

Classical Ethical Guidelines

The following ethical principles are guidelines instead of rigid rules. They are to be applied on a relative basis to each unique circumstance and context. They are time-proven qualities and characteristics that create harmony among individuals and organizations. The School compels its members to uphold the highest of standards that reflect the life-affirming principles of the school.

Yamas: Social observances and guidelines governing relationships

Ahimsa:  Non-harming, loving kindness and compassion for all living things

Anusara yoga teachers…

  • Fulfill their duties and responsibilities with a considerate and loving attitude.
  • Welcome all students regardless of gender, race, religion, creed, nationality, cultural background, or sexual preference; be compassionate and willing to serve them all with respect.

 

Satya: Commitment to truthfulness, integrity, and honor

Anusara yoga teachers….

  • Govern their speech by speaking the truth in a kind way, asking yourself if it is necessary and appropriate for the time.
  • Honor and embrace the seat of the teacher with humility and truthfully represent the scope of one’s training, teaching experience and Anusara license in all self-promotions.
  • Avoid making direct comparisons between Anusara Yoga and other systems. Anusara teachers are to be ambassadors for the tradition of yoga that all systems represent.

 

Asteya: Non-stealing, not taking or desiring what is not yours

Anusara yoga teachers….

  • Obtain permission to use other’s materials and teachings
  • Do not take advantage of others’ time and attention
  • Clearly address issues of payment in compensation for services provided

 

Brahmacharya: Behaving with love and integrity without selfishness or manipulation; developing sensual control so as to restrain from sexual misconduct.

Anusara yoga teachers….

  • Form relationships that foster responsible behavior, respecting the truth of interconnectivity and that teachers serve each other on the path of spiritual and personal growth.
  • Never demean, physically or verbally abuse, sexually harass, condescend or degrade students, other teachers, or members of the community. 
  • Assist the student in finding another qualified yoga teacher if the student-teacher relationship is about to be compromised by any intimate relationship.

 

Aparigraha: Non-possessiveness, voluntary simplicity, non-greediness

Anusara yoga teachers….

  • Take only what is necessary and what they have earned, and let go of attachments to things with an understanding that impermanence and change are the only constants.
  • Tell and show their students that they themselves are also students. 
  • Are modest when showing or describing their talents and experiences, paying tribute to their teachers and the sources of their knowledge and skill.

 

Niyamas: Personal observances – Guidelines for daily activities. Pertaining to one’s own physical appearance, actions, words and thoughts

ShaucaInternal and external purity, cleanliness, orderliness and balance

Anusara yoga teachers….

  • Live a clean and healthy life with clarity of body, mind and spirit.

 

Santosa: Contentment, equanimity, peace and tranquility

Anusara yoga teachers….

  • Are modest and content with what they have, even while experiencing life’s difficulties.
  • Recognize that life becomes a process of growth through all kinds of circumstances.
  • Encourage and honor independent thinking and exploration in students. If a student respectfully disagrees because his or her experience is different from their own, the Anusara teacher honors their view.

 

TapasDisciplined use of energy, purification, willpower, austerity, and patience.

Anusara yoga teachers….

  • Direct their energy to enthusiastically engage life.
  • Pay attention to the health of the body, eating habits, breathing patterns, and diligence in their commitments.

 

SvadhyayaSelf-inquiry, mindfulness, study of the texts, placing the teachings within yourself as a way of walking your talk.

Anusara yoga teachers….

  • Welcome and accept their own limitations.  Are centered and non-reactive to dualities; burn out unwanted and self-destructive tendencies.
  • Are patient with themselves and their students. Acknowledge that yoga is a process.

 

Ishvara PranidhanaOpen to Grace and dedicate your life to expanding divine Self awareness

Anusara yoga teachers….

  • Lay all their actions at the feet of the Divine and recognize their role as part of the Creator.  See the Divine in one another and act accordingly..
  • Give feedback by first looking for what is right—the beauty, the light, and the positive in people and things—instead of what is wrong. Always give the student the benefit of the doubt.

A complimentary list of ethical guidelines is outlined in the Anusara Immersion manual. Read the complimentary ethical guidelines for Anusara teachers.