The Anusara School of Hatha Yoga represents a global network of yoga teachers committed to that which is life-affirming, truthful, and freedom-enhancing.
Our School’s ethical precepts are designed to guide our 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, our behavior reflects upon the great tradition and lineage of yoga which we represent. Consequently, ASHY Yoga compels our 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. Our School compels our 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
……• Fulfill your 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.
Satya: Commitment to truthfulness, integrity, and honor.
……• Govern your 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 your training, teaching experience and ASHY licensing in all self-promotions.
……• Avoid making direct comparisons between Anusara Yoga and other systems. Be an ambassador for the tradition of yoga that all systems represent.
Asteya: Non-stealing, not taking or desiring what is not yours
……• 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.
……• Form relationships that foster responsible behavior respectful of the truth of our interconnectivity and that we serve each other on the path of spiritual and personal growth.
……• Never demean, physically or verbally abuse a student, sexually harass, nor condescend or degrade them.
……• If the student-teacher relationship is about to be compromised by any intimate relationship, it is advisable for the teacher to assist the student in finding another qualified yoga teacher.
Aparigraha: Non-possessiveness, voluntary simplicity, non-greediness
……• Take only what is necessary and what you have earned, and let go of attachments to things with an understanding that impermanence and change are the only constants.
……• Tell and show the students that you are also a student. Be modest when showing or describing your talents and experiences, paying tribute to your teachers and the sources of your knowledge and skill.
Niyamas: Personal observances – Guidelines for daily activities
Pertaining to one’s own physical appearance, actions, words and thoughts
Shauca: Internal and external purity, cleanliness, orderliness and balance
……• Live a clean and healthy life with clarity of body, mind and spirit.
Santosa: Contentment, equanimity, peace and tranquility
……• Be modest and content with what you 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 the student. If a student respectfully disagrees because his or her experience is different than yours, honor their view.
Tapas: Disciplined use of energy, purification, willpower, austerity, and patience.
……• Direct your energy to enthusiastically engage life.
……• Pay attention to the health of the body, eating habits, breathing patterns, and diligence in your commitments.
Svadhyaya: Self-inquiry, mindfulness, study of the texts, placing the teachings within yourself as a way of walking your talk.
……• Welcome and accept your limitations. Be centered and non-reactive to dualities; burn out unwanted and self-destructive tendencies.
……• Be patient with yourself and the students. Acknowledge that yoga is a process.
Ishvara Pranidhana: Open to Grace and dedicate your life to expanding divine Self awareness
……• Lay all your actions at the feet of the Divine and recognize your 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.
ASHY’s Ethics Committee is an international group of teachers focused on helping the Anusara community grow by fostering communication and building relationships between Anusara teachers. To learn more or to address an ethics issue, contact Ethics Team Leader Tiffany Wood.
………. ASHY Ethics Team
Ethics team leader: Tiffany Wood, firstname.lastname@example.org
USA: Will Doran, email@example.com
EU/Middle East/Africa, Aranka Zondag: firstname.lastname@example.org
South America: Karina Sauro, email@example.com
Asia: MeiChun Chen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Canada: Annette Garcia, email@example.com