Yoga Circle Policies To Protect Student Safety

There recently have been press reports of abusive practices by some yoga teachers. Yoga Circle is thus publicly announcing its policies to foster a safe and welcoming learning environment for all its students.

Yoga Circle requires all its teachers to follow the IYNAUS Ethical Guidelines to Prevent Verbal Abuse, Sexual Harassment, and Physical Abuse of students. See IYNAUS.org, Ethics tab.

Yoga Circle is also adopting new practices relating to “physical adjustments,” that is, the practice in which instructors encourage correct actions or alignment in a yoga pose by touching certain parts of a student’s body with a prop or part of the instructor’s body.

Physical adjustments can be important teaching tools. But we recognize that some students will not want to receive any physical adjustments and that others may only want to receive certain ones. It is the policy of Yoga Circle that no student should be physically adjusted unless the student has given affirmative informed consent to the adjustment.

Beginning on January 1, 2020, we will implement a new procedure for students to communicate whether they are open to receiving physical adjustments.

Bracelets will be located on a table outside our small and large studios. If students do not wish to receive ANY physical adjustments, they should NOT put on these bracelets before class or should remove them during class. If a student is NOT wearing a bracelet, a teacher will neither physically adjust the student nor orally seek consent to adjust the student.

By contrast, if students are open to receiving physical adjustments, they should place a bracelet on one of their wrists. Wearing a bracelet is NOT affirmative informed consent to any and all adjustments. Even for students wearing bracelets, teachers will continue to request oral consent before making a specific physical adjustment unless the student has otherwise clearly provided affirmative informed consent to that adjustment.

If students believe that any of our teachers have behaved inappropriately, they should contact David Carpenter, Bob Whittinghill, or Jess Kane. All reports will be shared with David Carpenter, owner of Yoga Circle, to determine the appropriate follow up. We will preserve confidentiality to the maximum extent possible under the law and the IYNAUS guidelines, and any need for investigation.