Tara Code of Ethical Practice
Tara recognises the importance of upholding ethical principles in all aspects of teaching and practice to provide a safe, supportive, and respectful environment for the students to practice and grow. The teachers will aim to show the best possible personal example of integrity and kindness in upholding these principles.
The traditional system of yoga is founded on its own set of ethical guidelines which form the basis of yogic philosophy and form an essential part of the yogic practice. These are named ‘Yama-s’ and ‘Niyama-s’ and are described in the fundamental yogic text – ‘Yoga Sutras of Patanjali’ in which the eight steps of the Yoga system are revealed.
At Tara we aim to incorporate these principles into the Tara Code of Ethical Practice as follows:
- Ahimsa (non-harming): The teacher will prioritise the safety and well-being of their students, avoiding causing any physical or emotional harm. This includes taking appropriate measures and act without delay on any potential safeguarding issue in accordance with protocol.
- Satya (truthfulness): The teacher will be honest and transparent in their interactions with students, avoiding misrepresenting their qualifications or abilities. Where needed the teacher will refer to another teacher with more experience or specialist knowledge.
- Asteya (non-stealing): The teacher will respect the property and resources of their students, not accepting any form of theft or misuse or taking advantage of any individuals goodwill and generosity. This includes any attempts to mislead or manipulate a student into offering professional help or skills for the teacher’s personal gain.
- Brahmacharya (celibacy or moderation): The teacher will cultivate self-control and moderation in all aspects of their practice and be attentive to any behaviour that may be harmful or inappropriate. A teacher should always strive to behave in a balanced and harmonious way in any interaction with both students and colleagues.
- Aparigraha (non- accumulation/greed) : The teacher will aim to avoid excessive materialism or attachment to material possessions, focusing instead on the spiritual aspects of their practice. They will never present teachings from the perspective of financial gain but rather based on the deeper needs of the students.
- Saucha (cleanliness): The teacher should maintain a clean and hygienic environment for their students, including their own personal hygiene and appearance.
- Santosha (contentment): The teacher will cultivate a balanced state of wellbeing and gratitude in their own life and practice and encourage their students to do the same. While not ignoring or disregarding challenging and difficult life situations, the teacher will equally draw attention to the many positive aspects that are always present in our lives.
- Tapas (self-discipline): The teacher will aspire to maintain a strong discipline in their own practice and encourage their students to do the same. The teacher will place an emphasis on the importance of personal practice and experience, rather than a blind acceptance of notions taught in class, following the dictum; A gram of practice is worth tonnes of theory.
- Svadhyaya (self-study): The teacher will encourage their students to engage in self-reflection and self-study as a means of deepening their practice and their understanding of the spiritual path. This includes encouraging the use of the centre’s extensive library and exploration of a diverse range of spiritual topics and traditions. The teacher will also aim to familiarise themselves with the fundamental texts of the yoga tradition and other relevant sources and continue to deepen their own spiritual study as part of their own on-going practice.
- Ishvara pranidhana (surrender to a higher power): The teacher will cultivate a sense of humility, surrender and devotion to the Supreme Absolute, recognizing that their own abilities and knowledge are limited. This includes the willingness to be open for feedback, both verbal feedback from students and colleagues, as well as looking in the mirror of different life situations.
In addition to this, the following general aspects also form part of this ethical practice:
- Commitment to students: The teacher will always be committed to the students and their practice. The teacher will be present and available to provide guidance and support where needed. At the same time the teacher will encourage and guide the students to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and practice.
- Respect for diversity: The teacher will respect and honour the diversity of their students. They will avoid making assumptions about their students’ backgrounds and should be open to learning from and about their students.
- Confidentiality: The teacher will maintain the confidentiality of their students’ personal information and will not disclose it without their consent.
- Continuous learning: The teacher should engage in continuous training and self-improvement to enhance their teaching skills and knowledge. Every teacher is also a student and will aspire to be exemplary in both roles.
- Integrity: The teacher will maintain integrity in all aspects of their practice and should not compromise their values or ethics for personal gain or any other reason. The teacher will take the practice of the yama and niyama, the yogic moral and ethical guidelines, very seriously and aim to live up to the highest standard of personal example.
- Compassion: The teacher will approach their own practice as well as their students practice and experience with compassion and empathy and always aim to meet their students where they are at.