Yoga studio policies are created to prevent harassment. Like any workplace, yoga studios must always have policies in place for dealing with harassment problems of a sexual, verbal, or physical nature. These policies should be made available to every yoga teacher and student that participates in classes at the studio. Having these policies already written out and readily available will ensure that appropriate action is taken swiftly if a harassment issue does occur between teachers or students at the yoga studio. If a problem does arise during yoga practice, the policies in place will ensure they can be handled efficiently, quickly, and legally. Every yoga studio should have some concrete policies in place to avoid confusion and disorder when dealing with harassment situations.
Dress Code and Appropriate Attire
Since yoga is performed in fitness clothing and form-fitting attire, a dress code should be in place so that outfits are always appropriate for the classroom. This consideration is especially important for yoga studios that offer hot yoga classes. In these classes, light clothing that shows exposed skin is a must. This will keep students cool and comfortable. However, even in this situation, it is important to have an appropriate dress code. Clothing should not be too revealing, and it should be appropriate for the age group of the class. Make sure to be specific in the dress code. If your yoga studio policies don’t allow bra tops or speedos, make this known before your students come to class. All new students should be provided with a written dress code so they can be ready for their first class. Be prepared to enforce the dress code at all times, even if that means asking a student to return home to change. Do not waiver from your dress code or exempt certain students – this will only cause confusion and resentment.
Yoga studio policies may change due to a variety of circumstances. In yoga practice, students may want to receive a physically adjustment in order to feel correct body alignment in a pose. However, before ever touching a student, we must ask if they are comfortable with it. Some students will not want to be touched. As an instructor, you need to respect the wishes of the student and find other ways to correct them, if they do not wish to be touched at any time. Verbal corrections and instructor demonstrations can be alternatives to physical adjustments made in the classroom. It is also important to make sure students do not try to physically correct each other in the class, even if they are experienced yoga practitioners. As the teacher of the class, you are the only one with the authority to perform physical corrections during the session. Allowing students to correct each other may lead to injuries, harassment complaints, and other legal issues.
A Quiet Environment
The yoga studio should be a place to focus solely on the practice. By ensuring the space remains quiet and contemplative, you can reduce harassment complaints. Make sure students know that they should not bring loud or disruptive devices into the studio. This means no cell phones, tablets, or devices that ring, ding, beep and so on. To ensure your students remember this rule, post signs outside the yoga studio for them to see upon entrance. If a student is being disruptive, use gentle reminders to ensure the studio stays a comforting and meditative space.
Even with the best preventative measures, harassment can occur anywhere. Having yoga studio policies in place from the get go will ensure that any problems can be resolved as quickly as possible, without damage or trauma caused to the student, teacher, or studio. Whether you are a brand new teacher or an established instructor, take the time to set up and review your harassment policies on a regular basis in order to ensure you are prepared for every potential issue.
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5 thoughts on “Yoga Studio Policies for Preventing Harassment”
Instead of having rigid policies to curb anticipatory harassment during Yoga classes, there should be general guidelines to be observed by the participants and yoga teachers. After all we are dealing with the union of body, mind and soul through yoga practice. If we refer to rule book every now an then for simple acts of body alignment, the very purpose of Yoga will be defeated.
It is my observation of several years as a yoga trainer that as soon we chant OUM three times in the yoga class, complete silence prevails and our body prepares for yoga lessons to be imparted and when we end our class with ‘oum shanti, shanti shantihi’; the participants get over from self imposed discipline.
If a problem does arise during yoga practice, the policies in place will ensure they can be handled efficiently, quickly, and legally. So its a very important issue. Thanks for this good article.
It is through strict implementation of policies that harassment may be avoided. Such act should not be tolerated because it contradicts the real purpose of yoga practice.
Most teachers would prefer simple guidelines, but there is always someone searching for a new way to bend or twist the guidelines, which create loopholes. This happens daily in Yoga classes, on the Internet, and in society.
To make sure the safety a yoga studio should have a policy. If a student is being disruptive, use gentle reminders to ensure the studio stays a comforting and meditative space. Nice sharing!