Anti Harassment Policy
We do not tolerate sexual harassment at The Body-Mind-Soul Centre. Sexual harassment refers to any unwelcome sexual attention, sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
(a) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment;
(b) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual;
(c) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance; or
(d) such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
Examples of sexual harassment include unwanted and unnecessary physical contact; offensive remarks (including unwelcome comments about appearance); obscene jokes or other inappropriate use of sexually offensive language; the display in the studio of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; and unwelcome sexual advances by teachers, students, customers, clients, or other visitors to a studio. Non-physical gesture, behavior, unnecessary physical contact, verbal suggestion, or innuendo may constitute sexual harassment.
Teachers recognize the unique power and imbalance of the student-teacher relationship. While acknowledging the complexity of yoga relationships, teachers shall not exploit the trust and dependency of students.
Teachers shall avoid any dual relationships with students (e.g., business, personal, or sexual relationships) that could impair their professional judgment, compromise the integrity of their instruction, and/or use the relationship for their own gain.
Teachers understand that a yoga studio is a place of deep spiritual work and transformation. Teachers shall not make comments, gestures, or physical contact of a sexual nature with their students, even if the student invites such conduct. Sexual misconduct will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
- Unwanted sexual teasing, stories, jokes, remarks, or questions
- Sexual comments, stories or innuendo
- Turning work discussions to sexual topics
- Asking about sexual fantasies, preferences, or history
- Asking personal questions about social or sexual life
- Sexual comments about a person’s clothing, anatomy, or looks
- Telling lies or spreading rumors about a person’s personal sex life.
- Referring to an individual as a doll, babe, sweetheart, honey, or similar term
- Repeatedly asking a person out on dates who is not interested
- Unwanted letters, telephone calls, or sending materials of a sexual nature
- Stalking on social media
- Unwanted pressure for sexual favors
- Blocking a person’s path or following
- Giving unwelcome personal gifts
- Displaying sexually suggestive materials
- Making sexual gestures with hands or through body movements
- Unwanted sexual looks or gestures
- Hugging, kissing, patting, or stroking
- Touching or rubbing oneself sexually around another person
- Unwanted deliberate touching, leaning over, cornering, or pinching
- Giving an un-wanted massage
- Sexually oriented asana adjustments or touch
- Promising enlightenment or special teachings or status in exchange for sexual favors
- Actual or attempted rape or sexual assault
Romantic Relationships Between Teachers and Students
Teachers shall not invite, respond to, or allow any sexual or romantic conduct with a student during the period of the teacher-student relationship.
Sexual or romantic interactions that occur during the teacher-student relationship constitute sexual misconduct and are unethical. Sexual or romantic interactions detract from the goals of the teaching relationship, may exploit the vulnerability of the student, may obscure the teacher’s judgment concerning the student, may be detrimental to the student’s well-being and damage the reputation of the yoga community.
Yoga teachers must maintain professional boundaries in their relationships with students so that the best interests of the students are served. The interest of the teacher is not relevant: the art of teaching yoga is focused on serving the spiritual needs of the student. The teacher-student relationship involves an imbalance of power and any appearance that this imbalance has been exploited for the sexual purposes of the teacher is unethical. Even if the relationship is initiated by the student, it must still be avoided by the teacher.
If a teacher is becoming romantically involved with a student, the teacher should end the teaching relationship. The teacher must ensure that any behavior in dealing with students is always professional and not open to misunderstanding or misinterpretation. If a relationship begins to develop, the teacher should seek the guidance of school management.
If a teacher has a pre-existing relationship with a student that did not arise from the teacher-student relationship, it should be brought to the attention of the school’s management so that it can guide the couple in maintaining high ethical standards.