Statement of Ethics
Underpinning the Shanti Y&W
Code of Professional Conduct
This Statement of Ethics underpins the Shanti Y&W Code of Professional Conduct which contains more specific guidance.
Yoga is a system of self-investigation, self-transformation and self-realisation. Its practices and lifestyle aim to integrate the body, mind, heart and spirit and awaken students to their innate wholeness. The role of the yoga teacher is to guide and support students in their practice of yoga. Yoga teachers aim to nurture the physical, emotional, psychological, social and spiritual well-being of students.
Sanskrit & Yoga
Sanskrit is the classical Indian language still used in yoga to define poses and practices.
Sanskrit is an ancient language originating from India. In yoga, Sanskrit plays a significant role. All the ancient yogic texts are written in Sanskrit. As a result, poses and mantras and traditional yoga terminology are also in Sanskrit.
Sanskrit is regarded as the ancient language in Hinduism, where it was used as a means of communication and dialogue by the Hindu Celestial Gods, and then by the Indo-Aryans. Sanskrit is also widely used in Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism.
Shanti in Sanskrit is the activation of Peace:
Shanti Mantras are prayers for Peace. They are often recited at the beginning and at the end of religious ceremonies or rituals in Hinduism. Shanti Mantras are often found in the Upanishads, where they are recited to calm the mind of the reciter and the environment around them. They often end with reciting the word “Shanti” three times.
The word Shanti is recited three times at the end (and sometimes the beginning) of Yoga classes for removing obstacles and calming the three reals:
Prayer-hands to third eye for peace in our mind – Shanti
Prayer-hands to lips for peace in our speech – Shanti
Prayer-hands to heart for peace in our body and soul – Shanti
This Statement of Ethics guides our work of supporting students’ yoga practice. It is based on the traditional yogic ethical principles, the yamas and niyamas, as outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. This Statement of Ethics reflects the timeless, living principle that our essential nature is awake, aware, compassionate and peaceful.
Ahimsa – Nonviolence and Compassion:
As yoga teachers, we seek to do no harm to others and to act with care and compassion.
Satya – Truthfulness:
As yoga teachers, we act truthfully at all times.
Asteya – Not stealing:
As yoga teachers we only take what is rightfully ours.
Brahmacharya – Self-Restraint in the path to wholeness:
We recognise that the teacher-student relationship exists to serve the deepest goals of yoga. Thus we practise self-restraint and direct our energy and actions toward these deep aims of yoga.
Aparigraha – Non-clinging:
As yoga teachers, we practise the principle of non-attachment and generosity and we welcome change, acknowledging the natural abundance of life.
Sauca – Purity/Cleanliness:
As yoga teachers, we cultivate purity of body, mind and environment. This includes fostering clarity of intention, ongoing self-care and a clean environment for yoga practice.
Santosha – Contentment/Happiness:
As yoga teachers, we practice an active acceptance of the present thus developing deep happiness.
Tapas – Discipline:
As yoga teachers, we are dedicated to a disciplined and committed yogic lifestyle.
Swadhyaya – Self-Study:
As yoga teachers, we are committed to ongoing self-reflection and continued learning.
Ishvarapranidhana – Relationship with Wholeness:
Our aim as a yoga teacher is to serve the deepest goals of yoga. We honour and encourage an ongoing relationship with innate wholeness and oneness with all life.