Optimal State’s Student Code of Conduct Foundations of the Code of Conduct Introduction: Optimal State is committed to helping trainees get the most out of their educational investment in the 865 Yoga Therapy Training. Trainees have the right to access a high quality education and study opportunity. And they have the right to access it in a clean, safe and respectful environment free from harassment.

Optimal State employees, faculty and students are also responsible for co-creating the educational environment. It is everyone’s responsibility to be respectful of the environment, faculty and staff and each other both in and out of the classroom. Professional standards of behavior apply to all parties involved. Program Director, employees, faculty, mentors, and trainees are responsible for adhering to Optimal State’s Code of Conduct.

If any faculty member or trainee refuses to follow the Code of Conduct and taking responsibility for his or her actions, they will be informed that following the Code of Conduct is the foundation of trust for the entire program and all involved. The yamas and niyamas are foundational for all of the other limbs of Yoga. The Code of Conduct is the foundation of our educational environment. Without being aware of common good, we cannot function as a group.

The Principles of the Optimal State Code of Conduct: We strive to protect the yoga therapy client, as well as the yoga therapy student in training in potentially vulnerable relationships. We understand that there is an inherent power differential. We work daily to uphold the highest professional standards as Yoga Therapists and for our clients. We accept the following foundation principles:

1.To avoid discriminating against or refusing professional help to anyone on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious, or national origin.

2.To stay abreast of new developments in the field of yoga through educational activity and study.

3.To maintain a regular, daily yoga practice which is directed by a reliable outside reference.

4.To manage our personal lives in a healthy fashion and to seek appropriate assistance for our own personal problems or conflicts.

5.To seek out and engage in collegial relationships, recognizing that isolation can lead to a loss of perspective and judgment.

6.To provide rehabilitative instruction only for those problems or issues that are within the reasonable boundaries of our competence.

7.To establish and maintain appropriate professional relationship boundaries.

8.To cultivate an attitude of humanity in our teaching, we dedicate our work to something greater than ourselves.

Optimal State Values: The Optimal State 865 Yoga Therapy School values authentic interactions, honest relationships, communication practiced with satyam (truth with kindness) towards one another and a genuine desire to grow and transform together. We attempt to use non-violent communication and meet the needs of all parties involved, even when finding common strategies to meet all of the needs is difficult.

We have intentionally chosen a group of faculty members who have all known each other for many years, have all studied together in the T. Krishnamcharya Tradition, and who all understand the importance of long-term relationships and spiritual sangha (community). It is from this foundation of solid and emotionally stable faculty that we set the tone for the trainings and our students. Every single person on the faculty, including the Program Director is advised to have an outside reference point for gaining perspective on her thoughts, words and actions. In addition, the faculty will do this for one another.

Optimal State recognizes the sensitive nature of the faculty-student and the Yoga Therapist-client relationship, especially the hierarchical power structure that gives inherent advantages to former. Consequently, we believe that it is the responsibility of the faculty of the school and eventually the Yoga Therapist to ensure a safe and protected environment in which a student or client can grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. This value of Optimal State applies to the yoga therapist and their client. But, this value also includes the power differential between the 865 Yoga Therapy Faculty and mentors in the training, and their yoga therapy trainees.

Further Note:

Optimal State is working on two primary objectives recently.  These will take time to implement.  But they are important to create lasting and systemic change in our organization and society.

  1.  A Code of Conduct Review Board.
  2.  Improving Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in our organization at all levels