Last Updated: April 9, 2021
At Yoga Alliance, we take our members' commitment and dedication seriously.
Recognizing the innate impact and responsibility we have in offering yoga teaching and training Standards—in addition to Credentials and Member Benefits—we know transparency and accountability is critical to nurturing the trust between us, our members, and the broader yoga community.
What We Do
The Accountability Department responsibilities include handling and resolving grievances, inquiries, and concerns from and about our members regarding potential violations of our Code of Conduct, Scope of Practice, and Standards. We strive to mediate situations toward resolutions that align with Yoga Alliance’s Ethical Commitment, Standards, and overarching mission to promote and foster high quality, safe, accessible, and equitable yoga teaching. Our Accountability Advisors also serve by providing best practices for the teaching and practice of yoga.
What to Expect From Our Grievance Process
Upon receipt of a grievance, an Accountability Advisor will review allegations and evidence to determine whether there are potential violations of our policies and Standards.
One of our advisors will then schedule a time to speak with and offer support to the individual(s) reporting the claim as well as gain clarity on their report. Additionally, as best practice for voluntary and member-based organizations, we hear all sides of each matter, including speaking with the respondent(s) prior to determining a course of action.
Please note: Yoga Alliance will not disclose your identity. However, your identity may be known by respondents or witnesses based on the specifics of your case.
There are many different levels of enforcement in how Yoga Alliance addresses grievances. These levels may include education, training, and warnings. We also reserve the right to suspend or revoke any member in violation of our policies and standards. The Accountability Department makes such decisions after a thorough investigation based on the formal grievance. Often, members decide to submit a claim but do not want any action taken therein. With all cases, we record internal notes on members' accounts and actively monitor these accounts ongoing.
File a Claim
We believe that everyone should be free to practice yoga safely and equitably and that accountability measures are essential to securing these rights. Although we encourage you to try to resolve any issues with a teacher or school directly, we welcome and review all inquiries, concerns and grievance reports.
Of note: In 2018, Yoga Alliance enhanced and added to our Sexual Misconduct Policy in partnership with the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN). This took place prior to the Standards Review Project, which underscores the need for strengthened grievance assistance and clarity.
How do I submit a grievance about a Yoga Alliance credentialed teacher or school? Show
Yoga Alliance’s Grievance Policy outlines the types of complaints that we are able to review, what to submit with a grievance, and the steps we take once we receive a complaint. Before submitting a grievance to Yoga Alliance, we encourage you to try to resolve the issue with the teacher or school directly. If you are unable to resolve it that way, you can submit a grievance to Yoga Alliance. Once submitted, an Accountability Advisor will review the information you provide and contact you about the status of your grievance or any next steps.
If I submit a grievance, is it anonymous? How do you protect my confidentiality/anonymity? Show
Information you provide to Yoga Alliance, including your identity, will remain confidential to the extent practical, balancing the need for confidentiality and the ability to conduct a meaningful investigation. However, the investigation may require disclosing information to an investigator, witnesses, and respondents. Please note that even where Yoga Alliance does not disclose your identity, your identity may be known by respondents and witnesses simply based on the allegations or facts of the case.
Similarly, any actions taken in response to the grievance and information regarding the investigation will remain confidential to the extent practical. Sexual Misconduct grievances are handled non-anonymously.
What are the possible outcomes of filing a grievance? Show
There are many different levels of enforcement in how Yoga Alliance addresses grievances. These levels may include education, training, and warnings. Yoga Alliance also reserves the right to suspend or revoke any member in violation of our policies and standards. Such decisions are made after a thorough investigation based on the formal grievance. Often, members decide to submit a grievance but do not want any action taken therein. Yoga Alliance reserves the right to open an internal investigation and may impose final sanctions on a member’s credentials and registration, including failure to uphold any Yoga Alliance policies. With all cases, we record internal notes on members' accounts.
How does Yoga Alliance handle financial disputes? Can you help me obtain a refund from a school or member? Show
Yoga Alliance recommends you consult with your school to discuss their refund policy. If there is a dispute regarding what has been communicated, please contact Yoga Alliance. Please note Yoga Alliance does not intervene in financial disputes outside the scope of our policies.
What are some examples of tangible evidence? What if I do not have any tangible evidence to support my claims? Show
When applicable, we require documentary evidence to support your grievance. Examples of documentary evidence include, but are not limited to, screenshots of text message conversations, printed or scanned copies of training manuals, handouts, website links, notes or advertisements, and pictures. After preliminary review of a grievance, the Accountability Department will determine if there is enough information to proceed with further investigation.
Will I be alerted of a decision made regarding my grievance? Show
If there is a final decision on your grievance, you will be alerted of that decision once the investigation concludes. Yoga Alliance does not share information about the investigation as it is in progress.
How does Yoga Alliance intervene when retaliation occurs as a result of filing a grievance? Does Yoga Alliance provide protection to persons who file grievances? Show
We highly encourage you to file a grievance if you experience harassment or retaliation, however, we are not a judicial or government enforcing body. We strongly encourage individuals concerned about potential retaliation to seek professional assistance from local law enforcement and government bodies.
How long does the grievance process take? Show
We strive to respond to initial reports within 5 business days of receipt. The length of the process varies depending upon the evidence gathered from all involved parties. If you have questions regarding the status of a grievance, please contact your Accountability Advisor directly.
Can I file a grievance on behalf of another member? Show
Yoga Alliance will conduct a preliminary review for non-sexual misconduct third-party grievances. In the interest of the safety and privacy of the individual, Yoga Alliance will not initiate an investigation based upon a third-party report of a Policy violation.
Reports of sexual misconduct must be initiated by the individual who has personally experienced misconduct defined in the policy as unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, whether physical or verbal in nature. If the individual is a minor at the time of the report, the minor’s parent or legal guardian (should one have been appointed), can report the misconduct on the minor’s behalf.
Does Yoga Alliance run background checks on current or new members? Show
No. We do not require background checks for membership. We do require all members to abide by our Ethical Commitment, including our Code of Conduct and Scope of Practice, designed to unify members around shared principles and to foster safe and respectful guidelines for the profession of yoga training. Yoga Alliance is a nonprofit 501(C)(6) membership professional and trade association.
Can I file a grievance against a former Yoga Alliance member? Against a non-member? Show
A grievance can be filed against a former and/or currently registered member regardless of whether the complainant is a member. All grievances are recorded in the account(s) of Registered Yoga Schools (RYS), Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT), and/or Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Providers (YACEP). Disciplinary action may vary based upon the respondent’s current status, and such action may range from education to revocation of Yoga Alliance credentials.
Can I submit a grievance if my complaint does not fit any of the listed standards or Code of Conduct? Show
Yes. You are welcome to submit a complaint or inquiry that you feel might not fit our listed policies. An Accountability Advisor will review your statement/question and determine if your claim/inquiry is covered by our policies.