As a Registered Yoga School (RYS) with Yoga Alliance U.S. we have the following policies in place:
- Payment & Refund Policy
- Attendance policy
- Code of Conduct
- Anti-Harassment policy
- Grievance policy
- Retaliation policy
It is the student’s responsibility to read them carefully and seek clarification if needed.
Payment & Refund Policy
Registration & Course Fees for teacher training courses
Once an application for a teacher training course is confirmed, the applicant will be invoiced a registration fee of $500 to be paid within 14 days. The deadline to pay Early Bird Course Fees is 8 weeks prior to the start date of training. Full Course Fees are due 4 weeks prior to training start.
Students can apply in writing for a payment plan. In case of a payment plan the exact dates for the instalments will be set, and full Course Fees will need to be settled after half of the course. In case of late or missing instalments, Yoga Education has the right to deny the student the continuation or access to this specific course and defer the paid fees to a later training course (see deferral policy).
Enrolments made less than 30 days prior to the start of the course will be considered at the discretion of Yoga Education department.
An applicant who is denied admission into the program is entitled to a full refund of all money paid by said applicant.
Homework late submission penalty
Please note that the home practice is an essential part of the training and that timely homework submissions are expected. Late homework submissions incur a penalty of $30 administration and marking fee per piece. An extension for homework submissions might be given, however the student needs to apply for the extension in writing at least 3 days before the submission is due.
Cancellation or withdrawal for teacher training courses
If a student wishes to cancel or withdraw from a teacher training course, the following refund policy applies:
- The NZ$500 registration fee is non-refundable.
- If cancelled before 30 days prior to the start of the course, the course, catering and accommodation fees will be refunded. The NZ$500 registration fee is non-refundable.
- If cancelled less than 30 days prior to the start of the course or during a training, no refund of the course fees will be given. If the student wishes to defer to another training, it can be applied for in writing.
- If accommodation is cancelled less than 30 days prior to the start of the course or during a course, a refund of 50% of the (remaining) accommodation costs will be given.
We reserve the right to cancel a course at any given time if enrolment numbers are not met. If a course is cancelled by Yoga Education department:
- A full refund of deposit, course, catering and accommodation fees will be issued.
- Option to defer will be granted.
- Kawai Purapura will not be liable for any money lost to bookings with other parties. If booking international flights, we advise purchasing of travel insurance to cover any loss of cancellation.
Deferral of a teacher training course
If a trainee wishes to defer their training to a later date the following conditions apply:
- All deferral requests must be made in writing to the Yoga Education department at Kawai Purapura.
- All deferral requests will be considered and granted at the discretion of the Yoga Education department and management and we reserve the right to refuse deferral.
- If a student defers the completion of the training to a later course, additional admin and study material costs may incur.
- Deferrals are subject to availability on each course.
- A maximum of 2 deferrals and re-registrations are granted.
- Course deferral must be made within 2 years of the initial booking.
- All fees being transferred onto another course are non-refundable.
Cancellation or withdrawal for events (workshops, retreats and short courses)
If a student wishes to cancel or withdraw from an event such as workshop, retreat or short course, the following refund policy applies:
- If cancelled before 30 days prior to the start of the event, all fees are being refunded.
- If cancelled less than 30 days prior to the start of the event or during the event, no refund of the course fees will be given.
- If accommodation is cancelled less than 30 days prior to the start of the event or during an event, a refund of 50% of the (remaining) accommodation costs will be given.
We reserve the right to cancel an event at any given time if enrolment numbers are not met. If an event is cancelled by Yoga Education department:
- A full refund of fees will be issued.
- Option to defer will be granted.
- Kawai Purapura will not be liable for any money lost to bookings with other parties. If booking international flights, we advise purchasing of travel insurance to cover any loss of cancellation.
Attendance Policy Yoga Teacher Training
The Yoga Alliance™ standards are mandatory for Kawai Purapura Registered Yoga School (RYS), and a curriculum must be completed in full for trainees to obtain the certification. However, life happens. Please read our Attendance Policy carefully.
Missing Training Hours
We require 100% attendance to graduate and receive a certificate of completion from our program. Class attendance will be taken throughout the training.
In the case of any emergency absences, please notify the program director immediately. If a student has planned absences that conflict with attendance in the program, please contact the program director well in advance via email to discuss options.
Each student is responsible for scheduling make-up time with the program director. Students must pay an additional cost for private make-up sessions with a teacher at an hourly rate of $100. This includes the Trainer’s rate, admin fees and venue hire.
Each student is expected to be at each session 5 minutes before the start time in order to set up and so that the training may start on time. If the student is late more than 15 minutes, this will result in a deduction of this session from their total contact training hours and needs to be made up for.
If a student wishes to withdrawal from our program for any reason, they must first contact the program director to discuss their reasons for withdrawal. A refund can is not given in this case but the option to defer to another training, according to our payment & refund policy.
Termination from Program
The program may decide to terminate any student’s participation in the program if:
(1) false information was used in the admission process that materially affects the program
(2) a student missed more than 10% of any subject category
(3) a student is absent for more than 2 consecutive days without contacting the program director
(4) the student fails to make timely payments of tuition
If the program director decides to end the student’s participation in the program, the student is not entitled to any prior payments or fees. All prior payments and fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.
Termination from Program: Bad Conduct
No refunds will be given if the program director removes a student from the program for bad conduct. Bad conduct is violation of the Code of Conduct, gossip, harassment, bullying, or any other behaviour that is inappropriate or disruptive to the welfare of the program or to fellow students.
Code of Conduct
We are committed to holding high ethical standards for our yoga teachers. We believe that it is the responsibility of a teacher to ensure a safe environment in which our students can grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. Students are looking for guidance from teachers with authenticity, experience, and wisdom. Our Code of Conduct was developed to protect our students in this potentially vulnerable relationship with their teachers and to uphold the highest professional standards.
Teachers will manage their business affairs according to recognized standard business and accounting practices. We discourage teachers from any kind of financial involvement with students. This includes loans, gifts and business relationships. If teachers have any questions about conducting their business affairs or potential financial involvement with students, they should contact the Yoga Education Manager for guidance.
Professional Growth & Continuing Education
Teachers shall maintain a regular yoga practice that includes asana, pranayama and meditation. Teachers shall commit to the continuous improvement of their professional knowledge and skills by participating continuing educational programs.
Teachers shall treat their students with respect and with regards to their individuality, dignity, and privacy. They are committed to acknowledging Spirit in all their students, fellow teachers and staff.
Teachers shall commit to promoting the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of their students. Teachers shall cause no harm to their students, shall commit to practicing ahimsa, and strive to alleviate the suffering of all beings.
Teachers shall create and maintain a safe, clean, comfortable, and positive environment for the practice of yoga.
The relationship between a yoga teacher and a student is based on trust. To establish and maintain that trust, the teacher must be polite, considerate, and honest with their students. Teachers should practice good communication with their students. Teachers should listen attentively to students, respect their point of view, beliefs and culture, and should not allow their beliefs and values to adversely influence their relationship with their students. Teachers should avoid imposing their beliefs on others, although they may express them when appropriate in the class.
Teachers shall uphold the highest of moral standards. Teachers shall strive to ensure that their intentions, actions, and speech are based on honesty, compassion, selflessness, trustworthiness, and transparency.
Teachers recognize that the process of learning is never complete and that they are walking on the spiritual path along with their fellow teachers and students. Teachers shall cultivate an attitude of humility and humanity in their teaching and dedicate their work to something greater than themselves.
Scope of Practice
Teachers shall represent their qualifications honestly and provide only the services they are qualified and certified to perform. Teachers shall not give medical advice. Teachers shall not recommend treatment, diagnose a condition, or suggest that a student disregard medical advice. Teachers shall refer their students to medical doctors or complimentary licensed professionals when appropriate.
Teachers shall not abandon or neglect their students. If teachers are unable (or unwilling for appropriate reasons) to provide professional help or continue a professional relationship, they should make every reasonable effort to arrange for instruction for that student with another teacher.
Teachers shall keep all personal information disclosed by their students confidential. A teacher who receives any private information from a student may not disclose such information unless it obtains consent of the student. However, a teacher may disclose private information about a student or client without obtaining consent in the following situations:
(a) to comply with the law or the order of a court
(b) to prevent bodily harm or danger to the student or client or to others
(c) where the information has already been disclosed to the public
All discussions among teachers concerning students shall be conducted in a secure environment.
Teachers are part of the well-being community and should strive to develop and maintain relationships within the community for the benefit of their students and their own professional development.
Teachers shall practice tolerance toward other teachers, schools, and traditions. Teachers shall not undermine a student’s trust in teachings they have received from other traditions, schools or teachers by criticizing such teachings without reasonable cause. Differences of opinion are to be expected, and they may be discussed in a sensitive and compassionate manner. When criticism must be made, it should be done with fairness, discretion and with a focus on the facts. Teachers shall work to build the unity of their community by embracing diversity, collaboration and commitment the benefit of all.
Advertising and Public Communications
Teachers shall provide students and colleagues with good quality and factual information about their professional qualifications, the services they provide and their teaching arrangements. Teachers shall put students first, preserve their trust and maintain the professionalism of the yoga community.
Kawai Purapura Yoga School will not make false, deceptive, or fraudulent statements or advertisements concerning:
- the training, experience, or competence of our teachers
- the academic degrees or credentials of our teachers
- their institutional or association affiliations
- their services, including classes, workshops, and teacher trainings
- the scientific or clinical basis for or results or degree of success of, their services
- their fees
- unusual or unique abilities of our teachers, including statements involving sensationalism or exaggeration
- an intent to exploit a student’s fears, anxieties or emotions, or to create unjustified claims of results.
Teachers will welcome, accept, and support all students regardless of religion, gender, sexual orientation, language, nationality, political, or cultural background.
Teachers will embrace yoga equity.
Teachers will emphasize the importance of learning, teaching, and practicing yoga honestly, which means promoting equity, reducing harm, honouring and leveraging cultural differences, and fostering diversity and inclusion in all areas of yoga while honouring the integrity of yoga’s cultural and historical roots.
Harassment is a legal term that means unwelcome verbal and non-verbal conduct directed against someone in a protected class.
Sexual harassment is a legal term that means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature in the workplace.
Sexual misconduct is a non-legal term used informally to describe a broad range of behaviours which may or may not involve harassment.
We do not permit managers, employees, teachers, independent contractors, students, or others in the workplace to harass any other person because of age, gender (including pregnancy), race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, genetic information, or any other basis proscribed by law.
Harassment is unwelcome verbal or non-verbal conduct, based upon a person’s protected characteristic, that (i) denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward the person because of the characteristic and which affects their employment opportunities or benefits; (ii) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with their work performance; (iii) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment; or (iv) has the purpose or effect of creating a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.
Harassment includes epithets, slurs, name calling, negative stereotyping, insults, intimidation, ridicule, threatening, intimidating or hostile acts, denigrating jokes, and display in the workplace of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group based on their protected characteristic. Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated minor incidents may not rise to the level of harassment.
We do not tolerate sexual harassment in Kawai Purapura Retreat Centre which our Yoga School is part of. Sexual harassment refers to any unwelcome sexual attention, sexual advances, requests for sexual favours and other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature when the conduct harms the person’s employment or 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, behaviour, 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.
While it is not possible to list all the circumstances that may constitute sexual misconduct, the following are examples of misconduct:
- Sexual advances whether they involve physical touching or not
- Sexual epithets, jokes, written or verbal references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one’s sex life, comments on an individual’s body, sexual activity, deficiencies, or prowess
- Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons
- Unwelcome leering, whistling, brushing against the body, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments
- Comments or conjecture about a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity
- Inquiries into one’s sexual activities
- Sexually oriented asana adjustments or touch
- Discussion of one’s sexual activities
Romantic Relationships Between Teachers and Students
Teachers shall avoid getting into personal or sexual relationships with students that may result in the impairment of their professional judgment or that may compromise the integrity of their teaching. If a relationship begins to develop, the teacher should bring it to school management.
Yoga teachers are committed to maintaining impeccable standards of professional integrity and to promoting the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of their students. Teachers recognize the inherent imbalance of power in the teacher-student relationship and recognize that romantic relationships with students have the potential of exploiting the trust of students, creating dependent relationships, and compromising the integrity of the teacher.
Teachers should avoid acting on, responding to, or allowing sexual contact or romantic attraction with a student even if the student initiates the relationship. Teachers should ensure that their relationships with students are always professional, and not open to misunderstanding or misinterpretation.
However, if a romantic attraction does begin to develop with a student, teachers should seek guidance from school management. The school management will then decide how it wishes to handle the relationship. For example, it may bless the relationship, but establish boundaries to prevent conflicts of interest and other problems. It may also decide that either the teacher or student should leave the school. 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.
A Grievance Policy gives teachers and students an easy and safe way to address troubling or sensitive issues and provides insight on how these issues will be handled.
Reporting of Policy Violations
We encourage anyone who has been the subject of sexual misconduct or of any other actions that violates our policies and Code of Conduct to report the incident to the Yoga Education manager and to the Director of Kawai Purapura Retreat Centre (henceforth referred to as the “reviewing body”).
The report should contain the following information:
- Your full name
- Your email and phone number
- The name of the person who the grievance is against
- A description of the alleged policy violation
- The date and location of the policy violation
- Names and contact information of any witnesses with first-hand knowledge of the situation
- Any other credible evidence that is available to support the grievance
In the interest of fairness, all reports must be made by the person who has personally experienced the misconduct. We will not investigate a matter based upon a third-party report of misconduct. All reports must be made in good faith based on information the person reporting the incident reasonably believes to be accurate. We may request additional information from the person reporting the incident throughout the course of review of the report.
We will take appropriate action to ensure compliance with our policies. The reviewing body will impose any sanctions that it feels are fair, just, and reasonable under all circumstances. We will not allow anyone to retaliate against any person for making a report in good faith or providing information in connection with an investigation into an alleged violation.
Any information provided during a grievance review will be treated on a confidential basis. This includes any information provided by victims or witnesses in their investigations and any documents, emails, or notes they may gather. This information is extremely sensitive. Its exposure could damage the reputations of the school, the teacher and the student, it could make the situation impossible to resolve fairly, and it could lead to legal liability. Similarly, any actions taken in response to the report will also be confidential.
Timeline for Reporting Violations and Complaints
If an individual wants to file a complaint about the possible unethical conduct of a teacher or other person, he or she shall file the complaint within thirty (30) days after learning of the facts which may establish a potential violation. Complaints filed more than thirty (30) days after the violation of the Code of Conduct occurred may be reviewed at the discretion of the reviewing body.
Dismissal or Acceptance of a Complaint
Upon the receipt of a complaint, the reviewing body will evaluate the complaint to determine if it should be dismissed or reviewed. The reviewing body may dismiss a complaint if it determines that any of the following is true:
- the complaint is clearly frivolous or insubstantial
- the information contained within the complaint is not credible
iii. the complaint is not within the scope of school policies
- the complaint has not been timely filed
- a policy violation would not exist even if the complaint were true
- no credible evidence could be provided which could support a finding that a policy violation has occurred
vii. the complaint is anonymous
viii. the alleged violation has been cured by a good faith effort of the parties involved in the complaint.
Within thirty (30) days after the receipt of a complaint, the reviewing body will either dismiss the complaint or accept the complaint for evaluation. After it has made its decision, the reviewing body will advise the person who filed the complaint as to whether it has dismissed or accepted the complaint. If the reviewing body elects to dismiss a complaint, it shall provide the person who submitted the complaint with its reasons for dismissing the complaint.
Due Process and Procedure
We recognize that our reviewing body has an obligation to give a person accused of misconduct a reasonable level of due process. Because the person may lose his or her job and their reputation may be tarnished, the decision-making process must be fair and objective. The reviewing body will gather all of the relevant facts surrounding the matter and make a fair and objective decision based on the facts. The reviewing body may need to interview the person who reported the situation, the person who perpetrated the misconduct, and any other people who have direct knowledge about the situation. The subject of the complaint will be given written notice of the complaint. The notice shall include information sufficient enough to provide the subject with a fair opportunity to respond to the complaint.
The subject of the complaint will have thirty (30) days from receipt of notice to submit a written response to the complaint. The reviewing body may extend the response period for additional periods upon request.
The reviewing body may consider the matters alleged in the complaint, the written responses of the subject of the complaint, and other interested parties, other relevant facts, and ethical and legal principles. The reviewing body may question the parties (and, in its discretion, third parties) and obtain such other information as it shall determine is necessary, relevant and proper. The reviewing body may conduct its own investigation into the complaint in its discretion.
If the subject of the complaint fails to respond to the notice within the thirty (30) day period, it will constitute sufficient grounds for the reviewing body to act on the evidence in hand and impose appropriate sanctions. The reviewing body may extend the response period for additional periods upon request.
Determination of Violation
After its evaluation of all information relating to the complaint, the reviewing body will determine whether a violation of school policy has occurred. If the reviewing body determines that a violation of school policy has occurred, it may impose sanctions. The reviewing body will give the subject of the complaint written notice as to its decision on the complaint and the imposition of sanctions, if any.
All cases of abuse and misconduct, from inappropriate commentary to physical assault, will be judged objectively and the reviewing body will fashion a sanction that fairly and equitably addresses the situation, and giving due considerations, to all the facts. In many cases, it may be hard to uncover all of the facts, there may be conflicting facts, there may be conflicts of interest, and there may be circumstances and facts that weigh on both sides of the scales of justice.
However, the reviewing body will use sound and careful judgment in deciding what type of sanctions to impose. There are four options:
- Do Nothing. The facts do not show that the person committed the policy violation.
- A Warning. The facts show that the person’s actions were minor and that a warning is a fair sanction. The warning could be coupled with counselling.
- Time Out. The facts show that the person’s actions were serious and warrant suspending the person from the faculty for a decided amount of time. However, the actions were not so serious that they support termination of employment. After the “Time Out” period expires, the person can approach the reviewing body to ask to re-commence their teaching activities. The reviewing body then will determine as to whether the person has resolved their issues and that it is appropriate for them to return. The reviewing body should consider whether there has been a sincere apology and contrition, appropriate reparation to the injured parties, rehabilitation and heart-felt change before the person may return. This decision will entirely at the discretion of the reviewing body.
- Dismissal. The facts show that the person’s actions were so serious that they warrant dismissing the person from the faculty. The person is dismissed, and their employment or independent contractor agreement is terminated.
We will not retaliate against any person for having reported or threatened to report violations of our Code of Conduct or polices, or for participating in an investigation into any of the foregoing. Anyone who retaliates against a person will be subjected to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
We encourage any person-including employees, non-employees, and students-who believe they have been subject to retaliation to inform a supervisor or manager.