The Code of Excellence
We recognize that as Kundalini Yoga Teachers we are committed to living in our higher consciousness. We conduct our lives in a spirit of integrity. In The Teachers Oath, The Definition of a Yogi, and The 16 Facets of Perfection of a Kundalini Yoga Teacher, Yogi Bhajan gives us guidelines for this journey of consciousness, the daily practice of which will support us as Kundalini Yoga Teachers.
The Teachers Oath
“I am not a woman.” (Mercury finger down)
“I am not a man.” (Sun finger down)
“I am not a person.” (Saturn finger down)
“I am not myself.” (Jupiter finger down)
“I am a teacher.” (Thumb stays up)
The Definition of a Yogi
The Yogi is not affected by the opposite polarities of life— neither by praise nor by slander, neither by riches nor by poverty, neither by health nor by illness, neither by life nor by death. The Will of God is the will of the Yogi. He or she surrenders his or her personal will to the Will of God.
When Kundalini, the primal force of the Prana (life energy), penetrates and prevails throughout the chakras, the Yogi remains stable to the odds of Karma and walks the even path of Dharma.
The Raj Yogi is a sage and a king in the face of all temptations, situations, events, and environments.
Those who meditate on Guru Ram Das are blessed through miracles to be royal sages throughout the ages.
~Yogi Bhajan, September 1995
Sola Kalyan Sumpuran Yogi Bhajan, September 1995
- A Teacher will never alter the teachings because of personal opinion. You will teach by example.
- The higher you grow as a Teacher, the more humble you have to be.
- The Teacher always serves the students, so they can become ten times stronger than you, because every student is a Teacher for tomorrow.
- A Teacher has to be extremely kind, caring, compassionate, and forgiving.
- As a Teacher you should always poke, provoke, confront, and elevate your students to excellence.
- As a Teacher you have to continuously imagine, visualize, believe, expand in all directions, connect to everything, meditate, practice, and project that you are Ang Sang Wahe Guru (“With every limb, every part of me, I belong to the Divine.”), and that the energy of Guru Ram Das is flowing through you.
- As a Teacher you will always be in Chardi Kala (elevated spirits) and connected to your higher self, never caught in emotional turmoil. Count your blessings, not your curses. Always be graceful. Glow and grow.
- As a Teacher you will continuously graduate towards the Divinity and Infinity that is the essence of your existence. You are not a human born for a spiritual search, you are a spirit, an Atma (soul), born for an experience as a human. Your purity and piety as an Atma is always maintained, protected, exalted, projected, as a priority over everything and kept in sight mentally, physically, and spiritually.
- As a Teacher listen to, and obey all righteous teachings. If you read something, you will know it; if you write something, you will understand it; if you teach something, you will perfect it. It is perfection of your deliverance that gives you grace as a Teacher. Your success as a Teacher lies not in what you know, but in what your student receives. A Teacher is measured by the growth, dignity, and excellence of the student. If you find any talent, nurture it, teach it, exalt it to the best of your ability and divinity.
- As a Teacher do not relate to ego or politics. Always relate to the spirit, soul, and essence of a person. Always relate to the intelligence, talent, and consciousness of a person. Always relate to the manners, methods, and mentality of a person. Pure thoughts are the way to universal knowledge and will make you bountiful, blissful, and beautiful.
- God and Guru have blessed you with Karma (law of cause and effect). As a Teacher you must offer yourself in Dharma (lifestyle of righteousness) to honor the gift of God of life. Never create a drift or rift between you and your Atma.
- A Teacher wears white cotton clothing while teaching. White clothing makes you as a Teacher look divine and represent light. The color white represents the seven colors. Cotton is the flower of the Earth. It is good for your psyche, your energy, and your nervous system. Your way of dressing should be saintly and make you glow with grace. You should look like a sage and a prince or princess of peace and divinity. A Teacher is a Ph.D.—Prince or Princess of High Divinity.
- Just as a seed must transform and mature in order to bear fruit, Teachers who do not become perfect students do not become perfect Masters.
- The Universal Spirit that rotates the Earth can take care of all your problems. As a Teacher you have to learn trust and faith. Regard every breath of life as a gift. Strive for conscious breathing, breathing one breath a minute.
- The banner of a Teacher is: “In God I dwell.” The standard of arms of a Teacher is: “God within me I trust.” The honor of a Teacher is: “In the Name of God I serve.” The motto of a Teacher is: “Peace of mind and peace within the material world.”
- A Teacher needs to commit to Nam, the God-given identity. Without Nam, you cannot have the purity of self and the divine projected grace to master all the elements. Without commitment there is no character. Without character there is no dignity. Without dignity there is no divinity. Without divinity there is no grace. Without grace you cannot sacrifice or serve others. Your compassion and presence will not work, and you cannot be happy. Remember once and for all, happiness is your birthright, and it is always right to be happy. So be happy, be healthy, and be holy. We are all holy, because we all have nine holes. Adding two arms and two legs makes thirteen. You are born with thirteen, you will live with thirteen, you will die with thirteen. Thirteen (three and one) makes four—Cup of Prayer. Prayer is your power, your protector, and your provider. Sat Nam
THE CODE OF ETHICS & Professional Standards of Kundalini Yoga Teacher-Student Relationship
- It is the responsibility of the Teacher to maintain a conscious and professional relationship with students and with other Teachers. A Teacher recognizes that the teacher-student relationship involves a power imbalance. This is true even with a student who is no longer studying with the Teacher.
- A Teacher recognizes the implicit trust placed in him or her because of the unique power of the teacher-student relationship. A Teacher consciously avoids any relationship with a student that is exploitative in any way, i.e., he or she never uses such a relationship for personal gain or benefit
- All forms of sexual involvement with students are unethical, even when a student invites or consents to such behavior. Sexual behavior includes, but is not limited to, all forms of overt and covert seductive speech, gestures, and actions.
- All forms of financial involvement with students are discouraged and may be subject to a disciplinary review. Financial involvement includes but is not limited to loans, gifts and business relationships. Payment for teaching services is acceptable. If you have any question about financial involvement, contact the Office of Ethics and Professional Standards and Conscious Conflict Resolutions (EPS).
- The above points shall be in effect as long as the Teacher is in a teacher-student relationship and for not less than 6 months after the student has ceased taking any classes or trainings from the Teacher.
- A Teacher never engages in harassment, abusive words or actions, or coercion of students or former students.
- A Teacher shows sensitive regard for the moral, social, and religious standards of students, and avoids imposing his or her personal beliefs on others.
- A Teacher will not advise a student to go against the advice of his or her health care provider.
- A Teacher realizes that he or she is a vehicle for these Teachings, never their source. A Kundalini Yoga Teacher does not initiate anyone as a disciple.
- A Teacher strives to build the student's connection to the teachings and to his or her own soul, rather than to any personality.
- If a Teacher is unable to continue the teacher-student relationship, the Teacher will, upon the request of the student, connect the student to other appropriate Teacher resources in the 3HO Global Community.
- A Teacher treats all communication with students with respectful and appropriate confidentiality.
- A Teacher teaches kriyas (which includes postures, mantras, meditations or sets) as they were taught by Yogi Bhajan, with the exception of reducing the timing of postures, or providing variations of postures when necessary to accommodate physical limitations of students.
- A Teacher does not create kriyas (postures, mantras, meditations or sets. A Teacher does not combine teachings or practices from other paths into a Kundalini Yoga kriya as taught by Yogi Bhajan.
- A Teacher acknowledges that they are part of the Golden Chain by beginning every class with the Adi Mantra, chanting “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo” at least 3 times. Every class ends with the “Long Time Sun” song.
- A Teacher is responsible to maintain the integrity and sacredness of the Kundalini Yoga Teachings. A Teacher does not exaggerate or misrepresent the benefits of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®.
- A Teacher does not exaggerate or misrepresent of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®
- In a Kundalini Yoga class, a Teacher wears appropriate, modest, clean white clothing. A head covering is strongly recommended.
- A Teacher upholds the yogic law “If you come empty handed, you will leave empty handed” by encouraging students to make an offering.
- These guidelines are designed to uphold the quality of the Teachings and to be in compliance with all legal guidelines for appropriate representation of our services.
- A Teacher accurately represents his or her professional qualifications and certifications along with his or her affiliations and/or sponsorships from any organization(s).
- Announcements and brochures promoting classes or courses based on the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan shall describe them and picture them with accuracy and grace.
- A Teacher will represent himself or herself, 3HO, IKYTA, KRI, and Yogi Bhajan truthfully and accurately in all public communications. Promotional communications will follow guidelines set by 3HO, IKYTA or KRI that correctly reflect these organizations’ missions.
- A Teacher supports the service of other Teachers through conscious communication that avoids negativity or wrongful attributions regarding the efforts of other Teachers.
- A Teacher speaks and acts respectfully to other Kundalini Yoga Teachers, as well as Teachers of other yoga traditions (and health modalities).
- A Teacher does not knowingly solicit another Teacher’s students.
- A Teacher builds the unity of the 3HO Global Community by embracing diversity, willingness to collaborate and a commitment to act for the benefit of all.
- A Teacher acts as an integral contributing member of all International (and national, where appropriate) teaching organizations: 3HO, IKYTA, KRI. He or she acts as a representative of the professional and ethical policies of these organizations.
- A Teacher cultivates the ethical integrity of our culture as Teachers by seeking assistance for a Teacher involved in what appears to be a breach of these standards through EPS.
- At all times a Teacher’s behavior represents the purity and integrity that Yogi Bhajan taught.
- At all times a Teacher shall acknowledge the lineage of the Golden Chain and the Teachings with respect and reverence.
- Any Teacher found liable or guilty in a civil or criminal court in which findings of fact or a judgement have been entered for moral turpitude, felony or fraud is subject to discipline by EPS.
- Any Teacher whose actions are against the interests of 3HO, IKYTA, KRI, Yogi Bhajan or the entities which support their services, and which involve breach of fiduciary (acting for or holding in trust) responsibility or financial misconduct is subject to discipline by EPS.
- A Teacher commits to and maintains a regular, daily spiritual practice that includes Kundalini Yoga and meditation as taught by Yogi Bhajan®.
- A Teacher commits to the continuous improvement of his or her professional knowledge and skills. He or she fulfills all training requirements developed and presented by 3HO IKYTA, EPS, and the KRI Aquarian Trainer Academy (and National Associations, where appropriate.)
- A Teacher abstains from the use of, or dependency on, alcohol, tobacco, or drugs (except for medical purposes.) A Teacher does not permit the use of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs at any Kundalini Yoga course, class, or event.
- In the yogic tradition, a Teacher eats a vegetarian diet. A Teacher insures that a vegetarian diet is served at any Kundalini Yoga course, class or event.
- A Teacher conducts his/her Yoga teaching services in accordance with recognized business and accounting procedures.
- A Teacher must comply with all agreements, contracts, licenses with KRI.
The purpose of this Code is to help Teachers serve in their purest consciousness and to protect our students, communities and organizations. If a Teacher is in breach of this Code he or she may be subject to review by EPS. Substantial violations of this Code (including changing the teachings, actions that may be harmful to students, or substance use or abuse) can result in discipline, including being prohibited from representing 3HO, IKYTA, KRI and Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®, in any capacity as a Kundalini Yoga Teacher, termination as a KRI Teacher Trainer and Termination of IKYTA Membership (Good Standing.) A teacher is responsible for compliance with the most current Code found at www.epsweb.org and www.ikyta.org.