Yoga Federation of Europe

Yoga Standards

 

In majority of the European countries, activities in the field of yoga are arranged by the legal regulations of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Sports and national branch federations, in accordance with recommendations and international yoga standards.

At the Session of the YFE held on 10 September, 2013, there has been made Decision on Adopting the European Standards that arrange the field of yoga.

The standards established by the Yoga Federation of Europe ensure recommendations for all its members and they refer to:

Standards for professions in the field of yoga

Standards for professions in the field of yoga activities are based on knowledge, professionalism and certain skills needed for work in the field of yoga.
Standards ensure safety that professionals in the field of yoga are in charge and qualified for conducting yoga activities.

Standards are divided and they refer to each category of activities.

PROFESSIONS OF THE EXPERTS IN THE FIELD OF YOGA
1. Yoga Teacher
2. Yoga Teacher – specialist
3. Yoga Therapist – energotherapist
4. Yoga Psychotherapist
5. Yoga Couch – Personal Counselor (teacher – Yoga Master)
6. Associate in yoga education – assistant
7. Professor of Yoga

General standards for every profession in yoga are referred to the health, professional and psychological readiness, comparing to the work of practitioners, relation with colleagues and environment.

READINESS TO CONDUCT WORK FOR PROFESSIONS IN THE FIELD OF YOGA

Health readiness (general psycho-physical health)

The experts in the field of yoga are expected to have certain general psycho-physical health that has to be documented by the report of the doctor from the certain national institution in charge. It is important that candidates for professions in the field of yoga don’t have health issues nor that they have been cured from psychosis.

Qualifications

In order to conduct work in the field of yoga professions, besides the existing education, the practitioners must be educated in the certain level of professional education in the field of yoga which includes getting acquainted with the theory, science, profession itself and practice of yoga. Professional work in the field of yoga is controlled by the referent branch yoga federation that conducts the register of issued licenses (permissions for work) in accordance with the accepted national legal regulations. There has been identified he need to develop formal high educational institution, besides the existing programs of education (professional educations) in order to achieve the title for every yoga profession.

Psychological readiness

In order to conduct work in the field of yoga profession, it is necessary to have certain personality characteristics, skills and psycho-physiological abilities.

Conducting the work in the yoga professions includes certain: psycho-physical readiness, elasticity, usage of hands, legs and movements of the whole body; readiness to establish and maintain supportive interpersonal relations; readiness to identify developmental needs of the yoga practitioners, with the goal to achieve the best quality of the mentorship; readiness to help, give professional knowledge, support and encouragement, readiness to establish appropriate communication and achieve organizational abilities: to manage training, coordinate and supervise development of the yoga practitioners.

Physical readiness

Conducting the work in the field of yoga professions requires certain physical readiness: Physical coordination – ability to coordinate movement of hands, legs and torso while steady and during the movement.
Physical flexibility – ability to bend, stretch, torsion
Strength – ability to activate certain muscles by one’s own will, along with readiness for certain muscles durability and immunity towards the muscles tiredness.

STANDARDS AS THE FRAME OF BEHAVIOR FOR PROFESSIONS IN THE FIELD OF YOGA

It is important to emphasize standards that show the relation with yoga practitioners, out of which the following should be emphasized:
– related to the health prevention
– related to the professional readiness
– related to the support and encouragement of the yoga practitioner

Standards that refer to the health prevention

These recommendations are aimed towards forming the readiness to ensure health and safety of yoga practitioners by the health and safety control. The practitioner fills the application form in which he/she confirms that he/she will do a proper medical examination before he/she starts to practice and provide professional opinion (approval) to start the yoga practice. The yoga teacher conducts the record about the health state of the practitioners, in accordance with the national legal regulations. The yoga teacher collects information from the user through the questionnaire with the special emphasize on the healthcare provider recommendations.

Standards that refer to ensuring the safety

There should be established readiness to promote and ensure safety and health while conducting yoga practice (by giving the detailed information about the appropriate yoga techniques conduction).
Readiness to ensure availability and to give the first aid to the practitioners
Endurance in following relevant health and safety requests and procedures
Readiness to apply knowledge of the following of safe volume of movement, safe application of force that influences the body during the yoga practice while respecting the principal: all techniques should be practiced in the limits of pleasure.
Readiness to give important information about the influence of unhealthy behavior, unhealthy style of living on the general psycho-physical health and development of practitioner
Readiness to give appropriate information in relation to the connection of the appropriate nutrition and life style

Standards that refer to the professional readiness of the expert in the field of yoga

Readiness to support development of professionalism in yoga practice by developing personal career
Readiness to work in the frame of professional limitations and obtain relations with the other professionals, when needed
Readiness to ensure privacy and safety of confidential information obtained in communication with the client (legal and ethical correctness)

Standards that refer to the space for conducting yoga activities

Yoga organisation conducts the activities if it has: appropriate closed space for conducting the yoga practice or opened space (green surfaces) aimed for yoga practice.
Closed – covered space – the object must have appropriate installations and appropriate technical equipment, as well as appropriate sanitary-hygienic conditions.

The space where yoga is conducted must have installations and technical devices: openings that provide the appropriate level of ventilation, fire protection devices; connections for electricity, water supply, sewage and heating installations that ensure to maintain the temperature in the space for exercise (temperature must not be lower than 20-22 Celsius degrees)

Yoga cannot be practiced in spaces which have less than 15 square meters, the surface should not be slippery, it must be plain, clean and should not be cold.
There must be at least: accessories and means for providing first aid, wardrobe with enough spare to provide the ability to store clothing; basins (one to 15 users); bathroom with one shower; toilet (one to 15 users).
If there is no separate changing area, there must be at least one cover in the space, bearing in mind that yoga participants generally come to yoga training in the necessary equipment.

Regarding equipment, yoga organizations should have an adequate number of floor mats for exercise

Providing security for users

In order to ensure the safety of participants and other persons, yoga centers are obliged to undertake measures that neutralize risks and possible damages that may arise in the space, in accordance with the recommendations of the national laws.

Standards that refer to support, encouragement and strengthening the yoga practitioners

Readiness to give long term respect and support to the developmental change of behavior by following the yoga practitioners and implementation of the motivational techniques
Readiness to choose the appropriate style of leadership and adjust the yoga program in accordance with the present abilities of the practitioner
Readiness of the professional in the field of yoga to establish the relation of acceptance and trust, support and encouragement with the practitioner
Readiness to obtain the certain sensitivity and empathy towards the users and information that are given to them and conduct confidential record and keep it
Readiness to clearly stress the benefits that practitioner can expect out of the program of yoga exercises

Readiness to recognize potential obstacles, psycho-physical limitations for achieving practitioner’s development, recognize inappropriate goals and discuss and give the arguments for possible solutions
Readiness to establish short-term, mid-term and long-term goals with practitioner that are in accordance with their abilities and needs
Readiness to analyze behavior of the yoga practitioners
Readiness to follow achievements of the yoga practitioners
Readiness to recognize behavior, individual differences in abilities of the yoga practitioner, difference in personality and interests, modalities of learning and motivation, affective disorders
Readiness to achieve critical thinking by using logic and understanding
Readiness to identify strengths and weaknesses of the alternative solutions

Professional competence

Yoga activities may be conducted exclusively by the professionals in the field of yoga. The professionals in the field of yoga are Yoga Teachers who accomplished education (200 – 240 hours) according to the legal regulations established by the national legal regulations and regulations of the referent national branch federation of the country that they come from.
It is necessary to accomplish the certain level of professional education in the field of yoga which includes getting acquainted with theory, science, profession and practice of yoga. Professional work in the field of yoga is followed by the referent branch yoga federation, that conducts the register of the issued licenses (permissions for work) in accordance with applicable legal regulations. Reference is achieved by the number of the legally registered members and quality and intensity of the conducted activities in the field of yoga.

All national branch federations are obliged to accept as members all yoga organizations that fulfill conditions, regardless whether they are non-governmental yoga organizations, yoga centers that compete or yoga centers that do not accept competition, bearing in mind that yoga is much more than a form of treatment, it is much more than sports field.

Yoga should be conducted in accordance with all other national legal regulations concerning the profession of yoga, having in mind that regulations should be matched to the size and capabilities of yoga center. Yoga profession requires the national branch federations to adopt codes of ethics and to provide oversight and enforcement.

The recommendations are in line with the recommendations of the International Yoga Federation.

 

Vienna, October 10, 2013

Yoga Federation of Europe

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