South Okanagan Yoga Academy Policies

In accordance with the Yoga Alliance Standards for registered schools, please read thoroughly our policies below.




SOYA and Yoga Alliance™ require 100% attendance to graduate and receive a certificate of completion from our program. The Yoga Alliance standards are mandatory, and the curriculum must be completed in full for you to register with Yoga Alliance.

However, should planned absences or extenuating circumstances impact attendance, students are required to arrange with the program lead trainer(s) in advance of the absence, or at the first available opportunity how to make up any missed hours and course content.

Class attendance will be taken throughout the training. SOYA expects students to be on time for class each day, after breaks, and after lunch.

Students must pay additional fees for group or private make-up sessions with a teacher. The total hours tallied for late arrivals and absences may be made up during a make-up session at the rate of $75.00 per hour.

Leave of Absence

A leave of absence from the SOYA program will be granted due to medical disability or other extraordinary circumstances at the discretion of the SOYA program directors in consultation with the lead trainer(s) at the student’s location.

In this case SOYA will carry forward the student’s tuition for one year, for the student to reapply and attend any available SOYA teacher training during that time period. The student must pay the difference, if any, of any remaining tuition and/or any related administrative fees. If tuition is increased for the next available session, the student must pay the higher rate.

Termination from Program

The South Okanagan Yoga Academy may decide to terminate any student’s participation in the program if:

  • false information was used in the admission process that materially affects the program
  • a student is absent without contacting the program lead trainer in accordance with the Attendance Policy
  • the student fails to make timely payments of tuition
  • the student is unable to pass the exams after being given three attempts
  • if a student behaves with bad conduct (bad conduct is violation of the Code of Conduct, gossip, harassment, bullying, or any other behavior that is inappropriate or disruptive to the welfare of the program or to fellow students)

If SOYA decides to end the student’s participation in the program due to any of the above circumstances, the student is not entitled to any prior payments or fees. All prior payments and fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Cancellation, Withdrawal and Refunds

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. Refunds will be given in accordance with the program’s refund policy as outlined below.

Withdrawal PRIOR to the commencement of the program

Should a student decide to withdraw from the SOYA teacher training PRIOR to the commencement of the program, the non-refundable deposit of $650 plus applicable taxes will be retained.

If a non-refundable deposit has been paid on your behalf for meals or accommodations at a retreat centre where the training is held, this will also be deducted from your refund in addition to the $650 plus applicable taxes. Any remaining fees paid by the student will be refunded.

SOYA will carry forward the student’s non-refundable deposit for one year, giving the student the opportunity to reapply and attend any available SOYA teacher trainings during that time period. If tuition is increased for the next available session, the student must pay the higher rate.

Withdrawal AFTER the commencement of the program

There are no refunds should you withdraw AFTER the program commences.

Cancellation of Program

SOYA reserves the right to cancel any training before it begins. On occasion this occurs, particularly if there are not enough registrants. In the event SOYA cancels a training, applicants will be given the opportunity to reapply and attend any available SOYA teacher training in the future, or, if the student prefers, any payments made to SOYA will be refunded in full.

Replacement Certificates 

Upon graduation, be sure to take a photo of your certificate and upload it to the cloud for safe storage. You never know when you will need it. Many yoga retailers offer discounts to yoga teachers. If you lose your certificate the replacement cost is $42. 


Purpose Statement

The SOYA Code of Conduct is intended to provide specific standards to cover most situations encountered by our yoga lead trainers and teachers. Its primary goal is the welfare and protection of our students, teachers, yoga community, and the public. It articulates the ethical standards that our teachers must follow. The Code of Conduct is intended to elevate the professionalism and integrity of our yoga teachers by adopting uniform standards for behavior yet recognizing the diversity of the many traditions of the teaching and practice of yoga.

Financial Practices

SOYA lead trainers and teachers will be honest, straightforward, fair, and conscientious in conducting all of their business affairs. They will manage their business affairs according to recognized standard business and accounting practices. They will discuss all fees and financial arrangements in a straightforward professional manner.

Professional Growth/Continuing Education

SOYA lead trainers and teachers shall maintain the integrity, competency, and high standards of the yoga profession by continuously striving to improve their skills through keeping current in new developments in yoga practice and by participating in continuing educational programs.

Teacher-Student Relationships 

SOYA lead trainers and teachers recognize the trust placed in them by their students and the power imbalance of the student-teacher relationship. Lead trainers and teachers shall avoid exploiting the trust and dependency of students. Lead trainers and teachers shall hold themselves out as stewards of safe and sacred spaces by maintaining clear personal and professional boundaries.

SOYA lead trainers and teachers will continually be aware of their position of power and influence in their relationship with their students. Lead trainers and teachers will be mindful not to project their own agendas, perceptions, and outcomes on their students. Lead trainers and Teachers will not seek to fulfill their personal needs at their students’ expense. Lead trainers and teachers shall maintain professional boundaries in relationships with students and avoid any relationships that may exploit trust between the student and teacher.

Lead trainers and teachers recognize that their purpose is to serve their student’s personal exploration and growth. Lead trainers and teachers will avoid any activity or influence that is in conflict with the best interests of their students or that may be solely for their own personal gain or gratification.


SOYA lead trainers and teachers shall strive to adhere to the traditional yoga principles as delineated in the yamas and niyamas. Lead trainers and teachers are committed to maintaining impeccable standards of professional competence and integrity. Lead trainers and teachers are committed to promoting the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellbeing of their students. Lead trainers and teachers are committed to practicing yoga as a way of life, which includes adopting the fundamental moral principles of yoga.

Scope of Practice

SOYA lead trainers and teachers shall represent their qualifications honestly and provide only the services they are qualified and certified to perform. Lead trainers and teachers shall not give medical advice. Lead trainers and teachers shall not recommend treatment, diagnose a condition, or suggest that a student disregard medical advice. Lead trainers and teachers shall refer their students to medical doctors or complimentary licensed professionals when appropriate.

Confidential Information

SOYA lead trainers and teachers shall keep all personal information disclosed by their students is strictly confidential. A lead trainer or teacher who receives personal information from a student may not disclose such information unless it obtains the written consent of the student. All discussions among teachers concerning students or clients shall be conducted in secure, non-public environments.

Inter-Professional Relationships

SOYA lead trainers and teachers are part of a network of health care and well-being professionals and shall seek to develop interdisciplinary relationships. Lead trainers and teachers shall conduct themselves in an honorable manner in their relations with their colleagues and other wellness practitioners, and seek to collaborate with other professionals to protect and enhance the wellbeing of the yoga community and the public generally. Lead trainers and teachers shall not openly criticize practices followed by other yoga schools or teachers.

Advertising and Public Communications

SOYA lead trainers and teachers shall accurately represent his or her professional qualifications and certifications along with his or her affiliations with any organization(s). Announcements and brochures promoting classes or workshops shall describe them with accuracy and grace. These principles are designed to uphold the quality of our teachings and shall be in compliance with legal guidelines for appropriate representation of our services.

Yoga Equity

SOYA lead trainers and teachers shall welcome all students regardless of age, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and perceived gender expression), sexual orientation, color, race, national origin, marital status, parental status, veteran’s status, religion, or physical or mental disability, provided that the teacher has appropriate expertise. Lead trainers and teachers are encouraged to have an awareness and a commitment to making yoga more equitable, inclusive, accessible, and diverse. This includes the ways that yoga practices can be modified to suit students with disabilities, physical challenges, chronic illness, seniors, and anyone who may not feel comfortable in a regular class. It also includes making classes welcoming to everyone.




1. The Golden Rule. Please treat others, as you would like to be treated. A yoga teacher’s conscience must always be in agreement with his or her thoughts and actions.

2. Act in such a manner so as to maintain and honour yoga traditions, such as clean hair and neat, appropriate dress.

3. Practice, study and share the knowledge of yoga with those who seek to know.

4. The manner of a yoga teacher should be professional at all times. No teacher of yoga should be guilty of any improper physical contact with any student.

5. Practice non-judgment and moderation in all areas.

6. Strive to think positive and be positive. Enjoy peaceful thoughts in expanding love and light.

7. Strive to daily practice the Yamas: Non-violence, Truthfulness, Non-stealing, Moderation, Non-possessiveness.

8. Strive to daily practice the Niyamas: Purity, Contentment, Discipline, Self-Study, Surrender to the Divine Spirit.



Harassment Against Members of Protected Class

The South Okanagan Yoga Academy does not permit our lead trainers or teachers, or others who contract with SOYA 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.

Sexual Harassment  

The South Okanagan Yoga Academy does not tolerate sexual harassment in any of our teacher training or retreat event locations. Sexual harassment refers to any unwelcome sexual attention, sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature when the conduct harms the person’s employment or working environment.

Sexual Misconduct

The South Okanagan Yoga Academy prohibits sexual misconduct in any of our teacher training or retreat event locations. Sexual misconduct is any unsolicited and unwelcome sexual advance including requests for sexual favors, sexual touching, and verbal, visual, or physical conduct that creates a sexually hostile environment in a yoga class, studio or retreat location.




Filing a grievance will in no way hinder or impact your certification with SOYA.

South Okanagan Yoga Academy (SOYA) takes its teacher training programs very seriously, and intends to provide you with a safe and supportive environment in which to train as a yoga teacher. Our SOYA faculty are trained to comply with the Standards of Yoga Alliance and it is our expectation that all SOYA lead trainers or teachers follow the SOYA Curriculum as registered with Yoga Alliance, the SOYA Code of Conduct, SOYA Code of Ethics and Policies.

If for some reason you believe that a SOYA lead trainer or teacher has not followed the SOYA Curriculum, or has violated the SOYA Code of Conduct, SOYA Code of Ethics, or Policies, please follow the following procedure:

  • If there are two lead trainers, speak to either one of the lead trainers about your concern.
  • If this does not resolve your concern, or you are not comfortable approaching either lead trainer, or you only have one lead trainer, please contact us at

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
  • 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 and privacy, 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.

SOYA may request additional information from you during the course of review of any grievance.

SOYA will take appropriate action(s) to ensure compliance with Yoga Alliance Standards, Requirements, Code of Conduct, and Policies. Information you provide to SOYA is confidential. Similarly, any actions taken in response to the grievance are also confidential and details regarding any actions we may take as a result of the grievance will not be disclosed. However, we will update you when action has been taken.

If this does not solve your concern, please contact Yoga Alliance with your concern at

If your complaint relates to illegal behaviour by the SOYA lead trainer or teacher, you may wish to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or local law enforcement.




We prohibit retaliation against anyone for reporting a violation of our Code of Conduct or other policies, or for participating in an investigation relating to a violation of our Code of Conduct or other policies.