Why has IYAGNY adopted new complaint processes?
As part of an ongoing effort by IYAGNY to create and foster a safe, welcoming environment for students, IYAGNY has adopted new processes for handling complaints against any Certified Iyengar Yoga Teachers (“CIYTs”) or other teachers employed at IYAGNY facilities (collectively, “IYAGNY Teachers”).
These efforts are part of a broader undertaking in the Iyengar Yoga community to ensure that all Iyengar Yoga teachers adhere to the highest ethical standards and protect the safety, autonomy, and dignity of students. The Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States (“IYNAUS”) has developed and published the “Ethical Guidelines to Prevent Verbal Abuses, Sexual Harassment and Physical Abuses” (the “Ethical Guidelines”) to provide a framework for promoting these goals.
What constitutes a complaint under the new processes?
A complaint is any statement conveyed by a student or other relevant person that the actions of an IYAGNY Teacher in the course of their IYAGNY duties have created or contributed to an environment or situation in IYAGNY facilities that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or offensive. Examples of unacceptable situations in the Iyengar Yoga community include, but are not limited to, any sort of harmful abuse or harmful statement, any unreasonable touch, with or without consent, and any form of sexual harassment.
What happens when I submit a complaint?
Once a complaint is made, your complaint will be received and evaluated by the IYAGNY Executive Director. The IYAGNY Executive Team (comprised of the Association Director, the Faculty Liaison, and the Executive Director), will investigate the complaint and seek to address any concerns in an appropriate way. Depending on the nature of the complaint, this may involve discussions or informal consultations with the parties concerned, or, in more extreme cases, punitive or corrective action. Where applicable, such as in cases of complaints regarding sexual harassment, IYAGNY will follow the procedures recommended pursuant to New York State law for the investigation of such complaints.
What if my complaint concerns a member of the IYAGNY Executive Team?
If your complaint concerns a member of the IYAGNY Executive Team, the IYAGNY Board President will be informed and will coordinate with the IYAGNY Executive Committee of the Board of Directors on the management and investigation of the complaint.
Can I submit a complaint anonymously?
In order to fully investigate and address complaints – and for you to be informed of the outcome of your complaint – you will be asked to provide a name. Any further disclosure without your consent is strictly prohibited by IYAGNY’s complaint procedures. If IYAGNY determines they are unable to address your complaint and there is no way of conducting a thorough and detailed investigation without disclosing your identity, you will have the option of withdrawing your complaint or authorizing the disclosure of your name to applicable parties. Out of respect for the privacy of all parties involved and in order to avoid compromising the investigation process, we will ask that all complainants refrain from discussing the investigation with others. However, if a complainant chooses to discuss or publicize their complaint, no action will be taken against them.
What if I am subject to retaliation after submitting a complaint?
The Executive Team, or the Executive Director and the IYAGNY Board President, as applicable, will take steps to ensure that the complainant is protected from retaliation during and after any investigation of a complaint. If a complainant suffers a specific harm from the accused party, or someone acting at their direction, following the submission of a complaint, the accused party will be presumed guilty of retaliation and subject to disciplinary procedures for such action in addition to any disciplinary procedures arising from the complaint itself.
Will you report incidents regarding teachers to other Iyengar Yoga institutes?
In accordance with the Ethical Guidelines published by IYNAUS, IYAGNY is obligated to inform IYNAUS of any sexual harassment complaints made against CIYTs.
I took an Iyengar Yoga class at a non-IYAGNY institute. Can I submit a complaint about an incident there?
IYAGNY is only able to consider complaints about IYAGNY Teachers, as defined above. Complaints about CIYTs at other institutes can be submitted via the IYNAUS website.
Where can I find out more about IYAGNY’s complaint process?
IYAGNY’s Process for Responding to Complaints is available at this link and provides detailed information about the process for addressing and responding to complaints.
Additionally, you can contact Edward McKeaney, Executive Director, Iyengar Yoga Association of Greater New York, firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-691-9642 (Manhattan), 718-875-7300 (Brooklyn) or, in the event that Edward McKeaney is no longer the Executive Director, his replacement.