Community Code of Conduct

Statement of Purpose

M3Yoga was founded with accessibility and inclusion at its core. We celebrate our differences and believe our lived experiences contribute to strong community culture.  It is vital that our staff and students feel safe and included in our spaces. M3 benefits from including individuals with differences in age, skin tone, race, ability, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, political affiliation, religion, education level, citizenship, and lived experience.

In order to continue being an inclusive and accessible space, we commit to continued and ongoing work to celebrate our differences within our community to foster a welcoming and safe environment in the powerful inner and outer experiences that yoga has to give us. We strive to be the best representation of inclusion in Athens, Georgia.

Ethical Foundations

We serve our purpose of diversity, inclusion, and accessibility, through clear expectations, honest communication, and by holding each other accountable. We do so in all M3Yoga spaces, including its studios, online platforms, written communications, event locations, and in relationship with studio partners and vendors.

Our Foundational Principles: 

  • The liberation of any individual is bound up with the liberation of all other people. 
  • We show respect and reverence for all people. 
  • We respect each individual’s bodily autonomy: one’s right to control what does and does not happen to their own body. 
  • We acknowledge the multidimensionality of privilege in order to mitigate its harmful effects on others and the ways it limits perspective.
  • We seek to anticipate our unconscious biases and assume we always have room to become more inclusive.
  • We center impact over intention. We assume that everyone has good intentions, and we realize that good intentions do not always result in inclusive behavior.

General Guidelines

  • No member of the M3 community should face discrimination on the basis of age, skin tone, race, ability, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, political affiliation, religion, education level, citizenship, or lived experience.
  • M3 prohibits harassment, unsolicited physical contact, unwanted sexual advances, threats of violence, intimidation, or offensive remarks towards anyone. 
  • Weapons used for personal safety, such as pepper spray, should be kept out of sight. Firearms, even those carried legally, are prohibited from M3 spaces.

Student & Teacher Relationship

  • The M3 community believes in the powerful exchange which is possible in the relation between students and teachers. In respecting this dynamic, we adhere to the following principles:
    • Students and teachers should consider avoiding dual relationships with one another (e.g., student and teacher as romantic partners), in order to avoid exploitation of the trust and power difference inherent in student-teacher relationships. 
    • Teachers will honor the bodily autonomy and lived experiences of all students at all times, and through their interactions demonstrate this respect. For example:
      • Teachers will ask for consent before touching or manually assisting students.
      • Teachers will consider how students’ lived experience might impact their needs in a given pose or class, and will offer modifications or alternatives where appropriate and within the teacher’s scope and knowledge
      • Teachers will consider how verbally praising individual students may cause undesired effects, such as anxiety or distraction.
    • Teachers will be responsive to student needs. When necessary, teachers will refer students to internal or outside resources that may better serve their needs. 
    • Teachers will not make assumptions regarding a students’ practice or goals based on body size, age, or other features of external appearance. 
    • Teachers will realistically represent their knowledge and the potential benefits/limitations of a movement practice. 
    • Teachers will begin and end classes on time and will facilitate a class experience that adheres to the description and level of the advertised class. 
    • Teachers will strive to recognize how aspects of their own identity may facilitate or inhibit their understanding of the lived experience of their students, and with that knowledge, will grow and learn more about experiences different from their own. The goal of this increased understanding is to better serve and facilitate experiences for all students. 

Student Relationships

One of M3’s Core Values is “Community”. We strive to hold a space where students feel supported by their teachers and their fellow community members. As such, we ask our students to adhere to the following principles:

  • Students will respect and honor all people in M3 spaces, refraining from behaviors or language that violate the foundational principles of this community code of conduct. 
  • Students will respect the bodily autonomy of all individuals in the M3 space. This respect includes refraining from touching others without their consent. 
  • Students will avoid oppressive language or behavior and will be sensitive to and respectful of differences in the M3 community.
  • Students will strive to honor and be aware of their own body and how a movement practice serves or hinders their goals. Teachers will make space for students to honor their own bodies and goals, while also taking into consideration the parameters of the class, student safety, and respect for the class experience of all attendees. 
  • Students will respect others’ class experiences and will avoid detracting from other students’ practices wherever possible. 

We aim to welcome all students to our space, and we therefore invite questions, feedback, and open communication between students and all M3 staff. 

  • M3 movement classes are rich and varied. Our class styles can be playful, exploratory, fun, reverent, peaceful, meditative, and more. As such, new students could be unsure of the behavioral conventions for any given class. Am I allowed to talk? May I ask questions? What should I wear? M3 staff wholeheartedly invites all students to ask a staff member any questions they have. We particularly welcome questions before or after class. Questions during class are typically reserved for safety and clarification of the practice. 
  • We aim to create a welcoming environment and to facilitate the experiences of students who may be new to our studio, new to yoga, or new to a movement practice. 
  • We encourage each student to choose classes and teachers based on their goals. Students are invited to clearly communicate their goals and needs with M3 staff. 
  • We invite students to give feedback to their teachers and to studio leadership. Feedback may be offered via:
    • FitGrid – This feedback is anonymous to the teacher, but studio leadership receives identifying information of the student offering feedback in case further follow up is needed. 
    • MindBody – This feedback is public to anyone viewing the MindBody site or mobile app.  
    • Email – Messages sent to team@m3yoga.com will be read and addressed by studio leadership. 
    • Reports to the M3 Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Committee – Violations to the M3 Community Code of Conduct may be reported using the button at the bottom of this page. These reports will be reviewed and addressed by the D&I committee.

Staff Relationships

The M3 staff community follows the guidelines listed below in order to foster a space in which all can show up to work in a way that feels authentic for them and is relevant to their personal practice and goals. 

  • M3 staff recognize that each staff-member’s lived experience influences the way that they think, behave, and present, as well as how they are habitually treated by others.
  • We celebrate each staff member’s unique contributions to M3 while challenging each other to better serve M3’s purpose of inclusion and accessibility. 
  • M3 expects its staff to interrupt and correct language and behavior that is oppressive or otherwise in violation of this COC.
  • M3 staff gives constructive feedback and evaluates performance in a way that considers each employee’s goals and identity, asking for context when necessary. We understand that while giving feedback we are speaking from one inherently limited perspective. 
  • We welcome and solicit feedback from other staff without taking criticism personally.
  • M3 and its employees will avoid maligning other individuals, studios, or organizations in our profession.
  • We will reach out across our differences and include each other in conversations and company considerations. 
  • We will try new things, acknowledge mistakes, apologize if anyone was hurt, and grow from the experience.
  • We acknowledge that body size is not an indicator of health nor is health is an indicator of value. We refrain from promoting any particular way of eating.

Importantly, we expect that unless we reflect on our individual, limited perspectives, and educate ourselves on needs/experiences other than our own, we will unconsciously exclude individuals from this community.

Collaborations, Outreach & Vendors

M3 strongly believes in practicing our foundational principles outside of the studio in our relationships with the wider Athens community. 

  • M3 believes strongly in outreach. It is part of our mission to make yoga accessible to under-represented communities and to maintain a diverse teaching staff.
  • We look for opportunities to learn and grow from our community, vendors and collaborators. If we don’t have an answer we will admit to that and look to outside collaborators for help. 
  • We expect all who enter our building, including vendors and collaborators, to adhere to our community code of conduct. In turn, staff, students, and other community members will adhere to this COC with all who enter our space. 
  • We will seek out partnerships with those who are actively involved in the work of antiracism and inclusion. We will continually recruit a more diverse array of vendors and collaborators 

As members of the M3 community, vendors and collaborators are also subject to the COC violation response process. We will treat the experience as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Professional Practices

  • M3 makes hiring decisions based on community need, each individual’s qualifications, reliability, availability, and how a potential new hire reflects M3’s Core Values and the Foundational Principles of this Code of Conduct. We are willing to train those who bring a new perspective to our community. 
  • Hiring decisions are ultimately made by the leadership team but are reviewed by the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and adhere to the standards of the M3 Community Code of Conduct. 
  • M3 is committed to safeguarding the personal information of our community. As stated in the employee handbook, we utilize personal information only for its intended purpose and take care to protect it.
  • M3 information technology is to be used ethically and will not be used to access personal information of M3 staff or community members unless for specific M3Yoga business purposes. 
  • We commit to continually educate ourselves on the history of yoga, colonialism, white-supremacy, cultural-appropriation, and current developments relative to our field. We ask ourselves questions such as
    • “How does this practice relate to the South Asian origins of yoga?
    • “Am I using the word yoga to accurately describe this offering?” 
  • M3 staff members are encouraged to reflect on how language/practices may be unintentionally directed to members of their own race, class, ability level, etc. To combat this:
    • We use non-gendered language when referring to groups or to folks whose pronouns haven’t been explicitly stated.
    • We familiarize ourselves with lived experiences of other groups and how those experiences may impact a movement practice. 
  • M3 staff commit to leading by example in cultivating an ethical environment. Leadership will collaborate with staff members and address concerns, reporting up the chain of command if necessary. 
  • M3 staff are aware that community members have their own unique and valid lived experiences. We commit to taking all confidences, reports, and concerns seriously.
  • M3 is committed to appreciating the South Asian origin of yoga in part by making mindful, conscientious choices regarding our use of Sanskrit (the language of the oldest texts mentioning yoga), and we strive to educate ourselves on the translations and pronunciations of Sanskrit terms. 
  • M3 staff members strive to stay informed of the controversies and conflicts in the global yoga community in order to learn from others’ mistakes and grow in empathy for those who have been hurt. 
  • We strive to avoid the erasure of yoga’s roots. We commit to promote South Asian and BIPOC voices. In addition, we commit to seeking education from and partnerships with South Asian and BIPOC colleagues. 
  • We acknowledge our position as role models in the community. We practice what we teach, both inside and outside of the yoga studio. 

Last Updated: November 2020

The Community Code of Conduct was written and is updated by the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. You can contact the committee directly with questions at dni@m3yoga.com