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56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource!
I am surprised to see that there are no reviews yet for this wonderful and well-considered book. I was not familiar with any of Donna Farhi's work previously, but I had heard good things about this book, and thought it would be helpful, as I am training to become an adult yoga teacher this year. The book addresses many important and relevant ethical issues relating to...
Published on 15 Feb 2008 by Elle

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1.0 out of 5 stars If you aren't a film star you don't need this book
I didn't like this book though I've read several by Farhi and identified with them and liked them enough to buy more. In this case though the author is set up as a kind of Icon, plagued by demanding or even neurotic students demanding time and emotional commitment from the teacher. She doesn't seem to like her students. There is really very little said about the positive...
Published 3 months ago by Saphi


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56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource!, 15 Feb 2008
This review is from: Teaching Yoga: Ethics and the Teacher-student Relationship (Paperback)
I am surprised to see that there are no reviews yet for this wonderful and well-considered book. I was not familiar with any of Donna Farhi's work previously, but I had heard good things about this book, and thought it would be helpful, as I am training to become an adult yoga teacher this year. The book addresses many important and relevant ethical issues relating to yoga teachers and their business, including their relationship with their students, their relationships with fellow teachers and their relationship with money, amongst other things.

I am already trained as a children's yoga teacher, and while this book does not specifically mention the subject of teaching children, it addresses issues which may arise in either teaching situation (such as when you should dismiss a student from the class, due to their behaviour). Yoga is not just a "fitness" activity - it is a philosophy which carries its own ethical code (Patanjali's Sutras) and Donna Farhi examines how this applies to yoga teachers in the modern world.

I have come back to this at several points already to re-read sections and to gain insight from the case study examples that Donna gives as real-life demonstrations of ethical problems for teachers.

All in all, a wonderful resource and highly recommended for anyone who teaches or who is training to teach.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful for trainee teachers, 1 May 2011
This review is from: Teaching Yoga: Ethics and the Teacher-student Relationship (Paperback)
As a trainee yoga teacher I found this book an interesting read. The most useful section was a series of questions which asks the reader to contemplate why she or he wishes to teach, and how to assess the places they are considering doing their training at. In my opinion the book is justified reading for people considering teaching for that section alone. I found the book's pragmatism and approach to discussing delicate yet easily overlooked factors such as finances for aspiring yoga teachers very useful to set reasonable expectations (her recommendation: don't give up your normal job at least initially).

The book is an eye-opener in terms of some of the discussions of ethical breaches that Ms Farhi has come across during her teaching career. These include instances of teachers inappropriately touching their students and/or embarking on sexual relationships with them. The damage done to the abused students highlight the consequences. That she has found that often such behaviour has gone unpunished is upsetting and shocking in equal measures. Most of Ms Farhi's arguments are regarding points I incorrectly assumed every teacher would agree on. From reading her experience it is clear that there isn't consensus. Regulating teachers' behaviours when there is no ethical code we all sign up to is clearly not possible, and I think this alone proves that her point that one is required.

Becoming aware of some of the skeletons in the yoga teaching community closet, and politics within the profession, was a little sad for me. Sometimes it's nice to imagine we can escape politics but even in yoga they're there. It's not a fun topic to think about, but it is I believe a necessary one for teachers. I'm grateful for her effort in bringing these matters to my attention.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read and Learn, 13 Sep 2011
This review is from: Teaching Yoga: Ethics and the Teacher-student Relationship (Paperback)
As a yoga teacher for just over a year, a blink of an eye in yoga terms,
I found this book invaluable in many ways. It raises many questions about why we practice or even teach and sets out ways to set boundaries for students and teachers alike to enrich the practice of yoga. A must for every yoga teacher.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for all yoga teachers, 3 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Teaching Yoga: Ethics and the Teacher-student Relationship (Paperback)
This is a must for all yoga teachers and student yoga teachers. Donna Farhi covers most ethical probabilities in the yoga class situation and gives realistic solutions. For me, the section on enmeshment was especially insightful and useful. The approach is intelligent and the CD that accompanies the book is interesting and informative. Highly recommended.
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1.0 out of 5 stars If you aren't a film star you don't need this book, 19 May 2014
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This review is from: Teaching Yoga: Ethics and the Teacher-student Relationship (Paperback)
I didn't like this book though I've read several by Farhi and identified with them and liked them enough to buy more. In this case though the author is set up as a kind of Icon, plagued by demanding or even neurotic students demanding time and emotional commitment from the teacher. She doesn't seem to like her students. There is really very little said about the positive side of the teacher / student interaction and it is all about how it is draining, demanding and the teacher needs to protect her/ himself. I really think the author let herself down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb. A jewel., 9 April 2012
By 
Mr. P. Lewis (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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First, a confession: I have not yet finished the book.

I'm about one sixth of they way through. But I've already had more than my money's worth.

This is, quite simply, one of the best books I've ever read about yoga.

I think I will be missing much sleep tonight, becuae I'm not going to be able to put this down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Review in British Wheel of Yoga Magazine, 15 Feb 2012
By 
M. Hutchinson (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Teaching Yoga: Ethics and the Teacher-student Relationship (Paperback)
What follows is the review I wrote in 2008 for the British Wheel of Yoga, as one of their Teacher Trainers:

What are the do's and don'ts for Yoga teachers? Ideally, we would each have a mentor close at hand, to check and comment on our teaching standards. In practice few of us do, but Donna Farhi's inspiring book on the ethics of teaching Yoga is the next best thing.

Exploring, with frequent references to Patanjali, many of the moral issues that arise in the course of our interactions with students, this book provides a first line of defence against self-deceit. Hard to put down and written with disarming frankness and fearless integrity, the book never preaches but certainly punches. Drawing on first-hand accounts from Farhi and other teachers, this book describes many incidents that should never have happened in the world of Yoga, and draws sharp lessons from all of them. It is ironic that Yoga, having its own professional standards (the Yamas and Niyamas) built in, sometimes displays lower standards than do similar disciplines.

Wide readership of this book by both teachers and students will go a long way towards ensuring that high expectations are consistently maintained throughout our profession.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Leaves You Thinking - Great Resource for Students and Teachers Alike, 16 Aug 2011
Teaching Yoga is one of those books that must be mandatory reading for anyone in the yoga field. Not just for teachers, but also students.

Donna Farhi presents information in a way that holds the reader responsible and puts our own internal process under the microscope.
It challenges our assumptions, intentions and boundaries to the core, especially in part II, where things get down to business to a level I have not seen anywhere else.

In Part I she explores the relationship of Student and Teacher and goes over the projections that live on a student's mind. How the teacher can be 'created' in a student's mind universe as 'healer' 'priest' 'parent', even 'lover'.
All of these archetypes of perception can create some pitfalls for a teacher, and navigating the deep emotional waters of a transformative process like yoga presents colossal challenges. Donna addresses each one of them with simple examples that help clarify the issues.

In Part II she goes over Ethics: Among others, she has specific chapters on:
When to Send a Student to Another Teacher
Class Numbers
Adjustments and Touching
Power of Words
Boundaries
The Ethics of Money - One that I particularly liked
Refunds
Teacher Training
Pitfalls of Fame

How down-to-earth can you get? Her examples make me shiver sometimes, as in the case of a student who would interrupt the class constantly, make questions that seem more like a monologue rather than get to a point or add to the class material, and always arrive late.

Hm, makes me wonder if I ever rambled on questions or tried to be the focus of attention... I think I have, oh dear! guilty as charged.
Her chapter on the Ethics of Money clarified a lot of things for me as in, for instance:

"Westerners in particular seem to have convoluted ideas about it "not being spiritual" to talk about or be clear about financial matters (such as written contracts) or to insist that people make good on their financial agreements. I would contend that this is incorrect understanding of what it means to be spiritual. Conducting one's business clearly and fairly is one of the highest spiritual practices"
She draws from her own very vast and long experience of teaching at retreat centers abroad, while travelling, while exhausted, while feeling resentful at times, and shows how it is possible to keep the teacher's health and finances in sight and be even more generous with the teaching by establishing healthy and strong, very strong boundaries.

Part Three has a Workbook for resolving ethical issues.
She opens this part with an example of a difficult situation and then gives a model of how to work it through by addressing it: "before", "during", "after", and "possible outcomes".

Then she provides some sample cases for you to work through. Just to give you a taste of how you would be left wondering and thinking, here is one of the case scenarios:
"Inappropriate Dress: An attractive young woman begins taking yoga classes at your center. You have noticed ... that her yoga clothes are skimpy... her breasts frequently pop out of her yoga tops ... and her low-rise yoga pans seem designed to prove that she is a genuine redhead. Consider an intervention plan for before, during and after the situation.... plan for addressing the general dress code for your class... if you are a center director, also consider the dress code of the teachers"

She has 12 more cases like it (including: refunds, teaching family members, student pressure, lateness, gray zones, etc.)
All in all the book leaves you thinking and coming to terms your own boundaries. With how YOU would handle difficult situations and how YOU would stay sane in a high charge environment produced by deep transformation and loose standardized guidelines.

The book is an invitation to continue the exploration of what it means not just to be a teacher, but also a student!
From the point of view of a teacher, helping a student progress on his or her own journey without getting involved in unhealthy ways is a difficult proposition, to say the least. Donna helps clarify and frankly all I can feel is gratitude for her work.
If you have not read it yet I highly recommend it. Would also love to hear what you thought of it if you read it already.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must have resource for yoga teachers, 5 Jun 2011
By 
George A. Watts (Mid Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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I was recommended this book by the person who trained me to become a yoga teacher. This really is one of those "must have" resources for yoga teachers. Other great yoga teacher resources include:Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit CD [DVD], Yoga Teacher Business Kit [CD] [DVD], Quick Yoga Sites [DVD], Yoga Studio Business Plan Kit on CD [DVD]
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for who is thinking on starting teaching yoga, 15 Jan 2011
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This review is from: Teaching Yoga: Ethics and the Teacher-student Relationship (Paperback)
The book focus several different issues that who is teaching yoga faces now and then in the western world. It was interesting to see how the American reality it is not that much different from the European one regarding some problems that occur in yoga teaching community.
It is easy to read, concise and can bee interesting for the ones who area starting as Yoga teachers. But do not expect too much of it.
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Teaching Yoga: Ethics and the Teacher-student Relationship
Teaching Yoga: Ethics and the Teacher-student Relationship by Donna Farhi (Paperback - 31 Dec 2006)
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