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Allow Debbie Farrar to stand for election as BWY Vice-Chairperson

This petition had 235 supporters


Allow Debbie Farrar to stand for election as BWY Vice-Chairperson

The British Wheel of Yoga claims to be the governing body of yoga in this country. According to the Sports England website, the decision making board of a governing body should demonstrate…

"Independence of thought
Organisations’ decision-making bodies must include a sufficient number of people who are free from a close connection to the organisation and who provide constructive challenge. All organisations must demonstrate that their decision-making process includes ‘critical friends’ –trusted persons who are able to ask provocative questions and provide independent challenge. This creates a breadth of perspective within the decision-making body, and ensures that decisions are properly tested.”

Regardless of this requirement, Debbie has been denied the opportunity to stand as Vice-Chairperson of the BWY despite fulfilling all the criteria. 

Debbie has been a vociferous critic of the plan to impose National Occupational Standards and the decisions of the current BWY National Executive Committee.  she is also a member of the Independent Yoga Network and organises independent yoga teacher trainings through the IYN.

Being a member of both the BWY and the IYN puts Debbie in an ideal position to heal the rift between these 2 organisations that has spilled out into the wider yoga community that the BWY purport to govern.

Debbie’s nomination was accepted on Thursday 23rd March, but at 15.32 on Friday 24th March, the BWY NEC rejected her nomination on the grounds of an alleged conflict of interest and her amended nomination biography being after the “deadline”. 

When asked to supply additional information at 11.59, Debbie had no hesitation in declaring that she is a member of the Independent Yoga Network and offers her own independent teacher training course. However, she has still been refused the opportunity to stand. Unfortunately Debbie was only asked to supply this additional information at 11.59 on 24th March. She was told that deadline was noon. 

The deadline published on the BWY website was 5pm (screenshots have been taken!)

Despite Debbie being asked to declare her conflict of interest, it was interesting to see that the only accepted nominee for the role of Vice Chair (the previous incumbent, who had stated she was stepping down half way through her 2 year term) has not declared her conflict of interest being that until recently, she was the student of the Chair, who also nominated her, and some of the NEC took the decision to refuse Debbie's nomination, despite this not being with the remit of the current incumbents, due to the conflict of interest that would involve.

Surely a healthy and open organisation can have no fear of honest debate and the representation of broad range of views on its National Executive Committee. How can it be a conflict of interests in the community of yoga, to belong to more than one yoga organisation? (She does not stand to benefit financially, nor can anyone doubt her loyalty to the BWY after her many years of volunteering in a variety of roles).

The Sports England charter for its governing bodies states that “Organisations must work to ensure that internal democracy is vigorous and healthy.”

This is an election. Debbie may not be elected. But, in the interest of democracy, if you would like her to be allowed to stand, and not to be prevented because her views do not mesh
nicely with the stated views of the current incumbents, then please sign this petition."

Debbie Farrar - Nomination Biography
After enjoying a daily yoga practice for almost 40 years, since being introduced to asana, pranayama and mantra by her mother, Debbie began teaching yoga in 1999 and completed her BWY Diploma with Satya Premananda (Ken Simmons) in 2004. 

An active member of the BWY ever since; Debbie was Editor of Yoga 2 from 2004 until 2016; and has served on the NW Regional Committee as Lancashire County Rep, NW Regional Training Officer, Regional Newsletter Editor and Committee Member. 

Debbie left her career as a science teacher in 2007 to train to be a FCT and DCT, and has delivered 9 Foundation Courses at Levels 1 and 2. 

Debbie Farrar is a member of the Independent Yoga Network and facilitates Independent Yoga Teacher Trainings. (Additional information provided by Debbie at 14.15 on 24th March 2017, well before the published 5pm deadline.)

Debbie’s yoga teaching favours inclusivity over exclusivity; and it is the spirit of inclusivity that she wishes to foster in the role of BWY Vice Chair.


Debbie Farrar
Feel Now Yoga
BWY Teacher
IYN Yoga Elder
Sensible Yoga Teacher Training Course Director

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