More than ever, people are flocking to yoga to get fit, reduce stress, and improve their health. Despite the peaceful and gentle nature of yoga, injuries do occur. The most common injuries are sprains, strains, and muscle and back injuries. If a teacher is unable to protect a yoga student from injury while attending a class, can the student claim compensation from the teacher? Are studios possibly liable for injuries occurring on their premises?
How did the injury come about?
Any experienced teacher will tell you that their responsibilities in protecting their students are limited. It is mainly limited to providing a safe and healthy environment and managing the risks associated with physical activity. Legally speaking, yoga studios are liable if members are injured while attending courses or on their property. Studio owners are aware of this and therefore take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from lawsuits.
Basically, any liability or fault depends on how and where the accident or injury occurred. If you’ve been injured in a yoga studio accident, the first thing you should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney. They interpret the existing laws for you and determine whether or not you have personal injury. If you have a case, your lawyer can defend your rights in court or out of court to get compensation from the studio or its insurer.
Precautions by teachers and studios
Just because someone is a yoga teacher does not mean that the person has the training or knowledge to prevent accidents and injuries in class. Instructors can be held liable for failing to protect their students.
The studios have a certain degree of responsibility for the safety of their trainees. For example, they should ensure that each new student is educated about the benefits and dangers of practicing yoga. You must also maintain a clean, well-maintained, and safe environment at all times. However, from time to time there may be situations where injuries may occur and the injured person may have evidence of negligence towards the coach.
To reduce the likelihood of having to compensate for injuries sustained in their studios, yoga teachers can take several steps, including the following:
1. Take out insurance
Infringement lawsuits will not send you notification if they are about to occur. Yoga teachers and trainers have this concept in mind. They know they need to be prepared for the inevitable. The insurance helps to ensure that every member is insured and that the owner of the studio is protected from the loss of having to pay compensation in court. Yoga teachers should purchase comprehensive professional liability insurance to be on the safe side of the law. When each member signs up, they’ll need to read through the insurance policy to make sure they’re well covered. It is both up to the teacher and the student to make sure they are safe and injury free to avoid the hassle of following up and paying compensation.
2. Questions about injuries
Most people will sign up for yoga to potentially worsen a pre-existing injury or to speed recovery. As a trainer and teacher, you need to understand your students’ needs and the pre-existing conditions they may have. An avid yoga teacher requires students to submit medical reports to avoid complications that could become a problem. After learning about the injuries, they advise them on the right way to safely approach yoga. For example, a student with a recent knee injury should not be instructed to perform a pose that requires excessive knee movement or pressure.
3. Understand your student’s skills and limitations
People have different skills and learning steps. As a teacher, you must keep this in mind at all times. You need to take the time to understand what a particular student can do and what their limitations are. If you tend to push them well beyond what they are capable of, you will cause discomfort and the experience of an invasion that can eventually lead to injury. All yoga teachers and studios should take extra precautions when teaching yoga to beginners.
Guide the student through the session at their own pace and comfort. Failure to do so will violate a standard of professional due diligence known as professional misconduct or negligence, which can easily lead to litigation that will result in large amounts of compensation being paid. Yoga teachers and studio owners have a legal, professional, and ethical obligation to provide adequate guidance to their students in teaching and fitting.
4. Mindful communication
Most misconduct submissions are due to misunderstandings between the client and the yoga teacher or instructor. They mainly result from the frustration and anger of a client who finds their instructor inadequate in communication. A yoga class requires a certain amount of connection between the client and the teacher if the physical and psychological training is to be successful. Exercise often leads to injuries. Yoga requires a certain amount of vigilance on the part of the teacher to explain each session the class is about.
Physical contact is required to ensure that every move is performed correctly. A teacher should ensure that their verbal and non-verbal communication with their clients is top notch to avoid injury. The student’s receptiveness to the instructions is very important in preventing some of these injuries. Most studios require all students to sign disclaimers to communicate the risks of teaching.
Yoga is good for the body, mind and spirit. However, some of the exercises may be dangerous to some people and may result in lawsuits for studio owners if not exercised with extreme caution. Because of this, any teacher or studio needs to follow the tips above to make sure they are on the safe side.