Currently, there are 36.7 million people who practice yoga in the U.S. The influx of practitioners across the nation also means that the demand for yoga teachers is on the rise.
With more than nine percent of the adult population catching their evening savasanas following a long day of sitting in front of a screen comes an array of exposure to risks and potential lawsuits for yoga teachers. While we know that your job requires you to “fix” your student’s posture while they’re in a pose, sometimes your good intentions can result in a serious injury.
We’ll discuss five actual claims against yoga instructors that have been featured in various news headlines and what measures you can take to protect yourself from potential lawsuits.
One highly-sought New York yoga teacher was sued after one of her clients fell through the window of a sixth floor yoga studio. The filed claim stated that the instructor allowed an excessive amount of people into the studio space which forced the client to perform a handstand too close to the window.
An Australian woman sued her yoga teacher after the instructor adjusted her posture while in the supta kurmasana pose, causing a spinal injury that left her partially paralyzed.
One yoga teacher was sued for the way she adjusted her client’s body during class. The instructor was accused of injuring her client’s hip because the teacher hadn’t been properly trained by the studio on how to perform adjustments in a safe manner. The client also named the studio in the suit for not having an adjustment policy in place.
Unsolicited Physical Manipulations
A well-respected yoga instructor in Colorado was handed a lawsuit because a simple adjustment during his workshop resulted in a student ending up permanently disabled. Due to the manipulation, the client tore his medial meniscus—the fibrocartilage band that spans the knee joint—which then required surgery.
Injuries Related to Falls
Another common claim against yoga instructors are slip-and-falls. Yoga teacher insurance can help if you’re faced with a lawsuit arising from a client who falls while under your supervision.
How you can Protect Yourself
Ask your Clients to Sign a Liability Waiver
While this doesn’t prevent claims against you, it can help reduce potential litigation.
One study shows that with the increase in popularity of yoga, many certified trainers are not equipped with education in injury prevention. Make sure you maintain your clients’ safety through continuing education.
Get Insurance for Yoga Teachers
Cover your asanas with yoga teacher insurance from Canopy. Our policy starts at $129 per year whereas retaining an attorney can cost anywhere from $50–$1,000 per hour.
Find out more about insurance for Yoga Teachers.
*All insurance policies have conditions, limitations and exclusions. Please refer to the policy for exact coverages.