Yoga is an increasingly popular practice due to its many physical and psychological benefits. It can provide stress relief, improve posture, increase flexibility and build strength. Yoga’s relaxation techniques can lower blood pressure and thus benefit people at risk for heart disease and other chronic conditions. Many people are also drawn to yoga for its therapeutic effectiveness in helping practitioners develop coping skills and a positive mindset about life in general. In the United States alone, yoga has become a $7 billion industry and continues to flourish. However, along with yoga’s rise in commercialization is the climbing rate of injury as a result of improper yoga practice.
The Risks involved with Yoga Practice
More and more people are aspiring to become yoga instructors due to the trendy, free-spirited and laidback lifestyle that yoga brings. However, teaching yoga is not for everyone. It has been argued that the certification process for becoming a yoga instructor is too simple and does not prepare amateur instructors for the complex physical and psychological realities associated with yoga practice and philosophy. Consequently, there are an increasing number of instructors who are under-qualified for risk management and prevention of injury.
In many cases, bodily injury results from poor supervision, poor training techniques, overtraining, or a lack of adequate stretching or cool down periods. Additionally, yoga instructors often encounter students who come with pre-existing limitations and injuries. This should be of no surprise, as yoga is notorious for its healing and therapeutic abilities. Nevertheless, many instructors lack education on how to properly train students with such physical impediments.
Furthermore, gyms and yoga studios can cause injury to practitioners for simply failing to provide safe premises. Lawsuits have been filed across the United States due to injury caused by overcrowded yoga classes, obstructed exits, and unsafe studio fixtures.
In legal terms, these dangerous inadequacies can constitute negligence, where the instructor or facility fails to exercise professional standards of care required to ensure a safe environment for students. Many studios and instructors carry their own liability insurance that typically includes a waiver that students sign to prevent a lawsuit in the event that injury occurs. However, liability waivers may be overcome if they used vague and ambiguous language or if the instructor or facility’s gross negligence caused the injury. Moreover, South Carolina follows a comparative negligence system, where the injured party may still recover even if he or she was partly at fault for the injury.
Consult with a Lawyer
The purpose of yoga is to bring healing for the mind and body, yet the unfortunate reality is that yoga can have the exact opposite effect on practitioners. If you have been injured during a yoga class, seek medical attention immediately and consult with a personal injury attorney at Solomon Law Group. Our experienced personal injury lawyers work diligently and effectively to get you the compensation you deserve. Do not let negligent yoga instruction inhibit your path to enlightenment. Call us today.