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A yoga studio waiver, also known as a waiver and release liability form, can be used to help you set up an honest and open relationship with your students while protecting you from possible financial trouble.
We've outlined the key points of putting together a waiver form, so you can ensure your business is on a legally sound footing.
What's in this guide?
- What is a yoga studio waiver?
- When should I use a yoga studio waiver?
- What's the difference between a yoga studio waiver and a consent form?
- What is included in a yoga studio waiver?
- How effective is a yoga studio waiver?
- Do I need a lawyer to write a yoga studio waiver?
- Get access to customisable yoga studio waiver templates online
- How do I write a yoga studio waiver?
- Where to get free yoga studio waiver templates and samples?
What is a yoga studio waiver?
A yoga studio waiver is a legal document which minimises the risk of liability for your yoga business, including any instructors. This type of waiver asks your students to assume full responsibility for any known or unknown risks, damages and injuries that may occur in your yoga studio, during classes, retreats, workshops, teacher training and private instruction.
The document lays out all risks associated with activities your students will participate in during your classes. A yoga studio waiver is also known as a waiver and release of liability form, or client waiver.
Download this yoga studio waiver template at Lawpath
When should I use a yoga studio waiver?
If you're running a yoga studio, teaching private classes, running yoga workshops or retreats, you should get all your students to sign a yoga studio waiver before their first class.
It's very important to ensure that your students are made aware of the risks involved in the physical activity of yoga before they even step on the mat. And to protect yourself, it's equally essential that they agree to take responsibility for the related risks.
What's the difference between a yoga studio waiver and a consent form?
A consent form allows the student to give permission for something to happen in your classes, such as touching the student and offering adjustments. A waiver could potentially release the teacher from liability related to the touch, or any other activities in the class. These two concepts are typically covered in one document.
It's important to ensure the correct legal language is used in your form so that it covers both consent and liability.
What is included in a yoga studio waiver?
Most yoga studios combine their yoga studio waiver with a registration form as it's an opportunity to gather important information from your students and clients from the start. A typical form has a section for personal information at the top, including emergency contact details.
It's good to practice to ask students to list any physical issues or a history of medical issues such as specific injuries, medical conditions or medications so that your instructors can be more prepared.
A solid yoga studio waiver should cover the following:
- Activities involved in class
- Release of liability (for all parties involved in your business)
- Negligence and misconduct
- Acknowledgement of risk
- Acceptance of terms.
How effective is a yoga studio waiver?
A waiver is an official document that is legally binding. If a student sprains an ankle during a pose, for example, the waiver can prevent this person from suing you and your business.
It establishes a clear and honest relationship with your students from the start. Your students will understand the risks involved in participating in a yoga class and will acknowledge their own responsibility in taking care of themselves during their practice.
It's important to note that a waiver does not protect you from any incidents caused by some forms of negligence or misconduct on behalf of your business.
Do I need a lawyer to write a yoga studio waiver?
While you can draft your own yoga studio waiver or use an online template, it may be a good idea to get a lawyer to review your document to ensure the correct legal language is used and most importantly, that everything is covered. This is a crucial document that could prevent the highly stressful event of litigation, so it's a document you'll want to get right.
Get access to customisable yoga studio waiver templates online
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How do I write a yoga studio waiver?
A yoga studio waiver can be a fairly short and simple document. Keeping it short and concise can make it quick and easy for new students to go over the document before they can get on with relaxing into their yoga mats.
Before you start writing your waiver, make a list of all the areas you wish to cover. Then use clear statements that ensure the student is accepting responsibility such as "I agree that…", "I understand that…", "I confirm that…", and "I accept that…". The most important point will be the release of liability statement which declares that the student releases, waives and discharges your studio and all staff from all liability.
To make the process easier for you, it's possible to use sample waivers for yoga studios online and templates from legal websites to guide you through the process. We've listed some sources both in the table above and below.
Where to get free yoga studio waiver templates and samples?
There are a host of yoga studio waiver samples available online to use as a guide, as well as some paid templates. Examples may include:
- Lawpath. Lawpath is a legal platform for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Users can sign up and get the first template for free, but will need to purchase a plan for customisation options.
- Sample Forms. Sample Forms provides a wide range of templates for forms and documents free of charge. You'll need to sign up to access all the templates, but no payment is required and you can download in PDF or Word and easily make edits.
- Legal Vision. LegalVision offers unlimited use of legal document templates, business resources and legal services in several fields for a monthly membership fee of $199.
- Yoga Australia. Yoga Australia is a voluntary, not-for-profit association and is recognised as a leading organisation for Yoga in Australia. Take a look at their waiver and release form for an example of what to include.
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