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Should Yoga Studios Ask Students to Sign a Liability Waiver?

It's time for yoga teachers to adopt some of the legal protections that other health professionals already use. Here's how to understand the benefits of liability waivers plus advice on how to use them and what disclosures they should include.

By Michael H. Cohen, JD, MBA

In short, in addition to maintaining the highest ethical and professional standards, yoga studios and teachers can help reduce liability concerns by attending to students' experience throughout and working to dissolve unnecessary anger or misperception in case of an unintended, adverse encounter on the mat. This strategy should help manage liability concerns while maintaining sensitivity to the unique opportunities for connection within yoga teaching and practice.

Michael H. Cohen, JD, MBA publishes the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog (, and currently serves as Director of Legal Programs at the Harvard Medical School Osher Institute.

The materials in this website/e-newsletter have been prepared by Michael H. Cohen, JD and Yoga Journal for informational purposes only and are not legal opinion or advice. Online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional legal counsel.

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Reader Comments


Would you recommend online waiver services like Smartwaiver for yoga studios?

Emily Kochert Riveramelo

I have the same question. I've been looking online, and have found a few examples, but is there any "template" available?

Debi Kennison

Regarding the article by Michael H. Cohen on Liability waivers and disclosure forms: Is there a source for these forms online that yoga instructors can use?

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