Occupational Health and Safety

13 Feb

Yoga yoga

As a yoga teacher, whether teaching in a studio or privately, it is important to create a safe space for yourself and your students. As a teacher it is your responsibility to prevent injuries not only for your students, but for yourself as well. Here we will review the key components to reinforce a safe practice for all participants.

Insurance Requirements

All yoga teachers need their own insurance. In the case that a student or yourself are injured, this will insure that you are not held liable for any of the damages. Some insurance companies will require a Yoga Alliance membership number and identification number in order to register. Make sure that when you choose an insurance company, that it is accepted in the country in which you are teaching. Some studios or gyms will have their own insurance that may or may not cover you personally. It is recommended that you have individual insurance as well regardless of your employer’s policy. If you choose not to purchase individual insurance, make sure you have read your employers Indemnity Form and you feel that you are appropriately supported by the company.

How to Create a Safe Environment

Creating a safe environment is a great foundation to creating a safe practice. It’s your job to be familiar with the space in which you are teaching and to keep it clean and safe. Be familiar with fire exists and fire extinguishers. It’s great to add things to your yoga studio or space like candles or nice lights, but make sure that all are used safely. Make sure that the floor space is cleared of all shoes, bags and belongings so that there is less risk for you or a student to trip. It may help to create a place for students to stow their belongings. Become familiar with the building or outdoor area where you are teaching. Know where all doors and exits are. If teaching outside make sure that you are aware of rocks or possible dangers to students.

Most importantly, creating a safe environment is about creating a space and an energy that allows trust from your students. By practicing Ahimsa, Satva, Santosha and the other Yamas and Niyamas within yourself, you will be able to reflect more freely to your students what a safe and healthy practice may look like. If your yoga students feel safe they will have more ability to listen to their own bodies and know how to practice within their own limits. Encourage students to keep their voices low while in the practicing space to honor the room as a place to turn inwards.

Prior to each class make sure and have each student sign an indemnity form. On this form include a space for students to write certain injuries that they may have. Make sure and always have extra forms and to always read the completed forms.

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