I know what you are thinking. What strain is there in Yoga? While Yoga is a very relaxing practice that helps with breathing, flexibility, and strength, it still has its risks like any other exercise. While anyone is stretching their body and strengthening their muscles, they run the risk of straining, pulling, and sometimes even tearing something in their body. Most Yoga studios I have been to don’t normally have anything to sign before hand. You are there to be safe, calm, and centered. Most people never think of any risk involved. Well, as a studio owner, I always try and reach out to fellow Yogi’s and studio owners to get their take on things. After one of our classes, I overheard some ladies talking about an injury that took place at another studio. After learning a little more I realized the injury took place at a studio I knew well! It is owned by a good friend of mine. Instead of calling to find out more, I had a break until my next class so I went downtown to meet with her in person.
As soon as I walked in the door, I knew the energy was off. She had cancelled her afternoon class because she couldn’t focus. The woman that got injured during her class was a first time visitor to her studio and was extremely upset about getting hurt. She had claimed that her class was too hard and she wasn’t accommodating to her first timer status. Before leaving, she threatened that she may be hearing from her attorney. I understood why she was so upset. Because one person had a negative experience, her entire studio could be jeopardy. I gave her a big hug, ran her through some breathing exercises, and then it was time to get to work.
We looked up all the ways that you can protect yourself from situations like this as a business owner. The horror stories we read were terrible and really shed some light on the risks of owning a business. After some serious digging, we figured out the best way to protect yourself from future issues, not necessarily issues that had already happened. My friend was going to have to lawyer up if that woman decided to pursue any legal recompense. We both decided that we would keep each other accountable for taking the necessary steps to protect our studios in the future.
She really didn’t need to keep me accountable. I was so bothered by her situation and what I had learned from our research, I went home and got to work on protecting my studio. We learned these 3 things:
- Make everyone sign a release of liability document before taking a class.
- Make sure your business is not a sole proprietorship. Operate as corporation/company.
- Get business insurance!
The first one seems like a no brainer now that I’ve read about it. Duh right? The second one is more technical but more or less makes it so if you do get sued, they can only sue the business and not you as a person. Finally, number three seems like the most valuable. When you have business insurance, if you lose in court or have to settle with someone, your business insurance will cover the cost. Crazy right? There insurance for everything. So I did a little more research and found a great agency that offers some amazing business insurance in Orange County. In fact, I liked them so much, I ended up switching over all my insurance to them! Crazy right? Now I have a big umbrella policy that covers my business, my home, my cars and myself. I can honestly suggest to anyone to do the same. You should see their rates for home insurance in Orange County! They are incredible considering how expensive that area is.
Until next time, if you own a business, make sure its protected!