Informed Consent & Release
Risks and Benefits
Yoga classes and 1:1 sessions may have benefits and risks. You should consult your physician and obtain consent before beginning.
All movement programs involve a risk of injury. By participating in the session’s movement portion, you voluntarily assume a certain risk of injury. The following guidelines will help you reduce your risk of injury:
- Breathe smoothly and continuously as you move and stretch.
- Do not strain to attain any position.
- Respect your body’s abilities and limitations.
- Do not perform postures or movements that are painful.
- Consult your healthcare provider if you have previous injuries or conditions.
You may experience uncomfortable feelings throughout the session. Some participants report feeling sadness, guilt, shame, frustration, and overwhelmed. Some aspects of the session may elicit uncomfortable memories.
Yoga classes and 1:1 sessions also carry the possibility of many benefits. Many participants report a reduction in mental health disorder symptoms, improvements in self-care, improvements in coping and self-regulation, and a greater sense of ease in their body and self. It is important to note that there are no guarantees of what you will or will not experience.
Yoga classes and 1:1 sessions are not treatments for mental or physical illness. It is not a substitute for medical or mental health treatment. Your teachers, Advanced Yoga Teachers, and Ayurvedic Somatic Coaches cannot diagnose or treat mental or medical conditions. It is recommended that you seek counsel from qualified medical and mental health professionals for issues related to psychological and physiological illness.
- You have the right to ask questions about the process and content of the session.
- You have the right to voice concerns or complaints about the session. Your teacher welcomes your feedback directly. In addition, you can contact the Life of Wellness Institute with any concerns about unethical or unfair treatment by the Practicum Teacher(s).
- You have the right to leave the session. If you wish, your Practicum Teacher(s) will provide you with the names of other qualified professionals whose services you might prefer.
- You have the right to expect that the teachers will maintain professional and ethical boundaries. Your teachers abide by the Code of Ethics of the Yoga Alliance.
- You have the right to set physical and emotional boundaries. If there are any aspects of the session you do not wish to participate in, you have the right to opt-out. If you do not wish to engage in activities that involve touch, you have the right to opt out.
Privacy and Confidentiality
Some Yoga classes and 1:1 sessions take place via Zoom, so please protect your privacy by completing the activities in a private space to ensure conversations are not overheard. To protect your privacy, we suggest you only use your first name (or a pseudonym) in the Zoom meetings and do not share identifying details with others.
Your Practicum Teacher(s) are required to maintain your confidentiality, and we ask that you respect the confidentiality of your fellow participants. Keep what happens in the group in the group. If you want to share what you are learning about yourself with friends or loved ones, remember not to share names, identities, or in any other way compromise the confidentiality of your fellow participants.
Limits to Confidentiality
Your Practicum Teacher(s) are required to maintain your confidentiality, except for a few particular circumstances:
- Instances of active or suspected abuse (physical, emotional, or sexual) or neglect of a child, an elder, or a dependent adult must be reported to the appropriate protective services
- If you threaten to harm yourself or another individual, teachers are required to take steps to help maintain the safety of the person at risk.
- If a judge orders a teacher’s testimony/records or, in the context of a legal proceeding, the teacher may be required to release confidential information to the court.
- The teacher(s) may consult with the Life of Wellness Institute and its staff about what happens in the course.
Your fellow participants are asked to sign the same confidentiality agreement you do before beginning the course. Life of Wellness Institute and your teacher(s) cannot guarantee that fellow participants will uphold confidentiality standards.
Yoga classes and 1:1 are not intended for individuals struggling with severe mental or physical illness. Your Practicum Teacher may refer you to professional treatment if they are concerned that you are a danger to yourself or your fellow participants. Specifically, we may ask you to leave the course if you engage in:
- Use of illicit drugs or alcohol before or during sessions
- Self-harm behaviors (e.g., purging, cutting, laxative/diet pill/stimulant abuse, and burning)
- Threats of violence toward others
Your Practicum Teacher(s) will make every effort to return any contact you initiate (email, phone call, text, etc.) in a reasonable amount of time. Call the emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room if you have an emergency that requires immediate attention or action.
The Life of Wellness Institute maintains outcome data for all practicum classes and 1:1 sessions. These records include questionnaires you fill out, billing records, and copies of any professional documents (e.g., informed consent forms, media releases, etc.). These records may be used for qualitative and quantitative research, but any identifying data will be removed to avoid revealing your identity.