Yoga Alliance is offering members and non-members, who pay a small fee, access to online seminars pertaining to “yoga law” and the legal aspects of owning a yoga studio. These online workshops are excellent resources and may be watched live or after the presentation, on the Yoga Alliance website.
Yoga teachers and studio owners have an opportunity to become a bit more savvy in their business dealings and more aware of the implications of their current business practices. The workshops by Gary Kissiah are not replacements for knowing local state law, or for hiring a lawyer. However, these workshops do highlight legal issues and can enhance a conversation with a lawyer or help facilitate a useful review of current business practices and agreements, such as studio-student agreements. The most recent webinar deals with recharacterization of independent contractors and employees; each characterization has different tax ramifications for both the teacher and the studio. During this webinar, Gary Kissiah discusses federal law and the ways to help “build the case” for demonstrating that either an independent contractor or employee relationship exists.
Additionally, for Yoga Alliance members, these seminars are free and constitute non-contact hours of continuing education towards a Yoga Alliance registration, so watching these webinars will result in several benefits to the viewer with no investment beyond time and attention.
For lawyers, these webinars do not count towards continuing legal education and are not instruction manuals for providing legal services to yoga studios. The webinars, though, do function as a well-presented overview of legal issues in the yoga studio community. More importantly for lawyers, the webinars have the capacity to make you excited about drafting agreements for your clients, since Gary Kissiah highlights the real world impact of the legal work by presenting as both a lawyer and a member of the yoga community. The webinar does a good job of touching on legal issues, but for the legal professional interested in serving the yoga community the benefit is that these are the types of presentations that make you excited to be a better lawyer for your client.
Yoga Alliance will be offering up to 12 of these webinars over the next couple of months. Topics for March, April, and May have already been selected and are available on the Yoga Alliance website. Gary Kissiah is also offering a newsletter aimed at discussing new legal developments that could impact yoga professionals.
Nothing written above constitutes legal advice or establishes an attorney-client relationship.