Liability Waiver and Course Participation Agreement

Updated on 1 Nov 2022

Somananda Tantra School is a trading name of Ananda OU. Any references to Somananda Tantra School or Ananda OU in this document refer to the same legal entity, abbreviated as STS.

By reading all of the statements contained in this document and ticking the appropriate box, I hereby confirm and accept all of its terms, conditions, and statements, including those parts relevant both generally to Somananda Tantra School events and specifically to Tantra Massage events within the Somananda Tantra School.

 

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1. Definition of Event

An event is any course, workshop, retreat, experience, and/or teaching offered by Somananda Tantra School in residential, nonresidential, and/or online formats.

2. Covid-19 Addition

  • I hereby declare that I am fully aware of Covid-19 and the global CoronaVirus pandemic and I assume all responsibility for joining a STS event at this time. I hereby declare that I am Covid-19 negative, to the best of my knowledge, am fully healthy, and I currently manifest zero symptoms, whatsoever, related to Covid-19 and associated variants.
  • I hereby confirm that I will ONLY join a STS event if I have not manifested any symptoms related to Covid-19 or any other symptoms of illness at least 14 days prior to joining my chosen STS event (exception made to online STS events, which a participant joins remotely from their own home).
  • I hereby confirm that I assume all responsibility and therefore fully release STS from any responsibility to my health with regards to the Covid-19 infection or contamination. If for some reason I get infected with Covid-19 during a STS event, I hereby assume all responsibility for it and I am fully accepting all risks or dangers related to such infection with Covid-19.
  • I hereby declare that I was fully informed by STS of any and all potential dangers of Covid-19 infection or contamination during events and that I accept all such risks and that I am releasing STS and all attending participants from any responsibility with regards to such dangers of infection, contamination or “catching” Covid-19 during an event.
  • I hereby also release STS and all event participants from any responsibility, if I discover at any time AFTER the event has ended, that I have become infected with Covid-19. I will not accuse, file suit or make any legal claim towards STS with regards to such infection with Covid-19.
  • I am fully aware that in an event I will be sharing space and/or living together at a facility with anywhere between 20-100 people in close proximity. 
  • I am fully aware that specifically Tantra Massage courses involve touch, massage, intimate touch, and various other close interactions that are not within social distancing guidelines nor do they involve the use of face masks. I am accepting all of this and I take full responsibility for any results coming from that. I do not hold STS responsible for any non-adherence to guidelines mandated or recommended by the appropriate governing health authorities. Further to that, I do not hold STS responsible legally, or in any other form, for any of these potential risks or behavior.
  • I confirm that I am obliged to notify the event teaching team immediately if any Covid-19, or other illness-like symptoms, manifest during the event and I confirm that the event team has the right to exclude me from the course and course-related activities and ask me to leave the course venue immediately. I also confirm that in such a situation I am not eligible for any refunds of the course fee.

3. Somananda Tantra School – Tantra Massage Courses

3.1. Applicant’s Responsibilities, Declaration of Consent to All Risks, and Clarification of Content

  • I hereby give my consent to participate in and to give and receive massage (including genital massage and intimate touch) and/or other bodywork as well as instruction in Tantra Massage, Yoga and energy work. I understand such activities may include the use of massage oils, gels, creams and/or props provided by STS, its teachers, trainers, assistants, or related personnel and I acknowledge and agree that I am doing so at my own risk.
  • I hereby declare that I am fully aware and accept that my health and safety, with respect to such training, are my sole responsibility.
  • STS Tantra Massage courses have a proven record for safety and effectiveness. However, in very rare cases, participation in the above listed activities and trainings may potentially result in my bodily injury, blood clotting issues, stroke, Bell’s Palsy, paralyzation, organ failure, structural and physical discomfort, purification effects, hyperventilation, increased heart rate, emotional releases, among other effects, up to and including my own death. I accept full responsibility for myself and my health and indemnify fully and hold harmless STS and all directors, officers, employees, controlling persons, fiduciaries and other agents and affiliates of the Company.
  • My decision to receive training and participate in Tantra Massage courses with STS is voluntary, and I know of, understand, and assume any and all risks associated therewith.

3.2. Somananda Tantra School Tantra Massage Therapist Training (henceforth TMT) 

  • I am aware and fully accept that the TMT certifies me as a Therapist of Tantra Massage only and not as a Tantra Massage Teacher. If I wish to teach Tantra Massage I understand, acknowledge and agree that the next level of training is needed and required to do so. 
  • I will not teach Tantra Massage in any capacity and fully accept that by completing the TMT I am authorized and certified as a Tantra Massage Therapist only which permits me to offer Tantra Massage therapy sessions in a professional and private setting to clients only. 
  • I will not plagiarize, copy, steal or forge any of the knowledge, teachings or techniques learned in the TMT. I further understand that the STS Tantra Massage method is copyrighted and proprietary and any copying or plagiarizing of the material in any way, shape or form will be infringing upon the legal rights of STS. I am aware such unethical actions can be legally prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law in a court of law and STS can file a legal suit for damages, loss of income and theft of proprietary information.
  • In sum, I may find myself the subject of legal action and may incur subsequent financial liabilities in the sum of and no less than €50,000 should I breach this agreement.

3.3. Somananda Tantra School Tantra Massage Teacher Training Course (henceforth TMTTC)

  • I have been informed of and accept that once I am certified as a Tantra Massage Teacher by STS, the school will not be responsible for any of my activities as a Tantra Massage Teacher at any time or at any location at which I teach. I am aware and fully accept that I will be teaching Tantra Massage at my own risk, assuming all responsibility for all my actions and the results of teaching Tantra Massage. Therefore, I hereby now and for the future, indemnify and hold harmless STS from and against any and all claims, rights, damages, liabilities, losses, loss of employment-related costs and all other costs and expenses (including reasonable attorney’s fees) arising from or in connection with any injuries to myself or to other persons or damage to property caused by or attributed to me or my students/clients as a teacher of Tantra Massage at any given time.
  • I am aware and I fully accept that once I am certified as a Tantra Massage Teacher by STS I will be allowed to teach Tantra Massage courses worldwide for a duration up to five (5) days. I declare that I will not teach courses with a duration of more than five (5) days under any circumstances, anywhere in the world, without the explicit written consent and approval from STS.
  • I hereby confirm and commit that I will not change the structure, nor improvise or alter in any way, the teaching programs of STS as they were given to me during the TMTTC. This includes not breaking up any particular teaching program into additional or fewer teaching periods or into separate courses.
  • I hereby declare that I am fully aware that completing the TMTTC with STS does not authorize me to teach the Tantra Massage Therapist Training or the Tantra Massage Teacher Training Course, or similar courses of any kind. If I choose to ignore this commitment, I will be infringing on the copyrights and legal rights of STS and may find myself the subject of legal action and may incur subsequent financial liabilities. I further understand and accept that if I breach this agreement, I will compensate STS financially with a sum of no less than, and potentially not limited to, €50,000. 
  • I am aware that participation in the TMTTC does not automatically guarantee graduation, the obtaining of a certificate, or receiving full authorization to teach Tantra Massage. A participant may graduate, receive a STS certificate and be allowed to teach Tantra Massage only by passing the required exams and earning a positive personal assessment by the head teachers.
  • I have been informed, accepted, and committed that at any given time, I will not use the STS name, titles of events or copy exactly or approximately any of the texts from any of the STS websites, social media channels or newsletters. Instead, I commit to use the texts, which have been given to me during the TMTTC which are approved and meant for this use.
  • Also, I am fully aware and accept that upon graduating, I will not earn the right to use the STS name and to identify myself as a STS teacher. 
  • Furthermore, I will not be allowed to represent STS unless and until I become an official member of the STS teaching team and my name is clearly posted on the STS website staff page. 
  • I acknowledge that I can list STS in my biography and list of credentials.

3.4. Nudity, Intimate Touch, and Genital Massage

  • I hereby declare that in full awareness and agreement, I choose to participate in STS’ Tantra Massage courses and I am aware and fully accept that these courses include and involve nudity, partial nudity, intimate bodily touch between various participants and myself, genital massage (including inner vaginal massage for women and penis and testicular massage for men), multiple exchange of massage partners during the course and full-body touch. I agree, in advance, to fully participate in all of the above-mentioned activities.

3.5. Potential Risks and Side Effects of Tantra Massage

  • I am aware that Tantra Massage benefits include pain relief, relaxation, blood pressure moderation, stress reduction and anxiety management.
  • By signing this document, I hereby confirm that I have been fully informed and I accept and agree fully to all the health risks mentioned henceforth. Also, I fully accept and agree to participate in any of the STS massage courses with full knowledge and awareness of the health risks and possible damages mentioned below:
    1. Blood Clots: The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) cautions massage therapists about the risks of massaging a client with high blood pressure. The pressure exerted during a massage could potentially cause arterial plaque to rupture and release blood clots into the system. Though the risk is low for such an event, blood clots can travel to the heart or brain. Clients with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition that causes blood clots to develop in the deep veins of the body, are especially at risk. Massage greatly increases the risks of a clot being released and traveling to the lungs.
    2. Nerve Damage: Some forms of massage, such as deep tissue massage (including Tantra Massage), Structural Integration, and Rolfing require the massage therapist to exert pressure past the skin layer in order to manipulate muscles and connective tissues. During the Somananda Tantra Massage courses as participant and in Tantra Massage teacher training if a participant does not communicate and does not give or receive proper feedback from another participant or from Somananda Tantra School teachers, assistants, or staff, this may bring about the exertion of too much pressure, resulting in temporary nerve damage to a participant.
    3. Infectious Skin Conditions: A number of infectious conditions of the skin can be transmitted during massage, despite the best efforts of Somananda Tantra School to screen participants within reason. These include herpes, cold sores, shingles rashes, warts, and ringworm. Likewise, as in the case of warts, during Tantra Massage training, people may unknowingly spread the contagion from one area of a person’s body to another or to themselves.
    4. Temporary Side Effects: Side effects, otherwise known as purification effects, may include temporary pain, soreness, discomfort, bruising, swelling, and a sensitivity or allergy to massage oils. Also, nausea, vomiting, temporary or longer-term diarrhea, various body discomfort symptoms, emotional expressions, and emotional release may exhibit, among other conditions.

3.6. When to Avoid Massage

  • Certain medical conditions may increase the risk of experiencing negative side effects from massage. These include cancer, severe heart conditions, high blood pressure, fractured or broken bones, blood clots, skin rashes and infectious diseases of the skin, sexually transmitted diseases, burns, lesions, any forms of arthritis and osteoporosis, mysterious pain, and other diseases or dysfunctions.
  • If I suffer from any of these conditions or other serious illness, I commit to inform STS when applying for any STS event and to consult my physician before joining a STS Tantra Massage course.
  • As a pregnant woman I am aware that I am required to inform STS of my pregnancy before joining any Tantra Massage course and to consult my healthcare provider before participating. 

4. Somananda Tantra School – Tantra Teacher Training Course (TTTC)

4.1. Somananda Tantra School Tantra Teacher Training Course (henceforth TTTC)

  • I have been informed of and accept that once I am certified as a Tantra Teacher by STS, the school will not be responsible for any of my activities as a Tantra Teacher at any time or at any location at which I teach. I am aware and fully accept that I will be teaching Tantra at my own risk, assuming all responsibility for all my actions and the results of teaching Tantra. Therefore, I hereby now and for the future, indemnify and hold harmless STS from and against any and all claims, rights, damages, liabilities, losses, loss of employment-related costs and all other costs and expenses (including reasonable attorney’s fees) arising from or in connection with any injuries to myself or to other persons or damage to property caused by or attributed to me or my students/clients as a teacher of Tantra at any given time.
  • I am aware and I fully accept that once I am certified as a Tantra Teacher by STS I will be allowed to teach sexual and relationship Tantra courses worldwide for a duration up to five (5) days. I declare that I will not teach courses with a duration of more than five (5) days under any circumstances, anywhere in the world, without the explicit written consent and approval from STS.
  • I hereby confirm and commit that I will not change the structure, nor improvise or alter in any way, the teaching programs of STS as they were given to me during the TTTC. This includes not breaking up any particular teaching program into additional or fewer teaching periods or into separate courses.
  • I hereby declare that I am fully aware that completing the TTTC with STS does not authorize me to teach the Tantra Massage Therapist Training, Tantra Yoga classes or levels, Tantric Meditation courses, Tantra Massage Teacher Training Course, Tantra Teacher Training Course, or any other course of any kind other than what is authorized by attending the TTTC. If I choose to ignore this commitment, I will be infringing on the copyrights and legal rights of STS and may find myself the subject of legal action and may incur subsequent financial liabilities. I further understand and accept that if I breach this agreement, I will compensate STS financially with a sum of no less than, and potentially not limited to, €50,000. 
  • I am aware that participation in the TTTC does not automatically guarantee graduation, the obtaining of a certificate, or receiving full authorization to teach Tantra. A participant may graduate, receive a STS certificate and be allowed to teach Tantra only by passing the required exams and earning a positive personal assessment by the head teachers. Graduating from this TTTC requires a clear display of change, transformation and ego control. If change is not detected through the spiritual insight and assessment of our teachers, you will be denied a teaching certificate.
  • I have been informed, accepted, and committed that at any given time, I will not use the STS name, titles of events or copy exactly or approximately any of the texts from any of the STS websites, social media channels or newsletters. Instead, I commit to use the texts, which have been given to me during the TTTC which are approved and meant for this use.
  • Also, I am fully aware and accept that upon graduating, I will not earn the right to use the STS name and to identify myself as a STS teacher. 
  • Furthermore, I will not be allowed to represent STS unless and until I become an official member of the STS teaching team and my name is clearly posted on the STS website staff page. 
  • I acknowledge that I can list STS in my biography and list of credentials.

4.2. Advanced Tantric Rituals

  • I hereby declare that in full awareness and agreement, I choose to voluntarily participate in STS’ Tantra Teacher Training Course (TTTC) and I am aware and fully accept that this course may include advanced tantric rituals that involve full nudity, partial nudity, intimate bodily touch between various participants and myself, ego analysis and transcending negative body image and body dysmorphia, and consensual tantric sexual exchange in couples or a larger group setting as part of the secret and mysterious Tantric Chakra Puja. I understand that participation in some rituals are strictly voluntary while others will offer varying levels and degrees of participation and that I may join according to my own individual comfort level. 
  • I am aware that if I choose not to participate in any or all of the rituals, this can hinder my level of transformation and ego control and my successful graduation may be in jeopardy. 
  • Furthermore, I hereby declare, that upon participating in any tantric ritual or activity during the TTTC, which includes any intimate touch or sexual exchange of any kind, I will assume full responsibility for my participation, my experiences and any results I will obtain. I will not hold STS school responsible for any results or experiences or feelings that may result from my participation. I hereby declare that I was informed in advance and I fully understand that this TTTC is meant to challenge my ego, my emotional and mental state in order to help me grow on a personal level and evolve. I fully understand and accept that this will most probably challenge me, it may upset me and it may bring anger. I assume in advance all responsibility for such challenges and will not hold STS responsible for any such impacts and challenges at the end of the TTTC or at any time in the future. 
  • I also declare that I have been fully informed that STS staff and teachers are not therapists or psychologists or trained in any standard or registered medical or mental doctrines or therapies. I fully understand and accept that all such training and activities within the TTTC are done according to tantric principles and knowledge which is mostly personal and not in accordance with any accredited organization or government body. I understand this clearly and I assume full responsibility for any physical, emotional, psychological, mental or any other result of my participation in the TTTC. 
  • By my registration I explicitly state that I am ready and prepared to approach the mysteries of sexual Tantra with maturity and an open mind. 

5. Somananda Tantra School – All Trainings

5.1. Declaration of Confidentiality and No Recording Policy

  • I hereby commit not to record (by means of video, audio, or any other means) the content, teaching materials, lectures, sessions or any other content or teachings of the STS events in which I participate. I am aware that if I breach this commitment, I may be expelled immediately from any event with no refund or compensation and I may become the subject of legal action against myself as well as incur fines and legal/financial liability for copyright infringement.
  • I also hereby commit not to distribute course materials provided directly to me in any format – whether digital or printed, including online content from the website or STS social media channels – to anyone, regardless of whether that person/those people may have previously joined a STS event. Unauthorized distribution of STS materials will be considered a breach of this agreement and violators will be subject to legal repercussions.

5.2. Somananda Tantra School Right to Refuse Acceptance

  • I have been informed and accept that STS has the right to refuse the participation of myself or any person to any of its events. Furthermore, I am fully aware and accept in advance, that STS reserves the right to expel, dismiss, or send home myself or any participant from any of its events at any time for the following reasons:
    1. Incompatibility/problematic behavior that disrupts harmony in the event;
    2. Breaking the rule that stipulates no recording of any kind;
    3. Disregarding or breaking any of the other rules of conduct as explained in the first session of each course;
    4. Aggressive or disrespectful behavior toward any teacher, staff member or course participant;
    5. Any other disturbing, abnormal, or adverse behavior that negatively impacts the event, the teacher(s)/assistants, or other participants.
  • Such decisions will not be made lightly. However, if made, these decisions will be taken at the sole discretion of the event teacher(s) and will be final.
  • I understand and accept that in the case of my expulsion from any of STS’s events, there will be no refund of any kind of my payments that have been made to STS. I declare that I am fully aware of the “no refund” policy in case of expulsion from an event and I agree in advance to withhold any claims or requests for a refund. 

5.3. Declaration of Waiver of Rights

  • In exchange for receiving any training or instruction from STS, I, for myself and on behalf of my heirs, executors, administrators, and personal representatives, hereby waive, release, discharge, and hold harmless STS from any and all liability for any and all injuries, including death, damages, or claims relating to or resulting from my participation in any and all STS events, now or in the future, foreseen or unforeseen. Further, I will indemnify and hold harmless STS from and against any and all claims, rights, damages, liabilities, losses, loss of employment-related costs, and all other costs and expenses (including reasonable attorney’s fees) arising from or in connection with any injuries to other persons or damage to property caused by or attributed to me.

6. Community Activity

  • Unless provided in writing, digitally or on paper by STS, no events run by students of STS are in any way affiliated or related to STS.
  • If graduate student teachers or any other type of student from STS choose to run their own practice sessions or events, ticketed or un-ticketed, they must acknowledge that these events have no affiliation and are not related to STS or its events.
  • STS accepts no liability or responsibility for personal activities organized by students or other persons with materials or techniques taught in official STS events or through unofficial events or methods by STS.
  • Any events that claim affiliation to STS, directly or indirectly, without prior written permission, digitally or on paper, may be liable to legal action.

7. Declaration of Agreement to All Terms

  • I have read in detail and fully understand this Liability Waiver and Course Participation Agreement regarding my participation in STS events and specifically regarding the benefits, potential risks, and side effects associated with Tantra Massage courses and training programs, and/or other bodywork done with and by STS.
  • I acknowledge that I have read and understood the release and indemnification provisions set forth in the preceding paragraphs as well as all other declarations, commitments and statements within this document and I agree to and accept all of the terms outlined. By ticking the respective box in the check-out page of the STS website and/or writing my name and applying my personal signature on this document, I hereby legally agree to all content contained herein. 
  • I agree to sign this document in person and in physical form upon arrival to an STS event.

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