Yoga Instructor Hilaria Baldwin Sued Over “Bloody” Handstand Accident

Hilaria Baldwin appears on 'Extra'

In more strange yoga news today, celebrity yoga instructor (and wife of Alec Baldwin) Hilaria Baldwin is being sued for a “bloody” accident that happened in one of her yoga classes last month.

As the story goes, Spencer Wolff, a 32-year-old Yale literature PhD student, took one of Hilaria’s often-crowded afternoon $10 yoga classes (Yes, $10 yoga in New York City. Crazy!) When he attempted a handstand during class, the only space he could find was up against a wall. He lost his balance and fell into a window, shattering it and cutting his left leg and foot open in the process. He was immediately rushed to the ER, with one of his friends and Hilaria both accompanying him.

According to the NYPost, the suit alleges that Hilaria:

put students in a position of “extreme danger” by letting them “exceed a safe and/or maximum allowable number of persons.”

But another person who was in the class said that Hilaria had instructed the student that his handstand was not correct; people speculate it was Wolff’s form and decision to stand near the window that contributed to the accident. Another student in the class reportedly screamed “It’s your fault! It’s your fault!” at Hilaria following the incident.

I follow Hilaria on Twitter and I noticed she’s been retweeting messages of support, but I didn’t quite know why until I heard about this story. She’s pretty obviously grateful for the support she’s receiving there, but I have a feeling this situation will escalate. Wolff’s lawyer, Peter Weitz, said of his client:

He can’t flex the ankle and the foot points downward. He’s in a boot. He is worried whether he’ll be able to use his leg normally again — and right now it’s a waiting game.

It sounds like a sad, scary unfortunate situation for everyone: for Wolff, the other students in the room at the time, and for Hilaria herself. I’m sure she feels awful that something like this happened during one of her classes. What do you think about the lawsuit? Should she be held responsible for Wolff’s injury or should he take responsibility for his own accident?


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    • Tina

      My take on this is the commercial nature of this and similar studios.

      At the price point they market themselves at (a lot like Yoga to the
      People) should obviate the teaching of poses more advanced …

      Private sessions are the only way you could learn something this
      advanced in classes that could be very good, very exciting even–but for
      the most part phoned in at that price …[even if the class is not grossly
      overcrowded, such as also could be the result of Hilaria's celebrity]

      Add in the fact that it’s almost a truism that young people taking up
      yoga tend to be much more competitive about it. The teacher completes
      the picture. This is not “gym yoga” which has an insurance company to
      please, and will not teach even headstand in many cases. This is just
      not gym yoga except for the price point for students.

      Competitiveness also goes with their being student-age and students. (Students get a sweetheart deal on the price.)

      It goes with their general territory, whether these college students be athletic or not.

      Don’t these yoga studios know just who are they marketing to?

      He probably should have listened to Hilaria commenting and cautioning him not to do this again, and figured the proximity of the window in relation to his body size, type and prior experiences of having fallen …

      Don’t think this is a golddigger issue, just the case of “affordable yoga” getting to big for its britches.

      Learn safely if you can afford it (elsewhere!). If not, don’t be in a hurry …