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12 Sep 03:09

Comment on Yoga Alliance President, Richard Karpel, Announces Resignation by Stewart J. Lawrence

by Stewart J. Lawrence
Lilly Teal

stew

S.–
I have no predictions. I am not privy to internal deliberations. However, I think it’s hard to build a “Yoga Alliance” that is built solely around the narrow professional interests of the yoga companies, studios, and teachers.

A larger “alliance” must include the consumers — the students – and the broader public. Karpel was building a trade association without any regard for the long-term interests of yoga consumers — or the public — except as defined by their self-appointed “leaders.”

It’s the YOGA BUSINESS ALLIANCE. That’s fine — but let’s have truth in advertising. Let’s cal it YBA from here on out?

Richard was wrong on the Yoga-Glo issue and deeply deeply wrong on the DC taxation issue, which was very much about protecting the city’s tax base.

A good example of what happens when you are only representing your membership, and its own narrow selfish professional interests.

In the eye of a majority Black city, a majority Black council, and the DC taxpayers generally, the Yoga Alliance intervention in this local issue only further branded American yoga as a special interest promoted by a privileged white suburban constituency.

It was a disaster. I live here.

The dispute between the former Lulu ambassador/teacher who helped Wanderlust and Wanderlust who ripped off her stuff? Another disaster. Karpel, by omission or commission sided with Wanderlust, the big corporate player over the “little guy” — the struggling teacher who wanted her intellectual property protected.

This from the guy who pretended that he was against the Yoga-Glo patent on behalf of all yogis and the great and glorious common good.

There are natural tensions that develop between the more corporate entities reflected in YA’s board and membership– entities that naturally want to monopolize or at last dominate the industry — and the isolated little studios and teachers.

How does the head of Yoga Alliance sort out these disputes — or does he even try? Somebody needs to hold him accountable for how he handled this matter. Or maybe somebody did, since it resulted in a lawsuit.

Karpel approved Wanderlust’s application for teacher training certification AFTER the lawsuit against Wanderlust for stealing the intellectual property to build that training program was filed. Why? Ask him.

I think people also need to know why the YOGA BUSINESS ALLIANCE wasn’t interested in developing a real curriculum for teachers in the area of medical contraindications for yoga poses. Victoria McColm was doing some fabulous work in this area — but threw up her hands in disgust because she was getting stonewalled by Karpel &Co.

Having yoga teachers actually understood all the contraindications for the yoga asanas — the health risks. This is in the interest of everyone, right?

Not for the fascist yoga super-elite that thinks any questioning of yoga pedagogy puts you in the horrible William Broad “get yoga camp — rather than in a simple and highly reasonable consumer protection camp.

How much have Karpel & Co. done in the area of teacher liability insurance — now that the number of consumer lawsuits against studios and teachers that injured students are taking off?

I reported on this for Counterpunch. “Yoga’s Growing Threat of Legal Liability.” http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/04/yogas-growing-threat-of-legal-liability/

Finally, we cannot have heads of the YOGA BUSINESS ALLIANCE attacking and threatening to sue journalists like myself and the papers we write for simply because we are trying to hold people like Karpel and this pathetic self-serving commercial industry accountable.

It’s hard to serve two masters — God and the market — and the more you try, the more it wraps you into pretzels of internal contradictions like the ones that have developed at YA — and that will consume one leader after the next over time.

Let’s stop calling the yoga industry a “movement”? Please, it’s a movement like Amway is a movement. To use this term is an insult to anyone who’s actually helped build one.

21 Aug 17:06

Big Investors Push for Auditors to Sign Financial Statements

by Jesse Eisinger

An industry group which represents some of the nation's largest investors is urging regulators not to back away from plans to require auditors to sign the financial statements they prepare for companies.

In my August 13 "Trade" column, I wrote of a struggle between the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which regulates the accounting industry, and the Securities and Exchange Commission over reforms to auditor disclosure. The PCAOB, and many accounting reformers and investment groups had pushed for this change.

The accounting industry and the SEC have resisted. The negotiations have been going on for years.

In a letter dated August 15, Jeff Mahoney, the general counsel for the Council of Institutional Investors, a nonprofit that represents investment organizations with more than $3 trillion in assets under management, wrote, "to express our surprise and disappointment in the report earlier this week in the New York Times that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has decided to dramatically weaken" the reforms.

The bodies are coming to a compromise, with final rules slated to come out next month. As part of the compromise, the accounting firms will be required to disclose who the lead audit partner is, but the partner will not be required to sign the audited financial statements, according to a person familiar with the decision. It's not yet decided in what manner the auditing firms will disclose the lead engagement partner's name.

20 Dec 20:52

Comment on Urban Outfitters Pulls Ganesh Socks After Offending Hindus by Stewart Lawrence

by Stewart Lawrence
Lilly Teal

stew

How about firmly committing yourself to keeping the Divine source out of the marketplace. Cleaning the Temple of the Money-Changers has a strong foundation in Christianity, too. But alas, such strictures would put Yoga Dork and 90% of yoga out of business, too. What would we lose, if there were no yoga studios and no yoga blogosphere? More than a few hucksters and predators, I suspect. But would the angels really weep? Would Ganesh?

29 Oct 15:39

Comment on Lululemon ‘Brahmacharya’ Shopping Bags Depict Junk Food, Needles, Condoms and Alcohol to Promote ‘Moderation’ by Stewart J. Lawrence

by Stewart J. Lawrence
Lilly Teal

stew

Lululemon is like the court jester and whipping boy of the entire American yoga movement, which couldn’t survive without it. It’s your flagship ladies, your guilty pleasure, without which you would be absolutely nowhere. The same, dare I say, is true of Bikram. This is what spiritual materialism is all about. It breeds a lot of empty sanctimony.

05 Oct 20:58

Comment on Yoga Studio Shamed After ‘Ghetto Fabulous’ Class Ignites Outrage by Stewart Lawrence

by Stewart Lawrence
Lilly Teal

stew

It’s not one studio. It’s a deep and pervasive bias coming to the fore in one place in a very public way. Yoga suffers from what’s called “institutionalized racism.” That’s more about the culture you create than the by;laws you pass.

American yoga doesn’t seem racist because participants spout slogans of peace and joy and because you have already appropriated a “foreign” non-White culture and its symbolism — India and Hinduism.

But anytime you put this many young and stupid middle class American white girls in one place — problems ensue. Sorry.

05 Oct 21:01

Comment on Yoga Studio Shamed After ‘Ghetto Fabulous’ Class Ignites Outrage by Stewart Lawrence

by Stewart Lawrence
Lilly Teal

stew

By the way, how many of the leading yoga bloggers are women of color? And besides everyone’s favorite token, Faith Hunter, where are all the African-American or Latin yogis?
Anyone promoting “affirmative action” in yoga?

And the Yoga Alliance. What does it have to say about this important subject?

05 Oct 21:38

Comment on Yoga Alliance Starts Petition Urging YogaGlo to Withdraw Patent Application, Stop ‘Bullying’ by Stewart Lawrence

by Stewart Lawrence
Lilly Teal

stew

Wish it had. We’d all be a lot better off. And so would India.

15 Aug 02:08

Comment on What’s in a Name: Does Calling Yourself a Yoga Teacher Make You a Yoga Teacher? by semper fi

by semper fi
Lilly Teal

stew

The YA RYT 200 hour teacher training is a sham. It lines the pockets of RYT yoga schools like some kind of deranged Amway scheme. TT’s attract people who have attended a handful of yoga classes and want to be the next yoga rock star. Little do people know to achieve that status, you have to put in years of doing yoga. In this McSociety, we don’t have that kind of patience. To do it right, you have to practice with someone who knows what they are doing for 10 years. Then, start your own class for FREE in a park or some low rent place. You have to build your students up one at at time. After you have built a handful of students and taught them to the best of your ability, then consider “certification.” By that time you will not need Yoga Alliance to tell you that you are a yoga teacher. I doubt many of you can hack it, so go ahead and pay your $2K for 200 hours and and stamp. I just don’t want to be there when your first student with an injury shows up.

05 Aug 20:40

Comment on Former Bikram Legal Advisor Files Extremely Disturbing Lawsuit Over Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, Assault by Stewart Lawrence

by Stewart Lawrence
Lilly Teal

stew

Why are “clowns” like Bikram not exposed earlier? Because he’s the most popular yogi in America with by far the single most cmmmercially successful yoga brand. That’s why.

For decades, top athletes like NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul Jabbar (currently a Huff Po blogger, by the way) have extolled the virtues of Bikram’s yoga methods and Bikram himself as a teacher and a healer. Jabbar credits Bikram with extending his career basketball over a decade beyond what he coud have managed alone. So do other top athletes and scores of Holly wood celebrities.

Read the accounts of this week, last week, every week from athletes and others still celebrating Bikram yoga . Or talk to the 1 million people who practice Bikram Yoga — and LOVE IT.

Sure, it’s a wake up call. For American Yoga as a whole, which refuses to regulate what it does and then cries these empty crocodile tears over the consequences of rampant commercialism — the very same rampant commercialism that Yoga Dork and all the other yoga blogs are promoting every single day as a way of bringing yoga to the masses.

Well you got your wish, ladies. Enjoy it. If you want a different yoga industry with a more social responsible ethos, stricter guidelines on teacher training and certification, and more honest and responsible science about yoga’s health risks and rewards, than work for it.

What’s really sad here is that basically the only people you’re concerned about are the other narcissistic monsters in Bikram’s immediate and coveted circle. This isn’t about the larger yoga public, which knows nothing about this, and still swears by his yoga.

But since when has Yoga Dork really been about the concerns and needs of the larger yoga public? Since when has anyone in a position of yoga leadership really ever concerned themselves with anything but themselves?

Namaste.

02 Aug 23:14

Comment on UPDATED: After Trial Victory, Encinitas Schools Could Get $1.4 Million to Expand Yoga Program by Stewart Lawrence

by Stewart Lawrence
Lilly Teal

stew

You guys are just figuring out that this is a corporate-funded religious purchase no different from what a conservative evangelical group does when it tries to impose its own doctrinaire views of spirituality on the rest of us?

Of course the school knows who the real funder is, and is making nice nice here.

Just another example of yogic immaturity and narcissism masquerading as service to the public. In this case, shamelessly using children to boot.

Oh please, please, feed our beautiful me-me yoga by any means necessary. Want me to spread my legs, too? How much? Be gentle…

That’s how we got Lululemon, too. It’s only the beginning….

02 Aug 23:18

Comment on UPDATED: After Trial Victory, Encinitas Schools Could Get $1.4 Million to Expand Yoga Program by Stewart Lawrence

by Stewart Lawrence
Lilly Teal

stew

Encinitas seems to be a real yoga hell-hole. Where John Friend was hoping to build his Yoga Jonestown center, and now this. Apparently it all goes back to the original Indian sell-outs who came here spreading their Westernized yoga gospel for the same fame and fortune motives?

Is there some kind of toxic sinkhole out there? Will the earth suddenly open-up, and thousands of people will be swallowed whole? Sounds Biblical.

11 Jun 18:21

Comment on UPDATE: ‘Yoga Nazi,’ aka the ‘Meanest Yoga Teacher’ in NYC Closes Bikram Union Square, Students Demand Answers by Stewart J. Lawrence

by Stewart J. Lawrence
Lilly Teal

stew

“My mom gave me a choice of either Bikram yoga or ballet, so I chose yoga,” Green said of the “hot yoga” that forces the body to adapt. “It definitely helped me a lot on and off the field as far as staying focused on my breathing. I’m definitely more flexible and just the whole mental part on the field, yoga has helped me tremendously.”

WOW you mean you don’t need that Hindu gobbledy-gook or all those happy horseshit encomiums from your local wannabe priestess to “get” the breathing or meditative benefits of yoga?

Just consistent asana body work will do it?

Who’d of thunk!!!

11 Jun 18:09

Comment on UPDATE: ‘Yoga Nazi,’ aka the ‘Meanest Yoga Teacher’ in NYC Closes Bikram Union Square, Students Demand Answers by Stewart J. Lawrence

by Stewart J. Lawrence
Lilly Teal

stew

There’s a new story from the Detroit Free Press about University of Michigan star football running back Derrick Green using Bikram Yoga to become the nation’s top college recruit.

http://www.freep.com/article/20130609/SPORTS06/306090111/michigan-wolverines-football-derrick-green-top-recruit

I know how much Yoga Dork loves to celebrate top sports stars using yoga to enhance their athletic abilities.

HAIL BIKRAM!!!!

11 Jun 17:15

Comment on UPDATE: ‘Yoga Nazi,’ aka the ‘Meanest Yoga Teacher’ in NYC Closes Bikram Union Square, Students Demand Answers by Lala

by Lala
Lilly Teal

stew

I don’t believe that YogaWorks has franchises. It has dozens of locations, but they are all owned by YogaWorks.

11 Jun 18:02

Comment on UPDATE: ‘Yoga Nazi,’ aka the ‘Meanest Yoga Teacher’ in NYC Closes Bikram Union Square, Students Demand Answers by Stewart J. Lawrence

by Stewart J. Lawrence
Lilly Teal

stew

Will look into it, thanks Lala. You’re making the case even stronger then.

11 Jun 05:14

Comment on UPDATE: ‘Yoga Nazi,’ aka the ‘Meanest Yoga Teacher’ in NYC Closes Bikram Union Square, Students Demand Answers by Stewart J. Lawrence

by Stewart J. Lawrence
Lilly Teal

stew

I wonder if Yoga Dork could do some actual research — I know, wow, what a burden — on Bikram studios, and why so many franchisees, mostly women, seem so happy that they have found a route to business ownership?

How many women has the Bikram business model empowered in this way compared to say, the Anusara model, or the Ashtanga model, or the Iyengar model? Any idea?

Even some of the pother corporate systems – Yoga Works, Core Yoga, have what, a few dozen places, max, comp[ared to what, hundreds of Bikram studio franchises?

Talk to franchisees, and see what it’s actually meant to them? I know several happy campers just in the Washington, DC area.

Franchising is not for everyone certainly, but when it works, it works.

Second, a lot of people start with Bikram – and then move on. Bikram is a big yoga gateway drug — and other methods and practices should probably be glad he helped establish and enlarge the yoga market.

That’s capitalism — and face it, American yoga, 95% of ity, is ALL about capitalism and capitalist values.

Seen the marketing on this web site lately?

07 Jun 05:17

Comment on 5 ways to make $#!^loads of money with yoga by Maya Devi Georg

by Maya Devi Georg
Lilly Teal

georg

Don’t forget “Take lots of naked pictures of yourself in yoga poses.” There are many yoginis that built a career around being photographed in the nude!

30 May 05:20

Comment on YD Giveaway: ‘Yoga PhD’ by Carol Horton by Stewart J. Lawrence

by Stewart J. Lawrence
Lilly Teal

stew

Pathological Huckster Drag

26 May 13:25

Comment on Yoga Trial Judge: ‘We’re getting so esoteric it’s almost meaningless’ by Stewart J. Lawrence

by Stewart J. Lawrence
Lilly Teal

stew

You’re comparing applies and oranges. Care of the soul is far too important to be left in the hands of untrained spiritual bimbos and priestess wannabes. Go back to the origins of yoga. It’s a sacred trust, and there is a sacred process of transmitting the teachings to all, regardless of age. Otherwise, go into a different line of work. Maybe restaurant hostess?

26 May 13:29

Comment on Yoga Trial Judge: ‘We’re getting so esoteric it’s almost meaningless’ by Stewart J. Lawrence

by Stewart J. Lawrence
Lilly Teal

stew

Also, once you enter the realm of public space and authority, and relying on public resources, you are no longer providing a private good. You are proving a public one, subject to public regulation, monitoring and oversight. That is, if it’s really the public you care about. With yogis, one can never really tell.

26 May 13:38

Comment on Yoga Trial Judge: ‘We’re getting so esoteric it’s almost meaningless’ by Stewart J. Lawrence

by Stewart J. Lawrence
Lilly Teal

stew

I wonder if these school-based yoga teachers are even subject to a criminal background check? Anyone know? Yes, they have the yama and niyamas but that doesn’t mean squat to these folks. Trust me. A background check is the bare minimum for anyone operating in this environment, with access to children. God knows, they could be rifling through the kids’ belongings or worse. Who knows? Even part-time janitors pass basic checks. If they don’t want a background check – I know what an outrage, an attack on yogic freedom – then they can work somewhere else?

26 May 14:38

Comment on Yoga Trial Judge: ‘We’re getting so esoteric it’s almost meaningless’ by J. Brown

by J. Brown
Lilly Teal

stew

Hey Stewart- I can’t help but chime in here because I actually know the teacher who teaches the specific class that the child who’s parents started this lawsuit was initially attending. She emailed me last week a few days before she was set to testify. I know for a fact that she is a highly trained teacher who is studied extensively and has taught kids long before the schools program was envisioned. She was teaching at my center when the Encinitas program was developed and moved there to provide additional training to the teachers participating. All the teachers who are teaching these kids have been well trained to work with kids and on ensuring the appropriateness of what is being presented in the public sphere. Your insinuations here are based on fallacious reasoning. Yes, there are a lot of bad yoga teachers out there and we don’t want them teaching are kids. But that is not happening here. If yoga teachers are self-policing themselves and ensuring quality outcomes then they should be commended, not lumped in with all the other crap. And it should be noted that the overwhelming majority of parents, children, and teachers at these schools are exceedingly happy with the results they see from inclusion of these yoga classes in the curriculum. And those with religious beliefs that they feel are being compromised can easily choose to op out. No one is being force fed anything.

25 May 05:24

Comment on Yoga Trial Judge: ‘We’re getting so esoteric it’s almost meaningless’ by Stewart J. Lawrence

by Stewart J. Lawrence
Lilly Teal

stew

Imagine yogis guilty of spiritual trickery! That’s never happened before. Ever! Yogis never delve into mystical realms or seek to manipulate sacred energies to exercise control and influence over other people’s minds. No way. They’re really just like accountants, focused on the here and now, on what you can see and touch; the robes, the chanting, the invocation of the tantra, the Kundalini, that’s just hooey! They don’t really mean any of it.

All deep mind-body practices subvert ordinary consciousness, and are inherently invasive and intrusive. Unless parents are teaching their own children yoga, it’s definitely opening your children up to undue influence. At a bare minimum, I would want a tougher licensing of yoga teachers and in the short term, all teachers in this program might be certified specifically to work with children.

The Yoga Alliance is developing such a certification. It’s disingenuous for the Alliance to testify on behalf of the Ashtanga program unless it is also insisting that this certification be in place for all teachers in the Encinitas program. It really wouldn’t surprise me if the Alliance isn’t even mentioning the issue. That organization would do anything for more money and recognition.

Beyond that as a parent, would want children to be exposed to a range of mind-body practices, including Pilates, Tai Chi, Qi Qong, and others, not just force fed yoga because of over-zealous parents and a foundation with ready cash and its own well-documented corporate expansion agenda.

24 May 05:16

Comment on George Lucas on Star Wars: The Force is ‘Like Yoga’, Yoda ‘Like a Guru’ by Stewart J. Lawrence

by Stewart J. Lawrence
Lilly Teal

stew

Maybe the main difference is that Jedi Knights were self-sacrificing warriors that actively worked against the Dark Side, rather than spiritual wannabes and posers that will sell their bodies and souls to to just about anything that glitters — even if it’s not even silver or gold.

As I recall, the Jedi Knights were all men, too. Most serious warriors are, after all.

And wasn’t it Darth Vader, a former Jedi and good guy, who was really, really into that deep breathing thing? Jus sayin’…

20 May 11:23

christian aikhomu - 10 Principles for Living the Good Life.

by christian aikhomu
Lilly Teal

what is

Be contented wight what u have and pleane for d next tin