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.