I Was Fired From the Facebook Gym for Asking a Student not to Use her Phone During Class. ~ Alice Van Ness

Via elephant journal
on Jul 6, 2012
get elephant's newsletter

Not Zen By ronk53

When the telephone was first invented, some people were annoyed that this technology was now able to interrupt dinner.

Now the phone fits in your pocket and is also a gaming system, alarm clock and personal computer.

It interrupts everything—yoga class, lunch with a friend and sometimes sleep.

Maybe we’ve given it too much power. Does it have so much power over us that it keeps us from connecting in real life?

A few weeks ago, I was teaching my weekly noon yoga class at the Facebook Fitness Center in Menlo Park, CA.

They have a little gym there where I taught a yoga class, in addition to Pilates and cycling classes.

Right before class began, a student was typing on her phone. Noticing this, I asked the whole class to turn off their cell phones.

She obliged, put it down next to her mat, and we began.

Photo: skinny-secret.com

Halfway into class, right as I was starting a demo of ardha chandrasna (half moon pose), she decided to check her phone.

I stopped talking and looked at her.

I said nothing, but I’m sure my face said it all. “Really? Your email is more important than understanding your body? It’s more important than taking time for you? It’s more important than everyone else here?”

Oh, and by the way, she was in the middle of the front row.

She stepped out and rejoined class a few minutes later. Apparently, she had gone to complain to management.

Previously, I had been asked by management to just let the students do whatever they wanted.

Come in late, leave early, answer emails, come in during class to get weights, take photos for the newsletter—whatever came up, I was told to just say yes.

So, on this day, I didn’t actually say anything to this student. I just looked at her with utter disbelief.

Two weeks later, I was fired from the Facebook gym.

I contested the decision at the time since I didn’t actually ask her to leave.

They had already made their decision.

What has happened that work or updating a status is more important than being in the moment? Are we so incapable of disconnecting? What could be going on that couldn’t wait 30 minutes? This is not the emergency room; it’s just Facebook.

The first time I taught at Facebook I started class with a short meditation.

One student was completely incapable of sitting still and closing her eyes for those three minutes. She fidgeted and looked around, visibly uncomfortable with those few minutes of silence. The more she resisted, the more uncomfortable she seemed to become. Her behavior was similar in savasana.

Facebook and all these smart phones have invaded our lives and now we are addicted to being connected via technology. What are we afraid of missing online?

What I have seen over my years of practicing yoga is that technology and being “connected” electronically is depriving us (myself included) of connecting to the present moment.

I welcome my yoga practice as the one place where I don’t have to look at my phone.

I enjoy connecting to my breath and forgetting everything else. It’s a pure time. It’s a much needed break from the stress or drama that is going on.

As the yoga teacher, I want to you experience that break too.

I know you need it, just like a mom knows her three-year-old needs a nap. It’s a little like an addiction.

We can’t stop ourselves. Even when we know it’s not the right time to pick up the phone, we do.

The cost of being constantly connected is high.

When we live a life disconnected to ourselves, it’s living in the surface.

You are constantly on edge, unable to relax and be in any moment as it is.

Plus, it’s very distracting for everyone else in the room, not to mention rude—and it’s vital to pay attention to instructions/demos from your teacher so you can understand the pose better, feel better and avoid injury.

More importantly, yoga is your time to pay attention to yourself. Connect you to you.

The hour or so of disconnecting from the outside is necessary.

Technology invading your peace is not just in yoga class. Start to notice how many times per hour you reach for your phone.

Is something coming up in the silence or stillness of that moment that makes you uncomfortable, or is it boredom?

I encourage everyone to have someplace in their day where there is no television, no phones, no distractions. It may be hard at first but that is where mindfulness begins.

Alice Van Ness is a teacher and writer in the San Francisco Bay Area. Alice has been teaching yoga since 2006 and practicing since the 1990’s. She enjoys yoga, Pilates, cycling, photography and the ceramic arts. She is currently writing a book about growing up and going to high school in Palo Alto.

She has been trained in the Anusara Yoga method but has not dated John Friend. Alice makes her classes fun, while challenging students to go deeper. She is a humorous, passionate, knowledgeable, and giving instructor. She works with students of all ages and abilities, teaching both children’s and family yoga. Alice has worked with children since she was a teenager and finds them to be a great reminder to stay in the present and have fun.


Editor:  April Dawn Ricchuito

Like elephant yoga on Facebook.

For more, click below:


About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter. Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive—and get your name/business/fave non-profit on every page of elephantjournal.com. Questions? Send to [email protected]


216 Responses to “I Was Fired From the Facebook Gym for Asking a Student not to Use her Phone During Class. ~ Alice Van Ness”

  1. Stacy Dunnett says:

    I have taught corporate fitness for 20 years. I have been at Apple Computer for 15. Never in my life have any of my students used their phones in class or been disrespectful in any way. Alice is right on the money with her approach to making a safe, quiet and reflective space for her yoga students. She is the teacher. She sets the rules and is in charge of that hour of time. If one of the students doesn't have the 'time' to give to her yoga study or to her health and body, then she should not attend and disrupt others calm state of being. This is ridiculous. Maybe you need to come over to Apple. The management and the students are awesome.

  2. cathywaveyoga says:

    well, I have several thoughts:
    1.) file for unemployment
    2.) since they had told you to let the students do what they want.. it wasnt your look at her, it may have been the asking which made you get fired
    3.) it is possible she had a friend or family member in a hospital and wasnt thinking much about her position in the studio.. simply waiting for life or death
    4.) while I hate to see phones in yoga classes even friends talking to their neighbor. I take issue with your words which feel a bit shaming or controlling.." as a yoga teacher I want you to experience that break too.." those are your rules, ethics, needs in teaching yoga. Some teachers know that students need a 55 minute dialogue on how to live their lives.. I quit that studio.
    5.) You need to teach in a studio with rules and expectations which match yours.
    6.) I dont have a smart phone and am disconnected from some events.. its a bit amusing to see which of my friends can handle making a plan and stickgn to itwithout texting!

  3. You are on point with every point, Alice!
    As yoga teachers, we are responsible for our students’ safety and maintaining a quality of respect in our classes.
    That includes self-respect. Taking care of yourself serves your students best.
    Multi-tasking is the opposite of yoga. Make a choice.
    After almost 7 years of teaching, ,I experienced my first non-yogic student experience as a sub teacher. During guided meditation, 2 students came in late. ok..I understand…it happens. Then, I heard 2 students carrying on a conversation. One of them was the same one who came in late.
    He decided the room was not warm enough. Instead of asking me, he got up and adjusted the thermostat. He, also, left class prior to Savasana.
    Being considerate, respectful, polite and thoughtful are right for on the mat and off the mat.
    Thank you for sharing your experience. Facebook lost a good yoga teacher. They are promoting qualities in conflictt with common, decent human interaction.

  4. I have taught corporate yoga in some very tricky environments (picture in the middle of an open floor gym, with treadmills, fans, and TVs) in my 10 years of teaching. I was eventually able to weed out the places I knew weren't a good fit for me. I'm not a fitness oriented teacher, so a fitness oriented environment doesn't tend to work for me. I never let management tell me what to do either. I once turned down a job at Google because they said I couldn't Om. It's great they said that before things got going – people show us who they are, and we get to decide who we want to be in response.

    Now changing hats. As a trauma therapist, I'm also aware that , yes, people get addicted to technology and constant checking. It's like their neurophysiology has this impulse/drive to go, go, go and they turn to their devices to follow/feed that impulse. Slowing down actually feels uncomfortable in sometimes significant ways. The drive doesn't necessarily come from overuse of the devices (though they make it worse), but from a lifetime of almost self soothing through action. Their nervous system is jacked up so high that if they slow down, it sends an alarm to the brain that there is danger. So they work/go/check until they ultimately collapse. Sometimes it's a collapse with a little c, sometimes with a much bigger C. This pattern is very dangerous long term, in part because symptoms aren't generally that uncomfortable for a good long while, and the rewards are reinforcing, so by the time someone seeks help, it can be trickier to treat.

    Besides for informational purposes, I wrote that because it's one of the ways I find empathy for the workaholics in my classes. I'm a workaholic too (in partial recovery), and I know how it feels – to go, to achieve and get the high, to collapse, and luckily now, to slow down and feel good. So even yoga teachers aren't immune.

    This complex that I'm describing is an epidemic in our culture (especially here in Silicon Valley), so I'm hoping we can have empathy, and gently educate these chronically overactivated people.

    Thanks for listening

  5. Alice says:

    Thanks Brandy!

  6. cathywaveyoga says:

    yes that self-soothing element is a tricky one.
    If it becomes a conditioned need, then what happens to society with all these self-soothing people running around textign while driving, etc.. it is downright scary.

  7. Jessica says:

    Nice article, Alice! I was just talking with my brother about the loss of presence to technology. We are so busy tapping into the the whole world inside the screens in our hands, that we are not attuned to the person or moment directly before us. There are always punches we have to roll with as teachers in different environments…in a yoga studio compared to a corporate office – we can simply expect a different atmosphere. I trudge through this teaching in the juvenile halls, with walkie talkies going off and even the potential of a facility wide lock down in the middle of class! If we, as teachers can not take anything personally, go with the flow and remain calm in the midst of whatever arises – we teach by example. We show them it IS possible to unplug for 60 or 90 minutes…though they may or may not ever do it. We can only offer a mirror – they have to LOOK in it! Keep at it, girl! And your bio is hilarious…'but has not dated JF.' Ha!

  8. Pablo pinto says:

    Assume nothing! What makes you believe that someone who doesn't want to turn off their phone during class is doing this because of something not important or not urgent. If your relative is in surgery, and you want to know the outcome you should just skip a class? What if you are awaiting a call from your child's daycare about a sudden illness or injury?
    If someone is trying to take my class even though there is an emergency brewing in their life, I would take that as a complement. Since when yoga teachers stop giving people benefit of the doubt?

  9. __MikeG__ says:

    You took the job knowing the rules. You violated the rules. You got fired. Why whine about it? You are not a victim in this. To me this post comes off as sour grapes and an attempt to get back at the people of Facebook.

    A better solution may have been to make the subject of the entire article be about people needing a break from technology. Or a write a post about employment aligning with ethics.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    It is a recent development in our lives to have 'instant communication' although emergencies have always occurred. Things used to wait. How has the cell phone allowed us to decide that nothing can wait? We also had spoken or unspoken social contracts about 1. Showing up on time. 2. Not talking during a class or movie. 3. Letting the teacher be in charge. This teacher seemed to have those basic expectations of her students, which do not seem unrealistic. I disagree that her article is "whining" nor do I find her attitude 'demanding.' Perhaps what is incongruent is "assuming" that people come to yoga to get centered, when apparently some come for the exercise.

  11. Alice says:

    I know this student was not having a personal emergency. She was checking work email.

  12. Erika says:

    Your stance seems very judgmental and rather self-righteous. I would love to see more yoga teachers ‘just be’. It’s not about you. I would rather a person come late, leave early, and have their phone than not come at all. When you are of service, teaching is a lot easier.

  13. cathywaveyoga says:

    cold hard honesty, right on!

  14. cathywaveyoga says:

    wow 700 views and 11 comments.. curious that the other 689 didnt want to type out something.. oops oh I get it they had to text to someone…

  15. dpm says:

    Okay, so some of you are being judgmental of Alice because she is bothered by people using cell phones in yoga class. I've attended class, and if a teacher reminds me of certain rules, such as being on time (I've not been so good about that), I recognize that s/he has the right to set some limits, within reason. (And I believe turning off cell phones or having them on silent is within reason–I wouldn't turn my phone on during a movie or play or in church, so why is it okay in a class, whether yoga or auto mechanics?) If I am dealing with some difficult situation at work or at home, what I'd want to do is inform the teacher ahead of time and if need be, step out. A student in a class I was teaching approached me before the class began and told me that at x:00, he had to take a work related cell phone call, but that he would step out at that time, take the call, and return, and would I be okay with that? I thought that his approach was very considerate and told him so. So it's possible to accommodate emergencies with cooperation on both sides. And it seems fair to ask for the class's attention during something as deeply meditative as yoga. What I've done that's helped minimize phone distractions (and saves me as a teacher some embarrassment b/c I've been known to forget to turn off my phone) is to take out my phone at the start of the class and turn it off or silence it–telling students that I don't want my phone to go off in mid-class and disturb us all, and could they also please check to make sure their phones are off or silent? It seems to me that if you've not had any other complaints, management should not have taken such a harsh action for something like this.

  16. Alice says:

    But to fire someone over ONE complaint? That's harsh. I also have emails from other employees backing me up, most students don't want cell phones in class. It's distracting for everyone.

  17. Archana says:

    Phone manners in class, yes. Rigid rules, not so much. I really appreciate that under some situations a phone is an important part of a person's 'life.' Who knew what may have been going on in her life that particular day. I appreciate the teachers who are easy with this. I have picked up my phone to take a picture of something I wanted to keep a record of for home practice later. Perhaps checking in with the teacher first would be respectful. Sometimes people can be reminded to do that. Is the teacher reflecting on his/her own state and checking that the transference of "judgement" and irritation be noted within? I have tended more and more to respect the needs of students in classes, while acknowledging that being the teacher is a tough job sometimes with the countless situations that can arise. Yes, there are some common sense courtesies people taking class need to be cognizant of. . but sometimes they aren't and sometimes they just need to have a chance to figure some of it out. Basically, if you choose to take that seat of the teacher, ya better get ready for the heat.

  18. lightsoff says:

    True That !

  19. Alice says:

    Well thank you for your support. I am glad we have started a conversation. For me I thought NOT using your phone in class is 100% the norm, but I have seen that it's not. There are a ton more comments (positive and in the middle) on Facebook – FUNNY! – where I have learned also 24 hr fitness lets the student leave their phone on. I will never teach there, for more that just that reason.

    For me I get more feedback and support hold to this boundary, that yoga class be a cell phone free zone. I would prefer it too, as a teacher and a student. So for those I will take on this issue, if I take some shit for it, that is fine.

    Of course I understand there may need to me some exceptions!

    The once that happened the student told me at the beginning of class. She was obviously worried about her kid and did NOT pick up the phone in the middle of class.

    As I have stated above that was not the case with this student, on that Monday afternoon, and the management knows it was not an emergency, and fired me anyway. I think its a shame to fire a popular teacher over ONE person complaining about anything.

  20. Bobcat says:

    I get your frustration. But when bringing up the person who could not settled in a meditation I must beg to differ. I teach yoga. I identifiy with the woman. I had a hard time sitting or lying still when I started practicing yoga. You were and are judging this person from a perspective of an experienced practitioner. This is not about people being rude in a yoga class. This is about you having no compassion for your fellow practitioners. The less you see yourself as a teacher making people realize their better self the more you can offer guidance and support with open mind and heart to those who are ready. Shame on you to gossip about your ex-students. The reason why you are fired is not what you think.

  21. Bobcat says:

    Wow. You call yourself a popular teacher. Let's meditate on that.

  22. G.C.Aloha says:

    I think if a student has a reason to check their phone–because, for instance, s/he is a midwife, has a relative in surgery, or needs to be available to small children–it stands to reason that s/he would tell the teacher before class and ask if it was okay to leave the phone on vibrate. This still would not necessitate checking email. If it's an emergency, a student could put the phone on vibrate or very low volume, share his/her concerns with the teacher (along with a warning about maybe needing to leave before the class is over) and get on with the class. In the class I attend, doctors or midwives have sometimes left class when their phones vibrated, and no one batted an eye. If you need to be checking your email all the time, then maybe that should take precedence, and you shouldn't come to class. Yoga class is the time to UNplug, not plug in.

  23. huh says:

    I'm only typing out something to reply to your stupid comment. Why does someone have to comment on each article they read?

  24. Alice says:

    I would not call what I am doing gossip, I didn't say if it was a man or a woman, or this students name.

  25. Andrew says:

    Is the rule to let students do whatever they want? So what about the multiple students, and I'm certain there's more than one, who want to practice yoga undistracted? Not everyone likes to pay good money for a class just so they can see others derp around.

    I'll tell you what the real difference is – when people are happy and satisfied with how things are going, they don't say a thing. But the one person who doesn't get what they want? They go straight to management to complain.

    However I agree she's not a victim – she should be happy to be done with a business as aimless as "letting students do whatever they want". She can only go up from here!

  26. Alice says:

    Oh wait I did say it was a woman, well anyway. It's not really about her, its about the management at FB.

  27. gastrophase says:

    "I would rather a person come late, leave early, and have their phone than not come at all"
    But if your class becomes known as distraction-friendly, dedicated students will leave as they will not feel respected; these are basic rules not only of yoga class, but also of manners 101. For every texting, chatting or disrespectful student you accommodate you alienate some respectful students… you just don't/won't know because they will leave quietly.

  28. Allison says:

    The concept of being present with your practice should apply to the teacher too.
    Phones ringing, people talking, walking in or out of class or taking a phone call happen.
    If you're teaching and you're fully present you will notice what is going on, judge the room's reaction and then only if what is going on requires immediate attention, act. Obviously if someone is injured or gets dizzy or sick the teacher would stop and assist. Other than that, keep going.

    It would have been easy for you to speak to the person or management after class. They stated the work conditions when you were hired. Your reaction was not only judgemental it was covert.

  29. cathywaveyoga says:

    We are not judgmental af Alice for being bothered about the cellphone use.. people are expressing their thoughts about how she is venting about being fired for breaking the FB rules. iI you break the rules you can be fired.
    Cellphone or not.
    The rule was"let them do what they want".. that, on hiring would imply.. that cellphone use as well as arriving late and leaving early, drinking coffee and gasp!talking would be allowed. I dont agree that those actions belong in a yoga class but I have experienced as have many the consequence for not adhering to rules along the employment path.
    Just recently a lifeguard was fired for saving a drowning person "outside' the area of the private beach he was hired to oversee. In Huffpost recently a story appeared about a chain store(Walmart?) which fired an elderly long time greeter because at her post on Black Friday she fell from crowd pressure and grabbed onto a customer's arm as she fell.. her offense- touching a customer.

  30. HonestOpinion says:

    I am inspired by your article. I am going to begin composing an article about people who compulsively say "Really?!", and then follow it with a rhetorical question about the thing they are upset about. I find that people who talk like this, (which is fast becoming everyone in America, everywhere and I do mean everyone), sound like catty spoiled whiney brats. Not that that's you, but it just sounds like that to me. Instead of pausing your demo to do the "Really?!" monologue inside your own head, why not continue on in spite of the distraction in order to serve the majority of the people in the room who are not on their phones? Really?! You can't overcome one little distracting person in the front row who is on their phone? OMG, I think I caught it. Really?!

  31. HonestOpinion says:

    That being said and all humor aside, I am sympathetic about your job loss. It sounds as if you are very sincere and passionate about teaching and I'm sure you will find an even better situation where your students are as into it as you are. When one door closes, another opens. Namaste!

  32. __MikeG__ says:

    Harsh? Most likely. Fair? Probably not. If there were no other factors and you were fired for one complaint then in the long run you are better off.

    It still would have been a much better to write an article about too much technology or being polite to one's neighbors or finding "right" employment.

  33. __MikeG__ says:

    If this article was about being considerate to those around you I would be on board. I would not take this class at FB because apparently phones are allowed. I would not take a class from any teacher who allowed phones.

    But this article is not about using a cell phone in class. Not really. It is mostly about getting a measure of revenge on people at FB by telling one side of a story. There already are way too many one-side "I am right and those other people are so very wrong" articles here on EJ.

  34. Brad Henneman says:

    In my experience the sole reason for having fitness centers, day care, dry cleaning, ATM's, cafeterias et al, "on campus" is to keep the sheep in their pen longer during the day and not be distracted from their appointed rounds…the yoga class was not authorized by the management team to be an opportunity for spiritual development, or to improve health and well-being…it was to be a tool to get people that tether themselves to their phones a few minutes to recharge before getting back to driving revenues

  35. Peggy Burgess says:

    Facebook's rules give you zero authority in your own class, that's not good. sounds pretty much untenable.

  36. yogasamurai says:

    I am far more concerned about the inordinate amount of time that teachers spend before class "marketing" the studios' upcoming workshops, classes and services. Their teachers spend an inordinate amount of time marketing their own classes. The studios pack the class space to the gills, and let students arrive late – all in the name of getting the biggest bang for the buck.

    On top of this, we need to smile sweetly – or meditate – as yoga teachers prattle on about their personal lives, including things like last night's heavy wine-drinking, their bowel movements and their PMS, and listen as they recite their favorite poetry and aphorisms – as if me and my grandmother actually give a flying fuck.

    Yoga teaching in the studios has become a true "vanity exercise," because the ranks of the yoga teacher corps are filled with people largely obsessed with themselves. I have been in classes where the students should have banded together afterwards, gone to the studio management, and asked for their money back.

    Yoga consumers are pretty sheep-like, though. It's not the sound of Ommmm that scares me — it's Baaaaaaaaaaa.

  37. Crystal Lite Love says:

    You're off the mark, MikeG. Perhaps you need a chakra balancing! Just kidding! We've turned the practice of yoga into a fitness routine. The whole concept of what the ultimate purpose of yoga is for is missing with so many people. Yogi studios need to take a hint from a good Zen master and don't with hold the keisaku! Don't suffer fools!

  38. Gorgon the Dragon says:

    Erika, you've got to be kidding me! You're letting the inmates run the asylum. Good teachers have boundaries. Crappy teachers want their students to "love" them so they let them do anything. And yes, the author is being judgmental and good for her. A student that can't comply with boundaries needs a good "beating" if you ask me!

  39. CathyCrystal says:

    Yogasamurai, you've won-over my crystal dolphin love heart chakra! Enough of this dewey-eyed nonsense!!

  40. Bobcat says:

    Love how this article gets the conversation going. Since some insists that this is about etiquette, is it wise and ethical for a yoga teacher to complain about her ex-employer and ex-students to the public? Who would benefit from this act or rather reaction? Will FB change their policies? Will the two students mentioned improve their behavior? Who actually is benefitting from this public display of retaliation?
    Being in a present moment does not equal being spiritually connected nor mentally rested if you are not deeply connected to those around you. If you are connected you would see more similarities between you and those you consider to be physically unaware and spiritually undeveloped. Any challenge you face in life is a mirror reflecting back to you. When you see others as the same there is no problem there is only an opportunity to support one another, learn and grow. Don't let your bruised ego get in the way.

  41. BestServedCold says:

    I agree 100% that Alice should expect those in class to follow her rule of not disrupting class with cell phones. Common courtesy is something we now completely lack as a society. Others in the class likely do not appreciate the disruption and lack of respect for class members who are there to focus on the purpose of yoga. It doesn’t even have to be about yoga, per se. Let’s change the scenario. Should people be allowed to talk, text, play noisy games, etc on their cell phones during a wedding? funeral? church service? high school english class? meeting at work? seminar? movie? play? Etc? maybe doctors can chat with their buddies via bluetooth while performing surgery? We have become so rude as a society, and the fact that peoples’ comments here are actually arguing that Alice had no right to expect people to behave properly just goes to show we are becoming a society to clearly does not give a crap about anyone or thing other than ourselves and a stupid plastic toy. I guess it’s too much to ask that people be respectful and pay attention nowadays.

  42. yogasamurai says:

    CC — I am an "acquired taste", much like the donkey piss Reingold beer that I learned to quaff as a teenager. A crystal dolphin love heart chakra sounds like something special. YS

  43. gphase says:

    And what does this lengthy rant have to do with the article, which is not about studios at all?

  44. yogasamurai says:

    Whether the onus for problems that arise in yoga studios lies with students – or with the culture of the studios and the mentality of the yoga teachers they employ. Just about everyone else here has touched on this same issue, and my post isn't even close to being the longest one.

  45. Vision_Quest2 says:

    As someone who due to network-density issues, has been nearly reluctantly dragged kicking and screaming into the smartphone era–a few days ago, I find this firing by Facebook (one of the kings of mobile social networking–on smartphones, etc.) almost painfully ironic. Pardon me for barely successfully suppressing a laugh, as I do not think laughs are what you were going for. Facebook does not care about their employees' mental health. I don't care WHAT business they are in … I've been seeing smartphones for about 3 years in my locality and I see people going crazy with headphones and Bluetooths, etc. sometimes.

    I hope you find legal representation.

  46. Vision_Quest2 says:

    I get it. These students also may do or have done yoga, extracurricularly, on their own time and at their own expense–not just under the auspices of the Big Brother High Tech company they work for … the ethics (or lack of same) are very transferable

    Math done!


  47. […] on two of my fave blogs, it’s all yoga, baby and YogaDork. Also, elephant journal has published a first-person account of the incident from Van Ness […]

  48. 33bowls says:

    Such a short attention spa

  49. Dashinista says:

    Alice, I’m sorry to hear about your experience and hope you find somewhere better to teach!

    I do not buy the excuse that there was an emergency going on somewhere, the day that a member of my family is undergoing surgery the one place you will NOT find me is in a yoga class! Ditto if there is an emergency in the office, if something is so important that you can’t leave the issue outside for the duration of the class then you shouldn’t be there. Especially in hot yoga, which is a very challenging class anyway – I wonder had the student ignored or missed instructions and then injured herself whether she would now be trying to blame you?

  50. John says:

    Unfortunately, this is what social networking has evolved into. Facebook and other social networking tools started as a way of connecting with old friends, making new friends, transcending boundaries such as large land masses, religion, and political views. Unfortunately, it has evolved into a tool or altar of vanity and self-importance where posting pictures of yourself drinking at a nightclub or posting your thoughts on how 'hung over' you are, is considered profound. Seeing this behavior on some of my friends, I have jokingly devised a diagnosis aptly termed ISIS (Imagined Self-Importance Syndrome) for people that believe they urgently need to comment on something, 'like' something, or 'retweet' something. Facebook is not that important, neither is any email. If it is a matter of life or death with a loved one, be a grown up, inform your yoga teacher before class, pick a spot close to the back and excuse yourself if the need arises. I am in the medical field and my instructor knows that if my pager or phone vibrates, it's an emergency not because I have the incessant need to broadcast myself. Good for you for sticking to your beliefs.