This is what Community Means: Michael Joel Hall: How we can Help.

Via elephant journal
on Jul 26, 2012
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Via Peg Mulqueen

Last weekend, Washington DC yoga teacher Michael Joel Hall  was attacked.

Michael and his boyfriend were brutally beaten by a group of teenagers as they walked home. Michael’s injuries were extensive, requiring surgery. Like many yoga teachers, Michael does not have health insurance.

DC Breaking Local News Weather Sports FOX 5 WTTG

When we say we have a “yoga community” this is what it means:

Via Facebook group organized by Michael’s friends and colleagues

Dear friends,

Michael Hall and Michael Roike were attacked Saturday night in a random act of violence. Thankfully, they are both alive and were not injured beyond repair. Sadly, Michael Hall was taken to the hospital and required surgery to repair a broken cheek bone.

To help support Michael Hall’s recovery and required surgery, I have created this event to share your thoughts, prayers, love and well wishes.

I have also created a PayPal donation link to help pay for these unexpected and unnecessary hospital expenses. Feel free to donate any amount you want and pass this event to other friends of Michael’s.

The Donation link is located here:

In more news – Cobalt/30 Degrees is hosting a fundraiser this Thursday evening where all proceeds from the door ($3 cover) go to the MJHFund. Thank you Mark and the Cobalt staff!

639 R Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20009

Flow Yoga in Logan Circle will be hosting a “In the Name of Love” fundraiser on Friday Night July 27, 8:15pm

Where: Flow Yoga Center
What: We will be offering two donation classes featuring Flow’s Mimi Rieger, Rob Hess, Greg Marzullo and Brittanie DeChino.
Reserve Your Space:

STROGA – Scott Westbrook Simpson is hosting a fundraiser for MJH on Sunday, July 29.

Where: STROGA at 1808 Adams Mill Rd. NW (18th & Columbia)
What: 11:00 AM Budokon Flow class

Please join the entire DC yoga community for a special donation yoga class benefiting Michael Joel Hall.

Sunday, August 5th at 5 p.m.
Meridian Hill Park – 16th and W St NW
12 Teachers – 108 Sun Salutations – Bring Your Own Mat

Thank you all for your love and support.

If you are local to Washington DC, please consider attending one of these events.

If you would like to give, but are not in the area, please consider making a donation via Paypal.




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10 Responses to “This is what Community Means: Michael Joel Hall: How we can Help.”

  1. Sheila says:

    Every Monday I teach yoga, in order to raise funds for Leukemia. This Monday… our funds will be given towards Michael Joel Hall.

    This should not have happened.
    All the best in healing.
    Shei xo

  2. […] Saturday night a DC yoga teacher, Michael Joel Hall, was attacked with his boyfriend on their way ho… […]

  3. yogasamurai says:

    I live in Washington, DC. The police are not investigating this attack as a "random act of violence." They are investigating it as a Hate crime – but that aspect has ZILCH to do with yoga. They are investigating it as an attack on two openly gay men by a band of Black teenagers.

    Because of the proliferation of these attacks over the years, which have racial as well as gender/lifestyle aspects to them, the police set up a special Gay and Lesbian investigative unit which does quite a good job, most people seem to think.

    Better reporting please, from a web-site with journalistic pretensions? It really has nothing to do with yoga, and the teacher in question is really not that "well-known." I understand, though, why people will avail themselves of any media resources to raise money for this cause.

  4. It isn't saying it has to do with yoga — it's saying as a yoga community lets help this teacher. If he were a trucker then the truckers would get together and help him… Sheesh.

    and what the hell does "well known" have to do with anything. I am sure in my area and with certain people i would be considered "well-known" while others would have no idea who I am.. and should it matter? not a whit.

    The reference to the "random acts of violence" was from the facebook page probably before anyone thought it was hate crime – so it wasn't "bad reporting" at all — also friends may not have wanted to bring up the possibility of hate crime.
    The men themselves actually say in the report they didn't feel it was gender sexuality motivated. I am impressed the police are investigating as such —

    But all that is not the point. Here we have an article sharing info and asking other yogis to help out a fellow yogi – that is all, plain and simple community.

  5. yogasamurai says:

    No, I really think good honest reporting is good honest reporting. You do it without fear – or favor. It's a journalistic ethic – like a Hippocratic oath. You either embrace it – or you don't, and that's what defines you.

    Unfortunately, it's getting harder and harder to distinguish yoga from yoga "hype" – it's become endemic to the enterprise. This is what "spiritual materialism" naturally engenders, and there's an upside, especially for those in a position to benefit, but overall, a powerful downside, too. Yoga sages have been quite clear on this for a very long time.

    This is going on everywhere in the yoga blogopshere, though. At Huff Po, where I frequently write, most of the posting in the yoga section read like infomercials. EJ, Yoga Dork and Yoganonymous all have their favorite celebrities and businesses and do their level best to help market them. And it brings in the page views, and the advertisers.

    Yoga is very much a social media marketing phenomenon. Now what that actually has to do with day-to-day, lived community and deeply held values and meaning? Another discussion perhaps.

  6. Too true, and sad about the yoga infomercials. We are working to put together a section specifically for event promotion and that type of thing to reduce the amount of PR/advertorial yoga blogs in the main content section.

    With this situation, from what I understand from Michael's comments, is that he didn't want a focus on it being a hate crime. The police are looking into it as such, but a beating is a beating—whatever the reason. I think it's a positive thing for other DC teachers and friends to organize and help defray his medical costs. That to me is what "community" is about, whether it's "yoga community," Buddhist community, geographical community or any other.

  7. yogasamurai says:

    Thanks, Kate. Appreciate your comments. Here my view of it, though: Police have a real responsibility to pursue cases on behalf of the community as a whole, that is, prospective future victims – not just the victims themselves.

    So, as ironic as it sometimes seems, the victims don't really have the final say on how police interpret their crime or pursue their investigations.

    In extreme cases, victims even refuse to press charges, but the state moves forward anyway, especially if they don't need the victims' testimony. Why? On behalf of the community – the public, that is, "us."

    In DC, this has been a huge huge issue for years between the DC police department and the gay community of which Michael and his boyfriend are evidently a part. And actually the police have gone a long way to focus on these crimes, especially in key areas like Logan Circle and east Dupont Circle where Michael used to live.

    So, it would be sad, actually, if in the name of a yoga, the real history of struggle, and the real needs of the DC community are ignored, or displaced by the needs of an online yoga community that doesn't actually live in the area to hype itself and its own worldview.

    Second, all this Fox interview is about is how he doesn't have health insurance and whether he should move, and how yogis are rushing to help him. Frankly, is it my fault, or anyone's fault, that Michael doesn't have health insurance? Really? Neither do most of his African-American neighbors, and neither do many of his White neighbors..

    Again, people have tried to make this a yoga thing. It's not fundamentally a yoga thing.

    Maybe Michael just doesn't know how to take care of himself very well? And that might includes how to walk at night in his own transitional neighborhood?

    Come to think of it, maybe we should just be sending him a guidebook for modern urban living? Maybe that's what every yogi who's helping to gentrify our local neighborhoods needs more than anything else?

    It's happening everywhere with yoga studios. They are the new magnet stores for the realtors and the developers, ushering in the the 'yuppie" pioneers. It's capitalism. Not only are yoga studios out to make a buck, but the world around them is counting on their presence to make a buck.

    Sorry to puncture anyone's bubble, but I would love to have seen Michael use his air time to talk about something besides himself. – and for yogis to talk about this incident as something that isn't just yoga.

    The funny thing about this idea about turning the whole world into yoga is that it's really just an attempt to get the whole world to focus on yoga. And in that narcissism, it's distorting many powerfully lived realities outside its own little bubble.

    In some of these transitional urban communities, maybe yoga isn't such a "good neighbor" or "community builder" after all. How much free or discounted "community class" yoga is available in that neighborhood?

    These are all legitimate questions that arise in the modern yogic setting, if we are dealing with "yoga in the world" – and not just the hermetically sealed "world of yoga."

    (Which doesn't mean, by the way, that I won't send a donation, but it's not because he's a yoga instructor or gay, or anything else besides that he looks pretty hangdog and miserable).

  8. […] Click here for information about how to make a donation and keep track of the latest at this collection here. […]

  9. […] friends.” Turns out Michael Hall has a lot of them. Spearheaded by a few local supporters, the call was sent out over the wire asking anyone willing to kick in a few bucks. No contribution was too small and no prayer […]

  10. Vision_Quest2 says:

    Gentrification keeps me away from trying a yoga studio that would suit my tastes much better. I don't drive nor do I live in a car city. The neighborhoods are built for on-street metered parking. At night, traverse the several dozens of feet from the yoga studio or cafe at your own risk …