Alo, do the right thing—and we will all thank you. ~ Kino MacGregor

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My personal hope is that the two “sides” can talk this out sans lawyers, and find a point of consensus that is truly a win for all.

In the meantime, a reminder that hate, trolling, bullying is not helpful for one’s own cause. Constructive criticism—the ability to agreeably disagree, with an open mind and heart, to listen—is what our community, and our world need more of.

While this all may seem like drama—and there is some of that—there are important issues and questions for our yoga community here. Capitalism, transparency, bullying by fans, the theistic notion of “fan” and fame itself replacing community, litigation against individuals instead of dialogue. 

So, please, support mindful, open dialogue on platforms not controlled by Facebook or other quarterly-return-focused enterprises. Support independent, mindful forums that encourage talk, and listening—and may we all work together to encourage peace, and discourage litigation.

And, when in doubt, come back to the practice. The practice teaches us to breathe through the difficult times, such as this. Not to avoid. Not to make worse with our own aggression. May it be of benefit!
~ Waylon, ed.

Note: here’s Kino’s first article. Here’s Paul’s response. Here’s Kino’s thoughtful rejoinder.

I’ve told their ambassadors that I wish them and Alo no harm.

Truly, I want them all to succeed.

I’d love nothing more than to write a glowing blog about how awesome Alo is to change their ways. 

To everyone who read my prior article and the rebuttal, thank you. Thank you for taking the time to digest the information and make an informed decision. Before you tire of this matter, I ask that you please consider my rebuttal, which is intended to answer—or at least raise—many of the questions and comments you have posed on social media and will paint a more complete picture. Here it is:

Despite a massive public outpouring, Alo persists in its lawsuits against Dana. They have not waivered, even when faced with an uproar from its own customer base. So again, I ask, Alo: what is your position? Are you hoping that this will blow over and people will tire of the drama and move on?

Make no mistake, I am deeply disappointed by the detailed and personal attack levied against me by Paul, former owner of Cody (which he continues to run, post-acquisition of Cody by Alo). I took great pains in my article to be fair and I refrained from divulging much information that would have cast Cody in a negative light out of respect for Paul and the relationship I had with him in the past and because I am contractually bound to confidentiality. But the Paul I knew was a kind and decent human being, not the person who levied misleading attacks, and certainly not someone who would have sued Dana.

I want so badly to respond to the allegations concerning my contract and my business relationship with Cody and Alo, but I am legally bound by a unilateral confidentiality clause which means that they can share whatever details they want—but if I share any details they have grounds to file a lawsuit against me!

So, Alo, will you please allow a full and fair dialogue on these issues by releasing me from the one-way confidentiality provision in my contract and permitting me to respond in full to the accusations against me? You’ve said your piece in this public forum; now let me say mine. Your refusal to do so can only lead this mindful community to assume that you, in fact, do not want the truth to come out.

The picture painted of me is hurtful, tarnishing my good name in the yoga world. Don’t I at least deserve the right to respond honestly and state the facts without yet another impending lawsuit?

There are also dog whistles to misogyny that were so subtle you might have missed it in Cody’s response [Alo still has not responded as to whether they are willing to drop their lawsuits]. But I did not. Calling me a “shrewd” business woman brings up unhappy memories of the last U.S. election cycle. Attack a woman for her success. Portray yourself as the humble hero who is victimized by her conniving, malicious ways.

Perhaps you meant a “smart” or “savvy” business woman. Yes, I’m sure that’s what you meant.

Am I involved, both personally and professionally? Yes. It’s not a secret. Read my article and you’ll see an upfront “personal and full disclosure” where I talk about my own potentially selfish motivations.

Call me what you want. Nevertheless I will persist. Attacking the woman who brings up the claim and changing the subject is an all too familiar tactic. It wreaks of guilt, patriarchy and aggression. And I will not stand down or apologize for who I am.

I am brave and entrepreneurial. I am a respected and well-known yoga teacher. I am an author of multiple books. I have spent two plus decades honing my craft, building this reputation, affecting my students on a one-to-one basis, and forming who I have become as a person.

But this isn’t about me. And this isn’t about Paul.

This is about one thing—

Alo Yoga is suing Dana.

Goliath is attacking David.

All this drama and mud-slinging could go away with one action: Alo Yoga drops the lawsuits against Dana and lets us go. Dana has been self-funding and trying to fight this on her own for four months, because she never wanted people to be distracted by something as unproductive as litigation. Dana has tried repeatedly to settle this litigation. She has tried everything she can think of, and you are, so far, just watching her squirm.

Dana Falsetti is being sued in two courts—one in California and one in Washington, and each resulting from one Instagram Story that was on the internet for a few hours—filed by a yoga company run by two men as part of their billion-dollar corporate conglomerate. They are seeking unspecified damages and the cost of the attorneys’ fees that Alo is spending to sue her. Dana, the target of these lawsuits, is a 24-year-old yoga teacher and social issues advocate; she started working with Cody right out of college. Many of her activities, including her podcast (which has been in the works for a year) and her labor to educate and raise awareness are not revenue-generating. She cannot afford this. These lawsuits may bankrupt her, even if she prevails on most of the issues. And for what? Is this worth draining Dana of resources that could otherwise be used to do her important and positive work in the world?

She is being used by Alo Yoga to set an example: do not speak out.

That is just not okay.

And they are trying to silence others, too.

When Alo filed these lawsuits against Dana, they also sued ten other unnamed (and so far unidentified) yogis. Alo has not explained how these yogis allegedly defamed it or breached Dana’s contract. Who else among us will also be named by Alo as a defendant for failing to fall in line, before all is said and done?

To donate to Dana’s legal fund, here. “If there are any amounts remaining after the lawsuits conclude or if the lawsuit gets dropped (which we earnestly hope it will), then we will donate those amounts to The Campaign for Equal Justice.”

I’ve caught some flack for listing Alo Yoga’s paid ambassadors. People have asked me to please leave them out of it because they are innocent by-standers. To the Alo Ambassadors, please understand that I could not contact each one of you directly before posting my article. It must be awful to wake up to the reality that the company that pays your bills isn’t as good and pure as you thought. That said, I leave room for Alo to change their ways, and then for our community to embrace that change.

There is, however, no place for my friends or community, or those on the other “side,” to bully. I, myself and others are now also being attacked by the Instagram/Facebook fans. I have personally received threats that make me afraid for my human safety.

Yet, while I am truly sorry for the hateful comments and I do not condone any type of bullying, I must draw attention to the word “ambassador” as justification for including your names in my original blog. Just for reference I’ve included the definition at the bottom of this article.

Once you sign on to be a paid representative of a country, brand or any other organization you are holding yourself out as standard bearer of said organization. Your values and ethics must be in alignment with the way the company, country or organization is run or else you could not be send out as an “ambassador.” Your job is to represent, answer for and be the face of the company, country or organization that hires you. Ambassadors who say that what Alo does in relation to their lawsuit against Dana has nothing to do with them should take pains to reflect on what their sponsored association with Alo truly means. To play the victim while Alo pays their bills and they deposit checks from said company…we can do better. Each ambassador of any company they represent should be held answerable for their sponsor’s actions…or else how can they be called an ambassador? There is no problem being paid by a company to be an ambassador, as long as we are transparent. But you must answer for the good and the bad of what you represent, and your names were listed in the spirit of asking the yoga community to ask you to relay a plea to drop the lawsuits to Alo—not to attack you personally.

And to the public: be kind to the ambassadors. They are feeling human beings as well, not corporate giants. Who knows, perhaps they are bound by one-sided contracts, scared of being sued, unable to speak out because of confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions.

It is the two men who own Alo who must answer for their actions. However, so far, they have chosen to remain silent and let their ambassadors take the heat.

My request is a firm, persistent call to do the right thing. No hate. In fact, if we can continue to talk, and listen…and pull away from suing…I think we have a happy ending in the works.

 

am·bas·sa·dor

amˈbasədər/

noun

noun: ambassador; plural noun: ambassadors

         1          an accredited diplomat sent by a country as its official representative to a foreign country.”the French ambassador to Portugal”

         2          synonyms:

         3          envoy, plenipotentiary, emissary, (papal) nuncio, representative, high commissioner, consul, consul general, diplomat; archaiclegate “the American ambassador”

         4       ◦           a person who acts as a representative or promoter of a specified activity.”he is a good ambassador for the industry”

                  ◦           synonyms:

                  ◦ campaigner, representative, promoter, champion, supporter, backer, booster “a great ambassador for the sport”

~

Bonus: Kino talks with Waylon about Alo and Dana & the Path of Yoga in an Instagram culture.

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Bonus round: videos with yogis to refresh the palate after a long day of yoga community.

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Kino MacGregor

Kino MacGregor is an international yoga teacher, author of four books, producer of six Ashtanga Yoga DVDs, writer, vlogger, world traveler, co-founder of Miami Life Center, co-fouder of Yoga Challenge and OmStars. Kino’s dharma is to help people experience the limitless potential of the human spirit through the inner tradition of yoga. She is one of the few people in the world of yoga to embrace both the traditional teaching of India’s historic past and the popular contemporary social media channels. You can find her teaching classes and workshops all over the world and on Kino Yoga Instagram with over one million followers and on Kino Yoga YouTube channel with over 100 million views. With more than 17 years of experience in Ashtanga Yoga, she is one of a select group of people to receive the Certification to teach Ashtanga yoga by its founder Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India and practice into the Fifth Series of Ashtanga Yoga. Practice with Kino online at OmStars.

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