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Thread: Primal Journal -- Zoebird page 75

  1. #741
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    zoebird is offline Senior Member
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    So, police brutality in NYC increased at the solidarity rally. But, the peaceful protestors took the night by removing police barricades (peacefully), and moving into the streets in unison.

    when faced with brutality, the other protestors yell "Shame! Shame! Shame!" and it's recorded and put on the internet.

    thus, i offer bob dylan: Times the are a-changin'

  2. #742
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    I agree with you about Occupy. I think a big problem is that some at the Occupy events (a very few, but that's all it takes) are actually eager to be violent: throwing bottles, openly scuffling with cops, etc. They argue that they wanna tear down the system by force... "start a revolution" or something? *eyeroll*

    But it's still stupid because the way to maximize the success of any protest is to operate in the manner that allows it to continue: as you said, peaceful demonstration. Advantages:
    1) keeps them as safe as possible under the law.
    2) minimizes the ability of police from using those violent elements as an excuse to say, tear gas the entire area, shoot people in the face with beanbags, use downed protesters as bait to lob in gas grenades, yadda yadda.
    3) avoids giving opponents PR ammunition to discredit you en masse in the press to readers who might otherwise be supportive.

    So as _effective_ protests go, the people harassing or outright attacking the cops are making it all far less effective. At _best_ that just makes for extremely nervous, jumpy cops. Not a helpful thing for anyone concerned.

    I don't mean to automatically assume in my 3 points above that the authorities and cops are not well-meaning... but to sum up, nobody on any side should be giving anybody else an excuse to feel justified in use of force.

    There are tried-and-true protest methods that have been used to great effect in America and elsewhere. Do we really need to reinvent the wheel all over again -- find this out the hard way?
    "Trust me, you will soon enter a magical land full of delicious steakflowers, with butterbacons fluttering around over the extremely rompable grass and hillsides."

  3. #743
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    i agree. it's most effective to be peaceful. there's even a great document about it online that talks about how to peacefully assemble. it's great stuff. i've sent it to my occupying friends to print out (gave them money to print it) and put it in occupy libraries.
    ---

    Hawk has been very rowdy the last couple of afternoons, and we have just been overdone. Figured out it's bread!

    On Tues, he had kindy, and it's BUN day (they make the buns), and it has a little bit of wheat flour, and he was bouncing off the walls and going crazy until 8 pm.

    On Wed, a practitioner shared her sandwich with him -- with wheat bread -- and BAM! going crazy.

    On Thursday, he asked for a sandwich so we got one, and then we bats!

    So, we're going to take him off wheat altogether for the next several weeks. He gets less sugar than most kids -- about 1 square of chocolate (less than 25 g), every third or forth day, if that. So, we'll cut that too.

    And of course, we are trying to recolonize our guts because whatever ryan has in overgrowth has spores and so we likely have the same problem too. so we are on an herbal treatment to control it (plus no dairy, no wheat/grains, and no sugar), and then fermented veg juice for hawk, and he can also have raw yogurt with live cultures. So, hopefully that will clear the hyper activity.

  4. #744
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    got called "unyogic" today. not the first time it's happened, but it always makes me laugh.

    i wrote a response -- because this article is so true -- that talks about this issue on this elephant journal article called Yoga Fight Club. I'm down in the comments.

    I think the thing that is SO ironic about so much of the industry is the lack of critical thinking, and that if you do apply critical thinking to any aspect of what you do with yoga, you are "unyogic."

    In the first link, my friend is asking a real valuable question -- imo -- about the onslaught of yoga teachers from the myriad of teacher trainings. There are so many issues in relationship to this, who knows where to begin?

    the first layer is the corruption of the teacher training being a money-making endeavor for the studio. The average teacher training costs the individual about $4k. the average studio runs one-two trainings a year for 20-40 students. Look at the math! $80-160k per year just on training teachers.

    the second layer of the corruption in regards to this issue is the quality assurance of these teacher trainings. there are multiple layers to this as well, but to keep it simple, a lot of studios do not require a strong foundation n yoga -- such as at least one year of practicing yoga. They'll basically take anyone willing to pay. And from there, who knows what they are taught? and how they are taught? There's no QA process with the Yoga Alliance, the registry of yoga teachers and schools in the US. As a yoga school, you fill in the paperwork properly and guess what? they approve it and take your annual dues. That's it. No quality assurance. And lets not even talk about the no due process in regards to complaints about whether or not a person should be registered (e.g., ethical complaints).

    So, going to a training likely won't train you, and a lot of teachers are coming out without the capacity to teach, having spent a lot of time and money attempting to learn how to teach.

    the third area actually goes into the job situation.

    first thing is that there are a lot of jobs available, sure, but it's not an infinite amount. you do have to work diligently to get a job -- and by that I mean you need to "hit the pavement." for yoga teachers, this means several things:

    1. actually going from door-to-door to sell what you do. i spent a lot of time in my early years going to gyms, wellness centers, senior centers, community centers, and churches to "develop" yoga programs for them. I would design the program, present the benefits to them, the costs, the added value to their clients, and so on. I would give personal trainers, gym owners, and group fitness instructors free classes so that they would sing the praises of yoga in their work environments and to their clients. I would bring on fellow teachers to help me run the programs.

    2. if you want to work in a studio, you need to get to know the studio and the studio owner, and hope that they don't have an in-house teacher training, or that having one won't impact you because you are That Awesome. to get to know the studio, you need to BE at the studio. You can submit a resume, but until you start taking classes there and they get to know you, you are unlikely to be hired. Once they get to know you, they might ask you to be on their "sub list" -- this is the first step in the door of teaching at a studio unless the studio is actively hiring and doesn't have a teacher training to draw from (such as my studio currently). You will eventually be called on to sub a class, then become a regular sub if the students give the studio good feed back on your subbing. Then, you'll eventually be given a class when one opens up, or you can ask if the studio is interested in starting a class at an off/bad time (like 6 am tuesdays). If you suggest that you take a percentage until it gets to a certain size, and no pay just for showing up, they'll be likely to open that class for you.

    3. To demonstrate that you are That Awesome, you need to work on your point of differences -- what makes you unique and special as a teacher, and what makes it possible for you to be an asset to a specific yoga community (or gym or church community). Even people who teach the exact same thing all the time have different ways of doing things. Bikram has the closest to a script (well, to be sure, it is a direct script), but i find that some teachers are whizzes at teaching it, and others are more "meh." So, you want to be a whiz! gotta figure out how to do it, how to talk about it with others, and how to describe it so that if someone asks what you teach and how, you can explain it in less than two sentences.

    The second thing that comes up in the job situation is the depression of the pay that teachers can command. When i started teaching in studios back in 2000, i was paid $50 per class (1.5 hrs). by 2003, I was one of the "lead teachers" and earning $75 per class.

    Then, the teacher trainings kicked into high gear. What then happened is that new teachers didn't know the pay grade, and when they worked in gyms, they were getting paid $15-25 per class (which is what all of us were getting in gyms, and is higher than aerobics teachers, who get $10-15). So, when a studio offers them $35 for a class, they take it.

    And the studios started to see something. A higher profit margin for those classes. Those of us who were getting paid $50-75 per class were being 'encouraged to go on sabbatical and freshen your practice!" or told that we were "not yogic enough" to teach classes at the studio. Newly minted teachers from the studio's teacher training were hired and paid $25-35 per class, which still happens today. Many teachers whom I know are only paid $35 per class, and if you so much as ask for a raise, the studio will come up with a reason to let you go (usually the mean 'unyogic' label), and hire the new teacher for $35.

    One studio owner friend of mine says he does this on purpose, and only keeps teachers for about a year. he has a revolving door because he graduates new teachers every few months. Once he's graduated a teacher, he picks his cream of his crop (and those who have had his kool-aid and really "devoted" to him), and then fires a group of teachers who he feels are not under his sway. He currently pays his teachers only $25 per class and tells them that it's their highest honor and great blessing to work for him.

    he earns an average of $250 per class (after expenses) and there are 30 classes a week at each of his two studios. Do you see the income? $500 x 30 = 15,000 a week just in classes alone. Teachers -- including those who work 40 classes a week at $25, before expenses, bring in $1,000 per week.

    i am all for making a profit, for certain. BUT, the fact that there's another eager teacher waiting in the wings to accept $25 is tough. And, it's hard to get your own studio off the ground (takes a lot of capital) and it's also tough to collect enough independent clients (private lessons or classes where you rent the space) where you would be earning $100-ish a class, which would be a good income (say, before expenses).

  5. #745
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    Another issued that arises is really about the safety for yoga students.

    There are two areas of safety that really concern me about yoga. The first is the physical safety of the practitioners, but the second is a bit more insidious -- the emotional safety.

    first, quickly trained and inexperienced practitioners-turned-teachers, often do not understand the postures or the bodies enough to really do a good job for their clients. people who come to classes have several kinds of problems physically -- most of which are unique. modifications and alignment and sequencing are all keys to keeping all of the clients safe in an all-levels, mixed abilities environment, which btw, is the environment of yoga classes (they used to be leveled out, and that's less so now). it takes a lot of time to learn this skill and get comfortable with it -- i dare say more than a year, and most teacher trainings are 3-4 months long and don't require any yoga experience prior to taking the training. In fact, some market on that fact. Yoga fit doesn't require any experience with yoga when they start you in their program. Your only requirements are that you have passed a group fitness examination and taken first aid. After that, they teach you over several weekends, without the mentoring that is required to really "understand" what is going on in a yoga class.

    So, the teacher is a physical risk to the student.

    But, the greater risk is really the emotional risk. yoga is a philosophy and lifestyle, and some people drink a lot of kool-aid about it. this is where these labels of "unyogic!!!" come from. and what that creates is a very manipulative system.

    People come to yoga for many reasons, and they have an expectation that the people practicing yoga will follow the basic principles. Most of us understand this as being generally "ethical" and/or "moral" and for the most part emotionally sound -- good boundaries, professionalism, etc as well.

    and don't get me wrong, many people are, but there is an underbelly. So, i'm going to ramble about this now.

    what often happens is that people who have problems are drawn to yoga. it's good. there's a philosophy and it can help with these problems. it is true that Yoga works. the problems arise, though, when people assume that they are farther along than they are, just because they can name the various principles. and, they haven't really done the hard-learning groundwork, and misinterpret what these things mean (as per my elejournal link above).

    so what happens is that they start to manipulate their clients. i'll give a recent example.

    I have a client, Janice. Janice is fat. Janice is also a wonderful doll.

    She comes to my yoga class 5 weeks ago to give it a try. I ask if she's ever done yoga before, and she says no, but that she'd always wanted to do yoga. It's just that classes are so long, or so expensive, and she was afraid that she wouldn't "make it" through the classes because she was so fat. She thought she could handle my 45 minute classes. And I said 'great!" she signed up for her first month (one class per week) and just finished it.

    when in class, i assist her, help her modify, help her find the best and most comfortable positions for her, and use a lot of terms like "you're doing great!" and 'amazing!' and "beautiful!' because they are true AND people don't ever get enough of that sort of positive language toward their bodies.

    she made a couple of friends in the class, and several of them go to other studios together on the weekends. it's a heated class and lasts 1.5 hrs. before she went, she said she wanted to go with her new friends, but was afraid she was still too unfit for the class. as it was a restorative class, i told her that she would be fine in the class, and that she should go if she wanted to take the opportunity with her friends. She went.

    When she came in for her next class, she was somewhat distressed. she told me that the class she took was "good" but that the teacher kept talking about how you get well with yoga, you get fit, and you loose weight -- if you are doing "real" yoga. after class, she emotionally felt terrible about her weight. and then, the teacher ambushed her after class saying "if you want the real changes of yoga, the real benefits of yoga, and to loose weight and be good to yourself, you'll sign up for at least the unlimited monthly ($150), and come to class at least 5 times a week in a mixture of vinyasa and restorative classes in order to loose weight and really become great at yoga. She recommended to Janice that if she were really dedicated to yoga and her well being, then she would sign up for the year membership. The teacher also told her that i was an unyogic fraud who was never properly trained to teach yoga, but because there is no regulation, i can "get away with it." and that "whatever [i] am telling you is merely a profit-seeking behavior."

    So, i heard her out, and I simply asked her "Janice, how do you feel?" and she goes "well, do you really have to practice yoga 5 or more times a week in a studio for it to be real? to get the benefits of yoga?" and I asked her "what are the benefits of yoga?" and she goes "i don't know!" and I say, ah, ok. Then, let me ask you this: "what do YOU want to get out of yoga?" and she thought about it a minute and said "i really just want to feel good in my body, and i've always wanted to practice yoga." and I said "did you feel that way after class last week?" and she said "yes." and I said "did you feel that way after the class this past weekend?" and she says "in my body, yes, but I've been really upset ever since!"

    And i said "what you are doing to feel good, shouldn't make you feel bad." and she laughed and then sheepishly goes "but i'm so fat!"

    And I looked right at her and said "so?" and she goes "well, the other teacher said that if i do yoga i'll loose weight." and I said "are you trying to loose weight?" and she said "well, it would be nice, but no, not really." I said "right, you are doing yoga to feel good, not to loose weight. If you do loose weight, then awesome, but if not, then that's ok too. You'll still get the benefit that YOU want from yoga." and then I said, and besides, lets look at Maru.

    Maru is the japanese cat that is quite famous. he's very fat, and he's adorable. he's so fun, and people love him very much. I love him. ANd janice loves cats.

    And I said "what do you love about Maru?" and she said "he's so funny and so playful. And he's really quite tenacious. I like how he will work really hard to fit into a tiny, tiny box and looks so pleased with himself when he succeeds." And i said "Janice, Maru is fat!"

    And she goes "yeah, so?" and I said "Janice, you are Maru. it's not a sin to be fat. It's not immoral. And, if it's not causing you health problems, it's not unhealthy. You need to know that whether or not you loose weight is not relevant to your yoga practice. The only thing that is relevant is that you are getting what you want and need from the practice. And I cannot tell you whether or not you are succeeding in that -- only you can!"

    And she thought about it and smiled, and said "I see. Well, I'll do another month of classes -- or do you think I should do two a week now?" and i said "I think that one more month at once a week will keep the body adjusting comfortably, and you can also just look make a note on your schedule when you feel like you want to take that second yoga class. See if it syncs up with your work-life balance, and whether it will fit into our schedule too. Next month, you'll have more information, and you'll know if you're ready to go up to two classes per week!"

    The point of this is that the one person talks a big game about yoga and being "yogic" towards students, in business practices and in life. I rarely -- if ever -- mention yoga principles. I do not name them, though i do talk about being kind and gentle with yourself, or caring about yourself, or not judging yourself -- all part of the yoga principles. There's no mystical, magical thing here. it's quite pragmatic, and most people know how to behave ethically. So, i don't have to be heavy handed with it.

    with this, people seek actual advice, not to be milked for profits. with yoga, you do have to balance these sometimes competing needs. It is true that having janice come twice a week increases my income for the business by an additional $8 per week. It's not a small amount of money, to be sure. It looks small, but it isn't. 10 Janices and that's an additional $80 per week. See? But the reality is that Janice is not Janice is not Janice. Each Janice is unique. One of my students is an avid cyclist, and very inflexible. I recommended to her that she come 2-3 times a week for the time being, to get a good, solid foundation of flexibility, and then once that's achieved, if she wants to back down to once a week, it would maintain the flexibility the she requires. On the flip side, I didn't want THIS Janice to jump in too quickly, feel overwhelmed (physically and emotionally) and get burn out. And there are some people where "whatever you choose to do will be great."

    But what this means is that i'm putting the responsibility of my client's well being ahead of the income that they bring me. And it is this investment -- not the manipulation above -- that creates truly loyal students who return AND who recommend our studio to their friends, family, and coworkers. Thus it's long term gain as opposed to short term gain. And, it does fulfill my core values -- which is about getting people to practice yoga such that they see the value of it in their lives.

  6. #746
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    What often happens, though, is an unsuspecting person -- who is sweet and earnest like Janice -- gets manipulated. They go to this studio, they plunk down a ton of money, and they usually get overwhelmed or injured. The studio then says "Karma counts!" when they want a refund or a hold on their card-- effectively the studio saying that they are not "keeping their commitment to the studio!" by asking for their money back. So, they manipulate the process from the beginning, playing on people's hopes, fears, and emotions, and then do it when they realize that they want to extricate themselves.

    Ultimately, this creates a horrible experience of yoga. And, it gets much much uglier out there. But a newbie SHOULDN't go through this, honestly.

    ---

    i was feeling ranty.

  7. #747
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    I would think it would be more yogic to try and meet the needs of each person. Its like teaching. I can NOT instruct all my students in the same manner or expect them to perform in the same manner as some students are learning disabled, behavior disabled, have emotional issues, are super immature etc. The list invariable goes on so you make adaptations for each student. This only makes sense that you would do this for your students. Well done! If I could find a yoga instructor like you here in the midwest, I would take yoga myself.

    On a side note.. my goal is just to get through a sun salutation each morning. I know it would have excellent benefits but the motivation... ahhh the motivation to do this *sigh*
    Karin


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    What am I doing? Depends on the day.

  8. #748
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    it's a good goal -- one sun salutation is a lot. one day, you'll be doing 108.

  9. #749
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    finding that two meals a day plus one snack is working well.

    this week, i usually had no breakfast, then a BAS (warm veg and raw veg) with bacon, beef, or chicken, then snack of nuts/chocolate (25g or less chocolate and 1/2 handful of nuts) or piece of fruit (apple or kiwifruit), and then dinner (meat plus veg).

    today i had 3 hard boiled eggs and 1/2 banana, then about 4 hrs later, i had nuts/chocolate, and then about 5 hrs later had dinner (chicken, BAS).

    it's interesting to observe. I wake up around 7, but i'm not hungry until 10, but i usually don't eat until 11 because i'm usually heading to the bus around 10 and we can't eat on the bus. So, i get to the office around 11-11:30, and eat then. I get hungry again (low energy too) around 3:30, and if i don't eat until dinner, I'm going crazy and likely to run out and buy cookies, so I have my snack. THen, i get home around 7:15, and have dinner around 8. it's a a 9 hr window, really.

    so apparently i'm doing "lean saloon" style? anyway, it's cool. I have plenty of energy, and i feel good, so all's good.

    ----

    having trouble putting the baby to bed, though, now that the sun is up until about 8:30.

  10. #750
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    well, in two weeks, we will be 1 yr primal.

    it's been pretty easy, i think. we are happy with the process.

    getting a car made a huge difference for us in shopping. so much easier to save money now.

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