Through The Looking Glass: The Dana Falsetti Protest

Although there is still more to this story than I’ll ever be able to talk about in this article, I am hoping that by coming out to speak about the recent dispute between Alo Yoga and Kino MacGregor, I can hopefully help the yoga community come to an understanding of the facts surrounding the recent letter written by Kino MacGregor on her blog. This article is not intended to persecute either parties involved, but to simply provide a timeline of events and come forth to speak about my involvement with Kino MacGregor, Dana Falsetti, Cody App and Alo Yoga, as well as the events that took place thereafter (Satya). I never had any contact with Kino prior to the lawsuit between Alo Yoga, and Cody App against Dana Falsetti. She has always been an inspiration to me through her Ashtanga practice as a devout teacher of more than 20 years, along with a generally solid reputation.

Kino MacGregor, in her letter that was written on the 31st of May, spoke of a online group that she had helped create in order to keep the pressure on Alo Yoga, to drop their lawsuit against Dana Falsetti, following the release of her first article with Elephant Journal. I was a participant in this group. Kino states in the letter that this group bullied Alo Yoga ambassadors, when that simply wasn’t true. Although we participated in light gossip about the ambassadors, none of the participants in the group ever contacted the ambassadors to leave any harmful or threatening remarks nor did they direct anyone else to. Those interacting with me on Instagram, or those who have spoken with me outside of social media, know that I have always had personal beliefs about Alo Yoga’s business conduct. I have even from time to time spoken out, but for the most part I have kept my opinion private. There are a couple of Alo Yoga ambassadors that I would speak about from time to time and still do in my stories, but most of it was not in regard to their ambassadorship with Alo Yoga. I spoke out against these ambassadors long before I had ever heard of the lawsuits against Dana. I had felt that a couple of the ambassadors had questionable integrity due to my personal opinion that they give unprofessional advice to new yoga practioners, their stance on a lot of sensitive issues, and  their lack of transparency about their partnership with Alo Yoga.  When Kino announced the lawsuit against Dana Falsetti publicly, I took it upon myself to begin my research into Alo Yoga and their ambassadors. I wrote an article on the 17th day of March about Alo Yoga and my opinion of their business practices hoping to not only help Dana gain support, but to also hold Alo Yoga accountable for something I believed to be deceiving with their advertising and marketing practices. Upon publishing my first article about Alo Yoga on my personal blog, and tagging Kino MacGregor and Dana Falsetti in my private stories, I received a private message from Kino to my user account on Instagram (@InversionJunkie), thanking me for my support for Dana and bringing light to the lawsuits against her. We had chatted back and forth multiple times for nearly a week sharing our support for Dana. Sometime between the 25th and 26th of March, Kino suggested we begin a support group for Dana created in a mobile app called “What’s App.” She asked me to round up anyone I thought might want to help and support Dana.  Not only did I create the group, I randomly selected a handful of supporters of Dana’s from instagram to come together and communicate with Kino and myself. Dana had no involvement with this group nor was she even aware of it. Dana and I never communicated beyond me sending her my words of encouragement to stay strong.

Our conversations between Kino, a few others and myself in “What’s App” occurred daily, and we would talk about what we could do to support Dana. Kino would ask us from time to time if we had posted Dana’s Go Fund Me or the petition in support of Dana to our accounts or stories. We would try to collaborate our efforts in finding any way we could to show our support for Dana. I even wrote a total of 4 articles containing information surrounding the lawsuits against Dana. I was more aggressive in my protest than were the others of the group. There were a lot of people who were blocked, had their comments deleted, and were even called bullies just for asking certain ambassadors for transparency, even when written in respectful dialogue. I expressed my negative opinions about a few of the ambassadors actions and responses during the protest in my stories on Instagram, but I never bullied, threatened, or asked anyone to bully or threaten the ambassadors. I, myself, never left any threatening, or bullying remarks on their Instagram pages nor did I direct anyone else too. The other members of the “What’s App” group hardly spoke about the ambassadors with the exception of some meaningless gossip. I do agree that while the statements made in the “What’s App” group weren’t intended to directly hurt the ambassadors, they were still hurtful. Again my efforts in the protest came from a good heart, but I do agree they were disruptive to the yoga community. I did what I felt I needed to do at the time to help raise awareness to the fact that Dana was being sued by two companies (who had recently merged together), in two different states. Kino didn’t speak much in the beginning of the lawsuits about her relationship with Cody App or Alo Yoga. A lot of it didn’t come out til later.

During the protest against the lawsuits that Alo Yoga and Cody App had filed against Dana, Kino had lead the yoga community to believe that Alo Yoga was also suing multiple yoga teachers. She then states in her recent letter on her blog that the rumor she began wasn’t true. While the alleged rumor about multiple lawsuits against other yoga teachers wasn’t true, Kino and myself did in fact both receive a cease and desist (threat to sue). I also received a subpoena in the Dana Falsetti lawsuits even though I was no way previously involved in Dana’s case.

After an alleged settlement between Dana, Cody App, and Alo Yoga had been reached, I thought that would be the end to our What’s App group I had been participating in with Kino. That’s not what happened. Kino insisted she wasn’t “free” and that there were still legal proceedings taking place between Cody App and herself. The members of the “What’s App” group believed that Cody App was taking action against Kino. I do not know if in fact, Cody App took any action against Kino such as another threat of lawsuit or not, and we will never know. Participants of the group would even ask Kino from time to time whether or not Cody App or Alo Yoga were suing her, for which she replied “I can’t talk about it.” I began to see more posts from Instagram users asking Cody app to “Free” Kino. At this point, I received my very first phone call from Kino informing me that she was currently “$30,000 dollars in debt” to her lawyer and they weren’t willing to work with her any further til she paid her debt. Kino kept inciting they were holding her legally somehow. She stated that her friend was kind enough to begin a Go Fund Me account for her legal debts. I didn’t take any part of Kino’s dispute against Cody App, because at that point I had suspected that there was more to the story that I was not completely aware of. Although Kino has always made it apparent she was also trying to get her content back from Cody App from the beginning, I had to separate myself from that equation for which I was not well informed of. I stand behind Kino one hundred percent and still respect her as an amazing and sincere yoga teacher I have always known her to be. I do believe that Kino’s article was in exaggeration of the events that actually took place during the protest against Alo and Cody.

As I stated earlier, I am not here to persecute either Alo Yoga, Cody App or Kino MacGregor. I am only writing this article to state the facts and my involvement in the deputes between all parties involved. There are a lot of things and instances that happened before, during and after the lawsuit that could have been handled better by both parties. While I understand Kino has always been upfront about wanting her content back, there were instances and issues that Kino was not completely upfront about. Kino never informed the others of certain details like the how Alo Yoga offered to buy OmStars, as she stated in the article published by Yoga Journal. That didn’t come til after the lawsuits had been settled. Although, Kino never sold OmStars to Alo. For my involvement in all of this, I am truely sorry for any devide in the yoga community I have created as a result of my protest during the dispute between all the parties involved. I may have reacted hastily at times. I learned a lot and hope to grow from this experience.

I have included the screen shots that I personally had left of the group chat before it was deleted. I have crossed out the names to protect any individuals involved in the support group with the exception of Kino and myself.

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