We are happy to present Katherine (aka Kat) as August’s teacher of the month at goodyoga. Why? Because Kat is awesome and students love her classes which build a strong body, a full breath, and awaken our sense of being. See Kat’s schedule HERE.
Get to know Kat a little better with her answers to some goodquestions.
Q: What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A: I think that having perfect happiness is impossible. There’s an eb and flow at all times. I can be happy in one moment and then have concern or fear in the next, no matter where I am. There are certainly pleasant times for me – anytime I’m near near water or with my family. I love my family, because it’s where I feel safe, secure and loved, though I’m not always happy while I’m with them.
Q: What is your greatest fear?
A: I fear my own fears getting the best of me by making me do terrible things that may hurt others. I fear forgetting to do what is right.
Q: Which historical figure do you most identify with?
A: I identify with Queen Elizabeth I. She was a bold and did what she had to do to make herself strong in a world that thought otherwise of women. I admire people who stand up when others sit. I hope everyday to find the courage to be patient.
Q: Which living person do you most admire?
A: A living person that I admire, but who actually just passed a few weeks ago, is Elaine Stritch.
Q: What is the trait that you most deplore in yourself?
A: At this time of my life, I deplore that fact that I procrastinate most projects that would add to my success as a yoga teacher.
Q: What is the trait that you most deplore in others?
A: Right now, theft. My bike was just stolen.
Q: What is your greatest regret?
A: Currently, it’s not locking my bike up in my courtyard. I honestly feel like it was such a mistake. However, I’ll soon be in another state of understanding and will see it as all part of where I am.
Q: What or who is the greatest love of your life?
A: The greatest love of my life is the love I have inside of myself – for me and for those who know me.
Q: Which talent would you like most to have?
A: I want to be able to pick up any language at any given time or place.
Q: What is your current state of mind?
A: My current state of mind is pretty relaxed yet heavy with worry.
Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
A: I have no idea.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
A: I don’t have many possessions, but I do have a ring that my mother got for me when I was 18 and graduating from high school. I didn’t like the typical class rings that were sold by the school, so my mom and I went out to a jewelry store and I picked this out. I havent taken it off for 11 years.
Q: Where would you like to live?
A: I would like to live anywhere as long as there is a yard and I’m near water. Or Berlin. I just went on vacation there and the city is perfection. People are good, it’s clean and efficient, but still has personality and a very cool vibe.
Q: What is your most marked characteristic?
A: Chill and laid-back.
Q: Which yoga pose is your favorite?
A: Currently, Warrior 1.
Q: Which yoga pose do you dislike the most?
A: Disliking seating spinal twist these days.
goodyogis love adventure!
Show us what you did on your summer vacation. Post an epic pic of an awesome asana in a spectacular setting to Facebook. The goodyogi with the most combined likes and shares wins a private yoga/thaimassage session with owner Flannery and 20% off a goodtrip of your choice.
“The prize is a private yoga/thai massage session with owner Flannery and 20% off a goodtrip of your choice. This year we’re goodtripping to India, Jamaica and Peru “
Include hashtags #goodyoga #goodtrip.
Upload your picture to your facebook wall or share your picture directly to Facebook. Get your friends to ‘LIKE’ you all the way to the top!
The Winner will be chosen based on September 30th statistics and will be informed via e-mail.
The prize cannot be exchanged for cash value. goodyoga staff are not eligible to participate.
In my 8 years as a yoga teacher and 5 as a studio owner, I have had to learn the hard way the dangers of what the International Yoga Alliance For Ethics calls “multiple relationships” with students.
The 200 hour certification for teachers is incredibly varied, hardly sufficient and woefully lacking in standards in ethical conduct. Consequently, the culture of yoga, both locally and globally is, as well. The “Guru Scandal” is a recurring trope we’ve seen with even greater frequency each year.
I have sought long and hard for a clear code of ethics that communicated what I felt to be true regarding the teacher / student relationship, but to no avail. It seems my peers are embracing vague language to hold themselves harmless and leave interpretation open to…to what? Circumstance? Feelings? Desires?
A code of ethics is intended to provide clear standards for assessing any situation. I have often felt that my friendships with students were uncomfortable, but until recently, didn’t know how to express this in a way that adequately reflected my respect and concern for my students…and myself.
I have, even recently, participated in relationships with students that I don’t feel comfortable with now. Nothing scandalous, just friendships that could call my objectivity into question, particularly as a trainer of teachers. I could be accused of playing favorites, for example. For the record, nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, I fear that I expect MORE of the students with whom I have shared time off the clock, even though my off the clock time is often spent discussing yoga…FOR FREE!
I fear that the pressure of multiple relationships could overwhelm me and be detrimental to the student’s relationship with me, the studio and, I fear, yoga in general. It’s hard enough being both a teacher AND an employer to the same person. Add “friendship” into the mix and it’s an incredibly complicated cocktail.
When I recently encountered The International Yoga Alliance for Ethics I felt so relieved. Finally, there was language I felt communicated precisely the internal struggle I’ve long felt regarding these matters, and many more.
goodyoga is incorporating this language into our contracts with teachers. I’ve included the excerpt below for you, our community, to reflect and comment on.
My hope is that by mutually respecting each other’s roles as teacher and student, we may develop further respect for ourselves as seekers and further respect for the power of the process of yoga we are all engaged in.
So starting now, this is my code. I adopt it out of respect for myself, my teachers, my students and my discipline.
Conflict of Interest
Yoga teachers/therapists refrain from taking on a professional role when personal, scientific, professional, legal, financial or other interests or relationships could reasonably be expected to (1) impair their objectivity, competence or effectiveness in performing their functions as teachers/therapists or (2) expose the person with whom the professional relationship exists to harm or exploitation.
Yoga teachers/therapists do not exploit persons over whom they have supervisory, evaluative or other authority such as students, clients, student teachers, supervisees, research participants and employees. Exploitation is any action or behavior that puts the teacher’s/therapist’s needs or desires above those of their students, clients, student teachers, supervisees, research participants and employees. This includes instances where there may be benefit to the subordinate, but the motivation of the teacher/therapist is for their own benefit.
Yoga teachers/therapists avoid exploitive multiple relationships. A multiple relationship occurs when a teacher/therapist is in a student-teacher relationship with a person and is at the same time, or sequentially, in another relationship with the same person. Yoga teachers/therapists make a distinction between normally occurring community interactions and multiple relationships. The boundaries of the student-teacher relationship should be clearly defined otherwise they have the potential to impair judgment, cause damage and undermine the purpose of the relationship. (See also Conflict of Interest and Exploitive Relationships)
(a) A yoga teacher/therapist refrains from entering into a multiple relationship if the multiple relationship could reasonably be expected to impair the teacher’s/therapist’s objectivity, competence or effectiveness in performing his or her functions as a teacher, or otherwise risks exploitation or harm to the person with whom the professional relationship exists. Multiple relationships that would not reasonably be expected to cause impairment, or risk exploitation or harm are not unethical.
(b) Considerations about potential exploitation include the nature and intensity of the professional relationship and of the secondary relationship, length of the relationship, amount of transference of the student’s/client’s issues onto the teacher/therapist, level of communication skills, and existence of an evaluative role.
(c) Yoga teachers/therapists are aware of the differences in power that may exist in their relationships with clients, students and supervisees. Yoga teachers/therapists will be sensitive to the real and ascribed differences in power, be sensitive to the position of authority of a teacher/therapist, and be responsible for bringing potential issues of this power differential into the awareness of those involved, and be available for reasonable processing with those involved.
(d) In some situations, for example in small geographical or rural communities, a multiple relationship that is non-exploitive may be undertaken. In these cases, the yoga teachers/therapists takes precautions to protect the student/client from exploitation and damage. Such precautions may include, but are not limited to, acknowledgment of the multiple relationships and its inherent risk to the student/client, ongoing dialogue, informed consent, documentation, and professional supervision.
(e) Barter is the acceptance of goods or services from clients in return for teaching/therapeutic services. Yoga teachers/therapists do not barter (including work exchange) unless the bartering arrangements are appropriate in the context of the therapeutic relationship, indicated by the needs of the student/client, and for the welfare of the student/client. Where bartering is used, the teacher/therapist and student/client make agreements in writing related to the exchange of goods or services to ensure that both understand the scope and limitations of the agreement. Yoga teachers/therapists consult or obtain supervision to ensure that the bartering arrangement is not harmful to the client, that the client is being given fair value in the exchange, and that no exploitation of and/or damage to the client is involved.
(f) If a yoga teacher finds that, due to unforeseen factors, a potentially harmful multiple relationship has arisen, the teacher takes reasonable steps to resolve it with due regard for the best interests of the affected person and maximal compliance with the Code of Ethics.
I started to write a short blog post about 2 weeks ago to commemorate the 5th anniversary of goodyoga, fast approaching on July 7th.
It turned into the 1st chapter of my forthcoming memoir, BADYOGA. Think KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL but, ya know…YOGA. Publishers, please inquire. A hefty advance will motivate me to spill the beans on the seedy underbelly of the “yoga industry.”
I’m not joking. I’ve got stories of Biblical scope. Feuds, flood, famine…okay, it was a 21 day juice cleanse but you get my point.
Names will be changed to protect the guilty. Except mine. I’ll own up to everything.
That said, it’s impossible to encapsulate the last 5 years into 5 paragraphs. Suffice it to say, it’s been the best of times,it’s been the worst of times. We didn’t always get what we want, but so far, we’ve got what we need. Everything I ever thought I knew about yoga, business, and human interaction has been completely disproven and relearned 108 times over, at least.
In short, I’m humbled. I’m grateful. Most importantly, I’m still, somehow, against all odds, incredibly excited about the next 5 years.
There will be more Goodyoga locations, at the rate of one per year, we hope, to provide you with more class times and greater variety. May they be watertight and warm with ample amperage.
The Good200 and Good300 teacher trainings are producing more teachers with every session. I’m continually awed by the diverse, talented array of people attracted to the training. I learn so much having to address the incredible questions they offer. We’ll likely introduce a 4 week Intensive version in December, for those of you plotting career breaks.
I hope to hit my 100th political entity in the next year or two. Yoga is my discipline, but travel is my passion. I’m eager to share it with all of you. Goodtrips are scheduled for India, Jamaica and Peru within the next 12 months. We’ll keep it affordable and adventurous. Get your Passports, shots and Visas now!
The Goodfund was officially organized as a 501 (c) 3 last fall. We’ll continue our fundraising efforts for women and children in India with the good108 on September 21st on the pier at Transmitter Park. Have your friends sponsor you!
On the subject, The Goodparks initiative has been a tremendous success, providing free outdoor yoga to well over 50 people each weekend this summer…and growing! Transmitter Park is my personal favorite…
Goodview classes at The Wythe Hotel have broadened our reach into Williamsburg with unparalleled elegance. That they have donated their gorgeous space to us is an incredible gift. We’ll let you know when we’ve solidified our permanent Williamsburg Space. Goodburg should open no later than November 1st, 2014.
Our new Mommy, Marie, is super excited to offer Goodfamily programming this Fall. We welcome your feedback as we plan classes for Fertility, Pregnancy, Post Pregnancy, Baby and Me (Daddies welcome!) and Kids of all ages.
That’s not nearly everything. We may have some surprises up our sleeves, but, as some of you know, I have tendency to be long winded. I’ll let you know the release date for BADYOGA as soon as I accept the inevitable offers that will come pouring in. Did I ever tell you the one about the teacher who decided to crash, drunk, at the studio (because, after all, she was teaching early the next morning), only to be awoken by 3 police vehicles the landlords summoned when they noticed someone was in the space after hours? Or the student we who felt compelled to fondle a teachers feet without, er, invitation? Or the work exchanger who came in wearing Ray’s shirt? “Oh, man, how did that get on me?” We later learned he’d been living on our roof.
That’s all you get for now…I can’t just give these gems away.
In closing, as always, we’re here to serve you. Speak up. This is your studio, after all. We’re just the caretakers. If there’s services we haven’t thought of, wake us up! You’re all waaay hipper than we are.
While my new husband, Ray, and I are enjoying our adventures, our attention is certainly divided. We miss Brooklyn…which is, for us, the point of traveling; to develop greater appreciation for that which we take for granted.
I can’t wait to see you all in class. I love seeing your Facebook updates and appreciate all your likes on Instagram.
Thank you so much for your support during the last 5 years and, in advance, for the next 5. Whatever it brings, be it plague, pestilence, impropriety, may our shared practice prepare us for it.
In collaboration with the Open Space Alliance, goodyoga has been donating several free outdoor yoga classes at three of North Brooklyn’s public parks. We did not know what to expect when we started this program, and we are more than pleased with the response we’ve gotten from the community. Living in New York City can be challenging, and many of us have experienced the same itch to escape the concrete jungle for greener pastures free of smog and high rises. However, the best part of Goodparks is rediscovering that between the building and above the subways, NYC has some beautiful outdoor spaces for us to enjoy at our own convenience. Doing yoga and being outside both offer us opportunities to find presence in the moment, and bringing the two together – which goodparks does so well – provides us with a new (and arguably heightened) way to experience both.
We would like to introduce you to Chad Donnik! Chad is Goodyoga’s July goodstudent of the month. He started out at our Clinton Hill location — which unfortunately closed down last winter — and has continued to come all the way to Greenpoint and Bushwick to practice. Chad practices regularly, and has kept a steady pace since he started at goodyoga. He works really hard and we see it paying off. Good work Chad!
“Goodyoga has helped ease the daily stresses of life and bring me more happiness.”
We are pleased to introduce you to goodyoga’s July teacher of the month Smitha! Having completed both her 200 and 300-hour teacher trainings at goodyoga, and has infused her rich background and extensive knowledge of Hinduism, Ayurveda and Yoga Philosophy into her teaching from day one.
In addition to teaching classes at both our Greenpoint and Bushwick studios, Smitha, an accomplished graphic designer, has recently abandoned the corporate world to assist goodyoga’s Creative Director, Raymond Gonzales, with Graphic Content.
Born and raised in Chennai, Smitha will be co-hosting the goodtrip to India with her mentor, Rebekah Nagy, over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Get to know Smitha a little better with her answers to the famous Proust Questionnaire.
As we all know, or will learn, and most likely will continue to be reminded: In order to love another, we must first love our self. This concept presented itself in its truest form to me a few years ago. Such a simple idea but so very challenging to achieve, and to remain true to. I speak for myself here, but feel it safe to say that my fellow companions here on Earth can relate. The beauty of yoga’s benefits and lessons seem to be endless. This article, by Edie Lazenby, spoke to me on yet another connection that I’ve been able to make through my practice – the love of self. Aside from the philosophical elements of yoga, I continue to be humbled by the vessel of asana and breath. Take a look and give yourself a moment to reflect. Perhaps next time you’re on the mat, you’ll see yourself anew in a pose as simple as Tadasana. Perhaps even more, you can take that sensation with you out in to your daily life and community. Spread the love within.
At the beginning of the new year I was going through a bit of a crisis. I had finally decided to quit the job where I had long been unhappy at, but I didn’t really have an idea of what I was going to do next. If you had asked me even a month before classes started whether I would consider yoga teacher training, I would have probably laughed in your face – teacher training!? I didn’t even have a regular practice. However in this time of crisis I made a commitment to myself to practice five days a week.
“I was a lost lamb, but I knew that I loved goodyoga and I was happy whenever I was there.”
There was no way I could have known at the time that this one decision, a decision that was solely focused on a physical practice, would change my whole life. (back to my crisis) One day after class I had lingered around the studio and was talking with Flannery Foster (my teacher and one of the founders of goodyoga), and I explained to her how “I was a lost lamb, but I knew that I loved goodyoga and I was happy whenever I was there.” She encouraged me into the 200 hour teacher training, also know as the good200, and in a mere 20 minutes my decision was made.
We are pleased to introduce you to goodyoga’s June teacher of the month Marie! As goodyoga’s resident goodmommy, this freshly baked mom and vibrant vinyasa instructor just returned back to goodyoga after 2 months of maternity leave (yay!). Marie is now teaching five classes at our Greenpoint location and is goodyoga’s new Communications Director. We’re thrilled as always to have her as part of the goodyoga family and delighted to be celebrating all thing Marie for the month of June. As part of our celebration we asked Marie a few questions about her outlook on life, read more to see what she had to say.