The Chronicles of living as ::castellani:: entry one

I am not the smartest. I am not the most talented person around.  I’ve been told that I am stubborn, too angry, too calm, too stupid, too ugly, too self assured, not self assured enough and too pretty.  I have said and done all the wrong things,  I can typically be classified in the “sometimes slowly” category… but the thing I do know is that you will have to pry my cold dead hands from my yoga mat to keep me from practicing.

It occurs to me that I have never been in such the right place as right now.

Shelly Eames: robert, was SUCH A TREAT to see you and hear your voice, how uplifting….much love …xo

Wed at 2:48pm · Ken Whitmire This is an interesting video, but it wasn’t clear to me what it was in response to. Is there a movement in Texas to regulate yoga teaching?
Wed at 7:12pm · Claudia Da Silva not very clear on the message.
Wed at 8:54pm · Mandar Apte good feedback above. How can I be of help , coffee chat sometime?
Wed at 9:39pm · Eric Miller exactly ken, the video does not highlight the problem well enough, yoga is to be regulated, dance and martial arts are not. I’d love to hear why? am i right?
Wed at 9:40pm · Brian Castellani Definitely food for thought. There is only so much that fits into 5:43:00. So to answer your questions: “Yes, Yes, and Yes…” TX, WA, NY, VA, AZ, & now Louisiana, are having or have had yoga regulation issues. (I mention it pretty much everyday) If you practice yoga, you might be aware that city & state governments are trying to classify Teacher Trainings as Vocational Trainings, which studios would have to pay up to the amount of $6,000.00, and that is only the locals. That is nothing about the teacher taxes that are most likely going to be next. The paper work alone for a 200hr Yoga Teacher Training is ludicrous would be the end of most yoga small businesses. And, these videos, all of them, have succeeded in getting the Local Texas Governments attention, getting them to open communication around the issue and I might add, drawing attention to the piss poor representation of Yoga Alliance in regards to yoga studios, teacher trainings, concerned yoga teachers and practitioners everywhere. So they may not make sense to you, but to the people involved to the Louisiana studios and teachers who I will meet when I go to New Orleans next Wednesday, it does mean something. You know you have made good point for me to think about when I am putting the video’s together. I like getting the criticism, and I thank you for that.
Brian Castellani
Wed at 10:02pm · Brian Castellani There are other videos in the series, that I feel explain the issue somewhat better. I might recommend watching the 9:54:00 video:
Wed at 10:08pm · Eric Miller the videos lovely man, I think I’ve only just seen this one. Secretly I just want to see you asking some gov official why they aren’t planing on taxing kung fu, tai chi, ballet, and jazz etc…etc..etc…The only thing in politics I do still enjoy is seeing officials stumble over questions that point out how demonstrably silly their ideas are when they often claim to be smarter and better equiped to lead then the rest of us regular citizens. If this is what the best and the brightest have to offer us, as far as representation and leadership goes then im actually scared to imagine what else might be coming down the pipeline, but I digress. … See More
Wed at 10:19pm · Brian Castellani The only reason that a Karate dojo is not taxed is because they don’t use the word Teacher Training. Same with Ballet, no Teacher Training, because they local and Federal can’t make the claim that 6 year old is actually taking a teacher training ballet class!
Wed at 10:50pm · Eric Miller i see the logic… well the solutions is simple… you guys can relax now. call it a a yoga alliance certification for “yoga enthusiasts” or “intensive yoga studies” or “enthusiast lectures” just not “teacher trainings” Wed at 10:54pm · Jennifer Bridges Buergermeister That is exactly what we had to do. We are offering an Empowerment Program with Advanced Yoga Studiesat Jennyoga!!! So far so good! The law simply needs to be reworded and changed. We have been passing down yogic information for 5000 years, teacher to student, and I think that in a way, this has been a blessing. Too many students have gone through these 200 & 500 hour programs to only afterward gloat about their certificates but have yet to have any life experience or any real way to convey a spiritual or practical message becuase they lack the time it usually takes to become an expert in anything. Robert and I advocate for 10,000 hours!!! A certificate really doesn’t mean much. I think we need to get back to resumes, cvs, and writing samples that demonstrate to the public what we have learned before we become hired teachers to teach something as skillful and rich as yoga. In this case, time is on our side!
Thu at 5:58am · Cristina Chandika Magalhaes I agree with You Richard. A teacher of Yoga should be humble, devoted to the Guru and practise what he preaches. Unfortunately we are now living in a material and very competitive age but still you can see a real teacher when the grace and power of his or her Guru shines through his or her eyes.Than, nothing can stop this teacher of teaching. Forget certificates, I have met many teachers with many certificates and many years of teaching but their teaching was dry, competitive and all I could see was their ego taking over. Om Asato Ma Sad Gamaya, Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya, Mrtyorma Amritam Gamaya.
Thu at 6:29am · Jennifer Bridges Buergermeister I agree Cristina, it is what the teacher offers through the heart and soul that matters! Often it is less about the asana practice and more about the energy being transferred from teacher to student :O) Namaste’ and Om Shanti Thu at
6:50am · Cristina Chandika Magalhaes Yes Jennifer, open the heart and share the love of Yoga with all! Om Shanti Shanti Shanti!
Thu at 6:56am · Ana Saldaña In my opinion regulation is just a way of spreading yoga’s effectiveness. Complimentary/Alternative medicine is trying to empower us by making referrals to us. We are in the “Preventive Medicine Box” and we need to define how we effectively “prevent”. But if you don’t want referrals, then don’t define yourself as “therapeutic hatha yoga”. If you consider what you do mind/body medicine then start building a box so doctors feel comfortable making a referral to you. Yoga is my career and profession. I chose to get certified in Bikram because of the training’s (albeit loosely) documented standard. Yoga is mind body medicine. I chose not to go into standard medicine like the rest of my family in part because I was more interested in providing holistic care. There is a disconnect here for me…. See More
Thu at 9:42am · Brian Castellani Humility is only one component to the whole over all picture of yoga. Yoga is not only about being humble but also being strong enough to stand up for yourself. Successful teachers know it, and successful studios know it too. If it wasn’t for the quick acting independent thinking teachers and studio owners like Alison West, Susan Van Nuys, and Jennifer Buergermeister, then yoga would look a lot differently than it does right now. Yoga is in the middle of really treacherous territory, and most people in the industry are totally unaware of it.
New York knows it, and so does Virginia, Texas, Missouri and Washington State …
That is why 7 different Yoga magazine editors belong to my social “ning” group, not because they like me, but because they are uncertain about the future of what’s occurring in yoga.
The economy has polarized an already inflated field of yoga, and now the studios, teachers and Teacher Trainers realized that even “over flowing abundance” has to be realistic. For far too long we have accepted what has been dictated down to us by Yoga Alliance and also by slanted Yoga media companies. The entire yoga world knows it. I have discussed it with yoga business owners for the past 4 years, even while I was working at Yoga Journal.
The subject at hand is also about the mismanagement and the manipulation of information to suit specific companies own agendas, while blatantly disregarding the need for leadership and the questions presented by the yoga community as a whole. And let me be totally clear, not one of the yoga companies, not one, has addressed the “regulation issues.” Yoga Alliance suggested specific plans to the state government agencies to ensure their legitimacy, only to have it completely backfire on them, and may very well be the one issue that will be the Yoga Alliances demise for good. I encourage anyone to read the current entry below that still goes unanswered.
@cristina I hope that explains to you where we are at. @Claudia Da Silva I hope that message is clear. We need to “wake up” from your benevolent “it’s all good” utopian dream and realize that Incorporated Yoga Brands are NOT people, are NOT your friends and paint the “pretty pictures” for you to buy more, more, and more. The practitioners, the teachers and the studio owners are who make up yoga, NOT the Media, not the Lulu Lemon’s, not the Giam’s. Out of the bigger corporate entities in the yoga market, there has not been ANY guiding force for studios or teachers to rely upon. The yoga world has been lulled into submission while the Corporate Cash Cows have gotten fatter and inflated the worth for the entire field of yoga. They have profited from yoga, aren’t you curious why they don’t support yoga small business, when the majority of the yoga general population has not seen that type of growth. All those corporate cash cows are taking money from the studios and teachers, but when it comes time to give back in terms of the “state regulation” all the corporate entities are silent… quiet like they have nothing to say. The only corporations that supported local yoga growth was Manduka, JadeYoga and YogaWorks. Yoga Alliance has taken money from teachers, teacher trainings, and Studios, they claimed that they are the guiding force behind all yoga standards worldwide, but they are clearly NOT leaders… they are clearly in on the joke to regulate yoga. Separately, every single one of the Corporate Yoga Cash Cows Corporations (IE: Yoga Journal, Mindbody Online, YOGA +, Yoga Alliance) are COMPLETELY dependent on yoga studios and yoga teachers… every single one of them.
Thu at 10:03am · Arthur ૐ. Klein just a thought…. How long did western medicine reject the idea that there were any benefits to all technologies that they didn’t control… ie acupuncture, yoga, meditation etc. And now let me ask the question DO YOU REALLY WANT ALL OF THESE BUREAUCRATS WHO BELIEVE THEY KNOW MORE THAN YOU TO TELL YOU HOW IT IS? Not me…. I am doing a 3 week teacher training with Bryan Kest; intentionally with no certification. I will eventually post a letter from BK on his thoughts. BTW Bryan has told me that the way most of the government agencies are getting your information is through Yoga Alliance. The nerve of them to sell you out… in love light and peace, Arthur Thu at 10:06am · Brian Castellani Thanks Arthur, I put you in the movies from the Texas Yoga Conference, did you see them? But we never had that interview.
Thu at 10:15am · Sharon Kapp I hear you Arthur, Which is why I wondered why eveyone was clammering to be listed with YA – That’s partly how we got into this mess – trying to show off one better than the next, instead of just being in the moment and practicing yoga like it is done traditionally – Guru-Shishya style. No one has this registration process for yoga in India – Thank heavens for little mercies!!
Thu at 11:26am · Arthur ૐ. Klein Brian, Let me know when you want to schedule an interview… Sharon Thank you for being a kindred spirit…
Thu at 3:01pm · Matthew Taylor nice thread, but as yoginis/yogis where is the other side of the issue? Who is speaking up for those that are harmed by a profession that holds ahimsa as its highest value? As professionals, accountability for the yoga community to the larger community is a complex issue with no easy answers, (certainly not a cable TV pro/con regulation debate). Nuance and creativity are necessary. At we are working to find a “third” way. As I sit in on depositions and hear the horror stories of “well intentioned” yoga teachers harming students, we as a yoga community wanting to remain viable businesses need to come up with an effective way, or our colleagues that are harming will accelerate the moves to regulate the industry, and well beyond vocational training issues. Please broaden the conversation to hold all “perspectives” …here’s a summary of the many issues out there: may ahimsa be our outcome beyond intention to right action.
6 hours ago · Brian Castellani I actually refer to another IAYT article on : HERE:–-2010/
Where is the other side of the issue?
I fully understand that the issue is complex and more sides may need to be represented in the future, however, in every single instance that I have attempted to gain any type of valid response from either Yoga Alliance and IAYT, my emails or calls have never been answered. So if you really want to talk about accountability, feel free to clue me in. Tell me what place rhetoric has in actual events that occurred within days of Texas Yoga Conference?
Your negative dig: “(certainly not a cable TV pro/con regulation debate),” has absolutely no place here. That was not a cable TV debate, that was the Texas Workforce Commission going to the Texas Yoga Conference on a Saturday morning at 8am to talk about the reasons why they are serving papers to every yoga studio that has a Teacher Training program, and trying to regulate yoga all over the State of Texas… which is the whole reason that The Texas Yoga Conference happened in the first place. We were lucky to even have that event occur, and to have you make light of it like you’re the expert, only shows how little you know about the situation. The footage from that day has succeeded in changing the minds of Texas Government Officials because they could see the validity of studio’s and teacher’s arguments against legislation… Further more, aside from the lobbyists, everyone else was totally volunteering their time, which means that no one charged money for their services.
So, what other side is not being represented… or do you not understand the topic of whats being discussed… As far as I am concerned, if either group, IAYT or YA, want to be heard, they will first acknowledge my phone calls and emails and then work with me and not against me. Period. Behind me, I have some of the brightest, overly qualified people in the country. We are a group of very well rounded volunteers & contributors that are teachers and studio owners from multiple states and various walks of different yoga lineages, who are all focused on the highest forms of health and Yoga Centered “self regulation.”
That is as well rounded as it has ever been, as it can be right now… so I feel that your claims of not being “well rounded enough” are purely partial conjecture that completely not relevant to the issue at hand.
In my opinion, since these are my videos, I am certain they are ONLY addressing the current push for yoga legislation that is springing up in a multitude of states all over the US. To be totally clear, at this point, I am only willing to discuss the only issue that matters… which is:
(A.) Yoga Studios and potentially teachers are going to lose Teacher Training rights through unqualified, ill-equiped local staff of Government officials that have absolutely no idea what they are judging or talking about.
(B.) The current forms of Yoga specific regulation and legislation that is being pushed through various different states that needs to be addressed right now.
(C.) That the only issue that is on the table to be discussed is Government intervention into a Yoga Studios Teacher Trainings, and that is it. If the International Journal of Yoga Therapy wants in on the conversation, then they have to deal with the Regulation issue that effects yoga in North America first, and then using the foundation that is set forth, make the next logical step, which is to start regulating yoga on a more detailed and skilled level – that, I might add, Yoga Alliance could never obtain since it’s formation in 1999, due to the indecision and inability to support and guide yoga as a whole.
I am decisive and I am focused on a solution, rather than getting bogged down in many other different issues and accomplishing nothing. One way or another, I am going to see this through.
The dialogue that has to happen concerning skill, safety, and accrued hours is already happening and formulating with the majority of yoga practitioners I am involved with, and the only reason that IAYT hasn’t been included is strictly due to their own volition.
I would also recommend watching the other regulation videos before you decide to respond. The thing that strikes me as totally ironic is that if you had taken the time to see the issue for what it is, you would also see that we are arguing the same issues that are being address in your article.
namaste –
Brian Castellani

2 thoughts on “The Chronicles of living as ::castellani:: entry one

  1. Yoga is a 5,000 year old octopus. Its practices myriad. Some contradictory. Some too simple and some too complex to be diluted, simplified,and stamped with a seal of approval. As founder of a 250+ hour YTT, it would be a true pain in the ischial tuberosities to be regulated. I can’t imagine how one would begin to regulate the teaching of pranayama, or other esoteric or deeply spiritual practices. That having been said, wondering what your thoughts are on the following. More and physicians, chiropractors, and PTs report a rise in injuries associated with yoga practice. There are many yoga students who are new to yoga and who not knowing any better, show up at a power yoga class taught by an overzealous teacher, who has no understanding of body mechanics and causes an injury to the student. I do feel that the evolution of Yoga presents challenges even without the regulatory arm. What is the fine line between Cirque de Soleil and Forrest Yoga? Does a newly certified yoga teacher truly know what to do if a student comes to class with osteoporosis? What if that student does more harm than good. What do you think? and how do we address these questions?


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