yoga journal ignores hyatt boycott: san francisco yoga conference to proceed as normal

Jan 15, 2013 by

Yoga Journal San Francisco 2011 conference (photo by Nancy Dionne)

Yoga Journal San Francisco 2011 conference (photo by Nancy Dionne)

Attendees and faculty for the Yoga Journal San Francisco Conference will be crossing hotel worker picket lines to get their yoga on this weekend. The Hyatt Regency San Francisco, where the conference will take place from January 17 – 21, is one of many Hyatt-owned properties on union activists’ boycott list. On their way to teach workshops, high-profile yoga teachers including Seane Corn, Deepak Chopra and MC Yogi will walk past workers in a struggle for better working conditions.

This week’s action is the latest in a long series of protests against the Hyatt, demanding fair treatment of hotel workers, higher wages, better benefits, safer workloads, and the right to unionize freely. After several years of actions, in July 2012 a growing movement of hotel workers organized a global boycott of the Hyatt – and they urged the yoga community to pressure Yoga Journal to not hold their conferences in the high-end hotel.

Unite Here, a union body which represents workers in the hotel, gaming, food service, and other industries in the US and Canada, has made specific efforts to inform Yoga Journal of the issue since a national boycott was launched in June 2010.

Flyer distributed to San Francisco yoga studios, urging support from community.

Flyer distributed to San Francisco yoga studios, urging support from community.

“We’ve sent letters, emails and made phone calls, as we do to lots of Hyatt customers,” Unite Here organizer Powell DeGange told IAYB via Skype. “The leadership of Yoga Journal decided not to listen to the call of the workers and they continued their relationship with the Hyatt, so they went ahead with their 2011, 2012 and now 2013 conferences.”

A History of Silence

In August 2012, IAYB reported hotel workers’ union organizers efforts to pressure Yoga Journal to support the global Hyatt boycott – and Yoga Journal’s complete lack of interest or response.

Nothing has changed since that news broke, and this weekend’s yoga conference will go ahead in the hotel as planned. One of four annual national Yoga Journal conferences, the San Francisco event has been held at the Hyatt Regency since 2004. This is a long-term business relationship, DeGange noted; Yoga Journal is a prized and repeat customer for the Hyatt.

Yoga Journal has no apparent interest in supporting the boycott, despite Unite Here’s repeated efforts to reach out to the magazine. “We have had conversations with various members of the board of directors and advisory board,” said DeGange, who has been keeping a file of notes since he initiated contact. “Some of them pay lip service to sympathy, others flat out hang up the phone on us. They don’t seem to want to listen to us or the workers.”

Unite Here continues to pressure Yoga Journal to boycott Hyatt and seek support in the San Francisco yoga community. “It’s been a mixed bag. Some people view their life and practice of yoga in a spiritual sense, beyond the physical aspects, and I feel those folks have heard us out and shown sympathy and compassion for the workers.

“Then there’s another whole sect of people in the yoga community who seem to be totally unphased by the struggles of the workers and their families. They just seem to be into their yoga. It’s hard to generalize: some people have been really awesome, and then others that are outright hostile to the idea of workers standing up for themselves.”

The Story of the Workers

Skype screenshot with Delia Medina (centre) & Powell DeGange (right).

Skype screenshot with Delia Medina (centre) & Powell DeGange (right).

One of these workers is Delia Medina, who worked at the Hyatt Regency for 38 years before stopping in 2009 because of an injury. Medina spent a good part of her room cleaning career standing up for herself and her co-workers. She detailed a day in the life of the workers:

“We have to push the heavy cart, almost 200 lbs, all day. We have to clean 14 rooms, plus in the morning we start making the beds, sometimes 20, 22, 24 beds. We have to vacuum and dust 14 rooms, and clean 14 bathrooms. We have to dust everything, clean everything. We use our bodies for the whole day. When we’re cleaning the bathroom, it’s terrible. It’s very very very very hard work all the days. It’s a very hard job. They treat the ladies very bad.”

The San Francisco Hyatt Regency is unionized. While cleaning 14 rooms per day may sound difficult, DeGange said that in non-unionized hotels, workers clean up to 30 rooms per day. “This fight with Hyatt is about protecting what the union workers have. But it’s also about the non-union workers in cities like San Antonio, Indianopolis, Scottsdale, Long Beach, where Hyatt workers don’t have union rights. The Hyatt is the most abusive company in the industry because it’s leading the fight against workers organizing in these other cities.”

Hyatt is also leading the way in raising room quotas for housekeepers, which has a devastating toll on the body, and outsourcing jobs. One of the most drastic examples happened in 2009, when Hyatt fired 100 housekeepers in three Boston-area hotels to sub-contract out room cleaning services. Outsourcing, high workloads and attacks on workers’ abilities to organize are all common practices for the Hyatt.

Yoga in Solidarity

Delia Medina, who is 84 but hardly looks a day over 50, lit up when she talked about her yoga practice: “I’ve been doing yoga for five years at the senior’s centre. I go to two classes every week, Monday and Saturday. The yoga is excellent for my body. We have too many years working as a housekeeper, to keep the body working for the whole day. The yoga is stretching the body, stretching the back. It’s excellent for the brain and all the body. It’s an excellent exercise for every single person, not just the room cleaners.”

Has she told her yoga teacher about the Hyatt boycott and the Yoga Journal Conference? Medina laughed. “Next class!”

DeGange emphasized that the fight against Hyatt is a women’s issue. Workers in the hotel industry are mainly women of color and immigrant women. Interestingly, 82% of US yoga practitioners are women.

“What we’re fighting for here is the rights of women, room cleaners, the protection of their bodies and respect in the workplace. In a group like Yoga Journal conference attendees, where there is a really large female influence, we’re hoping that there’s some kind of compassion.”

To give a sense of how the Hyatt regards women, DeGange told the story of the Reyes sisters at the San Jose Hyatt. The sisters were both fired after they spoke out against sexist photoshopped pictures of hotel housekeepers. This is symbolic of how this company treats its workers and abuses its workers, DeGange said.

Hotel workers demonstrating outside SF Hyatt Regency (image via Facebook)

Hotel workers demonstrating outside SF Hyatt Regency (image via Facebook)

Ultimately, the Hyatt and Yoga Journal have similar goals and interests. “Hyatt cares about the money. That’s all that this is. When companies like Yoga Journal keep doing business with them the corporation has no incentive to listen to the Delia, or the Nelia, or the Cynthia, or listen to Rose, who are all workers at the Hyatt Regency.

“We’re really asking that the community of people who do business with the Hyatt – including Yoga Journal – respond to this. We’re not just asking for general help and support. We’re asking people to not write Hyatt a check. Don’t do business with the Hyatt. That’s the best thing anyone can do.”

Why should the yoga community support hotel workers? Medina offered a yogic response: “The community has to help and support all the workers. We’re all the same. All the workers need respect and consideration.”

What you can do:
1. Sign the pledge to not eat, meet or sleep in Hyatt Hotels.
2. Get in touch with faculty in the 2013 San Francisco conference and encourage them to pressure Yoga Journal to join the global boycott against Hyatt.
3. Contact Yoga Journal’s Communications Director (dmacy@aimmedia.com) and Yoga Journal Events (yoga@horizonconferences.com), urging them to sign the pledge and hold the 2014 Yoga Journal San Francisco conference in another facility.

See also: exploited hyatt hotel workers pressure yoga journal & yoga community to support global boycott

31 Comments

  1. Sarah

    You need to get a statement from Seane Corn since she bills herself as a yoga activist.

  2. Bob

    And who owns Hyatt? Some of the most influential Democrats in the United States, the Pritzkers.

    • James Morrison

      As if this has anything whatsoever to do with party affiliation. Penny Pritkzer, a well-known activist democrat, is the heir to the Hyatt fortune, which evidently does not mean she has anything whatsoever do with the corporation’s politics anymore than being yogis has anything to do with Yoga Journal’s mindfulness of labor disputes.

  3. Thanks Roseanne for your excellent coverage of this issue. It’s distressing that the yoga community seems to want to ignore it.

    We need to wake up and realize that the American social fabric is being ripped to shreds as the country polarizes between rich and poor. Unions are far from perfect and have lots of problems – but the fact is that they have historically been vital to the creation of the (now disappearing) middle class, basic health and safety protections, and affording workers some reasonable degree of representation in the face of a much more powerful management cadre, and so on.

    The yoga community needs to think seriously about what this practice is about, particularly as the US and world move more and more into crisis. It yoga about sticking your head in the sand, ostrich-like, so that you can feel better and keep the world at bay? Or is about building the strength to heal yourself and the world, recognizing that our fates are all linked? We say it’s the latter, but if so, we should at least be educating ourselves about this issue, and perhaps debating it – but not ignoring it.

    I hope your post generates a healthy dialog and makes us reflect on what we can and should do when our yoga practice so directly intersects with an important social cause.

  4. this is exactly the reason that inspired me to begin running grassroots festivals. I direct the Flagstaff Yoga Festival – and even though our attendance is close to a national scale yoga journal conference, we hold our event in a sweet waldorf school because I refuse to support this kind of thing. My sister partner directors are pulling off the Sedona Yoga Festival next month – which is a great alternative to this corporate yoga stuff as well. Yay for grassroots – power to the people!

  5. what’s surprising is that there is any surprise to this.

  6. Linda Carpenter

    This is just so disappointing. Crossing a picket line is bad enough, but to simply ignore/dismiss outreaches from workers to YJ about hotel workers’ plight and their request that YJ honor their labor rights efforts by joining a boycott is just simply astonishing. Why? And why won’t they respond with a statement, at the least? If they’re not going to honor a picket line, or join in a boycott after 2 1/2 years of attempts by workers to enlist them in this effort, why won’t they state their intent for the record? It seems not in alignment, in balance, with the practice of yoga. Let’s all hope that they will change their minds. Some soul-searching, and public communication, is definitely in order here.

    I will no longer purchase YJ at my newsstand until the people at YJ come out into the open on this issue.

  7. Estelle

    How come such a popular publication as Yoga Journal is not interested in stepping out of its mat and into the world?!?

  8. Gus

    Why don’t we as a community just boycott YJ? Stop subscribing. Stop going to the conferences. That’s how we make our voices heard. Don’t ask them to change the location of the conference, stop going to the conference. You can’t complain about this if your still getting your subscription in the mail. Cancel it.

  9. Dayna Macy

    Yoga Journal will hold its annual San Francisco Conference January 17-21, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero. There is an ongoing labor management dispute between the Hyatt Corporation and UniteHere. The hotel and its workers have reached agreements on wages and benefits but other issues including union membership voting rules across the Hyatt hotel chain remain unresolved.

    The workers at the Hyatt are not on strike, but UniteHere has reached out to many organizations holding events at the hotel and urged them to change their plans.

    Yoga Journal has not ignored this issue. We have thought carefully about it and have decided to honor our longstanding contract and the commitments we’ve made to our conference presenters and attendees, as well as the workers at this specific hotel who depend on business for their livelihood.

    Yoga Journal fully supports the negotiations between the Hyatt and its unions and hopes that the remaining issues are resolved fairly and quickly.

    For more information:

    The Hyatt Corporation Website: hyattworkplace.com
    The UniteHere website:unitehere11.org andhotelworkersrising.com

    • Thanks for commenting, Dayna (Communications Director at Yoga Journal).

      The YJ website states that the conference will be at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco (http://www.yjevents.com/sf/travel.php hotel website: http://sanfranciscoregency.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels-sanfranciscoregency/), situated on the Embarcadero waterfront.

      I hope that YJ will release your comment as a press release and make an official public statement on where the company stands on this issue. Would also be interesting to hear why YJ continues to work with the Hyatt, despite knowing about this labor dispute for the past few years.

      Thanks for engaging in the conversation.

    • Be Scofield

      And just for the record many groups have “not ignored” the issue either and yet reached drastically different conclusions:

      “The boycott has the support of the NFL Players Association, the National Organization of Women (NOW), the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Netroots Nation, Interfaith Worker Justice, and many other business and political leaders. To date, more than 5,000 individuals, organizations and businesses have signed the pledge to honour the boycott. **Yoga Journal is not among them.**”

    • What, exactly, does “support the negotiations” mean? That’s like saying “I support the argument you’re having about this subject”–it’s not taking a stance under the pretense of taking one. Like the old union song says “which side are you on?”

  10. Gen

    Thanks Roseanne, for continuing to foster a dialogue on this issue. While YJ’s prompt reply is encouraging, I am disappointed that it fails to substantially address the concerns expressed by boycotting workers, or their supporters. As you rightly point out, the issues have been at play for some time….more than enough time, in fact, for YJ to reconsider its position on the dispute, and take a stand in favour of greater equity and recognition of workers’ rights.

    To my mind, this is sadly yet another missed opportunity for a well recognized and major stakeholder in our global yoga community to take a leadership role on an issue that matters…and actually walk the talk of yoga… I have been a YJ reader on and off for some years, but YJ’s silence and inaction on this issue is forcing me to reconsider. I might just be one reader out there…but YJ has lost my vote and my business. I cannot, in good conscience, support an organisation that willfully ignores the very real material, financial power structure in which it is operating all while encouraging its readers to reach for their full potential, and empower themselves in the world. Paradox much?
    Gen

  11. Linda Carpenter

    Dayna Macy, thank-you for responding. And Roseanne, thank-you for clarifying who Dayna Macy is.

    I agree with Roseanne and Gen that this dialogue should be fostered, and I urge YJ to release an official public statement that includes addressing the question of why there hasn’t been an official public statement so far.

    I don’t mean to be negative here, just honest, when I say that it seems disingenuous to me to, on the one hand, profess to support the ongoing labor negotiations, while, on the other hand, consider and then intentionally choose to prioritize conference commitments made long after YJ was approached by labor representatives over those prior labor movement requests.

    Details like these are very important, as they reveal the truth, and in bringing the truth out into the open, we can all make conscious choices moving forward that reflect our core principles.

    Just to bring a positive light into this issue, I’d like to add that this news story highlights the difficulties even the progressive community stumbles over in our efforts to fundamentally change for the better the human experience in today’s world. YJ has contributed so much to fostering the practice of yoga in the US. The US yoga community would not be where it is today without YJs contributions. Yet, it seems that the YJ Board have made a fundamental error here, and I truly hope they will acknowledge it, and then begin to make reparations. It’s going to be a real stretch if what comes out of this is that YJ rationalizes its response to this labor dispute in a way that comes off as being self-serving. We’re being force-fed too much of that already from the corporate, anti-labor people we’re trying to convince to do the right thing by the people who provide the labor they benefit from.

    There’s great potential for positive results to come out of this, results that would include greater recognition of just how hard it is to work together for common good, when we all don’t want the same things for ourselves out of that common good.

  12. Eric Walrabenstein

    Dear Yoga Friends,

    Let me start out by saying that I do in fact care about the disenfranchised. I do work to see a more just and compassionate world. And if I were in charge of the Yoga Journal conference, I would very likely change venues in support of those who are seeking a fair shake from the global giant Hyatt.

    And thus, I stand shoulder to shoulder with those who are voicing their disappointment in Yoga Journal for deciding to hold their conference at the San Francisco Hyatt.

    But I do so in the name of this opinionated and imperfect character Eric Walrabenstein—not in the name of yoga. Certainly not.

    To voice our outrage about Yoga Journal’s decision to on the basis of yoga—or their affiliation with it—is to, frankly, not understand the purpose, or practice, of yoga. And quite colossally so.

    Here’s the thing:

    -Yoga is not about standing up for what’s right, while going to war with what’s wrong.
    It’s about transcending right and wrong all together.

    -Yoga is not about aligning ourselves with those who do good and against those who do not.
    It’s about being liberated from the self all together.

    -Yoga is not about standing up and fixing the problems of the world.
    It’s about sitting down and seeing the innate perfection that has always already been.

    This war against reality is the ego’s game, not yoga’s—and certainly not your truest self’s.

    So, by all means stand up for the causes that you believe in: Rail against injustice, fight for the disenfranchised, champion the good and assault the bad. It is your right, and some would argue your responsibility, to make this world a better place in which to live.

    But please don’t drag yoga into your war against God’s perfection.

    Yoga is about creating unconditional stillness; yoga is about accessing the perfection of what is; yoga is about recognizing who you truly are—beyond the one filled with outrage and self-righteousness.

    If you wish to truly do something in the name of yoga, sit, breathe, and smile.

    Love & blessings…
    E

    P.S. I have no doubt that this idea will ruffle a great many feathers; particularly those of the spiritualized, feel-good crowd who confuse temporarily satiated egos for some sort of spiritual progress. I understand. I get pissed at things too, whilst trying to remind myself that this too is part of the inherent perfection of what is.

  13. Paul

    This is so incongruous with the message of yoga that I fear Yoga Journal is on the verge of bankruptcy. What else would explain why they wont cancel the conference? They must be in such a tight financial spot that they feel the big monetary loss that will surely happen if they cancel will far outweigh the potential damage of holding conference at the Hyatt. If money is not the driving reason behind YJ’s decision not to cancel then I am at a loss to explain why the conference venue was not changed. This situation as I see it is simply profits over people. I would respect YJ more if they simply admitted that.

  14. Listen Eric, it’s obvious you and I have some disagreements about yoga. Don’t tell those of us who are activists that we can’t speak “for” or more accurately “FROM” a yogic perspective and THEN tell us you do! That’s just plain arrogance.

    Eric writes:

    “Here’s the thing:
    -Yoga is not about standing up for what’s right, while going to war with what’s wrong.
    It’s about transcending right and wrong all together.”

    Spiritual Bypassing, anyone?! May as well junk the Bhagavad Gita while we’re at it, eh? This kind of projection of the absolute upon the relative is the kind of thing we call ‘zen sickness.’ It’s the rationalization used for millennia to avoid true integrated engagement with life.

    Eric writes:
    “-Yoga is not about aligning ourselves with those who do good and against those who do not.
    It’s about being liberated from the self all together.”

    Yeah, the bodhisattva takes the vow to save all sentient beings, knowing there are no sentient beings. AND — and this is equally important — she takes the vow seriously and does the work necessary; she doesn’t take her wisdom of not-self as an excuse. The opposite of a trivial truth is a lie, but the opposite of a profound truth is also true.

    Relative truth is truth; absolute truth is true.

    Eric writes:

    “-Yoga is not about standing up and fixing the problems of the world.
    It’s about sitting down and seeing the innate perfection that has always already been.”

    “Innate perfection.” Hmmm, for me, yoga is about waking up to the truth of things as they are in the world and not plastering over some concept about “innate perfection.” Young girls sold into sex slavery, hotel workers being shafted, drones killing innocent people in ‘my’ name as an american, the holocaust…. doesn’t seem like perfection to me. This notion is no different from the fundamentalist christian’s “It’s god’s will.”

    Eric writes:

    “So, by all means stand up for the causes that you believe in: Rail against injustice, fight for the disenfranchised, champion the good and assault the bad. It is your right, and some would argue your responsibility, to make this world a better place in which to live.
    But please don’t drag yoga into your war against God’s perfection.”

    As Be Scofield writes, and I agree, yoga being empty of any ‘essence’ can most certainly be used to defend war and pacifism. It’s a conscious choice some of us yogis make to ground our action IN yoga and it’s ethical teachings (something all too many contemporary yogis give lip service to but don’t seem to work to embody).

    Of course, dragging god into it is a non-sequiter if you don’t believe in some make-beleive friend.

    Finally, Eric writes:

    “If you wish to truly do something in the name of yoga, sit, breathe, and smile.”

    Ah, yes, quietism. THAT’s what yoga is about!

    • Aminda

      LOKAH SAMASTA SUKHINO BHAVANTU
      May all beings everywhere be happy and free and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all. If that is not yoga then I have no idea what is.

  15. nikki

    Eric,

    As far as I understand, yoga, which does not simply consist of the physical practices that are currently popular but distinct paths of enlightenment, is about not only stillness but the development of compassion and lovingkindness (a translation from Sanskrit thus not new-agey). Yoga has been commodified by corps like Yoga Journal such that many people fail to realize it predates contemporary culture altogether. No compassionate person in pursuit of enlightenment chooses to ignore the suffering of others for their own material or egotistical gain. It’s a massive hurdle but thins out the fleet. These (mainly) women can act self-righteous because they can bend and twist, they can create magazines, fashion lines, jewelry, accessories and other accoutrements while paying lip service to compassion and capitalizing on the suffering of others. It is not in keeping with the spirit of the thing.

  16. Reading the yoga news brings up yoga PTSD. Nothing seems to change and it’s freaking yoga. It’s about change, or should I say as one who does not appoint herself the spokesperson for the thing called yoga that I think it’s about change. Maybe it’s a closed chain.

    You cannot say it’s not a yoga problem when it’s a yoga conference from a yoga journal filled with yoga teachers and students and if you want to separate this yoga from some other yoga then you will have to cut the first limb of yoga from the tree. Ethics is not about personal growth in a vacuum, it is about relationship.

    If the seva celebrities participate in a conference that disrespects the people making their beds and cleaning their toilets so be it. If yoga teachers preach dharma to yoga students who come to find the best of themselves while workers struggle to be heard outside the door so be it. When the occupiers forget the fight because they have the chance to be the one percent let it ride.

    It is for the observers to make the next choice when they have one to make. Though a yoga conference has the power of a rapt audience and it would be a powerful thing to have a large group make a statement by walking away, one must realize that it is then his or her decision alone and no organization can tell you what is right or wrong. This is the personal truth if you want to call it that, that might or might not be realized through a yoga practice.

  17. I found an example of an organization faced with the same issue that decided not to break their contract because it would be so expensive. BUT they did issue a clear and detailed statement as to what they were doing and why, AND use the situation as an opportunity for education, learning, discussion, and growth. The question of what to do about next year is still on the table for YJ.

    http://ignatiansolidarity.net/iftj/2012/07/28/information-regarding-hyatt-regency-corporate-boycott/.

    • Wow! Wouldn’t it be awesome if Yoga Journal had done something similar?

      The fact that it didn’t seems yet more evidence of Matthew Remski’s argument in “21st Century Yoga,” right down to comparing the narcissism of contemporary yoga to the community-minded Catholic Church he attended, as this IS a Christian organization you linked to.

      Thanks for that!

  18. ally

    I just want to say that I totally agree with Eric – we all can really transcend human rights. I think we all need to talk about how things like respect and treating people with dignity is really something so old school. We should be working a lot harder to live a very siloed existence where only our individual selves and our own individual connection to the universe matters. I think that’s really what yoga is all about, right. We’re not having a mental clarity for some random housekeeper who has to work 80 hours a week – we’re taking care of ourselves. And we should really stick to that.

  19. Jamie

    This is a great post – thanks to itsallyogababy for this important news, and well written story! I am a regular yogi and have done solidarity work with UNITE HERE in Toronto – it hurts me that fellow yogis could be so tone deaf to ignore the struggle for freedom of people (often) far less privileged than they. Thanks for making me aware of this – I wrote them a letter!

  20. Surf

    It’s a shame we have to hear this on the news and have received no corespondanse from yoga journal about the situation as many of us are coming from out of town, and have per paid for our hotel / conference and of course there is a no refund policy.

    We were looking to exhibit and decided not to last minute. Thank goodness we made that decision as picket lines are a deterent for people to attend.

    I feel an emabarassment to stay at a hotel where picket lines will be happening.

    This should be interesting.

  21. Medea

    Sorry people, but how clear do you want it to be? If YJ was really about yoga, one would expect to see a certain level of adherence to key principles like, yamas, niyamas, abhyasa, vairagya. But that will not happen since YJ first and foremost is a business, so it’s main objective is making money for it’s owners/stockholders. To be able to do that it needs to sell advertisements from other companies that want to sell their products. To make sure they have a steady flow of income, they promote these companies in their ‘articles’ as well, prompting you, the consumer, to buy a lot of useless crap you really don’t need. This magazine is NOT about yoga, it’s about consumerism or (at best) spiritual materialism. Canceling the event or relocate it will cost them money and since that is straight against their objective they won’t. It’s not in their interest since Yoga has nothing to do with it.

    If you care about issues like this, take matters in your own hand. Unsubscribe and don’t let companies like this tell you what it is you supposedly “need”. If you want to practice yoga all you need is to find a good yoga teacher, that teaches you a holistic yoga practice that aims for you to be as independently as possible, and the motivation to practice on yourself as well. That’s it. Fancy clothes, mats, food supplements, jewelry, weight loss programs, new age talk about creating an abundant lifestyle and YJ will not help you one bit.

    Money is power so vote with your money people. Walk your talk, don’t expect others to do it for you.

    For Eric: I suggest that you reflect you a little more on YS verse 2.26. Hint: One of the core principles of yoga practice is training yourself in viveka; discrimination, discernment.

  22. ekabhumi

    Press Release
    For Immediate Release 01-17-2013

    Yogis Uniting for Worker’s Rights

    Bay Area Yogis to hold a free public Yoga class outside corporate Yoga conference in San Francisco. We stand (in Tree Posture) in solidarity with striking Hyatt workers.

    This weekend, Yoga Journal will be hosting another All-Star yoga get together here in San Francisco. They, all their teachers and participants, will be crossing a Unite Here union picket line…for the 3rd year in a row.

    We Yogis decided to crash the party in a show of solidarity with the workers. Our goal is to persuade Yoga Journal to move their conference at another venue, and to help pressure Hyatt to negotiate a fair deal with the union.

    We will raise awareness about the hypocrisy of commodifying the language of compassion and and transformation while ignoring the living reality of struggling workers. What could be more ironic that a Yoga conference meeting in a hotel owned by a corporation recently cited by the state of California for violating injury prevention rules?

    At 5pm, we yogis invite anyone who would like to join us to bring a Yoga matt and some warm but stretchy clothes to the public plaza adjacent to the Embarcadero Hyatt hotel portico. Volunteer teachers will lead the practice on a rotating basis.

    Website for UNITE HERE Local 2:
    http://www.onedaylongersf.org/

    WHO: Random socially-conscious Yoga pratitioners.

    WHAT: Offering a free public Yoga Asana class outside of an expensive conference.

    WHERE: The public plaza adjacent to the Embarcadero Hyatt hotel portico.

    WHEN: 5:00 pm, Thursday January 17th, 2013.

    WHY: For the benefit of all beings. And to persuade Yoga Journal to host their conference at another venue, while helping to pressure Hyatt to negotiate a fair deal with the union!

    HOW: Volunteer instructors will teach Yoga class on a rotating basis. Anyone interested in joining us should wear warm stretch clothing and bring a matt to practice on.

  23. Liz

    Now that I’ve been teaching yoga for 10 years, I’ve come to the realization that Yoga Journal has nothing to do with yoga anyways.

  24. Om

    Yes mc yogi will u practice what u rap about. Hum.

  25. AB

    Hi,
    Let’s not forget that Yoga Journal crossed the picket lines of striking, locked out workers at the San Francisco Hyatt Regency at least twice previously. There was a strike in place from 2004-2006 by Unite-HERE local #2 against this hotel (as opposed to a boycott in solidarity with workers in other cities, which is what is happening now). as YJ really didn’t care about the workers then, why would they start now. I wish that more faculty and attendees would let go of the outdated notion that they need to be part of this: Yoga Journal needs them far more than they need Yoga Journal.

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  6. yoga journal hearts hyatt: notes on a yoga conference model - [...] beyond the Montreal yoga scene don’t know is that Roseanne has more than gumshoe mojo driving her excellent reporting …
  7. When Business and Ethics Collide: Yoga Journal vs. Hyatt Boycott | Intent BlogIntent Blog - [...] blogosphere was abuzz with headlines about the company’s failure to stand up for the rights of “exploited hotel workers.” …
  8. The Yoga Journal vs. Hyatt Boycott. | elephant journal - [...] blogosphere was abuzz with headlines about the company’s failure to stand up for the rights of “exploited hotel workers.” …
  9. yoga journal & hyatt boycott: post-conference update - [...] it’s been a week since the news broke that the Yoga Journal San Francisco conference was happening at the …
  10. yoga journal conference & hyatt boycott: one teacher speaks out - [...] and opinions about the Yoga Journal San Francisco conference and Hyatt boycott abound here on IAYB and on social …
  11. busy yoga bees | haterasana - [...] job that It’s All Yoga, Baby! did covering the Yoga Journal- Hyatt boycott fiasco (pick a link, any link) …
  12. Friday Five! | .the rebel grrrl kitchen. - [...] is a site after my own heart. The site was started after the yoga protests that happened outside of …
  13. hyatt boycott ends: yoga practitioners can attend yoga journal san francisco conference 2014 in peace - [...] when Yoga Journal, after ignoring union activist’s repeated requests to honour the boycott, proceeded with one of four annual …
  14. 2013: the year in yoga - […] business and ethics collided in January when the online yoga community learned that Yoga Journal had ignored an international …
  15. top 15 yoga blog posts of 2013 - […] ~ Based on IAYB’s year in yoga review and Google Analytics, it’s pretty clear that the Hyatt Boycott vs. …
  16. Yoga Blogger Interview : Roseanne from It's All Yoga Baby - Lucid Practice - […] of my favourite blog posts is my coverage of Yoga Journal’s dismissal of an international boycott of Hyatt Hotels in order …
  17. happy 5th anniversary to IAYB! - […] and the only one taking place at a Hyatt). I wrote a blog post about it, then followed up …

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