You probably already know this story: On December 6, 2017, Dana Falsetti was at home when she was provided with legal documents by Cody Inc., an online training software sales platform that Alo, LLC had just acquired, a yoga clothing company. Cody sued the 24-year-old yoga teacher, the body’s positive lawyer, and (now a former) Cody instructor for breach of contract and commercial defamation that Falsetti allegedly committed in a short-lived Instagram story about the then-confidential Cody. Alo merger. On December 8, Alo also filed a lawsuit against Falsetti for defamation and commercial defamation.
In her Insta Story, Falsetti harshly criticized Alo, saying that the brand “lies”, “inherits physical shame,” and that Alo’s leader faced “sexual harassment / violent accusations”. The controversial post was triggered by an email sent by Cody to his subscription customers to advertise Alo clothing, which Falsetti claims “caused his students and followers to“ reasonably ”think he was related to Alo, which is“ their concern and disappointment ”. expressed. about his new relationship with a company that was thought to be “contrary to advocacy for the health and wellness of large people”. Falsetti appealed against breach of contract and fair compensation, arguing that the acquisition violated his talent license and release agreement because it damaged his reputation.
His counterclaim was dismissed by the court on March 8, 2018, and the Cody / Alo lawsuits were settled out of court on April 12, but what happened in the social situation — both in supportive and condemnatory posts and comments — continues to fluctuate in the community, and find out how complicated the yoga business and social media marriage can be.
Social (media) justice?
A few months after Cody and Alo sued Falsetti, yogi Ashtanga, instructor Cody and Instagram celebrity Kino MacGregor (@kinoyoga) - with more than 1 million followers - stepped in to defend Falsetti, and the yoga community broke in with unprecedented, sometimes rude and aggressive intrusion. . commentary on the true nature of yoga and the yoga business. MacGregor wrote to Instai that “If yoga starts a business or even wants to make money from yoga, yoga should always come first. Any brand or brand owner who wants to capture the heart of yogis would adhere to the moral and ethical standards of the practice itself. "He provided a link to an article in the Elephant Journal in support of Cody's teacher and launched a community funding campaign that raised more than $ 50,000 to cover Falsetti's attorney's fee. While this entry received nearly 24,000 likes, some noted that planned to boycott Alo in response to his message, others say Kino has no place to criticize others for not behaving yoga, especially because he also has a clothing line and his own business, OMstars - a video platform similar to Cody's However, Falsetti (@nolatrees, 330,000 followers), who did not record the details and references of the lawsuit in social media, received thousands of messages supporting his utterance and praising him as inspiration.
Kino MacGregor Instagram image Alo per
MacGregor's support for Falsetti stemmed in part from his own negotiations with Alo. “For me personally, he’s in a stalemate,” Kino tells YJ. "They set the line when they filed a lawsuit against Dana." Alo said the acquisition of OMstars was part of that negotiation. “Kino MacGregor negotiated the sale of his yoga platform to Alo for more than $ 1 million in late October,” an Alo spokesman told YJ. However, MacGregor said he never intended to sell his company. “I wanted to keep an open mind and hear what Alo and Cody created. They made me a multi-million dollar offer and said they would glorify and fulfill their “special voice”. I told Paul [Javid, co-founder of Cody] and Marco [deGeorge, co-founder of Alo]. for the offer, but no thanks. I didn’t like the direction they were going and how they thought about yoga, and I didn’t want me to relate to them. I told them I was running OMstars and their offer didn’t take my channel into account. "
The tension between Alo and MacGregor may have been the catalyst for a blog post he wrote on his own page in December about subconscious marketing and brand transparency. In the post, MacGregor encouraged consumers to “vote with your dollar and boycott their products” when they see large corporations “monopolizing the message of yoga”.
‘Peaceful settlement’ between Alo, Cody App and Dana Falsetti
After Falsetti reached his own resolution with Cody and Alo, he made a public statement through his Instagram account and admitted he made a mistake. “If I could go back and do it all over again, I would do more fact-checking and look for a non-reactive way to express my concerns ...” he wrote. "I failed to fully understand the contract I signed, and it's my own fault ... I spoke out of a desire to be transparent to my community and faithful to my work."
Although the details of the decision were not disclosed, the issue of Falsetti’s content was addressed. “Cody members who paid for Dana’s content can still access it,” says an Alo spokesman. “However, its content has been removed from the Cody platform. We are glad that Dana and I have reached a decision and we wish the best.
As for Falsetti, he feels that at least Perei has launched a dialogue on important issues for the yoga community (such as body image and the reflection of stereotypes). “The basis of yoga practice is that we need to listen to other people’s experiences,” he tells YJ. "People have gone crazy for breaking the connection between yoga and wellness microcosms [on Instagram]." He hopes these comments will be incorporated into actual personal conversations that will reach people on a deeper level, drawing attention to stereotypes and biases, he says.
“For me, yoga is social justice,” Falsetti says. “My yoga practice is not just about asana, but uplifting marginalized communities, hard and often controversial conversations, and raising awareness. If something positive comes from the publicity of the situation, the dynamic conversations take place with the participation of the communities. Topics include: commodity yoga and wellness, marketing diversity, transparent advertising, free speech, ethical practices, the intersection of capitalism and spiritual practices, ability, fat bias and much more are important. They matter. Don't stop them. "