Yoga Teacher Says She Was Fired for Dirty Look. Blames Texting Student, Facebook Culture
Ever had your phone ring in a yoga class? It's like you just entered the prom naked. In a world wired for constant communication, yoga class is one of the last places where pings, rings, and vibrations are grounds for reproach.
"It's about respect for instructor, and those in class," yoga teacher Alice Van Ness explained toABC News.
Up until a few weeks ago, Van Ness taught yoga to Facebook employees at the company's Bay Area campus. But an etiquette conflict between the ancient practice and the modern world changed all that, she said.
Amazing photos of yoga poses
It began when a student (and Facebook employee) began texting during class. Total downward don't.
Van Ness claimed she gave a "disapproving look," elsewhere described as a "stink-eye." When the unidentified employee left class to finish her text and later complained about the bad vibes coming from the teacher, Karma was a b----.
Van Ness says she was fired by Plus One Health Management, the parent company that operates Facebook Fitness Center, just two weeks after the incident.
In her termination letter, she says she was accused of "making a spectacle" of the texting student by stopping class to glare at her.
"They sent me packing," Van Ness told Mercury News. "They didn't even want to hear my side of the story." (Plus One has yet to respond to media requests.)
Here's her side of the story: Van Ness, like most instructors, requests students turn off their phones before class. So when she was demonstrating a difficult 'half moon pose' for students, she was stunned that one of them would simultaneously be using their phone.
"I just looked at her with this look of utter disbelief. Like, 'Really? You're going to do that right now?'" Van Ness told ABC News. "I don't believe there's anything that could be going on at Facebook that couldn't wait a half an hour."
That may be true but not every boss would agree. Van Ness can vouch for that.
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