Segregated Denver Yoga Chain Shut Down For Insufficient Wokeness
If one still needed more proof that there’s no pleasing our new woke overlords, look no further than the story of an exhaustively woke Denver-based yoga chain that just wasn’t woke enough despite its business being the wokest of the woke.
Last month, “Kindness Yoga,” which held person-of-color and LGBTQ-only nights where “white friends and allies” were not invited, was forced to shut down its nine studios and lay off 160 employees following online outrage from now-former teachers charging the franchise with “performative activism” and “tokenization of Black and brown bodies.”
The saga started in the immediate aftermath of the George Floyd riots that swept major cities nationwide in the worst outbreak of civil disobedience in decades. As nightly protests engulfed Denver’s downtown city-center surrounding the Colorado Capitol building located three blocks away from Kindess’ Capitol Hill studio, the fitness franchise saw more than 400 emails flood in from customers cancelling their memberships after already scheduled social media posts featured memes rather than statements on social justice, according to the Colorado Sun.
Just one week later, that number more than doubled putting the already struggling yoga chain suffering from mandated-closures under statewide lockdowns quickly on the path to insolvency, and unable to fend off a second crisis from the 21st century woke revolution.
“It happened like an avalanche,” the chain’s 47-year-old owner, Patrick Harrington told the Sun.
On June 19, Harrington announced on Instagram that Kindness Yoga would not be moving through with reopening on the first of July as scheduled, and instead would be closing its doors forever while apologizing that the studios failed to harbor an adequate “safe space” for students and employees, despite offering segregated classes.
“In the past several days through the sharing of several past employees experiences working with Kindness, we have received a significant number of membership cancellations that have made what was going to be a monumental task in re-opening near impossible,” Harrington wrote on the company Instagram. “So it is with sadness and little fanfare that I have decided to close Kindness Yoga. Please know that I do this with no ill will towards former employees whom I am learning humility and listening.”
Harrington and his wife however, according to the Sun, are now being forced to sell their home due from the collapse of their donation-based business that made it possible for all to attend classes.
“Yoga is first a spiritual practice and second a physical practice, and just like our religious and spiritual institutions, you don’t have to pay to go in,” Harrington explained to the Colorado paper.
Unfortunately for the Harringtons, and the entire community benefiting from the affordable classes, certain minority staff members aired their grievances online complaining that the chain was unresponsive to their needs.
Davidia Turner, is black and identifies as a witch is now starting her own yoga studio, hosting “Yoga for Witches” workshops. she said Kindness Yoga refused to hire a “diversity expert,” and denounced the company website as “too white-centric.” After heeding to Turner’s criticism over its online presence, Kindness Yoga conducted a photo-shoot only to then be accused to “tokenism.”
Harrington told the Colorado Sun that the photoshoot was a mistake and says he wishes he would have hired a photographer to shoot their classes, probably the ones where whites weren’t invited.
Turner told the Sun that when she explained to the company’s CEO who was a white woman that it was no place for minority employees to fix its racist culture, the executive broke down crying. Turner however, derided the CEO’s tears as “the weaponizing of sadness” which was “infuriating.”
“It is one of the most insidious factors of white supremacy and whiteness and it is used as a tool and as a tactic to make me feel in this Black body that I have done something inherently wrong to bring this sadness upon you,” Turner said in a video blog post according to the Sun which now appears to have been taken down.
Throughout a long, expletive-filled highlighted story on her Instagram, Turner chronicles her campaign to “CallOutKindness” as an institution of white supremacy purporting the colonization of yoga’s practice and pledged to continue “exposing” instructors who were promising to stay with the studios as complicit in its evils of oppression. Turner called the chain’s exhaustive efforts to be stewards of social justice “dangerous.”
“Hosting POC Yoga Classes, and an Unlearning Racism Podcasts along with other Performative Activism tactics during Black Lives Matter Movement is not only inappropriate, it’s unsafe to your community and its teachers and students,” Turner wrote.
“F**k your ‘Kindness,’” reads the following slide.
After having accomplished tearing down a community yoga studio landing 160 people out of work while slandering Harrington’s reputation, Turner has now pivoted her efforts to creating her own studio that can “center the healing of Black, Indigenous and POC folks,” according to emails sent to the Colorado Sun. “I want to divorce myself from the white, Western yoga studio model and expand beyond a physical brick and mortar studio.”
Turner has so far raised more than $10,400 of a $10,000 goal on her website where she says the money will be used partly to continue her decolonization studies.
Harrington told the Sun he’s working to better understand his white privilege by reading the infamous book authored by Robin DiAngelo architect of critical race theory “White Fragility.”
Neither Harrington nor Turner responded to multiple requests for an interview from The Federalist.