I have to admit that I am a Yelp fiend. Because I enjoy writing, I often write reviews on places I frequent. I rarely one star businesses unless I feel they are preying on unsuspecting customers. Also, it is lousy to be on the receiving end of a one star review. And that is exactly what happened to me this week.
I was perusing yoga studios on my Yelp app and came across my own studio and noticed the stars have gone down. Much to my dismay, I came across this:
Because I am classy, I left out the reviewers name. But I noticed his name didn’t match any of my students, so I complimented him. I said, “Funny I didn’t recall telling anyone who was male not to drink water in my all female attended class.” He later added the last part of his review stating he wrote it for his daughter.
As it turns out, the daughter had attended another teacher’s class and he wrote the review without even verifying which teacher his daughter was upset with. The good people at Yelp removed the post quickly as it violated their terms of service for reviewing a place you haven’t even patronized.
In a way I wished the review was accurate, because my mentoring teachers used to say I had a monotone presentation. Being compared to a basketball coach would make them proud!
As for the water complaint, my studio has a policy not to put water bottles on the new hardwood floor and another teacher probably asked the guy’s daughter to put her water on the shelf. In Iyengar Yoga, students don’t need to stay an arms length away from water just to stay alive like other styles. The teacher in question probably relayed that to her and all she heard was “you can’t drink water.”
It’s not good karma to one star people who don’t deserve it on Yelp. And because I live in accordance to the Yamas and Niyamas, good things tend to come my way. I received another review from Luci at YogaSpy which was named one of the top 100 yoga blogs. She said in her recent post commemorating her five years of blogging that Home Yoga Practice is one of her favorite blogs! Coming from Luci who is a great blogger and seasoned Iyengar practitioner, this review feels better than being Freshly Pressed. Thanks Luci and congratulations of making 5 years as a blogger. That is a feat that I cannot image.
During a research trip for Lonely Planet, a B&B owner told me how much TripAdvisor reviews can make or break a place. You never know how a guest will review you, he said. Sometimes people seem satisfied, always smiling, but then voice surprising complaints online. It made me grateful that yoga studios aren’t hugely affected by online reviews (not in Vancouver, anyway). But your story made me rethink my assumptions!
I, too, go to Yelp, but mostly for cafes and restaurants, plus the occasional plumber or hair salon. Never have I Yelp searched a yoga venue, much less the ones where I teach. Anyway, I had to laugh about your “monotone presentation”; also I agree with your studio’s water bottles in designated areas policy (same here). Aloha! LY
Thanks again Luci! Yelp is handy to find restaurants or even a good plumber, but in this age of “anything goes” yoga, it is hardly a reliable source to find a good teacher. One of the most amusing Yelp reviews I read was a vinyasa student berating Manouso for asking her to use blankets for shoulder stand. Alas! the the armchair experts of social media.