MayDay & The Yoga Bourgeoisie: A Diary of Not Getting Paid


(c) Fylde Borough Council; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation



Part l

I have a total of 49 emails. 17 about class descriptions, promotion and other generalities prior to teaching 4 Yoga workshops at Yoga Sanctuary in Toronto. The remaining 32 correspondences reveal my back and forth struggle to get paid for services that I rendered from June 9 to June 12, 2015

I’m going to start the Diary at June 11th, 2015:

6/11/15 from Sri Louise


great. will lock carefully.

what about compensation for classes???

in prayer,


6/12/15 from studio Manager

Good Morning Sri Louise,

Pay period ends this Sunday and cheques will be handed out on Monday; workshops and courses reconcile within 2 weeks of ending.

When are you leaving?

What currency did you agree on with Cynthia?

6/12/15 Studio Owner

we didn’t talk about it… we are in Canada and she can be paid in Canadian, mind you we can send her an e-transfer in US funds…
pay 70/30….

6/12/15 studio manager

Hi Everyone,

Actually the split is 60/40

6/12/15 Sri Louise


i leave tomorrow morning.

actually we hadn’t decided on currency.

perhaps you could make a direct deposit to my bank account?

please let me know!

in prayer,


6/12/15 studio manager

Hi Sri Louise,

We can do an email transfer. What email address would you like us to send it to?

6/12/15 Sri Louise

oh, i don’t know what an email transfer is?

(I include my email)

6/12/15 studio manager

Hi Sri Louise,

Cynthia will process the amount owed to you from her bank account and you will receive an email to… (my email).

Whatever instructions are in the email will be followed by you.

You will pick a bank account that will then deposit the money from The Yoga Sanctuary’s account to yours.

This usually works with most banks.

6/12/15 Sri Louise

great, thank you!

6/18/15 Sri Louise (mind you the studio manager and finance person are also cc’d on these emails.)


i haven’t received anything about pay?

thank you for taking care of this.

in prayer,


6/29/15 Sri Louise

Hi Cynthia,

It’s been two weeks and I have not received any information regarding compensation for the workshops at Yoga Sanctuary.

I would really appreciate if you could personally respond to this email and arrange for payment as soon as possible.

Thank you,


6/29/15 studio manager

Hi Sri Louise,

My apologies, I had reconciled the workshops but not passed the information onto Cynthia or Kimberley.

Your portion of the workshops comes to $126.60 Canadian.

Cynthia will transfer money to you and let you know when she has done so.

6/29/15 Sri Louise

Thank you,


6/29/15 studio owner

Hi Gals

When i am making the e transfer do I send it to this email address?


6/29/15 Sri Louise

again I send my email

7/9/15 Sri Louise


I still haven’t received any compensation. This is now my fourth email regarding this issue and it’s a month later…

Please take care of this.

Thank you,


7/9/15 studio owner

Hi Sri Louise

I just checked and for some reason it was on hold… I changed one thing wrong that I had spelled in your email address and all should be good now~
My sincere apologies for the delay.

The answer tot he question is yoga

have a great evening

7/15/15 Sri Louise

Hi Cynthia,

I’m not sure what is going on, why I have not received payment or any explanation around why I have not received payment or any definitive answer as to when I can expect receive payment.

I’m leaving the country tomorrow. This is now the 5th email that I have sent practically begging to be paid a mere 126 Canadian dollars. Really, it’s almost not worth the time I have put in just trying to get paid and my patience for this situation is really running out.

Please communicate with me why I have not been paid. Yoga is not the answer here, payment is.

Thank you,


7/16/15 studio owner

Hi Sri Louise
When you go to accept the payment from e transfer which was sent about 10 days ago the answer to the question to accept the payment is yoga.
Please check your junk mail as the email was sent about 10 days ago. I am sorry that this has happened. I will check my bank account now.

7/19/15 Sri Louise

dear cynthia,

there is nothing from e-transfer in my other gmail boxes…each box has mail from june 23rd.

can you please look into and send again?

thank you,


7/27/15 Sri Louise

hi cynthia,

its now july 28th and i have still not received monetary compensation for the workshops that i taught the second week of june.

please direct deposit into my account.

if i don’t hear from you within in a week, i will notify my lawyer.

thank you,


Included in this email is my bank information for direct deposit and my home address.



I do not here anything from Cynthia since July 16th. My sister, a lawyer, said I should leave a friendly reminder on the studio FB page, ‘I really enjoyed teaching at your space and interacting with the students, but I have still not been paid and was wondering how we might, blah blah blah…I took her advice, but a different tactic.

I posted this to my Facebook page on August 8th, 2015

So, I went to teach in Toronto and as a side gig, I taught some workshops at The Yoga Sanctuary. There was a mix-up on the dates on my part, and a total lack of out-reach/advertising on their part, to result in a not at all well attended series of classes.

At least at the Friday night Kirtan, Cynthia Funk, the owner of the studio admitted they ‘forgot’ to outreach for the event…there was no advertisement made outside of a post on their website and a flier in the studio.

All in all, for 4 classes, and I don’t know how many of you have been in my classes, but my teaching is of a rather high caliber, I made a total of $126.

It has been over two months and I have not been paid. This is a woman who owns three studios in Toronto, but can’t manage to get $126 into my American Bank Account?

I’m pretty sure the participants who paid, have no idea that I have not been paid and I’m confident would be shocked and angered to find this out.

In fact, my last email regarding getting paid, went completely unanswered.

I’m collecting stories of other Yoga teachers/students who have been exploited by studio owners. Please post here or pm me if you would like your name to stay anonymous.


Many people responded and so did Cynthia, the owner of Yoga Sanctuary…

“I am sad to hear that you have had this experience as within 2 weeks after your event I sent an e-transfer and two weeks later after emailing with you, I sent the money via another e transfer method. I have been away on summer holidays. It saddens me that you have gone ahead and tried to deface my name and the name of my two studios in a public setting. We have phone numbers. Your post about me not having made an attempt to pay you is not true. Have you checked you junk mail for the second transfer? Please continue to converse with me via email with regard to this matter.”

to which I responded,

Cynthia Funk are you kidding me? you are away on summer holidays? you know what saddens me? that you couldn’t bother to make sure that i got paid before you went on holiday. you advised me to go look into my junk mail for the e-transfer. i responded by saying that i had checked and that there was nothing in either my primary, secondary or junk accounts…i have continued to converse with you via email. the last one, from over a week ago, you did not respond to. the truth of the matter is that i have not been paid for my labour. if you want to be less sad about the circumstances, you could acknowledge what the truth of the situation is and then comply with it. i have our emails and i’m happy to also make them transparent. the fact that you ask me to converse via email when i have at least 7 emails requesting pay is really insulting. this public post is not because i am an asshole, but because emailing you was getting me nowhere.
On august 10, 2015, I get the following email from Cynthia

Sri Louise

I am happy to get you a certified cheque from our bank and mail it to you. I have had two pending e transfers for you for over a month and somehow the international money e transfer is not getting to you.

Please provide your address and we will mail it via trackable mail.

Conversely, if you would still like to try to do this via interact please go to the following link to check and see if your bank is on the list, then we can further from there please go to the send money internationally link on that page~

Thank you,


on August 11th I respond with my address for the second time,

Please mail to, (now an old address)

Sri Louise
3209 Peralta St.
Oakland, Ca

Thank You

8/28/2015 Sri Louise


I’ve just returned home and there is still no payment.

I don’t get it?

Can you please explain?

8/29/2015 studio owner

The cheque was mailed by trackable mail. It should be there by Monday.


10/05/2015 Sri Louise


I have just returned from another month away from home.

I did not receive the cheque.

Can you please verify that you sent it? And/or the next time you send something by trackable mail, why don’t you give me a way to track it?

Please take care of this.

10/08/2015 studio owner

Hi Sri Louise

I mailed you a cheque via registered mail, express post, it has now been returned back to Canada. This cost me $15 to send…

I wanted to make sure you got the money.

Now what to do.

I will send you  picture of the Express Post envelop to prove that I did indeed send it this way.

I would like to settle this matter.

10/08/2015 Sri Louise

why don’t you direct deposit?

01/06/2016 Sri Louise

hi cynthia,

it’s now january, 2016…

you can either direct deposit or send check.

Again I include my bank Info and my new address.

01/06/2015 studio owner

Hi Louise

Very interesting that you sent this email, as earlier today I just recashed the money order I sent via FedEx that was returned to me months ago.

I will find out how much it will now cost me to send you an e transfer. If it is too much I will send a regular cheque.

I thought you refused to pick it up so you could prove your public Facebook point that we were an awful no good not paying studio to work for… Guess you were wrong. I will also send along the tracking slip from the last time I mailed a cheque and it was returned.

Would like to end this mess and move on.


01/06/2015 Sri Louise

cynthia really?

you want to act like you are some victim of my facebook slander? or that it was my fault that you could not pay me and therefor went to the trouble to fedex, only after i had called you out publicly and still at least a month after that, with no correspondence? i could have easily told you i was out of town…

when are you going to take responsibility for a really shitty job in rendering payment for services?

save your passive aggressive whining, it’s only really annoying for me.

if you want me to go away, you know what to do…


A mutual friend of ours reached out to Cynthia to inquire about the fact that I had still not been compensated. This friend also attended one of the workshop’s that I gave at Yoga Sanctuary and as a paying student has a vested interest in seeing the teacher get paid.

Cynthia Funk Of Yoga Sanctuary in Toronto sent this message, intended I’m sure without the least bit of irony, on Mayday 2016.

“I sent Sri Louise via fed ex a cheque and she never picked it up. It was mailed back to me… I have always been happy to pay as I have for everyone for the past 17 years.

When she is back in Toronto she can pick one up.

Let her know for me as I can’t be bothered anymore I have put too much energy into this already.”


Part lll

Because I live in New Mexico, with no plans to travel to Toronto and therefor no way to acquire the check that she has so graciously extended to me to pick up, I offer this account as a public request for Cynthia Funk to publicly donate the funds that she owes me to Schools Welcome Refugees, a school based program that sponsors Refugee Families to resettle in Canada.

I also request that Cynthia make a public documentation of her donation, so that we as a community know where our money is going. I’m quite certain when the students came to attend my workshop they didn’t think Cynthia would simply just “cash the check,” returning the money to her own account.


Cough it up Cynthia, if not for me, then for a really good cause.

You may donate here




On May 2nd, when I finished the above blogpost, I sent Cynthia an email. Here is our exchange.

Dear Cynthia,

I have encapsulated our exchange from my perspective. You can read it here.

In the blog I ask that you donate the money you owe me to.

Once you document the donation and share with me, I will consider our exchange finished.

Really, in going over the whole thing, it’s such an unfortunate miscommunication, but that you feel justified to not pay me, or suggest I can come to Toronto and pick the check up on my own, is really inexcusable.


Cynthia responded right away.

Sri Louise

I have also encapsulated the exchange in my head as well…

Have been to the bank and got a money order, went to the post office sent it registered track able mail at my expense sent it to the address you provided and to my amazement and surprise you didn’t pick it up and it was returned to me…I have never in 17 year not paid a person.

By all means I can give you a long long list of hundreds of names of people who have always been paid.
I guess this is your lesson now as I have documented receipts with the address you provided me.

I don’t see that in your blog post.

Too bad you are barking up the wrong tree about not getting paid. I made effort you couldn’t be bothered to pick up your registered mail and still feel slighted. Write about that….

I have not gone to any social media about this issue or said bad things about you and your treatment of me. Your mistreatment of me publicly far outweighs the small amount of money that you refused to accept.

I will make the donation and hope you make better decisions in the future as to how you treat people.
None of us is flawless and everyone can be more brave behind a keypad.

I wish you all the success in the future in all your endeavours.


To which I responded…


Send documentation of donation.

This is not over until I get that.




All I can say now, after a year has past and Cynthia has neither paid me, nor made the donation I asked for is, Bitch Better Have My Money!


One thought on “MayDay & The Yoga Bourgeoisie: A Diary of Not Getting Paid

  1. Yeah, The studio I was teaching at in Western WA had not paid the teachers. I texted the studio owner who was out on their yacht. I asked if we had been paid (knowing we hadnt). The response was “I ran out of time”
    I replied “You own the boat, it wasnt leaving without you”
    Then I left a hand written note in the cash box resigning, which she got after her three week yacht cruise. Goodbye to bad Rubbish


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