no more free lunch

chettinad food
typical lunch in Tamil Nadu, India — YUM!

“Emotional labor.”

What does that mean to you?

On her Facebook page in August Layla Saad said that a “complete stranger just PayPal-ed me a generous amount of money as a way of saying thank you for the emotional labor I put in to writing my open letter to spiritual white women. I’m in shock. And in tears. I did not write the letter with that expectation in mind, but I am so grateful for this unexpected gift.”

That got me thinking.  In a dozen years I’ve received two payments from readers.   Years ago I received $100 from an anonymous person who merely said “thank you.”

I’ve written this blog since 2005, a good 12 years, and over the years people have sent me countless emails telling me how much my writing meant to them.  They thought they were the only ones who felt the same way I did about shit in the Modern Yoga World.  When I have thought about completely shutting down this blog and never writing again, I get an email from someone telling me how much my words meant to them.   So I continue albeit not as prolifically because, let’s be honest: people just don’t read blogs anymore.  I have been fortunate to meet people in India in my trainings who have read my blog, one woman from Kuala Lumpur telling me that she was at the Krishanamacharya Yoga Mandiram because of me.  A few readers have told me that they consider me one of their yoga teachers even though we’ve never met and who knows if we ever will.

Today Facebook reminded me:

“If you have never visited Linda’s Yoga Journey, it’s worth every minute you can spend on it. I met Linda in India and she’s one of the most loving, sassy and funny people I’ve ever come across. She keeps it real with serious topics that the yoga community often prefers to ignore, but refuses to sensationalize them and more often than not gives you food for thought that tastes a whole lot different than the stuff we get elsewhere. She is also not one to pass up the opportunity for a good laugh. She has a solid following of educated readers from all walks of life who offer some really interesting and varied points of view on the things Linda reports on so the comments are definitely worth a read.”

I have always said that I have the best readers!  Thank you dear readers for continuing to read me for 12 years!

And to think I’ve never been podcast by J. Brown.  Or asked to give any public talks.  Or sit on any panel discussions.  Go figure!

I wrote about topics such as ageism and diversity in the Modern Yoga World long before yoga blogs like YogaDork and It’s All Yoga, Baby, and before yoga writers whose names I won’t mention because you know who they are.  Because I was considered a “fierce voice in the yoga blogosphere” by the author of this book, he put me in it.  Drove all the way from California with his dog to interview me. 🙂

As Kelly Diels says in this article: “I, as a woman, am not a community resource.”  Beginning in January 2018 I am transitioning the best of my blog posts to Patreon, a website that will allow me to get paid for my writing, i.e., my emotional and intellectual labor.  If my writing about yoga has helped you or made you see things differently, you can become a monthly supporter or pay me per piece on that site.  The posts that I transfer will no longer be available for free here and I will use Patreon as my writing outlet, no more blogging for free.

The same goes for my India travel advice.  I have received many questions over the years about how to travel in India, where to go, etc. so I am now charging $50/hr for trip planning, how to handle India, etc.  Please do not expect to pick my brain for free unless you come on one of my trips.  I have 12 yrs of India travel experience and my info can not be found in guide books.  As a solo woman traveler to India since 2005 and learning about India as much as a foreigner can, you will be paying for my emotional and intellectual India travel labor.  To curate a boutique trip to India for those who ask, I start planning it one year in advance starting with a ton of emails to the providers in India that I use.  I can’t tell you how many sleepless nights I’ve had worrying about things so they are just right.  Some of you may say that it’s my “cost of doing business” but if I really charged for every hour of time that I use in planning a trip for people, the price would be exorbitant and no one could afford it.

I receive no upgrades or freebies since I am not a travel blogger with a “brand” to promote.  I pay my own way to India.   You can get some questionable advice for free online or go to a bookstore and PAY for a guide book.  Well, I am that same guidebook.

I get questions about how to start a travel blog, where to go in India, and yoga questions from strangers who ask “I have X, what yoga can help me?”  Mind blown on that one!

After all these years (how fucking stupid was I?!) I am tired of playing the role of teacher or advisor or consultant without getting paid and without even receiving acknowledgement for the time and energy I have spent in doing so.  Free advice has no value.  People value what they pay for.

No more free lunches.  To that end, I can be paid via Square Cash or if you want my Papal ID, message me.

Thank you for your future support!

turn out the lights….

…the yoga party is over.

well, at least for a while.

I have decided to stop blogging for the time being, at least for the summer. I will not say when I will pick up the pen again. I took almost all of 2006 off from blogging, and I think it’s time for a break. I will keep the comments enabled only for a week, then shutting them down.

I want to concentrate of getting healthy again….not that anything is seriously wrong with me, but I’m sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I also want to concentrate on my own personal yoga practice (a yoga therapy practice) and for me that means cutting out extracurricular stuff that keeps my mind off my own practice.

it’s gotten to the point where I’ll be taking a shower and a blog post will pop into my head or I’ll think about how to tweak a sentence or two, and before I know it, I’ve been sitting in front of the computer for three or four hours writing and tweaking. can’t do that anymore. besides, the weather is getting too nice to be sitting inside for any length of time.

so I am doing what the Buddha taught: giving up an attachment — blogging. I have made many cyberfriends in the blogosphere — you know who you are and I will still read your blogs when I check my emails. but I won’t be attached to them.

who knows? if the mood strikes me I may sit down and write another yoga rant, but for right now, it’s all about me and my yoga and getting healthy again — physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

thank you all for reading this blog and for all your beautiful comments…remember to breathe peace, be peace.

may all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness
may all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering
may all beings never be parted from freedom’s true joy
may all beings dwell in equanimity, free from attachment and aversion


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Nandri is “thank you” in Tamil and I’m thanking Sindhu for giving me these blog awards. nandri, nandri, nandri, Sindhu! hugs to you, my Indian sister! I think you know how I love Tamil Nadu!

Please check out Sindhu’s other blogs, especially Flower Girl’s Rural India and Flowergirl’s Recipes (for all you Indian food lovers.)

Sindhu honored me by asking if I would write something about my Indian adventures so mine was the first post in her Travelogue section of her blog. anytime I feel “homesick” for India (although I’ve only been to Tamil Nadu three times I consider it my second home), I go to Sindhu’s Rural India blog. my most wonderful experiences have been in rural Tamil Nadu, and I’ll tell you a secret: my dream is to open a yoga shala in Kumbakonam, teaching western visitors and helping the locals with therapeutic yoga. sigh…if only…hey, there’s a donation button in the sidebar, hint, hint…maybe I’ll get an anonymous benefactor…sigh….

People talk about wanting to go to India to see the “real India” — people think that the “real India” is all about naked sadhus, spirituality, yoga, and temple incense. but all of India is the “real India” — from the $200 a night hotel rooms to the rich Bollywood movie stars to the street beggars to the naked slum children using garbage for their toys. one of the things that I love about India is that nothing is hidden, everything is in your face 24/7, life and death on the streets. that can be very hard for westerners to get used to, if they ever do, but for me, it is liberation.

you either love or hate India, there is no in between. as soon as I put my feet down on Indian soil, I feel as if I have come home.

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spreading the love

I was overwhelmed when Vanessa of Vanessa:Unplugged! graced me with the “Spread the Love Award.” She said that I (among other bloggers) are “shining examples of bloggers who uplift and inform.” You are too kind, girlfriend!

Vanessa also received the award from another blogger and she writes about herself, “as one who started blogging without a plan or a niche or following any of the recommended steps and practices in the blogging process, I am honored when another blogger takes the time to recognize and appreciate what I post.”

I feel the same way. I started this blog in 2005 to write about my first trip to India and it’s morphed into something larger than that. I love that some of my posts have created lots of discussion about yoga, meditation, Buddhism, or social action, with no shortage of pithy comments from around the world. I just started a new blog where I will rant and muse about things other than yoga and India and time will tell how prolific I’ll be with that one. however, I guarantee that the posts will be just as pithy and passionate as they are here. now if only I can figure out how to get paid for my rants and musings I’d be set!

In keeping with the spirit of spreading the love, I am awarding the Spread the Love Award to Fran, Gartenfische, and Mike (who I wish would get back to writing, damn it!) I read many blogs but these bloggers were the first three who popped into my mind when I thought about bloggers who “uplift and inform.”

Once again, thanks to Vanessa, and thanks to all my readers. even though I have been miserable for the last 5 days with a vicious upper respiratory infection — two hospitals in two different countries in one month is too much for me, I’ve had my fill of doctors! — I think I will get up and dance to the Love Train…and check out Vanesa’s blog, y’all!


This is the second time I’ve been tagged by a blogger. Nate from the Precious Metal Buddhist blog tagged me — check out his blog for Buddhist news, good stuff! The first rule is post the rules so here they are:

• Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
• Share 7 random or weird things about yourself.
• Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs
• Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

I think my life is pretty boring (other than going to India!), but here goes:

1. I read the Encyclopedia Britannica. yes, really. When I was a kid my parents bought a set and one day I just picked up the first volume starting with “A” and read right on through to “Z”. Not word for word — I mean, there WERE some subjects I was not interested in — but I did read most it. I loved to read, what can I say?

2. I wrote lots of poetry when I was in high school and college and was named one of Illinois’ best high school poets. Also won awards for my poetry in college and my poems always appeared in my schools’ literary journals.

3. My claim to fame is OMing with Beat Poet and Buddhist Allen Ginsberg when I was in junior college, about 1973. How he wound up at a city college in a non-descript neighborhood on the south side of Chicago I’ll never know, but he came to a do a poetry reading and he read from his famous “Howl”. As a young poet, I was mesmerized . After the reading, he led us in chanting OM and other vedic chants and afterward someone yelled “hey, let’s go to our house for a party!” — remember this was back in the good old hippie days and stuff like that happened all the time — so we did, me, Allen, and everyone else.

I remember the packed apartment, the loud music, and the haze of marijuana smoke…and Allen Ginsberg looking so small and scared behind his big glasses as he sat on a stool in the kitchen surrounded by half the party, everyone hanging on his every word.

4. I moved out of my house when I was 18 and never looked back. got an apartment, found a roommate, and supported myself all through junior college and private university on work-study jobs and grants. My roommate and I lived on food stamps and I was turned down for welfare (public aid as it’s called now) because I had $100 in my checking account. I ate lots of government cheese back in the day — my roommate and I used to wait in line for government food handouts — and didn’t mind a bit.

5. When I was a sophomore in high school I was in a riot. Sly and the Family were supposed to play a free concert in Grant Park in Chicago and they never showed. Sly was known for not showing up for concerts, so when the crowd figured out he was a no-show people got a little hot under the collars and started to riot, throwing garbage cans and port-o-potties around. I watched people ripping off the instruments that were up on stage. The infamous Chicago police — you may remember them bashing in hippies’ heads during the 1968 Democratic Convention — showed up and my friends and I outran the cops. Tear gas doesn’t smell good, y’all…stay away from riots, if you can…

6. I worked for lawyers for 20 years. I quit after 20 years, then got a certificate in horticulture and had my own garden design business. I still design gardens touched with the Spirit Wild. Then my first yoga teacher encouraged me to teach, and the rest is history.

I’ve reinvented myself twice since the age of 45. I truly believe that all things happen for a reason and that there are no coincidences. It’s never too late to do what you want to do. live your bliss. follow your heart. and do not die an unlived life.

7. I dropped out of college for financial reasons in 1976, never finishing my degree. I returned to college in 1990 — 14 years later and in my late 30s — finishing my BA in English and graduating Magna Cum Laude. The same poem that won a writing award when I was in junior college 15 years earlier won another writing award when I was in my 30s — proving that good poetry is timeless…;)

I’m tagging:

Bindi from Bindifry’s Itty Bitty Brain Basket

Tracy from A Lotus Girl

Yogamum from Yoga Gumbo

YogaSuzi from Yoga Like Salt

Fran from FranIAm

Gartenfische from De Die in Diem

Sirensongs from Feringhee: The India Diaries

If anyone I’ve tagged doesn’t want to play, that’s cool. This is only the second time I’ve been tagged in the blogosphere — tagging is the thing to do I guess and I won’t respond to all tags. I don’t even know the definition of a “meme”. I understand if you don’t want to talk about yourself, because I don’t either (says the blogger.) It took me 6 months to write anything about myself for my own website.