By YJ correspondent Nancy O’Brien.
tracking down furtive reports that a yoga teacher had been arrested in a
Michigan crackdown on yoga teacher training programs, has learned that
state police appeared at Dancing Feet Yoga in New Buffalo April 30 with a
warrant for the arrest of studio owner Don Wenig. The charge: operating a
proprietary school without a license, which carries a penalty of up to 90 days
in jail or a fine not to exceed $1,000—or both.
Proprietary School Unit had informed 28 yoga teacher training programs across
the state of the need for licensing. “You have seven days to comply,” the
showed up during a class with a warrant for my arrest,” Wenig told Yoga Journal Friday. At the studio, Wenig posted a cash bond of $250 with Detective
Douglas Kill and was ordered to appear in Criminal Trial Court in May,
according to Berrien County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mike Sepic.
“There were no handcuffs on his wrists. He wasn’t thrown into
jail,” Sepic said, “but technically, it was an arrest.”
not guilty May 28. His case was scheduled for trial July 9, but during a status
conference three days earlier, Wenig changed his plea to guilty in an agreement
that will wipe the criminal misdemeanor off the books if he completes the
arduous licensing process within 60 days, according to Sepic.
said he’s “working on it,” adding with a laugh, “I’m glad to be free.”
Freelance writer and editor Nancy O’Brien, a former Opinions editor at the New York Daily News, teaches yoga in New York, specializing in issues of illness and recovery and graceful aging. She has taught at Bellevue’s World Trade Center Clinic, the hospital’s Parkinson’s support group, a Bellevue psychiatric outpatient program and the New York Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.