Author Archives: danielledm44

Resolving to Evolve Your Practice


If you are looking to take your practice up a notch for for 2014, then resolving to evolve your yoga practice is an excellent New Year’s resolution. The evolution of your yoga practice begins with a very important question, why do you go to yoga? It’s very easy to show up to class after a busy day of work and go through the motions with no intention. However, once you have a clear purpose for being a dedicated yogi you have a foundation to build on. I am not going to list reasons for why people go to yoga, as it is something I really want you to think about for yourself.

Once you have established the why, you can begin to dig a little deeper into where you want to go next and this is where the evolution begins. This process of growth requires a great deal of self-awareness. If you are doing a pose incorrectly and this is what is holding you back then it is important to ask questions and figure out what you need to fix and as your self-awareness increases you will start to become your own teacher. When you reach the point where you can catch yourself falling into old habits whether they be physical or mental, then you are truly on your way to evolving your practice.

As with most resolutions, it’s good to begin with a small, single purpose and build on that. Maybe you are working on one specific pose. Be diligent about doing it after practice on your own or working on the on the pose at home. This is a good place so start your resolve and evolve your practice as a whole from there. And don’t worry if your resolve slips on occasion. The main thing is to get right back at it!Image


The Power of the Blog


Blogging brings personality, depth and character into a brand. In my opinion, blogging is a fantastic way to communicate and one that all brands could benefit from. To see a beautifully detailed chart about blogging history and statistics, take a look at this article called The Blogconomy. Blogging is a great way to enhance a brand’s online presence. In the yoga industry, a company that I think really benefits from having a blog is Yoga Outreach. YO is a non profit organization that collaborates with yoga teachers and community services to bring classes to at risk youth and adults.

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Yoga Outreach specifically benefits from having a blog because it is a chance for the organization to tell it’s story. There are many non profit organizations out there asking for donations, so what makes you want to donate to one over the other? The answer lies in how well you know the people, when staff members or volunteers blog it gives the outside world a glimpse into the people who make the company tick and that is true for any non profit or business. Hence, there are three significant reasons why companies of all shapes and sizes in the yoga industry should have blogs:

1. Community

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The word yoga in Sanskrit (ancient yogi language) actually means “union.” Yoga is all about community and now with so much of our lives being on the web, the yoga industry is making that transition as well. Creating a community around a blog means readers can engage and interact through commenting, which can also lead to your articles being sent out to a larger network of people as your fans share your blog.

2. Low Cost


Who doesn’t love to keep things low cost? The only part that is not free is the time spent on the blog. Nevertheless, yoga is all about karma and a great way to start is to ask people to write for your blog for free. Many people, myself included do not blog for money but because we truly love yoga and want to share our knowledge. Yoga Outreach and other non profits can greatly benefit from low cost marketing activities.

3.  Search Engine Optimization


For SEO it doesn’t matter if you are a yoga studio, a law firm or a retail store because everyone wants to be seen on the web. The best way to gain attention is to optimize your content so that the little search engine monkeys will scope you out and plop you onto the 1st page of Google. Blogging happens to be excellent for SEO because the little monkey’s love new content. If you already have a blog then update it frequently, if you don’t have a blog try Googling your organization and see where you rank. I’m not saying all company’s with a blog are on the first page of Google but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

What do you think about blogging in the yoga industry? What are some other awesome benefits to having a blog for your organization? Let me know with your comments below!

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Be Awesome and Blog


        yoga-in-the-city-2 When I was younger I always enjoyed keeping a journal or diary, somewhere to write all the stuff down that was floating around in my head. As I got older and especially in the past couple years, I realized that I had many things I wanted to  share with people. I had contemplated starting my own blog for sometime, but put it off for the usual, lazy reasons! However, thanks to my social media class I got a chance to start my own blog, which I will definitely be continuing on with even though the class is coming to an end.

In my class, a great deal of the emphasis was on corporate blogging and while there are many excellent reasons for corporations to  blog (SEO, brand personality, credibility etc..)  I’m going to tell you my three reasons for writing a personal blog.

1. As a yoga teacher, I like to include philosophy in my classes, life lessons, that sort of thing and when you are in a yoga class it is  easy to be calm, forgiving and compassionate with yourself and with others. Now, what happens when you finish yoga and you go out  into the world? You are confronted with all sorts of life situations where it can become easy to loose your temper or fall back into old  habits. For instance, if you come across my blog articles in your inbox or on the web in a stressful moment then maybe, just maybe you can be  taken back to the calm positive state of mind you had in your yoga class and gain some perspective on the situation. I want my blog  to be a place where yogi’s can reconnect and transition yoga teachings into their everyday lives.

2.  If you are an introverted individual such as myself, blogging and social media in general, are great ways to put yourself out there. Blogging gives you the time to think about what you really want to say and how you want to say it and it doesn’t matter how loud your voice is or how many people you are talking to because it’s all written down. I’m not saying that you need to have two different personalities for offline and online but sometimes it is easier to say what you want to say in writing.

3. When I first started teaching yoga, I thought having a website would be the best way to go. However, I’m happy with my blog and I can post everything on my blog that I would put on my website. I can also link my blog to other social media platforms and for now that is perfect for what I need it for. Blogging is also great because I can submit my blog to other sites such as Digg and Reddit to gain more readers.

Is blogging important? yes definitely! These are some of my reasons for blogging, what are your reasons? do you blog for money? or for fun? for yourself or for a company? I would love to hear about it in your comments below.


Lululemon and Social Media Tracking Tools


Lululemon Athletica, is a yoga apparel company founded in 1998 by Chip Wilson. Due to the fact that Lululemon has been getting quite a bit of media attention lately, this is the company I have chosen for my Tracking Blog. I decided to use three tracking tools to see what is going on in the world of Lulu: Google Alert, Klout and Addict-o-matic. Now for my review on each of the tools…

Google Alert is exceptionally useful, no sign up required. All you do is put in the name of the company or keyword that you are seeking information on and Google presents it to you in three categories: news, blog and web. From there you scroll around until you find the info you’re looking for. If you want daily updates on the company you can enter your email. Google Alert was useful for finding information on Lululemon, particularly because Lululemon has been receiving some negative media attention lately. This is due to the fact that the founder, Chip Wilson, recently stated that the brand’s yoga pants don’t work for “some women’s bodies.” (for comments on this see below)

Klout is pretty cool, this website tracks all your social media interactions and then gives you a rating from 1-100 on how influential you are in the social world. Obama and Justin Bieber take the popularity cake on this one! As for Lululemon, the company has a Klout rating of 80. However, Facebook does not seem to be included in this rating and Lululemon has a very active Facebook page, which leads me to believe that 80 is not entirely accurate. As I don’t have access to Lululemon’s information I can’t change this but if you are using Klout to measure your personal popularity you can then include all your social platforms to find your rating.
Addict-o-matic is unique in that it shows news, pictures and video’s by dividing up the information from where it came from. There is a youtube box, wordpress box, a flickr box and more. Also easy to use, Addict-o-matic doesn’t require you to sign in, just type in the keywords and the information will appear for you. If you want to customize what you see go to available sources. While I didn’t find any information on Addict-o-matic that I couldn’t have found elsewhere, I liked the set up and how the information was displayed.

Below I have posted 10 conversations centered around Lululemon and the latest debacle. Each of the above tracking tools helped me in finding information. There are some very strong opinions around the comment of “some women’s bodies” not working with Lululemon pants. One side of the argument states that this is discriminating against plus size women and gives a bad message to young girls. The other side of the argument is that this comment was taken out of context and blown out of proportion.

Here is the sentiment grade to each comment (I used a -1 0 +1 rating):

Comment Number                      Sentiment Rating
                  #1                                                     -1
                  #2                                                   +1
                  #3                                                    -1
                 #4                                                     -1
                 #5                                                     -1
                 #6                                                      -1
                 #7                                                      0
                 #8                                                     +1
                 #9                                                      -1
                #10                                                  +1

As you can see from the ratings, Lululemon has gotten some negative attention with 6/10 ratings being negative, 1/10 is neutral and 3/10 positive ratings. Below are the conversations that I used, most are from Twitter and Facebook.


Please remove the words on the door of your store in Birmingham, Michigan “Size Does Matter” I don’t care what you mean by this…it is perceived by our young girls as a reference to their weight and size. Smart young girls wouldn’t wear your stuff anyway…who wants to look like a suburban housewife? I am a yoga teacher and could never wear your clothes no matter how cute they are…you create separation and suffering, the opposite of yoga. There is no look for yoga. We are meant to look inward and see truth with compassion. Bare feet, simple mat, simple room, eyes closed
 You are right size does matter that is why certain people should not wear it!!!
 No the media creates the mindset of being thin to young ladies.  NOT the words above the door of one company.
I responded to your post below, however wanted to make sure you knew we had reached out to the store and they have removed the window sign. Your feedback is important, thank you for sharing it
 Thank you very much!
  • ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    #2 – TWITTER

    thanks to @lululemon southport for allowing me to use their window space to pop the big question. #fullonlife

    RT @ktorres: “thanks to @lululemon southport for allowing me to use their window space to pop the big question.

    1. Romantical! RT @ktorres: “thanks to @lululemon for allowing me to use their window space to pop the big question.
    2.  awesome!
    3.  Well now, isn’t that the MOST romantic way to propose…


      #3 – FACEBOOK

      Hey Lululemon- until your company backs off of the thigh gap? I will no longer patronize your store with my four daughters. We will buy our Pilates and Yoga wear elsewhere. Fitness is admirable. Your thigh-gap stance is not. Shame on you
      Agreed, even when I was 5’10 and 110lbs a small portion of the top of my thighs rubbed together and my legs were very muscular as I was  a gymnast then. Isn’t it more common to have a gap if your bowlegged? I’m done with LULU as well, just a bad message sent out.
    4.  That’s the point I think some people have that as part of their physical makeup, yes I was super thin, did not starve myself but I was a model and had to be 10lbs under weight back then. Not that thin now unfortunately but am healthy and thighs still touch. Lol.
      • ——————————————————————————————————————————————————–
        #4 – TWITTER

        We hear you
        A message from Chip Wilson.
        Let’s stay in the conversation, check out this apology video: Chip Wilson apology

        Perhaps you could set up a Chip Wilson interview & a clothing review with  an active, plus size, North Van mum & blogger

        what does this video MEAN? He’s sorry that his employees had to deal with him? “Stay in the conversation?” What? I don’t get it.

        As our guest you play a critical role in our future and we want you to be able to share your thoughts to help shape us

        no thank you. Chip and Mike Jeffries should go live in their little misogynist Canadian universe. I’m out

         saw apology. I tots understand sorry 2 employees but how about sorry to women of all shapes and sizes that buy ur products

        This video is for you, our guest and for all other members of our lululemon family.


      #5 – HUFFPOST CANADA – article on Lululemon’s “Second Chance Pants”

    5.   Never been to their store, and never going. My personal self esteem is not tied to what brand I wear, coffee I drink, or place I hang out. What’s cool, is being comfortable with yourself first, not in the eyes of someone else.
    6.   Yes, yes, and yes. Thank you for the voice of reason.
        We should always do more to own our image, and not let others define it for us.
        Or eschew having a deliberate image at all.
      #6 – FACEBOOK
       Does anyone else feel the newer fabric shows EVERY flaw… Or are they now made for flawless people
      In our Full-On Luon we recommend people try a variety of sizes to ensure the right fit as the weave is tighter with this material.
       Founder Chip Wilson says, “Quite frankly, some women’s bodies just actually don’t work” in Lululemon pants, “It’s about the rubbing through the thighs,” and “how much pressure is there.”
      • ——————————————————————————————————————————————————–
        #7 – FACEBOOK
         I believe if I heard what was said in the interview, he only said that those who have thighs that touch aren’t meant to wear such a fabric as the ones made recently (I could be wrong though). He did not state AT ALL that your thighs are too fat. What he was trying to say was that when there is pressure on that type of fabric it won’t have the same effect as those who don’t have larger thighs. I’m getting sick and tired of coming on here to hear people such as yourself bitch about your F***** thighs. If you feel you are too fat that’s your problem not Chip’s. It’s not his responsibility to cater to every market -what company does these days? If there is no money to be made in certain markets, there is no money to be made (simple microeconomics). He apologized for what was said – which I feel he shouldn’t have but maybe I’m the minority in this situation – now let it be and move on. If you want to boycott Lulu be stupid and do it somewhere else.
         Ugh!!! LOVE THIS
        • ———————————————————————————————————————————————-
          #8 – FACEBOOK
          lululemon athletica     ‏@lululemon                4 Nov

          Big love to our elite ambassador, @TravisGerrits, for flipping Monday on its head.

           Love this shot!
           that must be on location in Canada Lake Louise? Whistler? Sunshine? Send Monday love and snow to Texas PLS
           great shot! @lululemon you should do more ski/snowboard friendly gear/capsules
          #9 – FACEBOOK
          • Are your products still made with child labour?  The answer to that is more important to me that what it’s made out of.
            As part of our Vendor Code of Ethics, we stand by not using child labour to produce our products. This code is put in place to first and foremost   to protect the people manufacturing our product. You can check out more information on this policy here
            • ~Morgan


              At the moment, we aren’t able to ship to your address if it isn’t in a country listed above. Check back soon or feel free to browse.
               Chip Wilson openly advocates child labour and he has a seat of your board of directors.  Has he changed his position?
            •  So the head of this company says it’s women’s fault that breast cancer is so pervasive?  Really?  Because they’re in the work world which is stressful and take birth control?  Hmmmmmm.  Sounds like a misogynistic to me!
            •  ….and the outright nasty comments about women with thighs that rub together stating that their legs…”that don’t work properly”????  I mean, get out of the business of judging women and saying we’re not good enough for your clothing if we have curves on our bodies.  Many curvaceous women are successful yoga practitioners.
            •  You won’t shame me into hating my body because I will never have thigh-gap. Lot’s of better brands out there that fit properly
            • —————————————————————————————————————————————
              #10 – FACEBOOK
            •  my goodness, this whole interview with Chip has totally become blown out of proportion. buy the size that fits correctly, wash the product correctly, and for goodness sakes-wear the product for what it is intended! I love the new full-on luon. I am happy the company modified the product. They fit so much better. I’m in love with wunder unders! 
            •  I currently own a pair of Lulu Grove pants that I’ve had for 8 YEARS. (Along with other clothing)  Wash and get the correct size and you will have no problem! I’ve been wearing Lulu pre-pregnancy, during my pregnancy and now 9months post-pregnancy and no problems getting back into the same size. EveryBODY is different so you may be a 8 in shorts but a 10 in pants. The new skinny Groove are amazing. I’m 5’11 and 180lbs, no prblems with sizing ever!  Don’t like the clothing, then don’t wear/purchase! I don’t like high socks, therefore I only buy ankle socks. Not rocket-science people! They are take returns!!!!!! My pants were re-called in Feb, I returned them last week (Nov) and away I went with a new pair. Thank you!

Yogi’s Unite with the YYoga App


Social Media Release
Media Contact:
Monica Krake The Social Agency

Motivate, challenge and inspire your yoga practice with this community-minded app.

With this FREE app Yyoga is taking your yoga practice to the next level. To be inspired check out the iTunes preview and have a look at the Yyoga website.

The main benefits of this app include:

– it is easy to check the studio schedule, see who is teaching and book your classes through the app

– finding the poses you did in class in the “Learn” section of the app to continue your practice at home

– sharing your yoga achievement’s with your friends and the community

– increasing your motivation and mindset by signing up for classes with your yoga buddies

“We all know that motivation is the thing that holds most of us back when it comes to fitness. This app is designed to give users a social tool to build their own supportive and flexible communities,” says Terry McBride, the founder of Yyoga.

To see what the Yyoga community is all about, check out this video on the Story of Yyoga and read what yogi’s are talking about on the Yyoga blog.  

In addition to this amazing app you can also check out these other social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to continually motivate your yoga practice and be a part of a larger yoga community.

Yyoga was founded in Vancouver and has quickly become a leader in the yoga and wellness industry. Hundreds of classes are offered each week, including a variety of styles (Hatha, Hot, Power, Flow, Yin, Restorative, Pilates, Spin to name a few). Yyoga has also expanded across BC with studios in Richmond, North Vancouver, Whistler, Yaletown, Vancouver, Burnaby and most recently Toronto. Yyoga’s mission is to make the world a better a place.


The original press release I used was from the Yyoga website called “Gamification is the Key to Fitness Motivation in 2013” (this press release is in PDF format).

The Why and the How on Handstands

The Why and the How on Handstands

Are you in the process of working on your handstand? Or maybe your wondering how handstands can benefit you? Well you’re in the right spot! In this blog I’m going to talk a little bit about the benefits of handstands and then give you a step by step video on how to begin or enhance your handstand journey. Check out this article on handstands which corresponds to the handstands I will be teaching you today.

Handstand aka Adho Mukha Vrksasana is actually an inversion. An inversion is when your legs are above your heart and your whole world literally turns upside down. Why would I want to invert you may ask? Well, besides feeling like a carefree 5 year old again, handstands have many physical as well as psychological benefits.

One significant physical benefit is lymphatic drainage (when all the old blood from your legs returns to your heart, allowing new blood to be pumped back in), which is actually escalated when your contracting your muscles. Further more, handstands are fundamentally about strengthening your upper body, core and shoulders, in addition they can also be very energizing.

For the psychological benefits, this quote taken from the article above makes a great point:

The handstand is one of my favorite poses to teach in yoga because it shows the practitioner where their fear and doubt lies. With practice, this pose can remind you that you are capable of anything you put your mind to.

Challenging your perspective, facing your fears, giving you feelings of empowerment and confidence, who wouldn’t want to practice handstands?! Now we are going to get technical…

The article I’ve been talking about calls this pose the Half-Hand stand. Here is a brief description for you then take a look at the video as a picture (or youtube video) speaks a thousand words!

1. Come into downward facing dog with your heels up against the wall

2. Walk both feet up the wall til your heels are at the same level as your hips

3. Lift one leg, put it back on the wall and then lift the other leg, put it back on the wall and slowly come down.

Happy Handstands Yogis! Do you have a handstand story you would like to share? I would love to hear your comments 🙂

Top 10 Yoga Videos From a World Perspective


Inspiring, heart wrenching, eye opening and funny. These top 10 diverse videos will change how you see yoga, from prisons in Africa to hospitals in New York, get ready for a tour around the world to see how yoga is helping people from all walks of life.

1. Sh*t Yogi’s Say
I thought I would open with this video as it’s pretty freaking hilarious, while there is nothing life changing here it’s worth a laugh!

2. Where do you practice yoga? This video highlights some famous yogi’s from around the world (John Friend and Seane Corn) and the crazy places they have practiced yoga.

3. Yoga Prison Project
Going deeper now this video is about teaching yoga to prisoners in San Quentin.

4. Uprising Yoga Heals
Sex trafficking takes place all around the world. However, it’s not something that is always talked about. Watch this video to see how yoga is helping young people in LA deal with these issues.

5.Cancer Patients Practice Yoga in NY Hospital
The most basic, fundamental reason for practicing yoga is to feel good and to help people deal with life issues. This video about cancer patients is not about yoga being sexy or a workout, it’s about life.

6. Yoga Added to Elementary School Lesson Plan
Instead of sending kids to detention, this principal sends her students to yoga. Watch how yoga is helping kids become less violent and giving them the tools to deal with growing up.

7. Yoga Outreach
Yoga Outreach is a Vancouver based non profit organization that works in women’s shelters, helps combat addictions and teaches in prisons.

8. Africa Yoga Projects
In Africa both yoga teachers and students benefit immensely from yoga. This video will give you an idea of how powerful yoga really is.

9. Yoga in Women’s Prison in Kenya
Imagine being sentenced for life, how would you deal with this? Watch how this yoga teacher interacts with her students and how she is making a difference in her life as well.

10. Amy Cuddy Ted Talk
While this video is not directly about yoga it is about empowerment, which is what us yoga teachers strive for every class. To empower our students and give them confidence to take over the world.

Yoga is changing not only our lives but is reaching out to people who never would have thought yoga was possible for them. I hope you enjoyed watching and I would love to hear your comments, please feel free to post below!

Do you have a story about how yoga changed your life?

Diggin the Yoga Controversy



Controversy is awesome, it’s actually what makes the world go round. Different opinions, perspectives and beliefs all come together to create diversity. Speaking of which, a hot controversial topic is yoga!  This post is based on an article I read and submitted to Digg, called “5 Most Controversial Topics in Yoga.” Click here to see the link.


  There are 5 main points of discussion: 

1. Being a vegetarian

2. Religion

3. Yoga and money

4. Yoga is for girls only (no way!)

5. Yoga at the gym
My own personal opinion, as well as the comments that are at the bottom of the link I posted above, led me to submitting this article to Digg. The purpose of my Digg submission and of my blog post today is to bring these controversial issues out into the open! As a yoga teacher I am constantly looking for ways to reach out to my students and I want to hear what you think. What makes you comfortable? Is chanting AUM too much? How do you feel about yoga at the gym? Guys, what makes a yoga class great for you?

This article captured my attention for two reasons. The first is that it’s hard to find an interesting yoga article which talks about controversial subjects in yoga. Most yoga blogs discuss the benefits of yoga, different poses, life philosophy, stress relief etc… There are many different yoga topics out there that people agree or disagree with but not everyone is talking about these issues. Thus, leading me to my second reason. If you scroll down to the bottom of the article you will see some very strong opinions on these 5 topics.  

Of the 5 points listed above, no. 2 on religion got the most heat. Are you surprised? This also happens to be a topic that I feel strongly about. To be clear, I don’t follow any particular religion. However, I do incorporate philosophical and spiritual themes into my classes as I believe this is what separates yoga from other types of fitness. 

Going back to the beginning, the birth place of yoga is India (B.C.), where Hinduism and Buddhism played a role, at the time. However, we as people have evolved and thus yoga has evolved into a much broader idea. Iyengar (one of the first teachers to bring yoga to the west) states that yoga is the study of all religions. He compares yoga to a science. 

Today, yoga has become this diverse blend of philosophical, spiritual and anatomical wonder with the sole purpose of making people feel good — both physically and mentally. I personally started yoga for the physical benefits and now those are secondary to the mental clarity and new perspectives I’ve gained from yoga philosophy.

        Regardless of your religious rigor, I believe that yoga offers a beautiful blend of well-being — spiritual, philosophical and physical — to create a world of personal harmony.

What are your thoughts on yoga and religion? 


“Being spiritual is connecting meaning to the physical – that is all.”

                                         Hatha Yoga Pradipika 


The Spectrum of Transparency



Today, as in all aspects of life, but especially in social media transparency is incredibly important, but also an emerging issue in this largely unpoliced social media domain. I think it’s safe to say that the days of having an online persona and a real life persona are long gone. We are now into an era where online and offline personalities are blending into one and transparency is vital every step of the way, particularly in the realm of Facebook, LinkedIn,Twitter etc… Whether you are a corporate brand, a small business or a self- promoter being transparent is imperative to building trusting and lasting relationships. Organizations that use social media are marketing, yes, but the point of social media is to create strong relationships that could eventually turn into customer loyalty.

Here is an example to put this into perspective. Imagine that your significant other promises to take the dog for a walk, you come home that evening and hear “yeah we had a great walk” but then later you find out that the dog never left the house (most likely because the poor dog is peeing on the carpet!). How would you feel? Betrayed? Lied to? The same goes for social media. If you make a mistake admit it, maybe a few people will feel let down but in the long run your fans will respect you for your openness and honesty.

Another way to test the level of transparency is to imagine that the person you are replying to or posting about is sitting right beside you. Are you typing the same words you would say if you were looking that person in the eye?
Now that we have established the significance of transparency, let’s take a look at what happens at the other end of the spectrum. In this blog by Jason Falls, he talks about how transparent social media practices can be used for good as well as evil.

Falls’ article goes into what happens when very private information or political opinions are spread on the web, potentially leading to physical harm and even death threats, which leads us to a few thought provoking questions:

What are the limits of transparency? Should manipulation of public information be permitted? Should it be monitored or limited by the government? Do we really want to police the social media sites and how much do we, or even can we, control the ever exponentially expanding domain of social media?

Like everything in life the best thing to do is to find the middle road; a balance that allows corporations, businesses and, of course, yoga teachers to be able to show their personalities and brands online without going overboard. Since social media is still very much a new form of marketing, it’s up to us to decide how transparent we want to be. There really are no concrete rules currently, other than your personal integrity.

Going back to the example of imagining a person sitting next to you while you write your post, would you feel confident in saying what you’re typing? If yes, then you are on the right track towards transparency and if not, examine your motives and remember that once posted or tweeted or pinned, your words and images are scattered into general cyberspace and cannot be retrieved or taken back. See if you can find an alignment with your online persona that matches the real you.

By Danielle Walkow