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Sound Asleep

Ever since I first started writing a yoga blog, I’ve had some interesting online interactions. I suppose it’s inevitable when you put yourself out there publicly that you are somewhat vulnerable to anyone that comes your way. The first interesting interaction my friends and I refer to as ‘the Swiss Family Robinson incident’: I received an email from a Swiss man who was apparently “traveling to your area” with his family over the summer and wanted to book 10 private sessions for his family with me. He also felt very, very strongly that he needed to pay me in advance for all 10 sessions. I played along for a few emails, on the off chance that this highly unusual request in somewhat poor English was actually real, but I refused to take the payment bait, which caused his English to become increasingly erratic and oddly full of blessings. Needless to say, Swiss Family Robinson didn’t exist. Neither did the Japanese man who emailed a few weeks later who was also “traveling to your area” and – what a coincidence – wanted to book 10 private sessions in advance.

[I know of at least one other yoga teacher this has happened to, and all I can say to these scammers is: dudes, we’re generally not the wealthiest. You might want to finesse your target.]

So I was primed to be suspicious when I received this email the other day:

Subject: Just following up: the Sound Asleep pillow STILL rocks

[I have to interject here to note that this was the first email I had received on the subject.]

Hi Sarah,

Just wanted to touch base with you on my email from last week regarding the Sound Asleep Comfort pillow. We’d really love to send a free product sample your way for review consideration on your health blog, Sarah Court yoga.
In case we weren’t clear on our first email, the Sound Asleep comfort pillow comes with a built-in speaker that will play sound from your portable music device – but feels just as comfortable as any other pillow you have on the bed already!


[Something about that entire sentence cracks me up. Like it says, “It may sound uncomfortable to try and fall asleep with a speaker under your head, but it’s really delightful, if you didn’t get that from our first email – which we didn’t actually send to you!”]


This is going to be a very popular new product that will make bedtimes easier for kids and also for adults who might have trouble sleeping. We know, it’s hard to believe something like this exists but that’s why we can’t wait for you to test-nap it for yourself. Please let me know if I can send one your way today! 

As it turns out, this email was neither Swiss nor Japanese but in fact real. To be on the safe side, I gave them the address of a studio where I teach to send me the pillow. I also said very, very clearly that although they were free to send me a pillow, I doubted that I would review it. That was apparently fine with them, as I am now in possession of said pillow.

This is not going to be a pillow review piece, in large part because the pillow is still sitting unopened in my living room. Somehow I can’t bring myself to try it, not because I think it’s necessarily a bad product (although I do wonder why the speaker needs to be IN your ear and not just next to the bed). It’s just that I find it odd to be in a position of product review. I know it’s not unusual for bloggers, and it makes me feel like I should play along and be more mercenary-minded and see what else I could get. But that’s not what this space is for, and I don’t think it’s why any of you read this.


So here we go:

Dear Sound Asleep people,

Thank you for sending me one of your pillows, even though I was very ornery about whether or not I would even review it. Your willingness to give me one anyway is lovely. After a certain amount of wrestling with the idea, I’m choosing not to review it on my site, because I don’t feel that product reviews of anything are in line with my goals for my blog. Perhaps this is foolish and I should get with the program and start accumulating free stuff. But as my teacher Sharon Gannon used to say, “You get more stuff, and then you just have more stuff you need to clean.” I’m giving the pillow to my brother: if he gives me any sort of review, I’ll let you know.



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Reader Comments (3)


I absolutely love your willingness to share such a personal story.
It is sometimes very saddening that some people view us,Yoga teachers,as a tools to play with-I am referring to 10 private lessons scam type of thing.

I wish you best,may all your future emails be only source of wealth and abundance;)
November 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDagmar Khan
Hi Sarah - sorry we are just seeing this review now so our response is a little late but wanted to address your post.

As we mentioned in our correspondence with you, we were not sending you the pillow with the expectation that you review it but rather with the hope that if you tried it, you would find it actually great product, useful, an pleasurable way to relax, and if you so choose, share your experience with your friends and readers. We believe that much in our pillow. If you didn't find it useful, then that was solely at your discretion to not write about it as well.

Alas, we see our pillow never made it to the test stage but again, that was your decision to make and we respect that. If at any point you felt, as the earlier commenter says, like we treated you like a "tool to play with" we sincerely apologize. We felt we were being clear in our communications and our (non) expectations but if you didn't we're welcome to suggestions for how we can improve.

We also hope your brother enjoys the gift. We'd love to hear his thoughts at any point if he so chooses - you can direct him to our facebook wall.


Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season.


Sound Asleep Comfort Pillow
December 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSound Asleep
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December 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternmufzc nmufzc

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