Local guided meditation host and self-described “ear guru” Shaun Whitaker today released the third in his critically acclaimed “Guided Meditation Relaxation Relax Sleep Feel Good 12 Hour Loop Part Twelve Breathe AUDIO ONLY” YouTube series.
The host, who has racked up millions of views with similarly titled pieces, runs one of the most popular channels on the website, and also clearly has a foot thing.
“The toe is the face of the foot, if you think about it,” is Whitaker's oft-heard mantra.
The practice of mindfulness, which Whitaker believes can aid practically anyone, is central to the experience. It calls for playing close, “non-judgmental” attention to various parts of the body. “Mindfulness isn’t about doing anything, per se,” says Whitaker, “it’s about bringing a non-judgmental awareness to your, say, oh, I don’t know, your toes? Ooh, or your ankles.”
Whitaker’s channel is so successful he was able to quit his full-time job as stockroom manager at Payless Shoes. He now receives the bulk of his income from extremely loud ads placed in the middle of the meditations.
The ads, keeping with YouTube guidelines, are roughly three thousand percent louder than the video they accompany. “It shocks you into awareness,” Whitaker says, “gets you off your delicious toes.”
Whitaker says the interruptions are a part of the process. “I try to make it part of the experience. Mindfulness could certainly include knowing that Stamps.com could save you a trip to the post office. Way easier on your tired feet or whatever,” he laughs nervously.
Fans of the channel don’t seem to mind Whitaker’s ways. “I love learning from ToeTruth69,” says Eric Maynard, 23, using the name of Whitaker’s most popular Youtube account. “I just skip forward a lot, like when he said that the big toe was ‘basically the face of the leg if you think about it’. I didn’t [want to think about it].”
Approximately eight million people subscribe to the Relax Sleep Full Good 12 Hour Loop series.
Like most “YouTube entrepreneurs," Whitaker is concerned about the future of the website. “They keep updating their terms of service, which is fine, there’s definitely nothing super sexual about my meditations’ constant appeals to bring attention to your ‘ten dirty piggies’.”
If Youtube shuts him down, he’s prepared to go back to his old job. “It was great. I could get overtime. I was working like fifty hours a week in the back, organizing the standoffish fur-lined winter boots and intoxicating stiletto heels and humble but endearing low-cut athletic sneakers. I just volunteered.”
Written by Max Barth.