It is the responsibility of a yoga teacher teacher to uphold the same professional boundaries as any professional care provider. It is never appropriate in any way whatsoever for a yoga teacher to have sexual relationship with a student, to cause them harm through "adjustments' or assistance or to engage in inappropriate physical touch. We live in times when many are speaking out about the intimate violations that shaped their lives. In 2017, it was revealed that women who spoke out about inappropriate touch in ashtanga in the past were silenced. Patthabi Jois (d. 2009) touched students in a sexual or harmful manner in the classroom, over the course of many years. Some of his senior students ignored and/or rationalized this, when their own students complained. Acknowledging that this happened is a way to respect these individuals and their experiences now, long after the fact and to help ensure that a healing practice may be cultivated and that YOGA MAY STILL BE PRACTICED. It is important to take extra steps to hear the voices of those who may be vulnerable or may have a violation to report. It is important to learn about past violations so that such events are not normalized or repeated. Over the past 20 years, ashtanga has grown from a guru-based culture to one of self-care, autonomy, inner reflection and communication. At Ashtanga Yoga UVA we value fostering a yoga practice rooted in mutual respect, collaboration, exploration, consent and safety. Students are never treated as consumers, or blank slates. We intend to cultivate compassion, collaboration, and communication within a calm quiet atmosphere that fosters self inquiry and healing. Lastly, We still value "Ashtanga vinyasa yoga", Patanjali's Ashtanga Yoga, the University of Virginia....etc AND We value the voices that point out the tremendous wrongdoing that occurred in these and other systems. It is only because of recognizing and sharing with others the unacceptable parts in the histories that we may continue to learn and grow. It is my hope that we can foster authorities in subjects without supporting authoritarian environments.
As a student of Yoga you have the right to:
Copyright © John Bultman 2022