Heading into 2018, Yoga Alliance released a statement that they would take a proactive role under energized leadership to tackle the critical issue of ethics and abuse in yoga, especially sexual abuse.
We applaud your initiative and the yoga field surely offers its appreciation. We now request you to show authentic leadership by suiting deed to word — in one of the most obvious open cases of sexual abuse in the yoga field.
In 2012, one of the worst yoga sex abuse scandals happened with numerous allegations against Kausthub Desikachar, CEO of KHYF, formerly with KYM.
Kausthub Desikachar did not deny the allegations and was eventually removed from the KYM. (READ: KYM severed all ties with Kausthub Desikachar in 2012.)
The North American branch of the KHYF stated in 2012:
“He [Kausthub] is not denying these allegations.”
The UK branch of the KHYF stated in 2012:
“A scandal is breaking — has broken — around Kausthub. He has been accused of abuse, sexual, emotional and spiritual. He has cancelled his teaching and returned to Chennai. He is not denying this. He realises now that he has behaved monstrously.”
In the last few years, leading to 2018, Kausthub and his organization KHYF are back to offering to women students the same teachings and publications that they were accused of using abusively earlier: granthis, tantric sex practices and kapalikas, shadow side of yoga, and more.
You can see more on this blog: Save Yoga, Save Women.
Yoga Alliance has recently registered both KHYF and Kausthub in 2017 — a school headed by an accused sexual abuser who would not even deny his abuse, who still continues the same patterns of teaching and topics, is legitimized by Yoga Alliance.
At the very least, shouldn’t Yoga Alliance deny or revoke registration to schools and teachers who have a history of sexual abuse of their students, with no redress for the victims?
Otherwise, this would amount to legitimizing sexual abuse in yoga, and the entire movement of #AhimsaNow and the Yoga Alliance’s commitment to ethics would be questionable.
If larger organizations and bodies in yoga will not do the right thing and stand up to powerful abusers, how can the average yoga student or teacher be safe?
A concerned group of students (and women) in yoga
For readers: You can write to the Yoga Alliance on the issue of abuse at [email protected].