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It’s easy to understand why it happens in the first place.
People with a shared interests are drawn to one another – yoga can be all-consuming and dedicated practitioners apply the philosophies of yoga to all aspects of their life.
I’m not talking about the rape allegations against Bikram Chodhury, or John Friend‘s alleged coven of female students who say they were pressured into performing sexual acts, or the allegations of sexual and emotional abuse against Kausthub Desikachar.
Their alleged transgressions, serious and disturbing as they may be, are gross exaggerations of what occasionally happens in the yoga community – despite the unwritten code of conduct against it.
One of these is Bramachayra, which when interpreted traditionally demands celibacy when a person is in the student phase of their life, and constancy when they are in the family phase.Yes: yoga teachers have sexual, consensual relationships with their students.There is certainly confusion around the topic: “I can understand students and teachers getting muddled up around sex and relationships.I knew he wasn’t supposed to hit on me, but I went on the date anyway.”Older and wiser today, she feels sorry for her younger self and a little bit angry that the teacher used his position of authority and safeguard of trust to exploit her, taking advantage of the obvious vulnerabilities of a postnatal broken heart.Teachers who sleep with their students get a bad reputation, and reputation is of very high value as a yoga teacher.
“If you abuse the trust of someone sexually while they are vulnerable, you don’t deserve to call yourself a yoga teacher. Mostly when male yoga teachers are young and the power they have goes to their head,” said a London-based senior teacher.“The bottom line is that the student places themselves in a teacher’s hands to be in a safe place with all their securities and vulnerabilities exposed.