Of course, Bikram is innocent until proven guilty, but let’s face it – this is a well-worn story for yoga instructors. John Friend, Swami Satchidananda and many others have dealt with similar charges.
It is truly awful that so many women have suffered because of this practice that should be grounded in wellness. I hope that they can find their peace.
The whole thing so cliché that it’s pathetic. You can almost hear the cheesy music as the yoga master gives caressing corrections to the lithe young yogi who is doing downdog in her too-sheer Lululemon yoga pants. Gag.
But Sarah Baughn’s accusations go way beyond that and it’s shameful for those of us who love this practice.
But, to me, that is an important distinction. I love the practice. The man who coined the practice, who gave it his name and trademarked it and bought a fleet of luxury cars because of it – I am allowed to have a different view of him. Yoga has taught me about balance and how to get comfortable with the gray areas so I can hold this discrepancy.
I’m devoted to the practice. I make no excuses for the man.
But what it the real problem here? Yes, these yoga dudes can’t keep it in their pants, but why? (And no, I will not give any credit to the studies that say that yoga increases testosterone and blood flow to the genitals and that’s why these guys are acting like crazed rabbits – that’s a cop-out.)
I think it’s because of the really messed up relationship our society has with fame, celebrity and charisma. We get way too excited about it. We revere our celebrities to the point that being famous seems to be the only worthy goal in life. We have reality shows that make people famous for doing absolutely nothing. Then, we make these charismatic people infallible and raise them up to this super-human level.
That’s a big problem because the resulting power trip fuels this sort of entitled behavior (or drug/alcohol abuse/crashing Porsches/going on bigotry-filled public rants). Famous people make mistakes and do stupid shit, just like the rest of us. We just tend to give them a higher, more influential platform from which to fall, and they tend to hurt a lot of people on the way down. We see it all the time.
I love the reminder that word guru is spelled – Gee, You Are You. You don’t need a guru to attain spiritual wellbeing. You need yourself, your breath and an understanding of your own body and mind. That’s it. A great teacher is a wonderful tool and can be a good friend, but we don’t need to give all our power away in the name of finding inner peace.
We already have everything we need.