The reason why I chose to write about this issue is that I strongly believe in freedom, whether it’s expressed within human rights or experienced as common sense on a daily basis of human life. Freedom from fake pretentious authorities. Even in yoga.
I love yoga. I practice yoga almost every day and explore its capacity to heal human body, strengthen us, make us feel happy and calm our destructive thoughts and desires. Basically, it’s about the mind and the health for me. Yoga was though originally constructed for the much more daring purpose and that is to unite yogi’s soul with its creator, the god.
Yoga for health, happiness, and spiritual unity.ltd
We can with much certainty confirm that our body is healthier after the weeks of practice as well as say that we feel much happier and content with our lives after the regular exercise. However, we have no evidence of the existence of a soul, god and unfortunately no scientific evidence of chakras, nadis, koshas and other spiritual principles of yoga.
These spiritual terms and theories are inherent to yoga and their function is no less important than the skeleton’s role in the human body. Nevertheless, practitioners don’t have to believe these concepts to feel benefits in their physical and mental life.
On the other hand, the current situation, as well as recent history, shows that yoga’s spiritual background makes it an easy tool for manipulation, and might cause enormously negative phenomenon on society and individual lives.
Big Fat Yoga gurus Lies
It’s unbelievably disturbing for me to see how many people are mentally and physically abused in modern-day cults using yogic theory and practice. Of course, many of huge media covered cases and affairs happen in the US or countries with a huge population. (The reason for that are money and power concentration.) But these cults marked by their fake leaders as yoga schools have centers in many small countries, where they can still cause a lot of damage.
Osho (Rajeesh) the Rolls-Royce Lover and Spiritual Exploiter
For example, one of the well-known crooks and thugs in yoga Osho has many followers and fans in Slovakia and the Czech Republic despite the fact that he was known as the Rolls-Royce Guru since he owned 90 of them at once. Well, it’s better to just cite this exploiter: “All the religions have commanded and praised poverty, and I condemn all those religions. Because of their praise of poverty, poverty has persisted in the world. I don’t condemn wealth. Wealth is a perfect means which can enhance people in every way… So I am a materialist spiritualist.”
In reality, all he created is a cult with followers committing crimes like drug dealing, prostitution, tax frauds, criminal bioterrorism, attempted assassinations, exploitation of young adults and many more.
So, I simply don’t understand why people still think that it’s right to cite this man or somehow get inspiration from him.
Bikram Yoga and other stories
Another sad example is Swami Muktananda, who should thank Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, pray, love, for the free promotion and growing influence. The man has been as a matter of fact accused of manipulation, financial misconduct, intimidation, sexual abuse and sexual intercourse with minor girls. I believe even nowadays there are many Europeans that follow this fake guru, visit their ashrams located in India.
The irony of their action lies in the fact that I bet many of them feel that they disagree with Catholic church because of its business with the mafia, money laundering practices, sexual abuse of children and basically any anti-Christian action you can imagine. But after their renouncement, they end up in so-called yoga movement lead by sociopaths causing the same damage as the Catholic church.
Just four years ago, in 2013, Bikram, a founder of Bikram yoga or Hot Yoga method, known for its heated yoga studios to 35–42 °C, has been accused of rape which doesn’t come as a surprise after you watch him in the
document Yoga, Inc.
Swami Maheshwarananda, founder of Yoga in daily life is another sad example of preaching water, drinking wine guru. Allegedly responsible for violence and sexual crimes against his followers.
Even the founder of Ashtanga yoga, K.P. Jois was during his life involved in inappropriate behavior towards women. I guess on the much smaller scale, as the Anneke Lucas explains in her article. His behavior could be related to different times and culture in India. Still, there is no apology for that in current society.
Recently there was a horrible report published in Czech media about another spiritual tantra yoga crook named Jaroslav Dobeš, who is currently hiding from justice in the Philippines. The man used to “unhook” women, in other words, sleep with women to allegedly nourish their spiritual growth. Many times the intercourse wasn’t allowed by women.
Anyway, there are many more stories out there. I have recently come across a website called Yogapredators.com, which provides a detailed list of major yoga crooks and thugs with their history and accusations that were made against them.
In conclusion, here are 6 tips to start doing yoga and not get abused by fake yoga gurus
- I strongly advise you to check yoga school online before you start your course.
- I don’t think yoga can provide spiritual answers through gurus by violating personal freedom. So, don’t expect it to happen.
- Any yoga school led by a strong personality, which asks for adoration and blind respect should be avoided.
- Do yoga mainly for health benefits and effects on our well-being.
- A spiritual journey is the trickiest one, man can take. You can easily end up mentally or physically abused by a psychopath.
- Please, don’t hide the truth. In case you find out that your yoga teacher acts immorally, leave him/her.
If you need help or just want to discuss the subject, don’t hesitate to ask me. Photo Credit: The Philippine National Police