I’m posting here with a heavy heart the full transcript of Matthew Remski’s interview with Karen Rain. Matthew forwarded me the interview last night and I read the first half then but couldn’t continue because I found it too distressing. I lay in bed for a long time and reflected, a process that continued through the night and in half daze this morning when reading the rest. I have known Karen as Karen Haberman and have practised close to her for around 10 or 11 months through 1996 and 1997 in KP Jois little Lakshmipuram studio. I will address you, Karen, now directly and will get Matthew to forward you my response.
Following on from Matthew’s article here Norman Blair’s article that explores a few more of today’s Ashtanga culture’s dark sides. Norman attended my event in London and we had a cuppa afterwards. He is a sincere person. I don’t share his love for Yin Yoga but a lot of what he writes about power dynamics, allegiance, rigidity, hierarchy, forceful adjustments, etc., is really important to look into.
Last night I had an hour-long phone conversation with the Canadian yoga researcher Matthew Remski about his inquiry into alleged sexual abuse conducted by the late K Pattabhi Jois. I found Matthew to be a very caring and genuine person and I am sharing here his article on the subject.
The forms of suffering, or afflictions (kleshas), according to Patanjali, are ignorance, egotism, desire, aversion and fear of death. In stanza II.4 he points out that forms of suffering do not just occur in the fully active form but also in the so-called dormant, thinned and interrupted states when they are subliminal and we are often not conscious of being in their grip. When I was young I always believed that I was not afraid of death. Then one day I was in a life-threatening situation and this incredible fear of annihilation, completely unbeknownst to me, surfaced. It was only when this fear had become conscious that I was ready to do something about it.
Yoga asana is often erroneously thought of as dealing only with flexibility. In fact increasing ones level of flexibility is only then functional if this increase is matched by a similar increase of your strength. Ideal for increasing strength is the practise of arm balances. Today we will look at your Mayurasana (peacock posture). Since this posture has rather complex sequential movements I left in this description the traditional vinyasa count that is featured in my text Ashtanga Yoga The Intermediate Series.
More on what posture was designed to be. A few weeks back I posted my commentary to Patanjali’s sutras II.46 and II.47, showing how far removed modern yoga has become from it’s original concept. Here now sutra II.48, which deepens the inquiry:
Yoga has a solution to offer for our civilization in crisis by leading individuals and ultimately our civilization back to self-love, self-respect and from that to respect and love for other individuals, other life-forms and the super-organism, the biosphere. However, by reducing yoga to asana this remedy has been rendered impotent.