Today I want to honor the woman who blew the whistle on sexual abuse in Ashtanga-culture, Anneke Lucas. As Beryl Bender Birch recently said in a podcast even back in the 1980’s everybody knew about Jois’ actions. While everybody knew and few confronted Jois, it took one very brave person to be the first to publicly write about it and thus initiate a platform on which more women can now speak out.

And it took a grueling past to create such braveness. Here is Anneke’s story replete with TEDx Talk in which she talks about being sold as a six-year-old to a paedophile ring and her 30-year long journey of healing. It’s one of the most touching talks I’ve ever seen. My hair was standing when she said, “the top-down model is trauma-based. At the top are the psychopaths, the sickest people, at the bottom are the most vulnerable people [], in the middle are those who are traumatized by the system but are trying to do good”. It is my long-held suspicion that any form of power exerted over another must at its core contain some form of abuse. Any reworking of our culture must entirely do away with the top-down model. Thank you, Anneke, for such insight and clarity.

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