“It took me 20 years to reclaim my agency and overturn the shame”

As we have recently seen women are still discredited for taking a long time to speak out against powerful men like Brett Kavanaugh. In this article Karen Rain describes the slow and painful process to admit to herself that she had been victimized. She recounts the years it took her to build up the courage to finally own the fact that she had been sexually assaulted. I was there when this happened and when the photos were taken. I second her narration of events.

Looking back on this last sentence it feels strange that I should even have to still say this. But Karen wrote this article because there are still too many who doubt her account or re-interpret the actions of Jois as spiritual.

When I see these photos memories come alive. For me and many others back in that room, Karen was the worlds most advanced practitioner, our hero. She was the only person that made fifth series look easy and effortless. I’m asking those who still don’t believe her account why did the world’s most advanced practitioner who, looking forward to a stellar yoga career, suddenly turned her back on yoga and disappeared from the face of the earth not to be seen and heard of for 20 years?

The answer to this question is clearly visible in the photos that Karen shares. Clearly, she wants “to be a part of building a world that is safer and more welcoming for victims to recognize and report abuse when it happens, where we will be believed and protected”.

Part of building that world is that the beneficiaries of Jois need to come out, apologize and explain how they have enabled this abuse. And that call will not go away.


Here is Karen’s latest article https://medium.com/s/powertrip/yoga-guru-pattabhi-jois-sexually-assaulted-me-for-years-48b3d04c9456

About Gregor Maehle

Gregor Maehle began his practice of Raja Yoga in 1978 and added Hatha Yoga a few years later. For almost two decades he yearly travelled to India where he studied with various yogic and tantric masters. Since then he has branched out into research of the anatomical alignment of postures and the higher limbs of Yoga. He obtained his anatomical knowledge through a Health Practitioner degree and has also studied History, Philosophy and Comparative Religion. Gregor lived many years as a recluse, studying Sanskrit, yogic scripture and practising yogic techniques. He has published a series of textbooks on all major aspects of yoga. His mission is to re-integrate ashtanga vinyasa practice into the larger framework of Patanjali’s eight-limbed yoga in the spirit of T. Krishnamacharya. He offers trainings, retreats and workshops worldwide.
Posted in Ashtanga Yoga, Society/ civilisation, Teaching.

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