The Iyengar Yoga Police

Over the years, I have noticed in increase in the high-mindedness of yoga practictioners, especially in the Iyengar yoga community, which already feels superior to other yoga systems. I blame social media. Previously, there was no avenue for yoga practitioners to post perfect asana pictures captioned with a morally superior statement. It’s possible that the caption relates to something which they aspire, but it doesn’t always come off like that. It’s offputting and imposing, and and what’s worse- it creates separation. Paradoxically, yoga means union. What brought me to yoga all those years ago was the feeling of inter-connectedness with the universe. It was that feeling of total absorption that enticed me to practice.

So when the allegations against Manouso hit the airwaves thanks to a biased report from a bay area radio station, the Iyengar Yoga facebook groups had a cyber field day. Any support for Manouso was attacked with a viciousness incongruous to the sattvic image of yoga. It was strange and disturbing. I noticed the situation attracted loud voices into the fray that were outside the Iyengar yoga community. The groups vibrated with moral rightousness and hyprocrisy. One example was one gray-haired guy outside of the Iyengar system insisting that Manouso was a sexual predator on the Iyengar yogi site, and conversely defending Pathabi Jois’s innocence on another site. In one instance, a woman defending Manouso had her entire post torn apart line by line by my favorite charlatan Yoga Pundit. Yoga Pundit is the author of this line:

“The hermeneutic flow from de-familiarization to open-source and demystification tends to have an embodying effect.”

Yoga Pundit has many other gems equally incomprehensible. Yoga Pundit has 5000 women followers looking to him to keep them safe from spiritual bypassing and somatic dominance. By all accounts somatic dominance is a term YP made up. What’s interesting is that some of the other Yoga Police are picking it up like it’s a medical diagnosis. Both Yoga Police and Yoga Pundit have the YP acronym so don’t get confused. I will always spell out Yoga police! Yoga Pundit will be abbreviated due to lack of importance. Interestingly, YP is part of the Yoga Police!!!

Here’s one of my favorite posts on YP’s facebook from a long time Iyengar yoga teacher and practitioner.

“Yoga Pundit, please know that the Iyengar community is reading closely what you write…Please coach us where you see appropriate. Please hold us accountable…”

The Iyengar Yoga police were starting to close ranks around the Iyengar Yoga community. I must be careful with my posts because I am afraid the Iyengar Yoga Police will come after me!

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