It’s been a few days since the drop-dead date for CIYT’s to declare their allegiance to IYNAUS. This is such a paradox considering yoga means union. While the letter posted above was being painstakingly composed by the senior teachers and their association IYNAUS, the coronvirus was spreading across America. Several weeks later we would find ourselves in self-isolation with all yoga studios closed across the globe including RIMYI.
While Iyengar Institutes closed down and Manouso aligned teachers scrubbed his name from their bios, or were not being invited to teach at all, Iyengar senior teachers took to social media to promote their online classes. The timing between the flood of students entering the online market because of studio closures and the promotions of these online classes was uncanny. One might think it was opportunistic. Meanwhile, Manouso quietly posted some free, easy-to-follow pranayama classes targeting the lower lung where the coronavirus in known to take hold. At the urging of his students, he began teaching online classes making sure to keep the identity of his students anonymous to protect them from the Iyengar family, Iynaus, and the Yoga Police. Word spread fast and hundreds of students benefited from his daily, hour-long classes this past week. Some are the very CIYT’s who were forced to scrub his name of their bios in order to keep their livelihood. A forced allegiance is not an honest one. I feel for these teachers who are put in a position where they have to lie about who they are and what they believe. I feel for an organization demanding an allegiance based on one-sided truths, greed, and ego.
Today, I looked at bios of teachers who I know study with Manouso and was saddened to see Manouso’s name absent from their bios. I came across this testimony by one of his former teachers who assisted him in class for years. She still claims him as her teacher and renounced her membership to IYNAUS.
I and a friend in yoga have interviewed many of the teachers who assisted Manouso at the Abode over the years, some for as many as 25 years. None of them had any evidence to support the accusations while some had evidence that would call into question the credibility of one of his 5 accusers. None of his assistants were interviewed by the independent investigator, even the one who was named to have witnessed an assault.
The reference that Manouso is guilty is not consistent with any legal finding. Manouso has denied and continues to deny all the charges.