Good Trouble

Anchor the eternity of love in your own soul…. Lean toward the whispers of your own heart… Release the need to hate, to harbor division, and the enticement of revenge…. But when it is your time don’t be afraid to stand up, speak up, and speak out against injustice.

John Lewis

We lost a civil rights giant on Friday. RIP John Lewis. Though he helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), he was beaten and bloodied for his peaceful convictions of freedom and justice of all people. It’s depressing how gaggles of white people seek to oppress and deny others their most basic human rights. As a young boy in Alabama, John Lewis questioned segregated bathrooms, drinking fountains, movie theaters, and other evidence of Jim Crow laws. His mother told him, “Don’t get into trouble. Don’t get in the way.” But he was inspired to get into trouble and to get into the way. And thank goodness.

“Freedom is not a state; it is an act. It is not some enchanted garden perched high on a distant plateau where we can finally sit down and rest. Freedom is the continuous action we all must take, and each generation must do its part to create an even more fair, more just society.”

John Lewis

I hate to sound too righteous but civil rights are civil rights, and in the words of John Lewis, “When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have the moral obligation to do something.”

Think about your silence. Think about your unwillingness to be uncomfortable. Think about yoga hypocrisy and why you read this blog. Think about why you can’t seem to shake the feeling that there was something not quite right about all the effort that was put into the investigation of Manouso Manos. What are you feeling?

  1. Do you support the organizations and individuals that violate our fellow teachers’ human rights and the law? – Organizations and individuals that attempt to control our fellow teachers’ private lives, speech, thoughts, associations and religious practice?  Organizations and individuals that have deprived our fellow teachers of their livelihoods, and slandered them as unethical?  
  2. Do you find your fellow teachers unethical for having the opinion that IYNAUS’s Manouso report is flawed and, based on that opinion, continuing their study with Manouso during their off-duty hours? Do you support their decertification and termination?
  3. Do you think that during a global pandemic with yoga studios closed in California, Manouso’s online teaching assistants should choose IYNAUS and their Iyengar Yoga certification over a dependable and stable income?
  4. Do you think it’s okay for senior teachers to threaten lesser ranking CIYT’s who questioned the impartiality of the independent investigation. Do you think it is okay for senior teachers to serve cease in desist orders to fellow Iyengar teachers who questioned the validity of the investigation and the role of senior teachers in the investigation?
  5. Do you think it’s normal that teachers are invited to teach classes and then uninvited when they refuse to remove Manouso’s name from their bio?
  6. Do you think it is normal that CIYTs are forced to pretend that Manouso was never their teacher when he actually was and still is? Do you think it’s okay to not give credit to your teacher or lie about it?

When justice is served, it doesn’t leave a bitter aftertaste.

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