Just a short blog recap of events–in 2018 a CIYT complained that she had been groped by Manouso in a public yoga class in 2013 in which I happened to be a participant. This woman threatened in her original complaint that she would take her story to the media and she made good on that threat. Radio station KQED did a story on her which cast IYNAUS in a not so flattering light. IYNAUS, led by a president who happened to be a white male attorney and a student of the teacher with certification one level below Manouso, took action and sent an email to all its members requesting anonymous complaints against Manouso over a span of 30 years. For decades Manouso was one of two in the world who held the highest certificate ever awarded by BKS Iyengar. His teaching was and still is legendary. IYNAUS hired an independent investigator who happened to be a black female with a long history of sexual assault prosecutions and no knowledge of yoga. Social media went wild with inflammatory and libelous accusations against Manouso. One of the most vocal was a woman who hung out in Manouso’s studio like it was her living room. Manouso had helped her recover from an addiction and yoga replaced that addiction. She began subbing at Manouso’s studio and spending a lot of time there. Manouso allowed it because it kept her away from her addictions but she crossed the line too many times so he took away her key to the studio. She posted a picture of his classes on facebook without his permission and helper herself from the lost and found. He also caught her stealing money from him. This woman (crystal dildo girl) showed up in the independent investigator’s report. She said her boyfriend witnessed Manouso’s foot on her labia and her boyfriend denies it ever happened though he never was interviewed. The independent investigator substantiated her story along with the original complaint and two other complaints. I reviewed this in another post but in case you forgot: Out of teaching close to 400,000 students over a span of 30 years the report came up with the following 6 complaints. You may read the entire report on the IYNAUS website. IYNAUS said it would stay posted for 15 days and it has been up for nearly two years as of this writing. TRIGGER WARNING: the word labia is used A LOT.
- The original complaint- Manouso stared at her breasts while he was demonstrating shoulderstand and he caressed her breast while adjusting her in ganda bherundasana. The complaint was brought in 2018; the class was in 2013.
- The woman who Manouso caught stealing from him and had previously accused two other male yoga teachers said he had touched her genitals with his toe while adjusting her in supta padangustasana. She maintained that her boyfriend witnessed this adjustment. Her boyfriend was never interviewed by the investigator and adamantly denies it ever happened.
- A woman said Manouso stuck his finger in her anus through yoga tights in Prasarita Padottanasana
- A woman complained of common pelvic tilting adjustment in uttanasana where the hand moves from the tailbone to the pubis
- Woman complaining of a slapping adjustment in ardha chandrasana
- Man who wasn’t complaining only providing information
As a result of this investigation, IYNAUS took away Manouso’s certification that was awarded to him by BKS Iyengar himself. BKS Iyengar’s granddaughter Abhijata and his son Prashant published a statement that Manouso can no longer use the Iyengar name which he arguably had a HUGE hand in spreading. Then the Iyengars prohibited CIYTs from studying with Manouso and threatened to take away certification of anyone who continues to study with Manouso and made good on that when they took away certification of Manouso’s assistants who refuse to stop studying with him (as do thousands of others). And finally, IYNAUS issued a pennance for all CIYTS. All CIYTS must pay to take a mandatory “Ethical Guidelines Training on Sexual Misconduct Awareness, Prevention & Response” presented by the celebrity supported and endorsed RAINN or lose their certification.
So it seems like IYNAUS could not do much more to erase Manouso from Iyengar yoga, but still our crystal dildo girl was not happy. She continued to harass CIYTs who she suspected of studying with Manouso on social media, phone messages and email. This includes Manouso’s wife Rita. Finally in late summer she issued her last thrust. She started with the President of IYNAUS.
Then she wrote letter to many teachers she suspected were still studying with Manouso and posted a video on her facebook calling them out by name. The email is so long, I will not post all of it but it starts like this:
I have recently filed a complaint to the IYNAUS Ethics committee regarding your continued study and support of Manouso Manos. Below is part of the complaint. Not surprising that they (IYNAUS) are in dereliction of their duty, leaving it to me to enforce their own policy. Am I surprised, no.
This is in direct conflict with Abhijata and Prashants (sic) edict that no one is to support MM lest they lose their certification.
Per their request, I am emailing you to inquire about your support of MM. If you are still in support of MM, I am asking you to honor the moral code you portray to live by and be honest with the ehtics committee about your involvement in his classes by emailing them at the address address above.
… Are you all continuing your studies with MM? Please let IYNAUS and Abhijata know at the emails above. According to the websites below the following CIYT’s are currently employed by MM and should therefore give up their certification.This email goes on like this and more for several pages.
IYNAUS responded with letters to the CIYT’s who were threatened. Excerpted below.
We write you to inform you that _______ _______ falsely told you that IYNAUS Ethics Committee “request(ed)” her to contact you and ask you if you ” are still in support of (Manouso Manos).” We made no such request.
… In short, we did not “request” that Ms _______ contact you and make any of her various statements to you.
Yours in yoga,
IYNAUS Ethics Committee
January 9, 2021 is Manouso’s 69th birthday. Show your support even if it’s only to him.