Iyengar Yoga Intimidation

Several years ago I was in a Manouso workshop at IYILA (the Iyengar Yoga Institute of Los Angeles). I was sitting toward the front of the class and watched as a thin student approached Manouso and introduced herself as a student of Patricia Walden’s (the only other teacher who holds the same certificate as Manouso given by BKS Iyengar). Manouso acknowledged her in his usual no-nonsense manner. The next day, I watched the same woman approach him again and reintroduce herself. Manouso said something like, “I heard you yesterday.” For the sake of clarity I will call this woman SCIYT.

A short time later SCIYT filed an ethics complaint against Manouso for his offensive language and showing his buttocks in a tailbone demonstration during that workshop.

So in 2018, when the original accuser used social media to spread the news of her 2013 sexual assault, SCIYT, who I learned was a senior level CIYT, jumped on the bandwagon. I watched SCIYT on social media telling people who were questioning what was going on with Manouso to DM her. I thought it strange that senior teachers were making comments about Manouso on Facebook. In the meantime, a fellow certified Iyengar Yoga teacher told me I might want to check out SCIYT’s youtube videos because SCIYT’s youtube videos seemed highly sexual. I remember thinking, “Well that sounds like the pot calling the kettle black”. I am not a prude, and I don’t really care how others conduct themselves as long as they don’t hurt anyone, but what really gets me is the hypocrisy of the holier than thou attitude of some Iyengar yoga teachers. Eventually I took a gander at SCIYT’s youtube videos and they were beyond what I could have imagined. Her videos show her scantily clad in what appears to be lingerie with no underwear and are loaded with unnecessary touching and rubbing on students. Eka pada rajakopotasana I & II , Natarajasana, and Yoga for Back Care, Part 3 are particularly interesting for attire. Others are interesting for adjustments and touching.

The post which resulted in a cease and desist

Many CIYT’s questioned this striking hypocrisy. One unwitting CIYT with virtually zero social media experience decided to defend Manouso in one of her first ever facebook posts. She questioned the integrity of the investigation and posted the latest video by SCIYT (Yoga for Back Care, Part 3) on the private facebook group Iyengar Yogis- a group with over 6000 members. Her post was deleted and she was kicked out of the Facebook group within hours, AND, she was served a cease and desist order from SCIYT three days later. Oh, and wouldn’t you know it, SCIYT was on the Board of IYNAUS when they took away the certificate of Manouso. PARADOX!!!

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