The New York Times

The New York Times



Disregarding complaints about unwanted touch, or much worse, has been the way of yoga for decades. Now, yogis are grappling with how to address consent issues in the gray zone of a yoga studio, where physical intimacy, spirituality and power dynamics meet.

Reporter @katierosman interviewed more than 50 yoga practitioners, teachers and studio owners about touch in yoga. She found that much of the yoga community has been slow or unwilling to respond to complaints of abuse by teachers and gurus.

Multiple women have publicly described being groped, kissed and even violated through yoga pants by Krishna Pattabhi Jois, a guru who popularized Ashtanga yoga. Jubilee Cooke studied with him in 1997 and said he groped her on a daily basis.

Some yoga instructors have made hands-on adjustments part of their teaching style, but rarely ask if students consent to the intimate adjustments. Other instructors question the approach and suggest consent should be a part of teaching yoga.

In many yoga studios, the simple act of unfurling a mat signals to some teachers that you’re OK being touched. That is finally starting to change. Read our full investigation:

We explore why some of us are willing to go along with things in a yoga studio that we might question elsewhere. And why some teaching techniques have gone unexamined. Watch @TheWeekly tonight on FX at 10/9c and Monday on Hulu.

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