LET’S TALK >> book an intro conversation with me

Some thoughts on Yogi Bhajan’s transgressions

 
We live in a time where secrets don’t stay secret for too long. Thankfully, this also means that the spiritual scene all over the globe has begun to face its own collective shadows, addressing allegations against some spiritual teachers who seem to have abused their powers and who seem to have violated their student’s boundaries left and right. Sadly, the Kundalini Yoga scene is no exception: About a week ago, a thorough report on Yogi Bhajan’s sexual and spiritual transgressions was released (click here for the link, if you’d like to read it). It’s quite an explicit document, and the ways in which he seems to have abused his position as a spiritual leader to manipulate and mistreat members of his personal staff become quite apparent throughout the report. The document cites both victims as well as people who are trying to rescue his reputation, and interestingly, both sides paint a similar picture, describing his domineering, authoritarian character in detail.

When I began practicing Kundalini Yoga a few years after his death, I didn’t know anything about the man, Yogi Bhajan. I had been looking for ways to deal with chronic pain, and a friend recommended Kundalini Yoga as a type of yoga “that does things to you, energetically, and it’s hard to explain. It just works.” Which was exactly how I experienced it. So, I only ever saw Kundalini Yoga as a collection of energy work tools, and I never followed the religious side of Yogi Bhajan’s teachings. Also, I guess I was lucky to receive my training from teachers who refrained from any kind of cult-like reverence when it came to him as a person.

Reading the report on his transgressions must be hard for those who saw him as their personal guru. Apparently, he was one of those spiritual teachers who didn’t live by his own teachings, and I feel for those who are now questioning everything.

Sexual violence is a beast, and unfortunately, Yogi Bhajan was one of many spiritual teachers who were fascinated by its darkness. I’ve worked with several clients over the years who suffered from abuse at the hands of their own spiritual teachers, and clearly, there’s still a lot of work to be done if we truly want to transmute the energies of sexual violence on this planet.

My heart goes out to all who trusted their spiritual teachers and had their trust betrayed. Life is not fair, sometimes.

#YogiBhajan
#KundaliniYoga
#sexualviolence

Image: A card drawn from Danielle Laporte’s Truthbomb Deck Vol. 1: “Freedom worships inquiry” (no affiliation, not sponsored)

Choose relaxed tenacity

There’s a beautiful balance that I learned from Yoga which is instantly applicable to life: tenacity and relaxation.
.
In essence, Yoga works like this: You start to consciously control your breathing, you move into your pose and gently hold it, and you repeat a mantra in your mind to stay focused.
.
This creates a very relaxed way of being, and at the same time, stamina, tenacity, and grit.
.
You might have noticed in your own Yoga practice that a conscious breath and a mantra can help you hold a pose much longer than if you do your “normal” breathing or let your mind slowly slip into negativity when things get a bit more difficult.
.
You develop a knowing that your body is always giving you feedback, and how to adjust your stance, if needed.
.
And you learn that your conscious focus and your willingness to keep up will help you to relax even when there’s tension or pain. You take a stance, you breathe, you stay focused, and you choose a conscious, relaxed tenacity.
.
Life imitating Yoga.
.
Yoga imitating life.
.
Let me know if you need any help with translating your Yogic tenacity to life. As a Kundalini Yoga teacher, it is part of my job to provide those kinds of translation services. Contact me for a non-binding Intro Conversation if you’d like to learn more.
.
.
.
#innerwisdomsystem
#peaceperspective
.
Photo: Andrei Coman via Unsplash