Many of you know that I have practiced and taught Kundalini Yoga for over 20 years. In the interest of being open with JoyBooters, I wanted to let you know that there is a lot of upheaval in the kundalini yoga community right now.
In January, a former student of Yogi Bhajan (who brought kundalini yoga to the West and died in 2006), wrote a book called Premka, about her life living communally with Yogi Bhajan from the late 60s-early 90s. She revealed that she was exploited and abused by him and she shares about her traumatic experiences.
When it was published, many other stories of abuse in the kundalini yoga community began to emerge.
I was shocked at the pervasiveness of the abuse and especially saddened and outraged to hear that many children who were sent to boarding school in India had been abused. At that point, I ended my affiliation with 3HO, the kundalini yoga organization, and stopped sending in dues payments. I also asked them to take responsibility, do a complete investigation and pay reparations to any children (now adults) who had been physically or emotionally injured.
The kundalini yoga organizations did solicit an investigation (which was released in July) and determined that the abuse alleged was very likely to have occurred. You can read more about it here: https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/abuse-in-kundalini-yoga
Some in the community are denying the abuse and others are working on healing.
I believe every one of the survivors and am also appalled by the cover-ups that occurred. As a therapist and a human, I can only imagine the pain that was created.
I have been in dialogue with many other teachers about how to move forward with what we know works and the willingness to shed what does not.
I still believe in the value of integrating yoga, meditation, and psychotherapy. In many cases it has accelerated healing in people with severe depression, anxiety, PTSD from cancer or other trauma, or addiction, and helped people re-connect with themselves in ways that had previously been elusive.
I only teach what I have experienced personally and taught to hundreds of people over the years. I intend to keep teaching, free from dogma and the shadow of Yogi Bhajan, choosing practices that are especially effective for cancer survivors.
I am happy to visit (talk and listen) with anyone individually or in a small group if you have questions or feelings that come up and you want to check in.