Why we're banning Bikram

Banning Bikram yoga via alignyo
Why we won't be doing Bikram yoga anymore
Dechen Thurman sexual misconduct via alignyo
Dechen Thurman
Hot off the mat

Warning: you may want to take a few deep breaths before you read this because it’s full of controversial yoga news. First, we fill you in on why we’re saying goodbye to Bikram yoga for good. There’s also another yogi (with a famous sibling) in the spotlight for sexual misconduct. Oh, then there’s the story about the woman who was moved to tears because a black woman was in her yoga class. Breathe in and read on.

We’re not gonna take it anymore

We like to keep it pretty breezy here at alignyo, but sometimes information buzzes around and it’s really tough to swat it away. You make the decision for yourself but after the Vanity Fair article and the plaintiff’s testimony from one of the lawsuits against Bikram Choudhury surfacing online, we can easily say “Bikram, we’re just not into you.”  Our personal message to the hot yoga guru: get your karma **** together! 

Dechen Thurman’s dirty deeds

Jivamukti yoga teacher Dechen Thurman (actress Uma Thurman’s bro) is joining the ranks of John Friend and Bikram Choudhury. Journalist Maria Sliwa says Dechen has been sleeping with his students at the Jivamukti School for years. She details his inappropriate behavior in a 41-page exposé that sites threats of suicide, violent mood swings and crying bursts as just some of the things she’s experienced in his class. Even though they promise to handle the situation, Dechen is still currently teaching at Jivamukti New York.

When yogis cry

Jen Caron wrote a piece for XO Jane on how she felt as she watched a “fairly heavy black woman” in her first yoga class. It was an emotional experience for Jen…and apparently the rest of the internet. Her article has sparked a discussion about race, privilege, yoga and fat shaming. We have a lot of thoughts about this one, but we’d rather know what you think. Read the article here and comment below to let us know your thoughts. 

Comments

If you care about the XO Jane article, you should read this

There was a great response to the xo jane article in HuffPo by Maya Rupert -- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maya-rupert/an-open-letter-to-the-whi_b_46...

Hopefully the link works, otherwise just google "I was the black woman in your yoga class"

Namaste!

Have to find the right class for you

I am glad I found a class with ppl of all sizes and all abilities. I have been to some classes and studios that look/feel a little too "preppy" for lack of a better word and have steered clear of them.

We've had new people in class before and I think just being welcoming when they first get there and asking them how they liked it when we're done is sufficient.

Agreed

While Im a yogi & a teacher myself, like all things, it is essential we keep grounded.
It is very easy as a guru who millions follow to get out of check
In relation to ego. I know someone who studied yrs,ago
Under Friend & said,she could see things happening that were not yoga, yet she didnt trust her instincts
Big lesson, never give yr power to anyone else...follow yr instincts always.
However a few out of balance yogis cannot wreck the amazingnesof yoga itself.what they have displayed is their shadow & ego, adverse to yoga...Namaste :)

XO JANE - BLACK PEOPLE IN YOGA

That's a very sad article....yoga is mind, body and spirit...each poses must transform these 3 elements into a higher level...the greater good yoga does to one's body (making it slim & fit and looking desirable or likeable) must likewise do the same to one's mind and spirit. Unfortunately, XO Jane only benefited in body transformation which she seems so proud of and thought her body is a cause of envy, resentment and anger from the heavy set black woman. XO Jane, yoga is not for you either...because your mind and spirit is as black and heavy as the woman behind you in your yoga class..it's a shame to read an article like this from yoga practitioner. Perhaps before you get into your next yoga class, please read abut yoga, embrace yoga, and think and live yoga....

XO Jane - Black People in yoga

The entire article is based on assumptions. Where is the yoga in that? Make no assumptions! Focus on your own inner being! As far as I'm concerned the only issue here is the one that is going on inside the author's head. Pay attention to your inner self, and the whole article floats away in a pile of self-obsession.

Praise!!! The simple fact

Praise!!! The simple fact that lawsuits for yoga practices have happened shows that bikram is not yoga, but business.
I was into it in 2007 for a short period, and although I enjoy the heat (slightly lower temp would be better), I felt as though I was in some kind of fitness competition or working with a personal trainer. Instructors physically pushing my body way beyond what felt good made me sick and that is where I said no more. Yoga should not feel like that.
One last thing, the script that each instructor must adhere by is unauthentic, I would think being an instructor would get so boring!
Bye! Bye Bikram!!

body image, shaming, the yoga contest

I was lucky, I guess. The first class I stepped into, while I was still encrusted with shame and fear, turned out to be respectful, peaceful and sweetly accommodating to my limitations. I stayed and began a journey of my own. I need to check myself and avoid any condemnations of the way others come to a practice, but I am so saddened by the article about the newcomer in her first class. It is scary enough, isn't it, without the added pressure of the competition club, the merchandising...and do I really need to say it: the racism?

Jen Caron's article

I was not at all offended by this article...

I may not be black, but I am fairly heavy. So I can relate to what that student went through! It took me years to dare set foot in a yoga class! And when a few years later, I finally go the courage to undertake a yoga teacher training, I was constantly reminded of my weight just by looking at my all of my slender fellow students.

Don't get me wrong! No one ever treated me differently because of my weight! But we all know how our western society rolls! We know what our beauty standards are! So why would the yoga community be any different??

I understand the point the author is trying to make and I applaud her honesty! The yoga community needs to become aware of its flaws in order to change! And fortunately, things are starting change, slowly but surely...

Why hate the game?

I'm disappointed in you Alignyo.

What does any of this have to do with the practice of Bikram Yoga? We would hope your smart and capable editor would know the difference between the practice and the man himself. The practice - therapeutic, detoxifying and good for mind, body, spirit. The man - clearly riddled with issues.

Sure, hate the players, but why hate on the game?

Skinny white girl vs black woman

I can remember several times is my intermediate to advanced practice that i have spent an entire class in savasana because on that day, that's what I needed. I find it crazy that in the author's 6 plus years of yogic experience that she is still holding on to the judgements that we are supposed to be letting go of in class. That black woman might have just needed to BE present that day. How many times have you gone to class and the instructor prefaces the class with "only do what you can, take breaks as needed" etc.... and if she was new, who cares?! When I was new I observed more than practiced--I feel like this whole article was a waste or typing--it's just so not inspiring/encouraging/positive

xoxo

Not enough heavier people.

I started yoga last year. I am great flu for starting it where I did, and with the teacher I had. I am heavier than some, but the class is full of older people, of all fitness levels. I have stuck with yoga for a year now. It wasn't easy it was always hard but I stuck with it. This year I was able to purchase from my new iPad yoga studio. With each class that I take I am getting stronger no skinnier but strong. I think yoga should be for health not how skinny you are, but for how healthy you are. And I don't think about who's in my class we don't have people of African-American descent because I'm not in an area where they live. But it really doesn't matter we are all people and we're all just trying to stay healthy.

really?

honestly Jen, get over your skinny, white self. You are the person who is so unconscious and think you are sooooo yogi!!! You give all white people, skinny people, and yogis a bad rep!!!!

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