Be aware, these are not yoga schools

There are many yoga schools around the world under different names that are not safe places for women. Be aware of them!
You can read the experiences of an Australian women in Tara Yoga center in the UK and Misa in Romania here:

And the experiences of a Finish and a Romanian woman here:

Mr Bivolaru is their guru and their organization is structured to groom women for him. Names of other schools are Natha, Agama, Somandanda, Atman yoga federation, etc

Stay safe!

1 Like

There is a new website warning people about the dangers of these "yoga schools".

Stay informed and inform others because many people have no idea what is going to happen to them when signing up for a yoga course!

Stay safe!


Arhanta Yoga is Genuine and Most Trusted Yoga school based in India & Netherland.

Arhanta Yoga® is an international yoga school with yoga ashrams in India and the Netherlands. We help people to become confident and certified yoga teachers with our internationally accredited professional yoga teacher training courses. Our courses are based on our years of teaching experience. Since 2009, 10000+ yoga teachers have been certified from Arhanta Yoga Ashrams.

Other articles about the cult MISA / atman / Bivolaru:

It is good to check if your school is not on this list of abusive yoga schools:

If you are still looking for a yoga school, Then I would Suggest you Visit Arhanta Yoga. Arhanta yoga is one of the best yoga schools for learning yoga from experts.

Arhanta Yoga® is an international yoga school with yoga ashrams in India and the Netherlands. We help people to become confident and certified yoga teachers with our internationally accredited professional yoga teacher training courses. Our courses are based on our years of teaching experience. Since 2009, over 12000 yoga teachers have been certified by Arhanta Yoga Ashrams.

Our Accreditations

Arhanta Yoga Ashrams are Registered Yoga Schools (RYS) with Yoga Alliance, International Yoga Federation, International Yoga Association & The CRKBO (The Netherlands).

Here Ashleigh Freckleton is giving an even more detailed account of her adventures as being "initiated" in the Tantra cult of Tara Yoga center UK and Misa in Romania and meeting Gregorian Bivolaru, head of the Atman yoga sect.


(two episodes of the "WhaTheFlok?!" podcast.)

1 Like

A detailed review of the atman/misa yoga cult by Uma Dinsmore-Tuli PhD:

Let’s start with the Atman International Federation of Yoga and Meditation,
a global organisation that provides a basis for communication and cooperation
between its many members in more than twenty different countries all over the
world. All the yoga schools and centres within the federation have the same curriculum
and the same so-called guru, Gregorian Bivolaru. The yoga schools go under
numerous different names in different countries and therefore they can be difficult
to detect, because they present themselves as cultural associations or ‘academies’
offering traditional education in yoga tantra and esoterica, all linked to a worldwide
‘Movement for Integration into the Absolute’ (MISA). Some of the names of the
schools, like the Mahavidya Yoga Centre (Austria) the Tara Yoga Centre (London),
and Associazone Tripura Sundari (Bologna) are named after powerful wisdom
goddesses, implying that they offer positive and empowering teachings about shakti
and tantra, but in fact this is profoundly misleading. The following link provides a
list of all the members of the Atman International Federation of Yoga worldwide:
I begin with this organisation because in the space of six weeks, early in 2020, I
received six testimonies of sexual abuses experienced by women studying at Atman
International Federation of Yoga and Meditation schools around the world. These
testimonies alerted me to abuses, including rape and trafficking in the Atman Yoga
Schools, and I realised with dread that I had referred to the Natha Yoga School
in the first edition of Yoni Shakti. I was horrified that I could have inadvertently
caused their suffering.
I needed to set the record straight, and to ensure that readers of Yoni Shakti
could not in future be misled into believing that any of the schools of the Atman
International Federation of Yoga were safe places to study yoga tantra. After
receiving the testimonies of the ex-Atman Yoga retreat students describing many
of the terrible experiences that they had endured, I felt that the best outcome from
their brave sharing would be to help other young women avoid becoming caught up
in such abusive organisations. The women who had testified worked together with
me to create a set of practical warning signals to share with others, things that they
wished they had known before they had entered the harmful environment of the
Atman International Federation of Yoga.
The morning after the second wave of testimonies from women in the Atman
Federation of Yoga landed in my inbox, I had a long telephone call with a colleague
in Thailand who lives close to the Agama Yoga on Koh Phangan, and had for some
years studied there with its founder, Swami Vivekenanda Saraswati (Narcis Tarcau).
Multiple accounts of sexual harassment and rape have been made by many women
who attended the Agama Yoga retreat over the years, and references to their reports
are listed at the end of this preface. My Thailand colleague had recently, and very
courageously, extricated herself from a four-year encounter with the damaging sexual
and emotional manipulations of a self-proclaimed ‘awakened being’ and tantric
master and had begun to recognise the patterns of abuse common to many ‘gurus’;
the Agama head swami Vivekananda had been trained by the Atman Federation of
Yoga founder, Bivolaru. When he established Agama in Thailand, Vivekananda
modelled the content of many of the training programmes on what he had learnt
with Bivolaru.
The young woman who managed to escape from the ‘secret initiation’, aka rape,
at the Atman Federation yoga retreat wrote to me some weeks after I first received
the first testimony. Meanwhile, I also heard the experience of another young woman
in the same yoga school. Soon afterwards I received further testimonies of a very
similar encounter from a woman who had attended Tara Yoga — the UK branch of
the Atman International Federation of Yoga. As each woman heard that I believed
what had happened to them, and was willing to learn more, they found the courage
to share. They wrote to tell me what had happened to them during the time they
were students, and their sharing empowered others to speak also. I promised not to
reveal their identities because they were terrified of retribution and violent reprisals
from people who support Bivolaru, the leader of the cult. It is rare for women to
escape from the powerful control networks of Bivolaru’s enablers. This is the voice
of one who did escape. She told me ‘I's not consent if you are too afraid to say no,’
and she reflected: ‘I learned the hard way that sexual violence is rife all around us,
permeating particularly within spiritual communities; not even the benevolently
inspired are spared the risk of hijack by the ego, and just because someone studies,
writes about and disseminates perfectly authentic and powerful teachings about
religion, spirituality, yoga, tantra, and meditation (perhaps even in good faith,
initially)... does not necessarily mean that they themselves embody all of the qualities
of an enlightened master, completely transcendent of their ego and without
any predatory desires, whether emotional, financial, spiritual or sexual in nature.
And just because such beings are utilising absolute authority over their followers
to exploit their human rights and engage in harmful behaviours and dialogue to the
detriment of their wellbeing, does not mean that they (or their enablers) necessarily
realise that they are doing so’.
The ‘absolute authority’ with which abusers wield power over their students,
followers and victims is a measure of their confidence that they are unassailable.
The absence of consequences for perpetrators of abuse contrasts starkly with the
vicious punishments, vilifications and other recriminations that often ensue when a
follower criticises the perpetrator.
The application process for attendance at the Atman Federation of Yoga school
camps involves submitting photographs in underwear, which is followed through
with public nakedness and sexualised ritual in groups that subtly at first, and then
with more vehemence and violence, lead women into a place of disempowered
confusion and vulnerability, because they can no longer even read the signs from
their own bodies. Women who studied at Atman were told that the semi-naked
application photographs were to enable the guru and senior teachers of the school
to ‘look at each person's aura and be reassured that students have enough energy
to tolerate the energy field of the camp’. On reflection, one ex-Atman Yoga student
told me: ‘Now I am pretty sure that this is how Bivolaru picks out young, beautiful,
innocent women to come to his house and get his so called ‘initiations’.
‘As they “trained” and groomed us for our special meeting,’ explained the
woman who had escaped from the Atman Yoga retreat centre, ‘it became clear the
entire “retreat” revolved around receiving the “initiation” [of Bivolaru urinating in
the student's mouth]. When I cried and said I just wanted to meet him, I didn’t want
an initiation, some of the women soothed me and said “no, of course he will never
make you do anything you do want to do. You don’t have to, it’s only if you want...”
She said that by the time the moment of the initiation arrives women are profoundly
sleep deprived and ‘full of unknown aphrodisiacs, and sitting naked in front of a
man considered to be their master.’ She asks, under these conditions: *... how likely
are they to say no?’
The process of reflecting upon her experiences at the Atman Federation of Yoga
helped this woman to notice cumulative erosion of boundaries that changed the
terms on which consent was originally given. Students were only permitted to attend
Mahavidya camps after completing two years of the weekly Atman Federation of
Yoga tantra course. ‘Teachers say that you have to be prepared to reach “a certain
level of knowledge and awareness” before attendance,’ explained the ex-Atman
yoga student. ‘But looking back’, she reflected, ‘I think this is to create a certain
level of familiarity necessary to be obedient to the hierarchy of the organisation, and
to consent to be manipulated by the teachers.’ This is a species of grooming.
The abhorrence their teachers expressed for menstruation: In both Agama Yoga
retreats and Atman Federation of Yoga centres, women have reported that menstrual
bleeding is not regarded as normal or healthy. One ex-student explained that
she was taught to question ‘How can bleeding ever be healthy? A wound bleeds
not because it is healthy.” In both of these yoga cults, women have been taught
to believe that diminishing blood flow during menstruation is a sign of spiritual
attainment. And while lessening flow in a heavy period may be a positive health
benefit, the underlying repulsion and shame that many women feel about menstruation
means that the ideal of suppressing menstrual flow altogether is commonly
sought in Atman Federation of Yoga schools and in Agama retreats and classes.
Students who have studied at Agama Yoga explained to me that although they
were given practical guidance on how to reduce heavy bleeding (by practising
inversions prior to the bleed, and modifying diet), and taught that the reduction of
bleeding (or the cessation of menstrual period altogether) was a measure of spiritual
attainment, there was very little information given about the subtle emotional and
psychic impact of menstrual cycles and menopause, and no respect accorded to these
cycles as sources of intuitive wisdom or guidance: ‘This was seriously lacking,”
explained one long term student, ‘it was classic spiritual bypassing. There was no
welcoming or respect for the embodied wisdom of the cycles. This is my complaint,
as well as the sexual exploitation of women. For me I would say it’s about power
and control of women, by men who often have sexual addictions, pretending that the
servicing of their own addictions is “tantra”.
In a perverse twisting of the power of the deep feminine Shakti, the ‘shakti circles’
indoctrination processes in Atman Federation of Yoga centres encourage women
to believe that complete suppression of the menstrual flow is positive.
Atman International Federation of Yoga (over twenty different countries
worldwide), also known as Tara Yoga (UK), Atman Yoga Federation
(Germany), Mahavidya Yoga (Austria), Natha Yoga (Scandinavia), and
in many places as Movement for Spiritual Integration into the Absolute
(MISA): Gregorian (Grieg) Bivolaru (b.1952)
The Atman International Federation of Yoga and Meditation is an organisation that
provides a basis for communication and cooperation between its many members all
over the world. All the yoga schools within the federation have the same curriculum
and the same so-called guru, Gregorian Bivolaru. He has been convicted of sex
crimes in his home state Romania and is currently evading the law in France.
Bivolaru has been granted political asylum by Sweden and is continuing to teach
“secret retreats’ to selected young women who have reported rape, sexual violence,
abuse and coercive incitement into filming pornographic materials. He and his teachers
worldwide use multiple techniques of harmful practices that exploit vulnerability
and cultivate obedience. Their camps and classes provide girls for trafficking to
the secret retreat house of Gregorian Bivolaru. Women from all over the world are
selected and invited to ‘a secret initiation’ with the guru.
Many of his enablers widely promote the image of him as a persecuted yogi, but
personal testimony from victims, plus reports of his convictions and international
activities provide compelling evidence that all the accusations are valid. Bivolaru
and all of the yoga organisations guided by him have been expelled from the
European Yoga Council of the European Yoga Alliance, and also from the European
Federation of Yoga for the European Union. President Shri Yogacharya Ajita says:
‘My official resolution is that Mihai Stoian, Grieg Bivolaru and all people linked
to the MISA/ATMAN FEDERATION organisation are immediately expelled from
our organisation and that we stop their membership, because it has been proven that
they are not busy with Yoga in whatever form, that they even use Yoga as a cover for
illegal practices, that they do not respect the rules and standards of our organisation,
that they show an unheard lack of moral integrity, and cannot be convinced to
change their attitude.”
The yoga schools go under many different names in different countries and
therefore they can be difficult to detect, e.g. Tara Yoga Centre (UK), Mahasiddha
Yoga (Thailand). Natha Yoga Centres (Scandinavia and Latvia), School of Yoga and
Tantra Satya (Russia). The organisation also runs ‘pop-up’ intensive trainings and
retreats in India, where I have heard reports of aggressive ‘recruitment’ amongst
young female travellers.

The leader of this organization is now finally arrested in France, but their worldwide activities continue as usual.

An excellent summary and advice from an exMisa student:

“The Misa/Atman/Natha/Tara/etc yoga scam cult explained.
The guru, Gregorian Bivolaru spend a lot of time in Romanian prisons and according to his own words: He learned all the tricks in prison to manipulate people.
They use yoga and tantra to attract students and tell them they are original teachings from India. But they are not original teachings at all. For example Misa stands for mission for integrating the self in the absolute, but they are the only spiritual tradition in the world that is explaining the absolute (God) in purely relative terms and by that not presenting a path to the absolute at all. For a good reason because a liberated student is no longer a follower and because of that liberation is the last thing they want student to do.
They slowly indoctrinate students over the years into a doctrine that has no relation to any eastern tradition path at all but only serving their own hidden dark fascist agenda with endless conspiracy theories. With that they are a classic cult: By creating an external enemy they make sure the followers bond together against the evil outside world and will never think of leaving the cult. They call this fraternity, but really it is just a fancy word for being sectarian.
To make sure followers never have time to think about these things they make sure they are always busy with endless karma yoga, never ending courses, more and more revelations, more and more initiations, more and more tapas, more and more support programs, more and more and more so quoting their guru: “you will never get bored”. But really a follower who is always busy and exhausted is much easier to control than a yogi who actually has time to self-reflect and self-inquire like a true yogi should be doing.
They are masters in spiritual bypassing making sure that there is always a divinely integrated reason for all the endless troubles of their followers and the organisation itself. If you doubt this then you are accused of having demonic influences. So just like with any conspiracy theorist there is no point arguing with their followers because any arguments against their organisation are twisted around and blamed on their evil enemies who are conspiring against them, the only true spiritual movement in the world. The troubles the followers experience themselves are always seen as spiritual lessons so they never think that their suffering is caused by the countless abuses of the organisation itself.
The guru has an endless appetite for girls and the special Shakti events and courses for women are specially constructed to make them submissive and brainwashed so they can be used for their sexual perversities and ultimately being send to their guru so he can suck their energies. The most disturbing ways women are being brainwashed is by endlessly watching violent porn and participate in women orgies where they have to drink each other’s urine. When you get used to that kind of stuff then drinking the urine of your guru is not that bad anymore.
Karma yoga is just another word for slave labour. Men have to work in construction, they are send all over Europe to get cash in hand jobs and give their hard earned money to the organisation, of course without ever paying tax. Women have to earn money by using their bodies: Strip clubs, sex video chats and tantra massages. Maybe strictly speaking not prostitution but practically it is. Where does all this cash go? They white wash it by buying properties and of course to pay the endless legal fees of all the court cases they are starting against anyone who dears to criticize them. The police found 200k euro when they arrested the guru, and that while the followers have to live in poverty in the so called ashrams.
Their followers are protecting their cult belief system by accusing anyone who has doubts, of being demonic. And if you are thinking to leave you are told this will be the end of your spiritual path and evil things will happen to you. So it is really only one choice: You are in or you are out. When you are leaving, their leaders will ask you to come to a debrief meeting for one last chance of brainwashing. But leaving the organisation after many years is not so easy because you were trained to be dependent on them and you have not learned any skills to survive in the evil outside world.
To summarize, this organisation is a classic cult with all the cult tricks and sexual abuses. Their guru will now spend the rest of his life in prison for rape and human trafficking, but their branches are still active like usual spreading their poison in the world. Be careful whenever you join a spiritual organisation, true spirituality will set you free and will make you self-responsible by giving you all the tools to be independent. When an organisation wants you to be dependent on them then run far away!”

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.