Unprofessional Conduct and Toxic Environment: My Traumatic Yoga Journey

Dear fellow members of the Yoga Community,

I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to share a personal experience I had with a yoga teacher and seek your support and guidance. I believe that sharing my story can contribute to a deeper understanding of the importance of respectful and ethical conduct within our yoga community.

Last year, I enrolled in a yoga teacher training course led by a teacher who owned the studio where the training took place. Throughout the course, I encountered several instances of behavior that deeply troubled me and caused significant distress. I felt compelled to speak up and share my experience to create awareness and potentially prevent others from going through similar situations.

One aspect of the teacher's behavior was the use of sexual positions during class, which made me feel uncomfortable and disrespected. Additionally, there were instances where the teacher publicly belittled and demeaned students, including myself, creating an environment that was neither supportive nor conducive to personal growth. It was particularly challenging for me as I struggle with anxiety when speaking in public. It seemed that his goal was to make students give up, as they had signed a contract committing to pay for the course until the end.

Furthermore, I discovered that the certificate I would receive at the end of the course would not becertified by the Yoga Alliance, which was disappointing and misleading. This revelation further heightened my concerns about the integrity and professionalism of the training.

In addition to these issues, the teacher frequently made xenophobic comments about people from my country. Such remarks were hurtful, went against the principles of inclusivity, and created an unwelcoming environment

Additionally, we were required to sign a contract stating that if we disclosed any information about the course, we would be liable to pay four times the value of the course. This provision seemed excessive, inhibiting open communication and transparency. It further raised concerns about the nature and integrity of the training program.

Furthermore, the teacher exhibited unprofessional conduct by evading tax payments and refusing to provide receipts. This behavior raises serious ethical questions about the teacher's overall integrity and professionalism.

Moreover, I felt personally targeted and uncomfortable with the teacher's advances and comments. As a married individual, I had no interest in engaging in discussions about monogamy or entertaining flirtatious behavior. Such actions were inappropriate and created a highly uncomfortable learning environment.

I realized that this teacher wanted something more from me. He didn't respect the fact that I was married and would indirectly flirt without giving me a chance to address it. As I didn't encourage these advances, he completely changed his behavior towards me. Initially, he treated me very well and gave me a lot of attention, to the point of causing jealousy among the other students. But once he realized he wouldn't get anything from me, he started treating me very poorly, though never directly. He also began manipulating all the students, except for one, who also started treating me badly, almost like bullying. The environment became so unpleasant for me that I would have panic attacks on the way to the school, and I was constantly told that everything I felt was just in my head.

I would like to know if anyone is familiar with this teaching method used by this teacher because I am still traumatized by everything I experienced. It's terrible to remember everyone laughing at me and treating me as if I had no value or could contribute in any way to the group. I felt like I wasn't welcome there.

I am reaching out to you to share my story and seek support and guidance.I wanted to hear from others who may have had similar experiences or can provide insight on how to address this situation in the most effective and respectful manner.

Your thoughts, experiences, and advice would be greatly appreciated. I believe in the power of collective wisdom and the importance of creating a safe and respectful environment within our yoga community.

Thank you for taking the time to read my message. I look forward to your input and support.

With gratitude,