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KHYF Therapy program – Statement (part 2)

October 22, 2012

This statement is from a few weeks back. The public statement was apparently mailed to interested people.

There is another part to this mail and I am considering if that should be posted too. It details in more details what events happened over a few days in Piesendorf.

Cover letter to those who have concerns about the events in Piesendorf, Austria during Module 4 of the KHYF Yoga Therapy Training, September 2012.

As an elected committee, we are engaged in supporting the whole batch as we go through this difficult period. Our primary concerns are to express the strong feelings of the batch and to obtain compensation for the women directly affected and others, who have already resigned from the training and KHYF. The remaining members are considering their position but may also resign if our conditions for continuing are not met. Our recent letter has been sent to KHYF and KYM and to our Batch members and it is copied below.

As regards the group of women who have suffered abuse directly, we can give you a statement of facts (see also below) as we witnessed them. As a committee, we feel that we do not wish to “hold! personal statements from the women because there will be the delicate issue of who would be allowed access to them. We feel that the decision of disclosure is personal to each woman and should rest with her. The women themselves can add whatever they wish to our statement. We suggest that you ask them how they wish you to proceed. They are beginning to organise themselves, encouraging others from around the world who may wish to join them. They may want to group together and defend their interests as a group of directly abused people and they may also want to assist and provide support to others that have gone through the same. The committee feels this kind of action is adequate to support and defend those affected directly with abuse. The committee will support any of the members of the group in any possible way within the responsibilities of the committee.

We think that it is important to suggest to any woman who has a case and is making it public, or any other woman that has not yet made it public but has the slightest feeling that she has been abused, that she seek professional advice from a psychologist who is experienced in abusive behaviour, ideally not connected to yoga. This could be very valuable, for the sake of the women!s own health and healing.

We feel strongly that it is the responsibility of KHYF/KYM senior teachers and mentors to take care of the helping and healing. We encourage all KHYF members to contact their mentors and senior teachers asking them to provide help for all those affected over the past years. Senior teachers could take their responsibility seriously and reassure their students that, if they have felt abused or manipulated, there is help available. Mentors/ teachers could offer their time for discussions about how KHYF can move forward.

We, the committee, feels that we were all manipulated. We could have seen which were funny jokes and which was harassment. This harassment was not only sexual, but had religious, ethnic, personal and family connotations, etc. The committee feels that it would be interesting to reflect on our reasons for overlooking this harassment and not coming forward to stop it or to be openly against it. This is only for us to reflect on, not to bring blame to anyone, but to avoid future situations like this coming from us or from others.
We are aware that some senior teachers, including Shridharan, knew about this in the past and we assume that they were blinded in their desire to protect the teachings. We now know that this is not a wise way to act.

As a committee we feel that it is very important to employ our skills and time to make sure the KHYF/KYM see the situation appropriately and take strong and clear steps to move forward from the dark place it is in at the moment. The result of these actions may be the unravelling or even demise of KHYF as we have known it.

With best wishes from the Batch representative committee, rc@yogacikitsa.org

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