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Are you interested in my POV?

March 6, 2013

I received this mail recently and am posting it as it is, to share the insightful view point.

Subject: Are you interested in my POV?

Dear Blogger: By way  of introduction: I began studying with Desikachar at J. Krishnamurti’s insistence. From 1967 to 1973 I studied one on one. I knew Krishnamachary and Meneka. I left Yoga teaching in the late 70’s primarily because I found it was inadequate for addressing the one dimension of Yoga most needed especially by Western students. I am aware this view is not well understood and may even be meet with hostility. Never the less here is a little of what I have to say on the broader subject of sexual exploitation in Yoga and or Guru circumstance.

I will start with what I have come to think is the heart of what is missing in modern Yoga practice. What is sorely missing from the Yoga world is a basic education in psychology. The only psychology worth learning is sacred psychology and that is the archetypal. The oldest one is Astrology, while the youngest or should I say most recent discovery and IMO the most useful, is the Enneagram. There is a prejudice that if, whatever the subject, is not covered in the Yoga Sutras (I did them in Sanskrit with Desikachar) we don’t need to cover it. I have been exposed to a counter argument that the “teaching must be contemporary” this given to me by both Krishnamurtis. I have found this to be far more true and operative in my ‘practice’ than the traditional view. I left Yoga teaching because the issues presented by my students were beyond my ability to address and it felt inauthentic to pretend that my training was adequate for the task.

Modern Westerners have a unique set of psychological challenges which no amount of asana and pranyama can effect. And when allowed to go unaddressed will in all likely hood surface as the ‘shadow’.
No amount of Hatha Yoga practice will heal or change what is essentially a psychological issue. Yoga has four dimensions. Physical, emotional or psychic, mental and spiritual. The psychic is best understood as ‘the feeling principle’ and in our patriarchy dominated world the most problematic and the one least served by modern forms of Yoga. It should come as no surprise that we continue to see this shameful display by Yoga teachers praying upon their female students. Nothing in the training of teachers especially those from India prepares them for confronting the shadow side of their sexuality. The answer does not lie in the past or Eastern scriptures but in self-knowledge and a foundation in archetypal psychology.

Douglas Rosestone


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  1. allise rhode permalink

    This is an odd note.
    People are people.
    Modern Westerners? Hmmm. The liberal democrats of the Los Angeles area?

  2. Honey permalink

    OK, allowing for some not very clear expression here… I still get Douglas’s point. Krishnamacharya was a very strong practitioner of jyotish, a partly predictive science of course, but also useful for ayurvedic remedy purposes, and also not incidentally, personality of student. Very important context that has been lost in our tradition & I’m not sure why. But we need this context back. Even the awareness of the “graha” (planets, and how we can get “seized” by their influence unless prepared ahead of time.

  3. allise rhode permalink

    Well, perhaps K. Desikachar saw a few women whose personalities needed penetrating?
    And since Saturn was rising, then he should proceed with the remedy?

    Personally, I think Yoga is a stand alone set of knowledge that can deal quite fully with the personality of each unique individual. I’m using the term Yoga in the broadest sense.

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