Survivor’s Courage

Bikram Choudry, owner of the copyrighted “Bikram Yoga” schools worldwide, famous for literally standing *on* his students and charging 13k for teacher trainings, has now been accused of rape by two former students and teachers-to-be.

Their accounts of the experiences leading up to, during and following the alleged crime will make your hair stand on edge.

When you experience a crushing trauma, sexual or otherwise, the last thing you feel like doing is discussing it in public.  The fetal position is a helluva lot more natural than walking up to the stand in a courthouse, and testifying to a room full of people against your perpetrator.  Thankfully, a handful of women have found the strength and support necessary to do just that.

We all knew Bikram was a bit of a madman.  But if what these women state is true, Bikram is certifiably insane.

Is it shocking?  Yes.  Is it surprising?  No.

The rigidity of Bikram’s approach to physical practice is on the extreme end of the spectrum.  I might be vastly overgeneralizing here, but with militant structure and “God-like” control, it’s only natural for unhealthy kinks to develop.  Hide desire in the dark long enough, and monsters are sure to emerge.  And I hate to say it, but when that over-powered ego-maniac is a man, inappropriate sexual acts often follow (us women tend to over-exert power in other ways).

But this entry isn’t about Bikram-the-accused-rapist.  He’s gotten enough attention through his pathetic need to be in the spotlight, pretending to be a guru (since body-building didn’t work out so well) and catering to the rich and famous.

This is about the courage it took for those women to step up and make public an atrocity they were forced to experience in private.  The experience will always be in the nether regions of their minds, but rather than simmering in their own pain, shame, indignation, and whatever other emotions may have arisen, they chose to rise up out of it all.

I stand with them in solidarity.

Shedding light on this dark nasty mess required enormous selflessness.  And may finally put an end to what sounds like an absolute tyranny, a global disease that spread under the guise of *yoga* – of all things.

These aren’t just survivors I’m grateful for today – they’re heroes.  Genuine heroes of humanity, who rose from the ashes and picked up the pieces from their own destruction to light a fire of truth.  They are, in effect, preventing this from happening again, at least in the context of the sweat-peddling meglomania of one infinitely hollow soul.

That is, if what they say is true.  Technically, these claims are still considered “allegations.”  Honestly, I don’t even know if it’s legal for me to be publicly pondering these issues . . .

But I am grateful for the subject coming to the public sphere, thanks to these brave Jane Does.  The more dialogue is fostered around the subject of rape, the more understanding we have of its root causes, and the better equipped we are to prevent it.

To read an official report on the case, the Metro published the story their morning edition.


2 thoughts on “Survivor’s Courage”

  1. Beautiful commentary, Jo. Rape, sexual abuse/harassment, and other crimes against women are far too accepted in our society and need to be addressed and ultimately purged, and I applaud those brave women as well.

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