This PodCourse is the first in a series entitled, Spiritual Abuse in Modern Yoga taught by Amelia Wood, PhD Candidate at SOAS University of London. This PodCourse is 100% pre-recorded and the course material can be accessed at anytime, from anywhere. This PodCourse focuses specifically on ‘Modern Yoga’ and is divided into three modules:
Module 1: Definitions and Framings
Module 2: Discourse
Module 3: Resisting Injustice
Each module includes:
This programme will take place on the YSO website (the online study platform within SOAS University of London). By submitting payment for this PodCourse, your application will be processed by SOAS University of London administration. Access details will be sent to you once enrolment administration is complete.
A Certificate of Completion will be provided to those that successfully pass all of the assessment material in the PodCourse.
In this PodCourse Amelia will offer, and critique, definitions of “Spiritual Abuse”. There will be space to consider how such definitions relate, and are relevant, to the context of modern transnational yoga. The parameters of modern yoga will be defined and we will examine why it is important to understand instances and allegations of abuses of power in yoga communities as Spiritual Abuse – what does such a definition include and exclude? We will critically examine the discourse(s) that frame instances of abuse to consider how perpetrators are protected whilst victims are silenced. We will do this by looking at the ways in which the media, academia and wider institutions have responded to allegations – what can Spiritual Abuse and feminist frameworks offer in light of such responses? We will examine how hermeneutic injustice and racist stereotypes have been replicated within the discourse and how we, as members of the wider yoga community, can resist such injustice and allow our increased understanding to prevent further harm.
Each module topic will be supported with case studies as evidence to give students an idea of the wide spread and varied nature of abuse within yoga communities. Case studies will include the lawsuits brought against Bikram Choudhury and Bikram Yoga from 2013 onwards; testimonies from former members of the Satyananda Yoga Mangrove Mountain Ashram, recorded by the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse from 2013-17; a 2016 lawsuit brought against Jivamukti Yoga and allegations beyond these named organisations.
Content warnings will be given when talking about specific case studies, when necessary.
After taking this course you will: