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Practice And All Is Coming: Abuse, Cult Dynamics, And Healing In Yoga And Beyond Paperback – Illustrated, 14 March 2019
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- Publisher : Embodied Wisdom Publishing; Illustrated edition (14 March 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 366 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0473472074
- ISBN-13 : 978-0473472078
- Dimensions : 15.24 x 1.93 x 22.86 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 51,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Amongst the responses to the revelations of sexual abuse that have marred a number of yoga communities, Practice and All Is Coming is unparalleled. Of immense value to both practitioners and academics, the
text centers the voices of the female victims of serial abuser Pattabhi Jois and illuminates the wider psychoanalytic and structural conditions that enabled such abuse. Practitioners will be gifted a demystification of transnational yoga and a way to both understand and prevent the toxic dynamics that have produced abuse. Academics will find a strong case for the utility--and even ethical necessity--for bringing cultic studies back into the field of New Religious Movements. With this ambitious and well-executed text, Remski has established himself as one of the most perspicacious and important scholar-practitioners of contemporary transnational yoga.
Ann Gleig, Associate Professor of Religion and Cultural Studies,
University of Central Florida.
This is a horrifying and necessary tale that ... yoga practitioners and teachers need to know and reckon with. Jois and Ashtanga had a significant influence on what yoga is today in the U.S. and worldwide--from the ethics practices of teachers, to the way we pedestal (and isolate) teachers, to assists, to studio culture. This centers Ashtanga yoga, but as Remski suggests, it is relevant to every yoga lineage, and of course we know that it's culture-wide. Remski recognizes the qualities of isolation, lack of agency, victim-blaming, and silencing present in these survivors' accounts as implicit in rape culture. The responsibility therefore extends beyond the "perpetrators", and falls on all of our shoulders as bystanders and participants in "yoga community". We need to face and discuss this history and that of any harm in order to move into the true promise of living out yogic teachings-- armlessness, integrity, generosity, non-attachment, and the wise use of sexual energies.
Jacoby Ballard, Yoga Teacher and Social Justice Educator
Starting with the first principle of yoga which is non-harming (ahimsa), and applying the clear seeing of meditation (dhyana), Remski offers us a framework for understanding how confusion and messiness around lineage and power has led to so much pain and suffering inside the world of yoga. This is also a guidebook in the yogic principle of self-study (svadyaya) helping us all look honestly at ourselves and our community. I am so grateful that finally, Remski offers us a way forward--with both practical means and inspiration - to remind us that yoga is a living practice and in the end, always about relationship.
Cyndi Lee, author of Yoga Body, Buddha Mind
Thank you Matthew Remski and the courageous women who have stepped forward to offer this pivotal work. Practice and All is Coming is a service to humanity, to the yoga world at-large, to long-time practitioners
and future generations so that we can evolve into cultivating a safe space that all beings deserve. This incredibly thorough, sensitive and somatically sophisticated work is ESSENTIAL to the evolution of yoga for the maturity to unpack the shadow of abuse, body-image distortion and power-dynamics effecting many without conscious
awareness of these undercurrents, while also recommending best practices and a PRISM method to move forward so that we may work towards ending abuse of all forms and transforming dominance-structures so that all beings are respected, safe and empowered in their journey of embodiment.
Shiva Rea, author of Tending the Heart Fire
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Top reviews from other countries
I’ve always known this story needed to be told. It’s been a dark cloud hanging over the community. After decades of silence, I am very happy these women’s voices are finally being heard.
Many Ashtanga practitioners will completely dismiss this book, not only because denial runs deep but also because of the intensity and fervor with which Remski targeted some in the community over the past few years. His ‘research’ felt personal, predatory and vengeful. He seemed to relish getting into word wars with community members who were clearly confused and suffering. Instead of building bridges in order to help facilitate healing he created more and more divisions. Remski is not unbiased, he’s not a journalist. In his transcript, I felt Remski asked leading questions of the survivor. As a reader it felt manipulative. He quotes anonymous sources, (an anonymous victim that was assaulted somewhere in Mysore by an anonymous teacher of European descent). He gives far too much credit to speculative thought (PJ added a posture in primary series in order to have more access to sexually assault women). He repeatedly refers to his own traumatic experience with cults. Ok, but this is something he can simply include in an introduction and leave it there. Instead he can’t help but make himself part of the story. I want him to get out of the way and let the women speak. Seems he's desperately trying to lick his own wounds from being manipulated by cults. My favorite, the conspiratorial claims; “collusion” by Yoga Journal because they decided not to publish a sexual abuse article he edited. Lastly, the book lacks proper structure and organization with some real slumber inducing bits.
And yet, despite its flaws, this book provides a sort of cliff notes of the abuse and coverup. I’m grateful the survivors experiences are in print and I’m especially grateful they found an ally to pull their voices out of the shadows. I hope all Ashtanga practitioners at least read the survivors stories, which have been suppressed for years. Their experiences are a history of Ashtanga Yoga that can no longer be ignored or mythologized away. This is one of many truths behind the myth and legend of Sri K Pattabhi Jois and the community that enabled and protected him for decades.
Is this book easy to read? No. But that doesn't also mean it isn't important to read. As someone who has been teaching Yoga for nearly 15 years and a student of yoga for 20....I have witnessed and been a victim of abuse from teachers who have a perverted sense of power and privilege because they are empowered from the community that surrounds them. This book takes on, and will hopefully aid in taking down, one of the largest schools of Yoga that has been a source of some of the most heinous abuse--sexual, emotional and physical.
I am so grateful for Matthew's courage--I cannot imagine this stand will be popular with loyalists or those who don't want to "rock the boat". I say--to hell with that. Put it all in the light so people have the information they need--then let them decide. This book is a must read for any serious student or teacher of Yoga.