Subtitle: Are you effing kidding us?
After the ‘How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body’ debacle we cut author William J. Broad a break. Heck it wasn’t his fault the New York Times went for the shock value, and some reviews of his book actually made it sound worth reading. But his latest article on yoga and sex scandals, basically Broad’s response to the latest John Friend/Anusaragate, confirms that WJB is just as annoying in his delivery about sexifying yoga as he is about it wrecking your body. In fact, it’s idiotic.
Let us tell you why.
For instance, the title: ‘Yoga and Sex Scandals: No Surprise Here’
Oh do tell, Mr. Broad, why yoga and sex scandals are so closely related.
But this is hardly the first time that yoga’s enlightened facade has been cracked by sexual scandal. Why does yoga produce so many philanderers? And why do the resulting uproars leave so many people shocked and distraught?
Read those questions again and for the word yoga, insert any of the following: business, politics, ego-tripping, narcissism, sociopathic tendencies, money, greed, power. In this, yoga is not so unique.
One factor is ignorance. Yoga teachers and how-to books seldom mention that the discipline began as a sex cult — an omission that leaves many practitioners open to libidinal surprise.
And because yoga is said to have come from Tantra then it’s all about sex right? And with sex comes scandals, obviously! Boy we yogis are so naive. Because, honestly, having male and female genitals and practices that sometimes engage these parts must mean we are all sex-crazed nymphos. Similarly how Al Gore’s Information Superhighway is still just “an engine for both economic growth and the improvement of our educational system” not a place for incessant status updates, gossip mongering, pinterest postings and impossibly cute puppy videos?
While we’re not Tantra scholars, we’re pretty sure it’s not all about sex. Other practices said to have stemmed from Tantra? Buddhism and Hinduism. So we invite you to take that up with Rajan Zed and just about every Budddhist monk. [ed note: Tantra scholar (who also has a new book) Christopher Wallis addresses “Factual Errors” in NY Times Article]
The rest of the article goes into further detail of yoga and sex connection and its famous philanderers – Swami Muktananda (1908-82), Swami Rama (1925-96), Swami Satchidananda (1914-2002) (and dared to leave out the controversy-riddled Osho?) and closes with this abominable statement regarding the outrage and disappointment from the community over John Friend:
But perhaps — if students and teachers knew more about what Hatha can do, and what it was designed to do — they would find themselves less prone to surprise and unyogalike distress.
We’re not arguing that there haven’t been guru scandals in the past (“Sexy Sadie” anyone?) or that yoga can’t help improve the sexual experience. But for crying out loud, Broad, are you really saying John Friend behaved the way he did because he had a predetermined predisposition to do so due to the fact he was a leader of yoga? That is silly and just plain dumb.
We’ll remember to tell that to the veterans who are able to sleep better at night, the kids who can focus better in school, those prone to heart disease who lost weight and lowered risk of heart attack and stroke and the cancer survivors who’ve found strength, calm and community all due to the help of a regular yoga and meditation practice.
Saying it’s yoga’s fault doesn’t seem like the answer.
We don’t discredit Mr. Broad’s scientific researching abilities, but we have a suggestion. Go back to writing the science of nuclear war and atomic bombs and step away from trying to speak for all of yoga. We sex fiends will continue our journey to better O’s and Ohms without you sprogging all over it.