So, as you know, we do not take this stuff lightly.
Unfortunately the yoga world is served yet another scandal, this time involving Kausthub Desikachar, who also happens to be the grandson of Sri T. Krishnamacharya and son of TKV Desikachar (yes, that Krishnamacharya and that TKV Desikachar). An official announcement from the Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation arrived via email September 22 informing the mailing list that due to “varying allegations of sexual, mental and emotional abuse against Dr. Kausthub Desikachar” he would be stepping down from both the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram and the Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation worldwide.
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The North American arm of KHYF also released an email shedding more light on the accusations:
Dear KHYF-NA Members,
As KHYF Teacher Trainers and long term direct students of Mr. T.K.V. Desikachar, we feel a responsibility to address the situation that has recently occurred in Europe involving Kausthub’s behavior with female students.
Last Friday, four women from the European KHYF Yoga Therapist Training filed formal complaints with the police in Austria accusing Kausthub of sexual, mental and emotional abuse. The allegations include the misuse of his position as a yoga mentor by utilizing his knowledge of personal histories of sexual and emotional trauma in an attempt to initiate sexual relations.
This behavior has not only hurt those who trusted him, but has also betrayed the good will and confidence placed in him by the organization and all of his colleagues.
Kausthub is not denying these accusations and has cancelled his current teaching schedule in order to return to Chennai.
This is a very serious breech of trust and we are advocating that he immediately stop all teaching, step down from the KYM, KHYF and all other advisory positions he holds, and seek the qualified, long-term professional help that he needs. This has been communicated to Kausthub and we await his response.
Please remember that there is a tremendous difference between the teachings and the teacher, and we are committed to doing all we can to clarify this distinction.
With best regards,
Sonia Nelson, Chase Bossart, Kate Holcombe and Dolphi Wertenbaker
As well as the UK branch, which also expresses that KD acknowledges wrongdoing and is seeking help:
We’ve been contacted by several people wondering why this hasn’t been public news and why those who have witnessed this behavior have not come forth to share their stories. Though we have word that some are surfacing.
Unfortunately, complaints from students in the form of letters and protests to KHYF date back to 2007 and 2009, which means it’s taken all this time for the organization to recognize this as a serious issue.
More on the story as it develops.