Since October, when news broke about Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s years of committing sexual abuse, similar allegations have emerged about many men in Hollywood, politics, media, and beyond. Rachel Brathen, who is best known on the internet as “Yoga Girl,” joined the chorus of women sharing #MeToo stories on social media a few weeks ago. And, in light of the the overwhelming number of responses she received, Brathen released a podcast episode that discusses assault in a space so many women have come to consider safe and sacred: the wellness world.
Do you have a #MeToo story from the yoga world that you would like to share? EMAIL ME! Since my posts yesterday I’ve been flooded with DMs from people sharing their own experiences having been taken advantage of and sexually harassed by men in a place of power within the yoga industry. Have a story of your own? Email: [email protected] subject line ME TOO🔥 You can be anonymous and I won’t share anyone’s name unless you want me to. If I get enough credible stories (accumulating so many about the same men right now as is) I’ll share it as a public blog. So many other industries are outing predators – why is the yoga world so silent?? As of now I have several accounts of harassment, abuse of power and even rape involving two very famous yoga photographers, a festival founder, two yoga apparel brand owners and several well-known yoga teachers. There is something about this being prevalent in the yoga community that makes me feel even worse about it – there is trust here. Or there is supposed to be. One of the teachers I’ve received several messages about is accused of sexually abusing a 15-year old girl during a yoga teacher training. I could vomit… But I’m too fucking angry. BRING ON THE STORIES! You can be fully anonymous and I’ll protect your name. [email protected] (I’m getting too many DMs so pls email). x #metoo #yoga #retribution #revolution 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼 (oh and this picture has nothing to do with the caption – I just feel fierce AF)❤️
“Since my posts yesterday, I’ve been flooded with DMs from people sharing their own experiences having been taken advantage of and sexually harassed by men in a place of power within the yoga industry,” Brathen shared on Instagram recently. “So many other industries are outing predators—why is the yoga world so silent?”
After encouraging followers to share their yoga-specific stories, Brathen said she received several accounts of harassment, abuse of power, and even rape involving two well-known yoga photographers, a festival founder, two yoga apparel brand owners, and several well-known instructors. “There is something about this being prevalent in the yoga community that makes me feel even worse about it,” she wrote on Instagram. “There is trust here. Or there is supposed to be.”
“So many other industries are outing predators—why is the yoga world so silent?” —Rachel Brathen, Yoga Girl
Last week, following her powerful Instagram posts that garnered a large response, Brathen released a #MeToo-specific episode of her popular podcast, From the Heart: Conversations with Yoga Girl, in which she shared more of her own stories, including the time a Kundalini instructor asked to give her a massage. “It didn’t even occur to me to think it wasn’t 100 percent amazing because I trusted so much,” she said. “In the beginning it felt kind of normal, and I was just very grateful and felt really excited that I was gonna get this energy and bodywork from this big Kundalini teacher.” But as it progressed, Brathen says, he began touching her breasts, and eventually her vagina. “Trust me, if it’s a spiritual experience, you feel good,” she says. “This just was not.”
Now, Brathen is encouraging women to reach out (anonymously or not) to help put an end to the abuse she helped to uncover within the wellness world. “I really believe that by sharing these stories, we are all contributing to making a change,” Brathen said.