Krishna Pattahbi Jois, the late founder of Ashtanga yoga, was accused of sexual assault Tuesday in a lengthy Medium post, written by a woman who studied with the worshipped practitioner for two years in the mid 1990s. While she practiced with Jois in Mysore, India, the woman claims, the guru frequently dry-humped, groped, and digitally raped her and other women. “For me, the most frequent and dehumanizing form of assault was when he placed his penis against my genitals and moved his pelvis rhythmically, while I held my body still in various yoga poses,” she wrote, above a photo of Jois straddling a young woman.
She added that “I am now taking a more radical step of reclamation by sharing the images that have haunted me for more than 20 years.” She noted that she didn’t speak up when the assaults allegedly occurred because she was afraid of being ostracized from the yoga community—but that eventually, she was so traumatized from continually seeing photos of Jois, who died in 2009, that she stopped teaching and practicing yoga. “I consented to publishing these images in part because they are evidence of Pattabhi Jois abusing me, but also because he should be remembered this way: He was not just the smiling guru on the yoga altar,” she wrote. “He was also a man who violated women in full view of other people.”