Today was a day filled with emotion. That is not a complaint, simply an observation. The emotions have been strong and somewhat conflicting. I would be amiss to not share that I am deeply disturbed and frustrated and I have anger towards Bikram for what he has done. At the exact same time I am deeply thankful for the yoga that he brought to the west and for it’s presence in my life. I am holding both of these emotions right now, and working on letting go of what does not serve me.
While at the grocery store this evening I ran into my beautiful artist friend Janine – she is the artist who painted the large Ganesha piece that is hanging over the desk in the reception area of our yoga studio. The huge hugs and smiles and the sharing, oh how wonderful to see her! It’s been too long. I was heading to Thrifty Foods, but then remembered that they are no longer local, and decided to head to Country Grocer instead, I am so thankful I did! She shared and I shared and she had just come directly from a yoga class at Bikram Yoga Saanich. So we talked all about how blessed it is to have this yoga, particularly in times of stress. And of course I know that it is a blessing to so many people! That can not be denied. It is so interested too that we find ourselves in a situation where the very person that brought this blessing to us is messing up his own life so badly, not to mention the damage he has done to other people’s lives, trusting students, his family, all of his followers and of course the brand that he (and the rest of us) has worked so hard to build. Regardless of it all, we are moving forward with the task of of rebranding and we were already in this process, so now it’s the sooner the better. We thought about re-branding when we moved the studio in the Fall of 2014, but it seemed like too much change all at once.
What it comes to now for me is this: there is no point in talking about Bikram. He is a man, that is all. All of the people whom he has wronged have been adults, thankfully. It is all wrong, truth – but I will not put him into the same category as child molesters. And he will suffer the consequences of his actions. However – and this is where I stand – his students and people like myself and my beautiful teacher friends (and let’s face it there are so many) who shine brightly and radiate love and goodness – all of those people are not to blame and are in no way accountable for his actions. I will not take it on, and that feels empowering. What I can do is plan for the future for myself, my family and my yoga community. I can continue what I have started in terms of re-branding and move forward with that. I can continue to feel damn good about what myself, my husband and my team at the yoga studio do every single day. There are thousands of amazing people that practice and teach bikram method yoga, and they deserve respect and I can uphold that and stand for that.
On a lighter note, I had a lovely yoga class and have an evening to have kale spaghetti, read my book and cuddle by the fire with my true love, and it does not get much better than that. It feels like Sunday, and I have always had a special place in my heart for Sunday.