Hot Sex for Real Yogis: Can I have sex with my yoga teacher?

{Photo: Cameron Shayne}

{Photo: Cameron Shayne}

I have a confession.

As a single male yoga teacher, I have had on more than one occasion engaged in deep and meaningful intimate relationships with a woman I have met either in my class, workshops or in the yoga community. These relationships for many people would be perceived as a teacher/student relationship.

In all fairness and in order to uphold the standards of non-fiction, those decisions have not always produced what I would call, my desired outcome.

Two of these women became long term partners, many of them remained close friends, a few would make for a Woody Allen tragedy, and one an episode of that guy who made a show out of people screaming at one another. I refuse to acknowledge that as if it were a contribution.

Does my sexual history sound that different from your own, or like a George Jones song, or a little of both? Regardless, the question remains:

Should we as Yoga teachers, and others as yoga students, be restricted or limited regarding our sexual partnerships in order to accommodate the beliefs of others?

In this article I will offer the possibility that policy made for the marginal few further weakens the capable, by encouraging less critical thinking. This in turn robs people of the opportunity to establish their own code of ethics, rather than obeying social law and/or policy. After all, beliefs handed down or imposed rather than learned through practical experience are dogmatic at their core and lack sustainability.

What is further relevant is that free thinking, and mistake-making are essential to the human experience. Therefore you cannot have sex with the wrong person — only a person that provides you with another intrinsic part of the whole that becomes your story.


All people seek. 

All people, at some point or another, seek outside of themselves for guidance spiritually, intellectually, and/or artistically. At some point all people must surrender, yield to, grant or transfer certain controls and decisions to other people in their lives.

People become teachers, authoritarians, employers, or guides for each other throughout their entire lives. Therefore, there is never a true balance of socialized authority outside of that which each person is responsible for and must create within themselves.

In other words, I grant you authority over me, and by doing so, I demonstrate a conscious and competent ability to exercise my own authority.

Further, I believe it is necessary to relinquish authority, and or power, in order to co-create and co-occupy a space for learning. Someone must concede power to the other, in some way shape or form, in order to become the student, employee or underling of the other.

No consenting adult is without choice in this matter, so the transfer of power, is in and of itself a show of power.


Corruption of ethics. 

If sex and/or intimacy occurs in the leaning environment: i.e. teacher and student, it does not indicate an intrinsic corruption of ethics, at least not mine.

If the argument were to be made that this is a breach of a shared social ethic, I would inquire as to which one? Would it be that any person who ever has any level of authority over us is forbidden from our intimate sphere, or them from ours? Would this be any person who we have surrendered our trust to, or become vulnerable to, or handed over our best interests to?

One might argue that this invisible rule is specific to spiritual teachers and authoritarians. And I would inquire as to how one determines that they are more or less vulnerable than any other position of power?

After all, an employer who has a direct affect on a person’s paycheck would be as capable of manipulation as someone who is older and more experienced, or any person who has a perceived control over a person’s spiritual journey. In reality, any person can argue that they have been subjected to some level of pressure, manipulation or victimization by someone who they have deferred power to.

And in fact these moments do occur, and people are met with corrupted leadership, teachers and employers. This however does not demonstrate the need to implement blanket ethical, social or moral policy that robs the individual of the right to choose what is best for himself or herself in each unique situation.


The guru is dead. 

Why do we place such responsibility in the hands of a teacher, or guru, or master? Who do you think we are other than a refracted image of ourselves, of our own knowledge, of our own truth? There is nothing special about me, or you, or us. For something to become special something else must take on the quality of ordinary. For something to become brilliant, something else must become dull.

And there is nothing ordinary or dull about any of this. Every person, place and thing is enormous and full. We are blind and dulled by our attachment to the unreal, and for that we suffer. We suffer by being disappointed, and by doing so, we become the victims. We suffer by punishing rather than pursuing our own pain.

We are addicted to the illusion that the unreal is real and with that comes meaning assigned to every moment. Meaning represents order and purpose. Further self-supported evidence that the unreal is in fact real.

This act of seeking outside one’s self for answers is the folly. Not the guru or the teacher. I am suggesting that to seek outside of your own experience, intelligence and intuition for answers is further illusion.

If Buddha himself could sit under a tree, explore his own suffering, and find himself as ultimate guru, why are we still looking for anyone to light the way outside of ourselves?

Most normal humans share the same mental, emotional and spiritual capacity to critically think, grow and become free. Your intuitive process is as capable as any others. I propose the fundamental difference between Buddha and those who depend on Buddha as a spiritual deity, is the motivation to confront pain and self discipline to carry on the work once that pain has been identified.

Buddha simply can’t help you clean up your shit in any other way than sharing his own experience of cleaning up his own shit. No one can do the work for you. Let no object outside of yourself be more intriguing than the self. Then there is no attachment to whether those objects come or go, or how long they last.

Over the years I have witnessed many lineage monks, long bearded masters, hugging mothers and exotic swamis. Yet none have impressed me more or less than the sweet elderly ladies that volunteered at the soup kitchen at my southern baptist church.

One of the great spiritual masters that walks the earth today, the Dalai Lama, candidly discusses his battle with attachment to his own wrist watch that he loves dearly. He’s one of the realest seekers I have observed, and he’s trying to figure it out just like the rest of us.

Some would argue that the guru is capable, just by his very presence, of helping a student transcend ignorance and quantum leap into an enlightened state. I would point out the ironic nature of this idea. I think we would all love to skip over the developmental effort it takes to fuck up, fix our mess, and do it all over again.

But how could we walk on legs that we did not earn? And for how long and far could they carry us if they were not in fact our own?

Sustaining an earned realized state for even one minute is difficult. The last thing needed is to try and balance that task on the feet of the inexperienced and unpracticed. Mistakes and pain a developmental necessities. Personal suffering is good and necessary. I highly recommend it.


There are no victims. 

Why do people place teachers in positions of absolute authority and thereby surrender their own good judgement and common sense? The answer, I propose, is simple. People prefer the effortless acquisition of other people’s truth, over the experience of earning their own.

This issue of vulnerable idealistic adult students being taken advantage of by egomaniacal male teachers for me is like the war on drugs: another completely corrupted strategy designed to deal with the symptom rather than the disease.

The guru/students manipulation — like cocaine — is the symptom of a larger problem; the student’s lack of self worth, identify and voice. Clearly the corrupted guru is a problem, but the student, like the user, is the real disease.

This desperate effort to replace an absent father, or experience a feeling of wholeness, or fill some void are the root cause, not the guru. And sadly these women were going to fall prey to some man whether he showed up as the out-of-work freeloading boyfriend, the white-bearded chanting sage, the manipulating boss, or the latest yoga celebrity.

This projection of responsibility onto the teaching community to think for their students is only dumbing down the students and furthering them from being self-realized. I will not further dull-down the already diminishing intellectual reputation of the yoga community by suggesting that we need to be regulated.


Why do teachers sexually misbehave?

Because they finally can. The majority of all yoga sex scandals involve one or more desperate devotes and a teacher who figures out, maybe for the first time in his or her hopelessly hip-less life, that they can get laid.

After all, most of these men and women  are conventionally unattractive, socially uncool, religious oriented geeks, and always have been. I would go as far to say that I have never seen one that I would measure worth being taken advantage of by. But tastes vary.

With their super brains and new found power to actually hold the attention of the opposite sex, let the games begin. I theorize that these people are making up for years of repressed sexual frustration, social rejection, and being on the outer sphere of the pecking order.

They are doing what any male or female given sudden persuasive license would do when bombarded with adoring energy — engage it. Only the naive and emotionally underdeveloped would fall prey to it. Which means that at some point we’ve all been lured or persuaded by powerful people, as that is part of developing as a human being.


Why is sex such a big deal anyway? 

Because sex is still shrouded in religious undertones or communicated as a commodity that we use to trade things for as it is in the porn industry. Sex is simply another thing we do together. It can be as intimate or as superficial as we choose it to be. No one can determine that for another person.

Therefore the very idea that you can project onto sex a special quality that may exist for you, but not for another, is arrogant, assuming and stepped in antiquated dogmatic ideology. By focusing on sex as an isolated part of the whole, we treat sex as if it were the disease, and not simply a symptom. And we further suggest that the act of sex is more or less sacred than any other act.

As with all action, its meaning is assigned by us, created by us, experienced by us and remembered by us. This memory of pain and pleasure that we keep believing in keeps us in the illusion.

Sex does not have to represent a life-long commitment to another person. It can be a shared moment in time that you connect and share a space of love, lust or passion. If we continue to project these antiquated models of morality on sex we can never see it for what it is — simply share space filled with our imagination. Anything humans touch can be painful or pleasurable.

When will we stop believing that we can control the unreal by resisting the real?

What is very real is that pain, pleasure, sex, drugs and rock’n roll are projections of our unconscious desire to experience our selves through the physical body.

So why resist for your self or anyone else what is there for them to learn? Stop interfering and do your own work. You can not save anyone from themselves or send them to hell by separating them from themselves.

Fear is the unreal. Love is the real.






{What’s your take?}




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Cameron Shayne
Both a martial artist, and student of yoga and zen mediation, Cameron Shayne’s 30 years of personal practice and teaching has culminated into the world renowned art of Budokon. Beginning at the age of 12, Cameron discovered the martial and zen arts, which he practiced devoutly until being introduced to yoga in his twenties. In 1999 Cameron began integrating life coaching, yoga, and martial arts into a single therapeutic system that he named Budokon (Way of the Spiritual Warrior). Cameron is also an author, international speaker and founder of Budokon University, which trains and certifies Budokon Yoga teachers, Martial Artists and life coaches worldwide. “The way we move reflects the way we think. The way we think reflects the way we live. The way we live reflects the world we create. Therefore the art of our movement is always and forever affecting the art of our living."


  • Ramanjit Garewal
    Ramanjit Garewal commented on September 18, 2013 Reply
    Dear Cameron … :-) Extremely provoking … Mythology and History are full of examples … Patanjali the Moses of Yoga … Interestingly in PYS 2.34 … Mentions the negativities as … Lobha (Desire) … Krodha (Anger) and Moha (Ignorance) … And does not mention Kaama (Sex)… Something to think about …:-) Love … :-)
    • Cameron Shayne commented on September 23, 2013 Reply
      Dear Ramanjit, I respectfully agree with your wisdom and appreciate your kind words. it is clear to me that Pantanjali warns of wrong actions or sins, as do most teachers of orthodox religions. He was a religious man and was quite clear on his views of right and wrong, good and bad. I respect his truth as it was. I simply see the moments as moments. It is I that determines each moments qualities and judges them to be something good or something bad. In each moment for me the right action for arises. I teach yoga as an opportunity to explore the “I am”., free from the trappings of right and wrongs, sin and sinner. I am clear and honest. People who study with me, not under me. I am not a self proclaimed guru, spiritual teacher, or guide. I see yoga as I see it. A method expressed in one way for one, and different for another. With love and gratitude :)
      • Cameron Shayne commented on September 23, 2013 Reply
        And to be clear Ramanjit, I do not seek sexual relations in my class. I have taught mind and movement arts for 30 years. at times intimate relationships have manifested between myself and another person. I do not seek them or avoid them. I take each situation as it comes. Pantanjali, like moses is a respected man. He also defines yoga as he chooses, from his experience and perspective. as was his intent. That however does not make for me a follower of Pantanjali, any more than a follower of Moses.
        • steve commented on September 24, 2013 Reply
          • Cameron Shayne commented on September 24, 2013
            We all see what we choose to see in each other Steve. And we all mirror each other.
      • vijana commented on November 20, 2013 Reply
        I think the article is interesting and advancing self reflection an important part of caring in an authentic way to develop emotionally safe environments for the student. As a Male yoga teacher who has had intimate relations in the yoga community, but not so much with students, to me it has been important to be sensitive to the power dynamic that automatically exists in the teacher student relationship. You, in a way degrade your students who lack self worth and shift that control to you, and if then that is taken advantage of, one could see you as a manipulator. You, in a way cloke behavior and thinking behind the words of spiritual speak, but if advanced purification had taken hold inside of you your heart that would lead in the direction of ahimsa or nonviolence. The emotional harm or disadvantage positioning would be a consideration in your process and not caviler disregard. Your behavior would modify and supporting the well being of all living creatures would be first in your dialogue. And while accomplishing a perfected worldly interaction is a thing of development on the path, not really sure what path you are on, a mindful approach would be a relevant factor in your consideration. As a teacher who guides many villages of students your perspective becomes relevant and the power that is transferred becomes a greater force and that should be wisely assimilated. The spiritual teachings of yoga solved so much of this for us. Attachment creates desire and fulfillment of desire creates more desire. Desire is pain in the mind and develops a distracted state of mind. Which develops a vritti in the mind and that produces a samskara and karmic echo into the eternities of time. The eternities of time! When we reinforce desire patterns pain results and will need to be cleared one way or the other. It’s your karmic choices dude ….vasana, desire.
    • paul commented on September 25, 2013 Reply
      funny to use a line about not using conjecture to conjecture.. (2.34 is about making excuses to evade the scope of the yamas and niyamas and suffering generally to endorse behavior that brings suffering..)
      • Cameron Shayne commented on September 26, 2013 Reply
        Paul, Your projections and imaginings that suffering is being created when 2 consenting adults choose to fall in love, make love or any variation there of is evidence to your own suffering. The Yamas and Niyamas are taken from a religious manuscript and written by an orthodox and pious man. It represents one view and interpretation of yoga, that I do not share. You are welcome to adopt this Patanjalis view without judgment from me. Can you say the same in regard to your judgement for those who do not?
        • paul commented on September 26, 2013 Reply
          I was only pointing out the irony, but given your presumption of my projecting perhaps that is the theme of this thread. I’m not sure if Patanjali was pious, but as he never restricts who can practice he wasn’t orthodox, even saying the yamas and niyamas aren’t limited to class, caste, etc.
    • Rachel commented on October 29, 2013 Reply
      One would expect Cam to look like George Clooney the way he mentions how unattractive most other teachers are. I’ve seen goldfish with eyes farther apart than his are, and the scrawny hairless look only works for teenage boys. What we look like is not what we are in most cases, except this one. If you have to brag about something, it’s probably not true anyway.
  • Maya Devi Georg commented on September 18, 2013 Reply
    I can’t help but feel that Cameron Shayne started doing martial arts because he has bullied as a kid. And then started doing yoga to get laid. He demonstrates with this article that he has no real knowledge of yoga (the guru is dead? Is that because he has no real lineage?), less respect for women (we are all responsible adults but authority figures are no more responsible than their subordinates?), and ultimately finds sex meaningless (what’s the big deal? Are you kidding me? If you have to ask….). This article is beyond offensive to real yoga and real teachers. What a pity he gets so much press and attention, ultimately he only makes us all look bad.
    • Cameron Shayne commented on September 23, 2013 Reply
      Dear Maya – I respect and understand your position. It is clear that you are passionate in regard to protecting people. I recognize the value of that quality. Your perceptions of me are your perceptions. I cannot make you see me any other way than you choose to see me. You are correct in suggesting that I have no guru lineage. And I believe for those, like yourself who do, it is perfect and beautiful to have one. I am on a different path, which simply sees the guru in and as all things. I do not feel inspired to seek direction from a single individual or method. What yoga, sex, or love are to me does not have to be what they are for you. I see yoga as an experience specific to the individual subjects consciousness, rather than a religious theology applied to the collective. You suggesting that I use yoga class as a way to have sex with women is simply different from the my experience of the truth. You truly believe what you say, that is clear. I would offer a reminder that we have never meet in person under any circumstances. So what you may not know about me is that I am transparent and honest. Peoples welfare and best interests matter to me greatly. Your perception of my treatment of women and students is what you want it to be. Like my character, it seems to be based on projections and interpretations rather than experience. My classes are repeatedly attended because people connect with my sincerity, transparency and skill to teach asana and martial arts. I have been sharing my work in the yoga community for over 15 years and continue to be welcomed by many who know me and my character personally. I am happy to meet you any time. With love Cameron
      • steve commented on September 25, 2013 Reply
        bla bla bla…..
        • Cameron Shayne commented on September 25, 2013 Reply
          Dear Steve, It seems that you are so angry that you’ve lost your ability to use your big boy words. Also just for your edification, narcissism is a personality disorder that only 1% of the population suffers from. Possibly you heard this word from the TV? Unless you are a psychiatrist, which seems unlikely based on your vocabulary, I would seek out a more accurate word for your name calling list. With love brother… Hang in there :)
          • steve commented on September 25, 2013
            your little comment says everything about you and your superficial yoga diatribes. tear me down and then somehow try to lift me up with a sarcastic “with love brother?” yaaaaawn~~~~~ you are such a fake, it’s kind of embarrassing to be you…
          • Sally commented on September 27, 2013
            Just for your edification, Cameron, a person can still have narcissistic qualities, even if they are not a diagnosed narcissist. Your understanding of psychiatry is limited, and you might consider that espousing incorrect information as “fact” reduces your credibility. And you certainly do have many narcissistic traits.
    • Kaya commented on October 11, 2013 Reply
      Completely agree Maya. This so called “teacher” has apparently missed so much and will hopefully someday learn the try teachings of yoga. Perhaps his public display is a call for help and tyre knowledge. Yoga has nothing to so with “your truth” and everything to do with the Truth. Accessing that means surrendering your own self-serving egoic ideologies.
      • Ryan commented on October 19, 2013 Reply
        Perfectly communicated Kaya.
  • Tanya Lee Markul
    tanya lee markul commented on September 18, 2013 Reply
    Hey Cameron, thanks for writing and sharing this here. I don’t feel any sort of constriction or defensiveness when reading this — none at all — I enjoy the discussion and potential expansion from current (even old) beliefs. If two consensual adults wish to have sex, who is to say it’s unethical? No matter what position, job, title self-or society proclaimed, there will be a result and effect from our actions — this is a part of our individual journeys, in my opinion. I think, more often than not, fear provokes us to place rigid policies on titles and positions when in fact we are all still human no matter the spiritual journey we’ve been on and are all still working this out in addition to making our own karma every second. I hope this all makes sense. :-) Love.
    • Cameron Shayne commented on September 23, 2013 Reply
      Dear Tanya, Thank you for the thoughtful addition to the conversation. It’s clear how you see the matter :) Much love.
  • Christian Ryd Høgsberg commented on September 18, 2013 Reply
    Very interesting and thought-provoking article, Cameron. Enjoyed it a lot. I’m happy that you asked the question: “Why do people place teachers in positions of absolute authority and thereby surrender their own good judgement and common sense?” Most of us are capable of forming our own ideas and creating out own sets of values. Some people will be offended by the article… but it’s hard to take offense if you’re already comfortable with the person – or teacher – you are.
    • Cameron Shayne commented on September 23, 2013 Reply
      Thank you Christian. For me your statement above shine light of much of the anger and reaction here. People seem to not trust themselves enough either to make loving decisions as teacher or students. Many readers wish me to be the worst image they can imagine from their pain. The admission that I have been intimate, even married to someone I meet in my class has peoples imaginations quite roused. Thank you for seeing to the heart of my message. Much love.
  • Birgitte Gorm Hansen commented on September 18, 2013 Reply
    Thanks! good to see someone speak up on this issue. It’s sad to see how entire yoga-empires grow and fall under the sign of the charismatic (male) leader. We need to grow up. The train derailed long before the guru was found in bed with their student. It derailed at the very point where yoga stopped being about our own practice and started being about the charisma, personality, charm and private life of superstar teachers. The student looking for external authority is suffering from the same problem as the teacher looking for affirmation/power/adoration by something outside him/herself. The problem lies in the failure to see clearly what we most deeply are, a failure to look deep within. Having said that, i still feel a need to ask you if we should not expect a little more self reflection of the experienced teacher than the young beginner student? And i´d like to hear you reflect on the tendency for the former to be an older male and the latter to be a younger female. What do you make of that pattern? And if a teacher reach a certain level of maturity (such as one could expect of a yoga guru, supposedly) I would expect some kind of an interest within that person in genuine self enquiry. Would this not include having a good deep look and ones own social/sexual/economic neediness? Not calling out for PC-driven regulation. Just self enquiry (yoga, that is). Teacher/students relationship include desire and for me that is totally natural. So is lust, so is passion, so is love and in some cases, so is sex. Manipulation and exploitation is however NOT ok. Not at all in fact. If you are a teacher you are there to give and not to get, right? To be honest only a very few teachers are clear enough in their practice to be completely non-manipulative (giving) in their sexual relations with students. I know a few that actually pull it off in deep honesty but the normal deal is usually a grim scene of classic manipulation, lies and abuse of power. Pure desire, desire not driven from an underlying feeling of lack is very rare. But if you happen to find it in your yoga teacher, i say: Go for it!
    • Cameron Shayne commented on September 23, 2013 Reply
      Dear Bridgette, I think the terms you choose, “the experienced teacher” and the “young beginner student.” conjures memories of past guru/student scandals and stereotypes. This image in your mind may influence your ability to see what is real rather than what is memory of past actions. Numerous combinations of these titles could be arranged in a yogic environment. A new young beginner teacher and an older experienced male student. and its goes on… Your thoughts at the bottom denouncing the manipulation of another person are clear to me, and I agree. The intention of this article was however was to draw attention to the projection of responsibility onto the teacher or student specifically. I see both as equally responsible to make right decisions for themselves in all environments, not excluding a yoga class. There is no state of mind in my yoga practice that allows for different decisions to be made than any other. I am clear if not clearest while aware of my practice. If another person is not clear, for whatever reason, I personally would acknowledge that and respond honestly and respectfully with the care of that person as my priority. But this cannot be said of every person, male or female, young or old. Control is based in fear. Natural action is based in love. When i listen I have my answers. Rules used to determine the actions of others are understandable and necessary. A stop sign for example. The diversion comes because some see yoga as a place to seek care for mental illness, and some as a physical workout, and others as a mental health care system. Some yoga teachers see themselves as health care physicians, some as gurus. And others like me, simply a teacher of a particular skill set with no dogma or religion to offer. Because there is no single defining yoga system, people will choose the teacher, style and community that speaks to them. There in lies their destiny and what some might call karma. Regardless of what someone may argue, it is self evident that yoga has many branches, interpretations, and contributors and has evolved like theologies often do. It is a personal and subjective experience, not to be defined by anyone other than yourself. Otherwise it is into further illusion we go. Thank you very much for your contribution and great questions. WIth love.
      • Birgitte Gorm Hansen commented on September 29, 2013 Reply
        hmmmm… Sorry Camron. I Wish i could, but we cannot stop there. A little more yogic and cultural self-reflection is needed. Reflextion on what the social and historical context does to the teacher/student sexual relationship. I have no judgemental statements to make about your sex life or your personality. I dont know you and therefore it is none of my business. My problem is that you write as if yoga is situated in a cultural void, a parenthis in history, where the tradition of handing power (williongly or unwillingly) over to men rather than to women is a thing of the past. But in the everyday world i live in, these power assymetry issues are neither gone nor going. They are not abstract ideas in my head based on my selective memory. They cause real pain and real suffeing for women (and men!) every day. And the world of yoga is no exception. Maybe male bodies are not exposed to this pain to the same extent as female bodies? Maybe that is what allows you to push this gender bias issue aside as talk of those power assymetries as “outdated”. But you seem a little too intelligent to stop thinking out of convenience. My question to you (i repeat) is how do you think that cultural backdrop (for example, centuries of male domination in history of yoga) impacts sexual relationships between teachers and students? Claiming that generally there is a wide diversity in gender/age distribution in teacher/student sexual relationships is an expression of clinging to abstract ideas based on wishful thinking. Look around you and tell me how may female guru sex scandals you can come up with? I cant come up with a single one, but where i am from we dont have female gurus atr all. That fact not irrelevant to this debate. The way i see it, none of us are teaching yoga in an abstract heaven of philosophical ideas and good intentions. That world is purely academic. Yoga is a practice, a practice that requires sensitivity and open, honest enquiry into what is actually happening right here, right now. A practice where we let go of the need to predict and control (i agree with you here) to instead investigate the deep nature of actions AND their impacts. But self enquiry the key to that practice and i feel you are stopping that enquiry in the place that fits a little too neatly to your argument and seems a little too cute and convienient for your present position as a male yoga teacher. Once again, thank you for opening this debate. Come again Cameron. Luve B
  • Andrea Adams commented on September 19, 2013 Reply
    Not sure i agree, but i do appreciate the honesty and total lack of fear in expressing yourself. A teacher or guru in my opinion can cause much more harm than good in following this path. It distracts the student away from the lesson and the teacher will lose credibility in the long run. Trust your feelings here people. If it doesn’t sound right, or feel right then a heart full of regret may follow. We are responsible for our actions, student as well as teacher. A little self control is an admirable quality. I have been in his position before and chose platonic love instead. I have no regrets.
  • Tobye Hillier commented on September 19, 2013 Reply
    Hmmmm ok, so the debate is starting again elsewhere. Some things to bring into perspective as far as I can see… 1. The religious side of Yoga is incredibly conservative and doesn’t allow any kind of shenanigans outside of marriage. But we don’t have to adhere to the religious aspects of Yoga to practice the spiritual aspects. 2. Some of the spiritual aspects of Yoga incorporate kama. 3. Budokon is not purely Yoga but a blending of several spiritual practices. 4. Recent sex scandals in the celebrity Yoga world have been more about manipulation of the weak minded and easily impressed, especially where Choudry is concerned. It is wrong to just have a blanket command that says Yoga teachers can’t have sex with their students. What we would be creating if we started along that road would be something akin to to sexual abuses and moral debasement found in the modern and historical, Roman Catholic church. It is wrong for teachers finding themselves in a position of power to manipulate students for their own sexual gratification. It is wrong for women who are the majority in the Yoga world, to gradually elbow men out of the practice because they find themselves uncomfortable with their own sexual desires (this is the exact same problem we find in the middle east, with women made to wear the burka because men can’t control themselves.). It is wrong for anybody whatever gender they maybe, to use the spiritual confines of a Yoga class to further their own personal, sexual agenda. It is not wrong for two consenting adults who have not been manipulated in any way whatsoever, to have an intimate relationship with each other. It does not matter how long that relationship may be. I don’t feel this article is in anyway suggesting that it’s ok for Cameron as a celebrity teacher, to use his status to pick up women. But it is very, sickeningly wrong for people to start a Spanish inquisition because Yoga really doesn’t need to be going down that road.
  • sean feit commented on September 19, 2013 Reply
    Hi Cameron, As a fellow white(ish) male heterosexual (mostly) yoga teacher [and feel free to tell me if I’m misperceiving you with these labels], I want to push back vigorously against your position in this post. In an abstract ethical world everything you’re saying makes logical sense, but I don’t live in that world. I live in a world where power imbalance, sexism, privilege, and patriarchy in all its forms are all alive and well. The responsibilities for ethical action when in a position of authority are not “antiquated ideology”, but mature responses to the very current reality of social inequity and endemic abuse of power. That they appear in ancient texts merely speaks to how they’ve always been an issue. Power imbalance is subtle and slippery. Yes, our students are mostly mature adults capable of making their own choices about their sexual activity, but that doesn’t change the nature of the teacher-student relationship to a peer interaction. We have spiritual teachers because they create a safe space for inner work — and like therapy, religion, and best-friendship, safety is the ground on which all inner work, which is necessarily vulnerable, happens. When I sit in front of a yoga class filled with young, attractive women, it is my practice to play the role of teacher as best I can, creating a space where everyone feels safe to cultivate their bodies, minds, hearts, and energy. Whatever my individual attractions are, I know that this is not the place to lean into them. That’s what my private social life is for. You never know who is recovering from abuse, trauma, heartbreak, or suffering from the pervasive sexualized attention and objectification our culture lays on women. That oppression is worlds different from the healthy sexual expression that is their birthright as well as ours. Our job in this field is to serve our students’ well-being and awakening, and making the teacher-student relationship a place where sexual connection happens makes, I feel, an unsafe space for everyone. Thanks for reading this response. I recognize your years of dedicated practice, and offer my respect for you as a yogi. This is an issue that American yoga has to constantly deal with, and it’s not easy for anyone. I hear your sincere desire to live in love, not fear, and I support that fully. I only want to suggest that this particular renunciation in in not only the best interest of our students and the broader yoga community, but our own as spiritual seekers as well. Namaste, sean.
    • jeanie commented on September 20, 2013 Reply
      Couldn’t agree more Sean!
    • CPwashere commented on September 20, 2013 Reply
    • corinadragonfly commented on September 21, 2013 Reply
      Thank you, Sean : )
    • Katchie Ananda commented on September 22, 2013 Reply
      Well said, Sean. I see that this whole debate really is necessary, which is sad but not all that surprising, considering the time and place in which we live. In a way I applaud Cameron for outing himself. Now everyone knows how he feels about this issue and anyone taking his class will do so knowing the potential risk. If the student engages and gets hurt by the casual sex and the power differential, it’s not like they didn’t know and maybe the karmic lesson can be fully accepted that way. Maybe that is how we need to proceed in the yoga community, clearly stating where we stand on the line – since it will likely continue in either case.
    • RichAHoward, MBA commented on September 25, 2013 Reply
      Thoughtful response. Thank you.
    • Dallas K commented on September 25, 2013 Reply
      Well said Sean. I would like to write more, but I think I would start being really mean toward the author of this article.
    • Jacqui commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
      Hear hear! This puts into words exactly what turned my stomach about this article and its author’s many defensive comments. Thank you for writing.
    • Aaron commented on September 28, 2013 Reply
      Excellent counter point. No response Cameron?
    • Anna commented on September 28, 2013 Reply
      So well said, Sean! Still looking forward to your reply on this post Cameron!
      • Erika Deyna commented on October 4, 2013 Reply
        Sean, nlike many of the other responses, I sincerely appreciate your calm, non-threatened, objective, thoughtful, and peaceful manner. It is MUCH more effective and insightful of healthy proactive debate than merely slinging hate and disgust at a person I’m sure most people responding haven’t even met. I could feel your confidence & humility shine through, in the same way I could feel Cameron’s in his writing. I’m a little shocked at how aggressive some of these responses are – basically just personal attacks on the writer in a faceless digital world when all he’s doing is being transparent, honest and candid. Oh, and vulnerable…. Pretty cowardly and kinda just sad…it’s one thing to disagree, but to react with such anger and hate is alarming to me. I think it’s important to remember that we are all entitled to our own opinions, and to essentially digitally spit on someone says more about you than anything else. I don’t believe there is a hard right & wrong in this case – we’re not talking about murder or rape, or enslavement here. We’re talking about sex between consenting adults with free will. I agree that sex has the great potential to change the dynamic of a relationship – how it does though, is completely dependent on the level of honest, sincere, and open communication between the parties involved… How can we (the faceless responders to this writing) possibly judge something so personal in such a universal way? I think the obvious question here is: why are we as a culture so threatened by sexuality? What I find so refreshing about shayne is that he doesn’t paint himself as a spiritual guru whose going to lead you to “enlightenment” or whose seeking to fix you. So many yoga teachers have lost their humility and their intuition has slowly contorted into a lofty “better-than-thou-ness” (I copyright that word : P ). Shayne is just a dude whose spent his whole life learning how to move his body, his mind and his soul in a certain way that is quite beautiful and obviously inspires a lot of people to want to train in his style of movement…in this writing he’s saying he is one of “us” – a human being who makes mistakes, falls in love, has sexual desires, isn’t perfect and isn’t claiming or seeking to be. He seems to be saying that he’s just as vulnerable as anyone else, and by no means sounds like some kind of desperate sexual predator in what he has written and willingly shared with us all. Us yogis love to take “yoga” so seriously….lighten up people! Get out of your crazy analytically spiritual heads and have a little fun for christs sake (he did die for our sins you know)… Where is the lightness and the ease that so many of us talk about in class? Where are the smiles? We can’t let our community be so harsh and judgmental because that’s just stale and cold. I just can’t tolerate snide bitchy or belligerently offended comments to something so temperate. We have to be a little more unmessable-with (now that’s a baron baptiste word, can’t take the credit). So to wrap this discertation up, thanks Cameron and Sean for the insightful and healthy debat, would be fun to grab a half-caf-soy-chai-iced-mocha-latte at some heady self-riteous coffee shop and actually talk about it the old fashioned way : )
        • seanfeit275 commented on June 11, 2014 Reply
          Hi Erika and others, thanks so much for your appreciation. (I didn’t remember to check back and see your replies as they were coming in, and only just now noticed that someone had referred to my comment here.) Wishing all of you the best, and a bow for your presence and discernment on the path. Warmest, sean.
    • bke commented on October 10, 2014 Reply
      Taking advantage of your position as a teacher is immoral, no question about that. However, for me, what you say translates to “yes, I like being around attractive women, but I hold back my desires”, which makes your reasoning a lot less genuine. Let me explain. Most male yoga teachers like being around attractive young women and this is a big part of their motivation to be teaching yoga, whether they admit or not. Otherwise, if they cared about the therapeutic side of yoga for example, they would be teaching the old and sick (the ones who are really in need). Others, who are more interested in athletic performance, will most likely end up teaching male classes and practicing along with male peers. Most young, attractive women just practice yoga to stay like that for as long as possible (there is nothing wrong with that, of course). Someone who really cares about, for example yoga therapy, will be far too busy with his goal and simply will not be there to teach a large group of young, attractive, upper class women. If a man is much more likely to meet attractive women in his class than in his social circle, then, either he subconsciously aligns his classes to attract them, or his social skills are poor, or both.
  • chris commented on September 19, 2013 Reply
    It is possible to justify any behavior with the idea that traditional values are “dogmatic” and untested. There is often a good reason not to test things . There are certain karmic results for every action, sometimes very tragic ones. The main ethical principle of yoga philosophy is Ahimsa(non-harming). Another is (brahmacarya) sexual restraint. Abusing your authority as a teacher for sex with students is a violation of both of these yamas.(first limb of yoga)…..But hey have fun, just know it is not yoga. We call that Bhoga(Sanskrit for enjoyment). So this article should actually be called hot sex for Bhogis.
    • Chica commented on September 21, 2013 Reply
      HAHAHA! This is the best, love it. Couldn’t agree more!!! Bhogi’s = bogus yogi’s, or i always thought :)
    • Monica Bee commented on September 21, 2013 Reply
      Or…Broga. ;)
    • Jacqui commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
      Well said!
    • onesadhaka commented on October 30, 2013 Reply
      Well said. best point of all. Yet…even if it were a travesty spinoff of yoga, would it be any more appropriate?
    • Zeus Yiamouyiannis commented on November 25, 2013 Reply
      It would be interesting to know if the author chooses to make this distinction between yoga and enjoyment before bedding someone. Clearly most in a spiritual context of yoga are looking for more than enjoyment or free adult exploration. They are looking for spiritual sharing which comes with certain responsibilities beyond simple personal authority. I see no reference to these interpersonal spiritual responsibilities.
  • Todd commented on September 19, 2013 Reply
    • Brianna commented on September 20, 2013 Reply
      Spot on.
  • Russell G. Webster II commented on September 20, 2013 Reply
    Let me attempt to unpack some of this to find some sort of root. It seems that Shayne wishes to not only absolve himself from his past experiences, but officially pave a way for future protections of his uniquely discovered sexual privilege. Shaynes personal ethic seems to provide him with justification, yet his reasoning seems to be fueled mostly by his inability to relinquish what he sees as not a fringe benefit to being a person of power, but his right to think critically, which entails experience and not thought. Confused? “In this article I will offer the possibility that policy made for the marginal few further weakens the capable, by encouraging less critical thinking.” So, since a policy that states: teachers cannot have sex with students, is only in place to protect a minority, the remaining majority of adults should be able to have sex, or think critically as you phrase it. “This in turn robs people of the opportunity to establish their own code of ethics, rather than obeying social law and/or policy.” So according to this reasoning, all people should be aloud to do as they wish, “rather” as you say, then obeying externally mandated rule. This makes for an upmost free environment, where even the student is able to design their own rule. Maybe they can just pay whenever they feel it’s within their “own code of ethics”. This self-code seems to be working well for you since you’ve had many sexual partners who were students and you have made a lot of money in your various careers. Although you may be successful by your definition, and your teacher/student relationships of the past of worked, is not sufficient reason to claim it is ethical – not by any measure. “…you cannot have sex with the wrong person — only a person that provides you with another intrinsic part of the whole that becomes your story.” This is a troubling form of reasoning. Shayne uses the idea that since experience is fundamental to human survival, no experience is wrong. The idea that we are absolved from our behavior and choices because every experience creates some form of knowledge, is to say that we need not think critically because doing so would disallow us to freely follow our desires which are always ethical when acted on. They are always ethical because we made the choice and no choice can be bad! Are you getting dizzy from the circles yet? After the brief lesson on how power dynamics work, and how we cannot escape them, Shayne explains “I believe it is necessary to relinquish authority, and or power, in order to co-create and co-occupy a space for learning.?” So the unstated assumption here is that sex is a way in which a student can relinquish authority? Don’t they do that by signing up for your class? By paying the teacher, and becoming a student, they are solidifying the teacher/student power dynamic. The only way to nourish that element would be to ensure that the rules are being followed, whether that be the rules for a Plank Pose, or rules regarding sexual advances. The power dynamic is inherent, and not found through sexually objectifying the student. “In reality, any person can argue that they have been subjected to some level of pressure, manipulation or victimization by someone who they have deferred power to.” This is not reason to allow an environment where the student is either preyed upon by their instructor, or the reverse. Because we’ve had to defer power, is not reason to mandate that it be allowed as a tool to further manipulate. Because people kill each other, is not reason to dissolve the crime of murder. “This projection of responsibility onto the teaching community to think for their students is only dumbing down the students and furthering them from being self-realized.” There’s a difference between thinking for your students, and protecting your students while providing a safe, non-threatening environment. Think about it. An average female, especially living in a city, experiences a myriad of sexual harassment. They may hear a whistle from a car, or find a guy at the store visually undressing them. We’re inundated with sexually objectified females. Even India currently has a growing problem with patriarchal dominance of epidemic proportions. Females have it tough enough, and they need male ally’s, not predators. A yoga studio ought to be a safe, inviting environment that is both free from sexism and abuses of power. Further, to compare teacher/student sexual relationships with the war on drugs was not only fallacious, as they have no similarity as described, considering the topic, it was a poor and potentially offensive choice. The war on drugs was in created not to combat drug abuse, but to manipulate the proportion of incarcerated society (but that’s another topic!). So no, the war on drugs, is not analogous to a rule like “no sexual fraternization”. The end of the article describes how sex is not bad in itself, that se does not have to be dependent on a long relationship, which many would agree. Sex isn’t bad. Someone could have as much sex as they want, with as many people and I wouldn’t care. However, I do care when there is a power dynamic used as currency to provide a predatory teacher (or any potential predator) with the ability to coerce their students in to sex.
    • chris commented on September 20, 2013 Reply
      Great Analysis, Russell. The Author’s thinking is what happens when you idolize the buddha’s supposed independence from a spiritual teaching tradition. Being independent could lead to some great insights, but it could also lead to some ridiculous reasoning to justify believing in almost anything. It is really a false idea that buddha was independent from a tradition. Almost all of his teachings were derived from the vedic tradition he was born into…karma, reincarnation, dharma, pursuit of enlightenment. He simply lopped off the ritual part of vedic life and took the self knowledge tradition and made it his own with a few twists that have emerged.
      • Cameron Shayne commented on September 23, 2013 Reply
        It is true Hinduism and Buddhism have shared parallel beliefs that have existed side by side since the origin of Buddhism. The influence of Upanishads on Buddhism however has been a subject of debate among scholars. Scholars, Eliot and Thomas underlined the points where Buddhism was opposed to Upanishads. Buddhism may have been influenced by some Upanishadic ideas, it however discarded their orthodox tendencies. In Buddhist texts he is presented as rejecting avenues of salvation as “harmful views”. Also, the practice of Yoga is strongly connected to the religious beliefs and practices of both Hinduism and Buddhism. However there are distinct differences in the usage of yoga terminology between the two. In Hinduism, the term “Yoga” commonly refers to the eight limbs of yoga as defined in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and means “yoke”, with the idea that one’s soul, would yoke or bind with the monistic entity brahman. This is religious at its core and something I do not teach. In the Vajrayana Buddhism of Tibet, however, the term “Yoga” is simply used to refer to any type of spiritual practice; from the various types of tantra to ‘Deity yoga’ and ‘guru yoga’. All paths or methods lead to one end – pure awareness. Robert Thurman writes that Patanjali was influenced by the success of the Buddhist monastic system to formulate his own matrix for the version of thought he considered orthodox. In other words everyone is creating their own version of yoga based on their own experiences. It is that way, and has always been that way. I do not teach Yoga as “spiritual or religious” as I see no difference between science, religion or spirituality. They are all the same to me. I teach awareness of mind through meditation and movement. Yoking these states and experiencing the simple nature of being is the work. All students and myself are on equal footing. We are all looking at ourselves through ourselves. There is no guru dynamic, or predatory behavior. If any two people meet in our space and share a common desire to be friends, lovers or life partners that is their choice. I am the judge of no one.
        • RichAHoward, MBA commented on September 25, 2013 Reply
          Russell, that was a logical and thoughtful reply that Cameron is not able to understand at this time. Note to self: talk with my beautiful children (daughter and son) and remind them that even in a yoga class you can not trust that all teachers are there to just teach. Cameron, thank you for reminding me that even educated, thoughtful and creative people come up with creative rationale to justify and promote behavior that should actually be avoided.
    • corinadragonfly commented on September 21, 2013 Reply
      Thank you , Russell : )
    • Ravidas commented on November 24, 2013 Reply
      Straw man argument. He is not attempting to justify any sexual deviancy. He is expressing that situations can exist between a teacher and student that are fertile ground for non-yogic relations. That is in no way to say that it is okay to take advantage, but rather to question if everything a teacher does is an unstoppable power move. There seems to be an unfair assumption that a teacher is permanently locked into a position of power as soon as he’s taught you one pose. I can speak from experience to the fact that I have charismatic students who would be just as capable of manipulating me as I them. And at only thirty, many of my female students are older than me. Granted, I’m not sleeping with any of them, but if I were, I don’t think it would make them victims of my charisma. These are the kind of reactions you get anytime someone notices a line is grey and not black. Absolute rules are easier in our minds, and we don’t trust people to self police, but what alternative is there?
    • Mike commented on December 15, 2013 Reply
      Power dynamic? Only if the students imposes that on the situation…there’s no way Cameron would engage that student if that was the case. Most of these comments are based on the premise that their is a ‘power differential’ when there really is only a ‘role’ differential. Two completely different things.
  • Chad Bordes (@chadbordes) commented on September 20, 2013 Reply
    Brilliant succinct and my thoughts exactly. Why do we hold teachers to a higher standard then ourselves. We are human and there are no mistakes. We live, we love, we learn and we grow. Thank you for your fantastic insights. Much love, Chad
    • Cameron Shayne commented on September 23, 2013 Reply
      Thank you very much Chad for your open mind and non judgmental view. Refreshing and sadly uncommon.
  • jeanie commented on September 20, 2013 Reply
    I personally would not date a student unless I thought it was the person I was going to marry, and I got to know them very well outside of class. That said, I think it would be extremely immature to have a fling with a student. My personal rule is not to date students and that students may be attracted to the teacher for the wrong reasons, e.g. because they may take the nurturing that is given during class as a personal gesture, and that what they really want is to date someone that is healing them, instead of doing their own personal work. And as a teacher, I find that you are the person with power in the relationship and that it is your job to be very selective and not just follow forward because there is chemistry or attraction. I also don’t see sexual relationships “as something we are supposed to learn”, I think we just learn what we learn. I’ve seen people make incredibly stupid decisions based on the words “it was meant to be”. It’s a choice and the more conscious we can be about what we want to learn the better. Also what does this statement mean? “unreal is in fact real”. To say this, is to say “anything goes” so I am wondering if it is possible to have clean ethics with this type of thinking. I do not trust these kinds of the statements made in this article, but the author certainly raises some good points. I hardly think because some people are bound to be taken advantage of, that it makes it right for the person taking advantage of them. “And sadly these women were going to fall prey to some man whether he showed up as the out-of-work freeloading boyfriend, the white-bearded chanting sage, the manipulating boss, or the latest yoga celebrity.” I feel the author is excusing bad behavior, and by bad I don’t mean they are horrible people. I just mean some people like drama and constant excitement and therefore engage in sexual relationships that don’t honor the other person or themselves, and those are not the people I want to be around for very good reasons. I hardly expect people to act with great consideration for another person in equal consideration of their own selves. I find that rare, and an important part of this discussion. Teachers and people in power have forever been taking advantage of their status, it’s not new it’s just less secretive now. And yes both parties are equally responsible for their own actions I can’t argue with that. It’s just the bigger picture of what motivates you, and what are the consequences, and how can I fully honor myself and all relationships around me? This needs to be the first considerations – not the last. I find the author to be out of touch with a one part of reality of sex… Yes, sex should be less of an issue culturally – I couldn’t agree more! We should talk freely about it all the time. Yet, for someone involved in energy and healing I think there it is a delusion to think that sex is the same as anything else in our lives and it is only what we project onto it. After all we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for sex. While I enjoyed the topic here and found some meaning, I can’t help but be reminded why I hate the vague repeated statements “Fear is the unreal, and Love is real”. Fear is an important emotion to have, it is a warning sign to our system, some of it is extra and causes undue stress while some of it we need to listen to. Love, love is sometimes not enough, and we need more words that express the varied layers of love in our English language… There are my thoughts. Thank you to the author for writing this article and putting your thoughts out there, hopefully it will inspire growth and not be used to validate bad behavior.
  • Shelley commented on September 20, 2013 Reply
    How interesting that you absolve yourself of your behavior in this ignorant diatribe. You of course fall smack in the middle of cluster B personalities, and remain unsurprisingly egocentric in your “evaluation” of the issue. It’s a travesty to call yourself a teacher. A true teacher puts the students’ classroom-related needs first, and forgoes all selfish desires to dick around the captivated populace. Your extremely casual attitude toward intimacy conflicts with the (supposedly) sacred nature of your “yoga teaching,” now doesn’t it?
    • Mary commented on September 23, 2013 Reply
      Couldn’t agree more.
  • Frank commented on September 21, 2013 Reply
    It makes me sad to read this. Wouldn’t any dirty old man take this stance? A yoga classroom is supposed to be a safe place. For many, it is the only safe place they have. Who am I to take this away from them? Shayne on you.
  • Doug commented on September 21, 2013 Reply
    Through yoga you get what you’re looking for. You got sex, and it turned out to be a mixed bag. Congrats. Apart from the traditional rules and strictures (which do have a role to play in protecting from delusion), hasn’t the question of yoga always been, what do you want from getting what you want? And how much is it worth to you, really? Anyway, rationalize much? Any comments from your previous partners?
  • Sandy commented on September 21, 2013 Reply
    The issue is not sexuality or consent, it’s manipulating or seducing young women (much younger than yourself)for your business’ profit. You are essentially enticing women with your sexuality or “charm” to come spend hundreds, or even thousands of dollars to get Budokon certified. Using such a spiritual practice to fulfill your needs, now that’s not right. And I think the Buddha and the Dalai Lama would agree on that.
  • Bill commented on September 21, 2013 Reply
    Really not a smart thing at all to have published this Cameron, even dumber to have entered into the acts you describe and pave the way to keep it up in the future. Budokon students, take notice.
  • corinadragonfly commented on September 21, 2013 Reply
    Calling Bullshit, Cameron.
  • Carol Horton commented on September 21, 2013 Reply
    This is an elaborate rationalization for deliberately choosing to behave in ways that lack integrity, responsibility, and compassion. Your profound lack of concern for the well
    • Carol Horton commented on September 21, 2013 Reply
      • Carol Horton commented on September 21, 2013 Reply
        computer glitches – ! . . . to continue . . . your profound lack of concern for the well being of others is encapsulated in your statement that “the student, like the user, is the real disease.” Pretty sick perspective on those who are entrusting themselves to you to teach them what should be a healing art. Shame on you.
        • Cameron Shayne commented on September 25, 2013 Reply
          Mrs. Horton, I appreciate your fair and reasonable article. I am confident you are a very intelligent and caring soul. And, with all due respect, I think the final line from your response to my RebelleSociety article revels a mind set to which I would like to draw your attention. Your quote reads: “Shame on you Cameron Shayne.” My response to you Mrs. Horton, is no thank you. I will pass on being shamed by you, or anyone else. Shame would suggest that I should feel “bad” for something I have done. It seems that with your vivid projections and imagination you have surmised in my one page article all that you need to know to judge and shame me for being bad. You and people of like mind have created with your imaginings, of me walking around a room preying and hitting on weak and vulnerable women. Why? Because I acknowledged that I have had intimate relationships over my 30 years of teaching, with women that I have meet in my class room? Your inaccurate assumptions that these women were incapable of making clear decisions for themselves is unfounded and inflammatory. They suggest worst case scenarios, manipulation and victimization, all of which are unfounded and only true in the stories you tell your selves. These are not my experiences, or my truths. These are yours. You have an orthodox view of Yoga. This is demonstrated by your statement, “The Yama of Brahmacharya has informed the yoga tradition for thousands of years.” I support your perception and interpretation of yoga, while at the same time reminding you that YOGA is not a religion or dogmatic theology for all of us, but rather a concentration and awareness of body and mind. And for others something completely different. It is not for me or you to judge or determine what Yoga is. I see a a yoga class no more or less sacred than any other space. All space is as we see it. Nothing more, nothing less. How I see it and conduct it are further imaginings of your mind when you suggest I use it as a place to pick up women. My intention with my article was to point out the misdirected blame solely onto the teacher and simply exonerate the student for being vulnerable. Our society seems obsessed with identification with the title of victim, demonstrated starkly by our judicial systems overloaded lawsuit epidemic. I am quite clear that people are extorted, manipulated and lied to. I am very clear that these dynamics occur everywhere, not excluding the yoga classroom. That for me does not conclude that consenting adults, whatever titles held, should have you, me or anyone else dictating their personal freedoms. Plenty of beautiful and profound connections, marriages, and children including my own have come from these conditions. Students who give up power walking into a class room to a teacher is a massive problem that has persisted and been indoctrinated into us by Religion. Why you see so many people agreeing and relating to my article is simply a reflection of peoples frustration with another institutions fundamentalist and orthodox members trying to control everyones experience. You clearly believe that a rule or policy would dissuade corruption. Yet rules do not instill ethical behavior, but rather bind us further to mindless cooperation with institutionalized ideology. Instead of creating more policy, we may want to focus on encouraging and inviting people to explore their own thoughts, feelings and intentions, and yoke them with their actions. So that they may know themselves deeply and truly, and by doing so take care of one another. I call this yoga. In conclusion, I am not suggesting that it is okay for men/women teachers to prey on anyone under any conditions. I am suggesting that this problem cannot be solved by villainizing the act of intimacy between student and teacher. But rather deal ing with the massive amount of projection, fear and displacement of blame. No place is safe from corrupted behavior. I am advocating the focus be on developing more aware and accountable practitioners. Thank you for your time and your thoughts. Respectfully Cameron Shayne
          • Carol Hortonc commented on September 25, 2013
            Thanks for your reply, which is also posted on my rebuttal article on 90 Monkeys. Those who are interested can read my response in the comment section there:
          • matthew remski commented on September 26, 2013
            Your bobbing and weaving and faking and feinting is an indignity to martial arts, Cameron. You’re being challenged on the grounds of social and political meaning. Your post has provoked ad hominem attacks and projections into your internal life, but let’s not pretend this is surprising. If you are the “philosopher” you claim to be with the very first descriptor in your bio you must recognize the need to rise above the personal stuff and engage the substantial criticism. You’re not being beaten up in the playground here for looking funny or being eccentric. You are being called out on issuing an antisocial polemic that denies basic structural and gendered oppressions in our culture. Either you’re too self-obsessed to see this criticism, you’re not smart enough to understand it, or you’re willfully ignoring the substance of this tsunami backlash. Whatever the reason, constantly turning the argument back onto the testimony of your behaviour is a complete distraction. Nobody can really assess your actions, especially based upon your own reports, so just drop it, get into the real ring, and fight. The real substance boils down to this: your article stakes the hyper-individualist and radical libertarian ground that Carol describes in her response by claiming that ethical codes meant to buffer structural power imbalances make us all repressed wards of a yoga-nanny state. You make the straw-man argument that “rules do not instill ethical behavior”, when everyone knows that rules are meant to protect the vulnerable, and we consent to them through a complex economy of freedom and empathy. With exactly zero evidence, you claim that authority is dead, and that those still in its thrall are delusional. You make the outrageous and blanket claim — backed by nothing beyond a dim rehash of “The Secret” metaphysics — that “there are no victims” in relationships of power. This is why you’re being attacked. Two related questions for you: 1. How do the politics you express create physical and emotional safety for women and men in a classroom situation? 2. How would you respond to and serve those women and men who would feel physically, emotionally, and sexually threatened by your disregard for the prosocial ethics we have evolved to address power imbalances? I think you should answer these with the best you’ve got. You’re standing on the threshold of several decades of internet infamy.
  • Carleton Bushmills commented on September 21, 2013 Reply
    No, no, don’t you see? Spiritual teachers are exactly the same as doctors, lawyers, professors, and therapists. EXACTLY THE SAME! and they need to be regulated as such, preferably by the Society for a New American Ethics over at Sweeping Zen. I am personally looking forward to the day when all of my personal choices and all potential harm via spiritual teachers is legislated out of my life. Then we, the spiritual citizenry would finally have the freedom to choose the right kind of teachers, teachers who are certified, licensed, and perhaps run an online zendo while spending much of their time online attacking other teachers for their own personal gain–these are the kind of teachers we will need in the future. This is progress.
  • Jenna commented on September 22, 2013 Reply
    Why would anyone take a class from this turd? Hopefully this serves as a warning to students to steer clear of this clown. But then there is always a new victim waiting in the wings for predators like this. Wish the yoga community would get it’s shit together and boycott teachers like this.
  • Frank commented on September 22, 2013 Reply
    The good thing is that this article will be on the internet forever so maybe people will be warned about him. Hopefully he will take a financial hit like John Friend when people do a web search on him and decide not to take his classes or buy his stuff. This web site might actually have done a service to the yoga community to caution students about teachers like this, though I’m sure it wasn’t it’s intention to do so.
  • Rebelle Society
    Rebelle Society commented on September 22, 2013 Reply
    A KIND BUT SERIOUS NOTE ON COMMENT POLICY: All derogatory, offensive, defamatory comments as well as those containing or implying calumny against the author have been removed.

    If you disagree with the topic and want to express your opinion, please focus on the argument and provide a debatable counter-argument. If you are not able to do that, please refrain from commenting. You can send any questionable unrelated accusations, name-calling, insults or personal opinions about the author directly to his inbox. If you think this pertains to Rebelle Society, please email: with any serious concerns.

    This section is public and it is reserved for comments on THE TOPIC of whether it is acceptable or not to engage in a sexual relationship between someone that falls under the category of a teacher and someone that falls under the category of a student. All other allegations unrelated to this topic, personal impressions about the author or insults of any kind do not belong in this conversation. Thank you for helping us create a mindful discussion and agree to disagree – RESPECTFULLY.

    Whether we personally agree with Cameron Shayne’s arguments or not, we believe that he is explaining them with respect and integrity and we have chosen to publish his alternative, questioning view of a relevant and sensitive topic. Please try to do the same in your reply.

    We are about mindfully and seriously questioning the status quo and exploring all the alternatives – as long as this is done with respect and backed up by solid arguments. If there is no space for mindful disagreements in the world of Yoga or any other spiritual (or human) dimension, there is no space for us.

  • Christina commented on September 22, 2013 Reply
    A true teacher and Guru lights the path so that the student can find the light within herself/ himself. If the student is placing the teacher on a pedastool, a true teacher and Guru will gently guide the student back into his/ her own truth. “Why do people place teachers in a position of absolute authority…?” Because the teacher isn’t doing his job. He’s too busy padding his ego with celebrity status accomplishments. Rather than focusing on the physical and emotional well being of his students, he’s having sex with them. What I find so disturbing about this article is that the author is justifying his behavior by turning the question of consent back to the student. If the student sexually pursues his/her teacher, why should the teacher be blamed? Surely the student is an adult and can make his/her own decision, right? While this is certainly one way of looking at it, by asking these questions Cameron misses the point entirely. It’s not about the students mate. It’s about you. You use the word teacher far too loosely. You’re a guy who knows some stuff about asana and martial arts, but you don’t care about the emotional and physical wellbeing of your students. If you did, you wouldn’t be having sex with them regularly enough for it to be an issue. In the spirit of debate, I argue that you’re not a teacher at all. Certainly not in the yogic sense. If you were, this article would be questioning your own motives rather than those of your students. You would be fighting to find the light within, rather than pleading your case for others to consider.
    • Mary commented on September 23, 2013 Reply
      Agree 100%.
    • Cameron Shayne commented on September 25, 2013 Reply
      Dear Christina, You “depending on people to guide you back to your own truth”, as you suggest is cause enough for self reflection. Your suggestion that this is my issue is you missing the point of the article which was to draw attention to the issue of teacher/student relationships being inherently wrong. I know more than one married couple with children that have meet under these circumstances. I don think they would appreciate having that freedom judged or removed. I am not arguing for my right to prey on helpless students. I suggesting that I have the right to enter into a relationship with another healthy, clear, consenting adult under any circumstances. Anything that you infer beyond that is your imagination. With respect CS
      • Mary commented on September 25, 2013 Reply
        You may have the right but there are certain situations where it is inappropriate and unethical. Boundaries should be maintained and respected in certain relationships.
        • Cameron Shayne commented on September 26, 2013 Reply
          Your point is logical Mary. All situations require a review of ones ethics and the welfare of another. But who determines such rules for others and imposes them? No one is supposed to harm anyone. But rules and punitive results will not change peoples impulse to misbehave. Only proper education and exploration of self can effect this.
      • Christina commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
        Thanks for your response Cameron. I’d like to point out that nowhere in my reply did I use the word ‘depending’. Though ‘dependance’ can certainly happen within the teacher/ student relationship, it’s not endemic to the relationship itself as you seem to imply. It’s not endemic to anything. Dependence is just something that happens when we as humans forget our inner light and start looking for it elsewhere All the more reason, as teachers or otherwise, to take great care with each other, which your article and subsequent replies certainly don’t do. You see it’s not about sex. It’s not about judging or removing freedoms. It’s about acknowledging that some people are vulnerable, especially in the yoga shala where our bodies and minds are literally cracking open. But maybe you’re right Cameron. Maybe we should all just lighten up. I’m sure your students who feel hurt and judged when you look at them during practice and just ‘know’ that they’re ‘terrible in bed’ (as you admit to in your article) are just being too sensitive. Thank goodness that there are teachers like you out there to show us that liberal individuality is far more enlightened than empathy.
  • Dave commented on September 22, 2013 Reply
    Sadly, this is the result of the clownification of yoga. I wonder how many of his students turned teachers are using these techniques in their own classes. It’s like a cancer that is eating the integrity of yoga itself.
  • Amy commented on September 23, 2013 Reply
    This is so right on! Unless we want to embrace the same religiously-imposed attitudes and fears about sex that have failed our elders, we must forge another path. In my opinion, true sexual maturity is harmed by confining definitions of what is “okay” between two consenting individuals. Every time I hear one of those shoulds or shouldn’ts about sex, I have to resist the urge to scream, “Grow the fuck up!”
    • Cameron Shayne commented on September 25, 2013 Reply
      Thank you Amy :) Great contribution.
    • Chetana commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
      Would you feel the same way if your gynecologist asked you out while giving you a pap test? If your boss asked you for a sexual favour in exchange for a promotion? Unfortunately it is not as easy as saying “grow up” in relation to professional ethics and sexuality between people when there is a relationship of power. Denying this is just ridiculous. Have you seen the movie 9 to 5 with Dolly Parton? Don’t forget the hard-learned lessons of the last few decades. Inequity and power imbalance within a teaching structure do not allow for safety for the students even within an adult education context. That is why most other professions are regulated. Sadly, people who want to be ‘rebelles’ sometimes choose industries like yoga teaching and life coaching as they consciously or subconsciously get gratification from being a power-junkie. Of course, you can be a teacher who diminishes the power imbalance, or a teacher who enhances it. As far as I can see, this teacher is not aware enough of how the power imbalance between teacher and student operates in order to be that skillful. This is truly unfortunate.
  • mellownaps commented on September 23, 2013 Reply
    I agree with this article, and I really appreciate you for posting this. If an adult yoga teacher chooses to have sex with a consenting, adult yoga student, what is the problem? I think many of the angry comments are from people who are religious or have insulting ideas on the agency of women or yoga students in general. Shayne is not talking about a person using manipulation or control to have a sexual partner. He is talking about two people using their autonomy to have sex together. To suggest that a women can’t reject a yoga teacher’s sexual advances is insulting to women. That idea assumes that women, like children, the mentally ill, or other cognitively impaired people in society, can’t make rational decisions. Sex is natural. Sex is great. Shayne is referring to sex between two consenting adults. If one person VOLUNTARILY relinquishes power to another, that is their business.
  • Janet Warnock MacFarlane commented on September 23, 2013 Reply
    Consenting adults having a sexual relationship is fine. Anyone who takes advantage of someone who is vulnerable…knowingly and intentionally has a ethical problem, yoga teacher or not. Your question is pertinent to society and people as a whole, really.
  • Mary commented on September 23, 2013 Reply
    There doesn’t need to be a huge debate about it, IMO. It’s unethical and exploitative and it should be illegal. Grow up and leave your students alone. You are most definitely taking advantage of your position which does create an imbalance of power whether you want to come out of your denial and admit it or not. This is not sex between consenting adults. I couldn’t even read the entire post because it all sounds like justification of bad behavior to me. As a yoga teacher you are holding yourself out as a healing professional. It is unethical for doctors and other mental health professionals to take advantage of their position in such a manner. They would lose their licenses and it’s probably illegal. Do you think they would get away with calling this behavior dogma? You don’t know why people are there taking your class, on what level they may be looking for healing. But yoga is a spiritual, emotional and physical discipline.Teaching yoga is a great responsibility. Most student are looking up to you as someone who may be able to help them in some way. That puts you in a position of power which is very easy to exploit. This really needs to be explained? You should not be teaching yoga if you are going to engage in sexual relations with your students. Period. Maybe there needs to be consequences in this profession, as there are in others, for this kind of behavior.
    • charlottebellyoga commented on September 23, 2013 Reply
      I totally agree. As a practitioner of more than three decades, it makes me sad that yoga, of all things, has lowered the bar for ethical behavior. In any other teaching profession teachers who had sex with students would not be allowed to teach. If yoga is ever to be taken seriously as a profession, we do need to apply some ethical standards. Here’s an idea: There are these principles called yamas …
    • Maureen Miller commented on September 25, 2013 Reply
      I agree, Mary. Someone else made a comment about CS rationalizing his behavior and I agree with that too. IMO, there is a power differential especially when someone maybe newer to yoga, or may have a traumatic event they are healing from, or many other circumstances that would be situations where the teacher is responsible for holding the space for healing, not someone who believes it is okay to enter into a sexual relationship with a student. I understand that a teacher and student may fall in love and have a long-term relationship that is mean to happen and be, however, that is not what Shayne is describing here – he is boasting about multiple relationships in that role… that is very different – it becomes more about him and less about a meaningful relationship. It’s all yoga, right? We observe, we notice, we live, we learn and hopefully we do it all with intention living the Yamas. Hopefully Shayne will read these comments and reflect about what is here for him to learn. (But I won’t hold my breath on that.) I, like another person who commented, would like to know how his partners feel about how the relationship was before, during and after. Yes, comments and feedback are our opinions and perhaps judging, however, I would defer to Charlotte’s comment …. the ethical standards of yoga… the Yamas, are important as we examine our thoughts on the topic as well as how we uphold the standards of being a yoga teacher.
  • Christian Ryd Høgsberg commented on September 23, 2013 Reply
    I don’t know anything about the writer other than what can be found in this article, but I find it saddening that so many people who disagree with the points he makes and have no declared personal affiliation with the author stoop to attacking him for deeds that he is not describing and does not seem to condone in his article. No professional relationship between a student and a teacher is the same as another, so how can it possibly be deemed right or wrong? It is not that simple. Having sex with your student is not the same as taking advantage of someone you know to be vulnerable. The latter is a very serious accusation and does not belong in a forum like this without reasonable justification and proof. Secondary sources are not valid enough to conduct a witch-hunt or we might as well condemn 90% of people in the public eye. Defaming people can have serious consequences and, in this case, is in itself a way of taking advantage of someone who leaves himself open and vulnerable by laying his cards on the table. To do so is not only hypocritical, it is also irresponsible and malicious – but far too common in the world of online communication, where you can avoid accountability for your actions by shutting down your PC.
    • Cameron Shayne commented on September 25, 2013 Reply
      Dear Christian, Thank you very much for reading my article through the lens of objectivity rather than personal pain and projection. As you stated so clearly and poignantly I committed no such deeds as were assigned to me, and I do not endorse or suggest the preying on, or taking advantage of anyone, especially a person in my class room. Your voice and contribution is appreciated. Sincerely CS
  • Mary commented on September 23, 2013 Reply
    I don’t think it’s a reach to assume most yoga students are looking to heal on some level. This makes them vulnerable. Vulnerability is inherent in the student-teacher relationship. And it is taking advantage of a position of power. Turn it inside out any which way you want, but if a teacher is unable to recognize attraction to a student and not act on it, then they shouldn’t be teaching yoga. Do you have any idea of the level of harm that can be caused by this kind of reckless behavior? There is no amount of argument that justifies this kind of behavior and treatment of students who place you in a position of trust.
  • kirk hensler (@kirkhensler) commented on September 24, 2013 Reply
    this is good. unchained minds reach the greatest depths. they also have the hardest time resting.
    • Cameron Shayne commented on September 25, 2013 Reply
      Thank you Kirk. I appreciate your words and agree wholeheartedly brother.
  • Harriet commented on September 24, 2013 Reply
    The yoga studio as a pick up joint. Awesome! Makes you wonder why he can’t take his sexploits outside his classes. But then he wouldn’t be able to use his position of power as a teacher. The whole article comes off as adolescent bragging at best.
  • Get Real commented on September 24, 2013 Reply
    This isn’t a matter of social ethics. It’s a matter of professional ethics. Amongst all the rationalizations for sexually gratifying yourself with your students, you spout a lot of untruths…namely that only spiritual teachers are bond by a code of ethics. Almost every professional environment has some code of ethics. In the helping professions where there is power differential, including yoga, sex with students amounts to exploitation. Some of those helping professionals have already been successfully prosecuted in US courts and provide the basis for further legal against similar professionals. Even you. A teacher cannot abdicate their power of over students simply by saying it. The environment of the classroom determines the imbalance of power. The only way to balance that power differential is to quit teaching, which I would highly recommend until you actually understand how to be a teacher.
    • Cameron Shayne commented on September 24, 2013 Reply
      No person determines the ethics of another. Your suggestion that a social ethic should dictate policy for all could be used to support many antiquated notions including slavery of african americans. After all it was socially acceptable and socially ethical to own another person at that time thanks to social policy. I only suggest that consenting adults be honest with themselves and their own motives when choosing the content of their relationships. You also call yoga a helping profession. So are piano lessons. Possibly you attend a different type of yoga class than I teach void of religious hierarchal power structures and guru dynamics. I hold a space for people, including myself to move together and look at themselves. You bring attention to legal actions taken against people who have committed a crime. How that applies here is not evident in any way, as you could demonstrate someone has been victimized. You seem to assume you know my personal details and have made yourself my judge. I have no stories as vivid as your imagination Mr. Real, who doesn’t use his real name. This article is suggesting that consenting adults have the right and freedom to choose the content of their relationships when they meet in a Yoga class. Nothing more. Your projections and suggestion that there is something more being said here is only true in your imagination.
      • Get Real commented on September 26, 2013 Reply
        Must have struck a nerve. Your reply is longer than my original post. I clearly stated that it is a matter of PROFESSIONAL ETHICS, not social ethics. Do you not know the difference? Or do you just argue the points that you can make, instead of the issues raised. Many yoga traditions have as part of their teacher trainings, adherence to professional ethics. Again, YOU don’t determine whether a power differential exists in your class. The ENVIRONMENT of the class has already determined that there IS a power differential. The only question is whether you respect that environment or exploit it for your own gratification and ego-building. Perhaps it would be helpful for you to study Ethics, before you start making up your own. To argue that everyone determines their OWN ethics is the same logic a serial killer uses to justify their actions too.
        • Cameron Shayne commented on September 26, 2013 Reply
          Not sure the length of my response suggested anything other than respect for yours. I disagree that the environment determines the power differential. If a police officer asked a person out you could suggest the very fact that the officer has a gun and badge that there is a power differential. And so on, and so on. Your suggestion that the environment determines power is flawed in one overwhelming way. It suggests that all who enter that environment are powerless and subject to its conditions without choice or free will. Regardless of environment people can say yes or no to anything including being touched (adjusted). You’re line of thinking suggests that no one is safe because they surrender there common sense, intuition and power at the door of a class room. And I am not familiar with killers who argue ethics, but rather motives, reason, or conditions. As far as professional ethics I agree with you. If a yoga style or organization decided to hold itself to those standards, I would be in support of that. Both teachers and students would be clear on the environmental policies. And finally, simply because I have dated a person from my class does not suggest the imaginings of people like yourself. This was simply an admission to keep the conversation honest and transparent. It is unfortunate that people have used this as a way to attack a persons character.
  • chelsea commented on September 25, 2013 Reply
    Why don’t people (adults) just do what they want to do and keep it out of other people’s business. Quit writing articles about your secrets and your opinions-there is no right or wrong answer to your guys’ articles on this debate. Do what you want and mind your own business people! Worry about your own flaws before you worry about others (or what you think to be flaws) it’s all subjective.
    • Cameron Shayne commented on September 25, 2013 Reply
      Thank you Chelsea for your thoughts. You contribution is appreciated.
    • Paul commented on September 28, 2013 Reply
      Yeah, let the rapists and murderers run free.
  • Reyes commented on September 25, 2013 Reply
    Dear Cameron, Values are essentially personal. What some might consider “outdated dogmas” for me is just a matter of professional ethics and while I appreciate your honesty, yours is a yoga class that I will not be taking.
    • Cameron Shayne commented on September 25, 2013 Reply
      Dear Reyes, I am grateful for your thoughtful and honest contribution to the conversation. All methods are guiding us to the same place. If not in class, I’ll meet you there. Much love.
      • Samick commented on September 28, 2013 Reply
        Mine also. And we will not end up in the place. Hope to never meet you anywhere.
  • Brittney commented on September 25, 2013 Reply
    You spelled “learning” leaning in the first paragraph for “Corruption of Ethics.”
  • paul commented on September 26, 2013 Reply
    There is a lot of ideas in this article that run against many people’s views, and I think it has wrongly received the reaction it has (that it is an excuse for being predatory) because there are no practicals offered by the author for dealing with his vision; the hows of removing the teacher-student power dynamic or removing the notion of victimhood are absent, as are ways people can develop their own independence and their own guidelines for what is acceptable behavior. I think victimhood is real and usually imposed (be it rape or systems of oppression like slavery), and not just perceived, and that the power-dynamic should not be removed (I’m not sure it can be). I think these should be acknowledged and respected, with healers and teachers being sharers, giving their students the tools to be equals even while understanding their offerings may be ignored or rejected. Too, I think the only ethics we can want of others is that their actions are consensual and don’t spread disease, though what these are is itself contentious. I think the article rightly received the reaction it has because sex isn’t just another thing people do with each other; it is casual only because we have condoms and birth control pills with women bearing (sometimes literally) most of the consequence, and a unique exchange of energies that is very different from chatting. Really, and unfortunately, no one is likely to be persuaded to anything unless they think they’ve come up with the decision themselves. My hope is that as more and more people put peace first, we will come to understanding and can be honest about our own wants and needs without resorting to generalizations.
  • Amy OvermanWatkins commented on September 26, 2013 Reply
    I think this is about imbalance of power and abuse that occurs when that imbalance is used to subdue another. And most humans don’t react well to abuse. This goes back to my version of the Golden Rule – Don’t be an asshole.
  • Mark commented on September 26, 2013 Reply
    Interesting article and I agree with the general tone that we should be free to live life as we wish within reasonable guidelines. Could I introduce into your discussion of teacher/student intimate relationships (not just sex!) that we should consider the effect it has on other students in the same environment. The yoga space is one of those few places where we are able to put down the personal defences in the physical and emotional domains. Close relationships can have powerful effects on others. At one end of the scale some may feel that their own ethical beliefs are being challenged; at the other some may feel that the teacher has favoured another student over themselves, resulting in offence or loss of trust. There is also a group dynamic – the one we all enjoy positively when learning and practicing. It can be seen as selfish when one or more in the group cause disruption and disturb this enhancing spirit. So those who demonstrate inappropriate behaviours, where deliberately or not, actually diminish the learning space. So what I am trying to say is that as individuals, we all affect each other. In respecting ourselves and our rights, so we should also consider those around us and seek to treat them with the same respect. Context is always important so I don’t believe there is a black and white answer for all occasions. In some groups the issue of relationships is not important. In others it may be quite a problem. But a group is made of individuals so in that respect this discussion about teachers and students should include all.
    • Cameron Shayne commented on September 26, 2013 Reply
      Mark, I agree with your thoughts and find them to be of great contribution to the article. This is something that should be considered by any person considering a relationship with some they meet in class. I do feel it has an impact on the space and should be taken into consideration. Thank you very much.
  • Chaitanya commented on September 26, 2013 Reply
    Shayne, Why are you con feessing . If you are an army soldier in a warfield , fighting and killing may be needed then . But if you apply the same rule and PHILOSOPHILE, THEORIZE (as you did …) the same to the people living peacefully in the country , it will create a warfield outside. Right now its just like that . You are projecting this war field inside the country and would be satisfied or feel comfortable only when you see the same war zone happening infront of you . This shows that you have not yet experienced the war . War left few incompletions in you and you are trying to complete it still and that’s why you like to see a warfield even when the war is over . Your current con fession is trying to generate support to your idea to create a war field.Its nothing but your incompletions leading to further incompletions. Talk your experience.You have not taken the responsibility to be a Guru, then why do you comment on them? You talk on Hinduism without experiencing it .Calling it a religion and thus under rating it. But still let you understand the whole problem. The first problem is you are not a body . You have a body. 2.Sex is not an action its a state. 3.The urge for sex is not unnatural but being a trainer or a teacher is a responsibility . And that responsibility should guide you to operate in a different way. Just because you do not know does not mean that it does not exists and others do not know. The desire for sex can be channeled across various chakras. You are acting without even this knowledge and then on the name of confessions looking to gather support for your act. Nothing wrong with it also. But theorizing , philosophising and then commenting on the subjects you have no experience on is unfair Thats why yoga was learnt from enlightened masters. The intent is more important . And intention happens from a space. Whats the intention of this confession? Its not at all creating a healthy space. And thats the difference when you do not have a Guru or did not experience one. Its like a prostitute starts professing that she is the right solution for the ladies’ in the society and is the real world solution because she knows how to keep a man happy Just because you move limbs does not mean you have experienced Yoga. Avoid framing laws for all saying what you feel is right for you .If its right why do you feel the need to convince the left through confession. Do it through a declaration. For sex you do not need two bodies . You can . But you do not need. Gurus are not dead . The Guru within you is dead Its not the words but the wordlessness that really triggers the actions. And this is to that unsaid part. Stop judging. Start exploring . You are following a path to reach some goal. And you are confessing about an obstruction on the path. That means you have not yet reached the goal. Zen happen when the path becomes the goal. So Zen has not yet happened with you. And that’ why much of it is like a blogger or a mediocre reporter reporting. It is not an acharya talking. I neither have an organization or a programme. I answer you within what you thik of you as you and the you in others .
    • Cameron Shayne commented on September 26, 2013 Reply
      Chaitanya, You read my words as a “need” to confess. Not the case. Only a desire to be honest before presenting a position, as to not be a hypocrite. After all it would cowardly in my opinion to not first be honest and clear with my own past. Second I seek no war. There is nothing to fight against, or for, in my mind. I told a story and shared a view. Others are fighting as they will always do. What are they fighting for? To be right. For all of their projections and illusions to be safe and certain. This is the greatest illusion. You telling me what I have and have not experienced is interesting. All the while attempting to change or correct me is your own need to fight and be heard. I see you have wisdom from your words, and I see the wisdom in your words. But you cannot tell another man his own experience as you attempt to do when you tell me I Zen or yoga has not happened to me. I call your attention to your own judgement and reaction. Finally, I am not looking to gather support for me or my view. Like art I am sharing it. If no one had said a word about my article I would have felt the same. These are my views. I seek no support or war by sharing them. Nothing more, nothing less. The response is only a glimpse into the fear of the community. All experience is subjective. You wish to make some actions good, some bad. For each person this is theirs to decide. No holy man, or holy book decides for me what is holy. Sex for me is what intention I have behind it. For me it is sharing a space of love. For another, something different. I am no the judge only an observer. I teach balance and awareness through self study. If you know your intentions you will know your self. If you know your self you will make the correct choices for yourself. I suggest the guru as a concept is dead. Asking, observing, and imitating are all part of how we learn. This does not require the surrendering of ones own intuitive process to another. We are all capable of finding our way. Listening and learning from everything around us is no different. Stop resisting. Stop fighting. Stop controlling. Stop interfering. Peace comes. I am at war with no one. My responses come from my desire to be interpreted correctly, not to be right. But even this I can see is my own desire to control peoples perceptions of my words.
  • George Donin commented on September 26, 2013 Reply
    Rather than criticize, I feel the need to express concern for your well-being, Cameron. Let me first state up front: I’m also a male long-time yoga teacher with a martial arts background. So here’s the deal. You and I get to stand in front of rooms full of beautiful women who do exactly what we tell them to do and smile sweetly at us as they do it. So tell the truth. Is there any man alive who would not find this a tempting and pleasurable experience? Now read from Patanjali, Yoga Sutra II.7: “Sukha anusayi ragah.” Translation: “Pleasure leads to desire and emotional attachment.” Here’s Iyengar’s commentary on the sutra: “Pleasurable experiences generate greed and lust, which strengthen attachment and stimulate a greater craving, as one always wants more and more. One becomes absorbed by the pursuit of pleasure, and addicted to gratification of the senses. The aspirant may thus forget his chosen path and allow himself to be caught up in sorrow and sickness.” Here, Patanjali is giving us an important warning. He’s not coming from some sort of judgmental, Puritanical world view. He’s not telling us what we “should” or “shouldn’t” do. Rather, he’s sharing with us his deep understanding of human nature, by reminding us how we are really built — how our minds really work. So with all due respect for your willingness to share your story, and with a sense of camaraderie that I have for another man in a similar environment to my own — would you at least consider the possibility that you’re in deeper here than you may realize? I cannot help but read your post and think: “This is the mind of an addict at work, rationalizing the addictive behavior.” If I may be so bold as to suggest to you (and perhaps I am the first to do so): Please at least consider attending a twelve-step group for sex & love addiction. Just go, and sit, and listen to other people’s stories. See if any of it rings true for you. If not, then so be it. But watch for an arrogant voice in your own head that says something like, “What a bunch of losers!” Then you will know … that you belong in that room. Please believe me, Cameron: What I say to you, I say out of concern and compassion, not only for the others in your life, but for you.
    • Cameron Shayne commented on September 26, 2013 Reply
      George, Thank you for being considerate and sensitive in your response. You interpretation than I am addicted to sex or love, suggests that I have a dependence on these for my happiness. This would be your imagination and not my reality. I simply enjoy sex and love and seen nothing wrong with them as an expression of self. They are most certainly of the body, but so is chocolate and or any food for that matter, and I am not giving that up today. I choose to be in the body while being aware that I am not the body. Your interpretation of me using class as a place to meet women is your imagination. I meet partners in many different environments. Some relationships began because i meet someone in class. This does not suggest self gratification or addiction. I simply suggested that consenting adults have the right to choose, and we focus on the real problem at hand. There has been quite a bit of projection of peoples fears, anger and pain onto teachers who do in fact abuse other people. But these people are simply abusive regardless of what environment they are placed in. Claiming the teacher should know better is simply ignoring the greater issue which is the proper edification of people in general. With a focus on independent self study, rather than seeking answers from others. You quote the Sutras to me as if I am beholden to one orthodox view of yoga and one mans opinion. That is fine for you. I see it differently. These are guides only for me. Not fixed laws or rules. Your response suggests that you may be religious. I am not. I respect your position and your contribution.
      • George Donin commented on September 26, 2013 Reply
        If there are people who think your behavior lacks integrity — but you have no doubts about what you’re doing, then why do you waste your valuable time and energy defending yourself in an Internet post? If you’re a warrior, live your life as one. That includes having sex with as many women (including your yoga students) as you choose. I, for one, have no problem at all with that. But in fact, if there’s any serious negative fallout, I suspect the women involved are going to survive that fallout much better than you. In this situation you’re the vulnerable one. The women you’re having sex with will at worst suffer short-term to medium-term emotional consequences. They’ll have the status of victims, which will entitle them to many forms of emotional and legal protection. But as a man in our society, you are risking your reputation, your financial status, and even your legal status and freedom. This is no joke. All you need to do is look around at what’s happened to others in similar situations. I quoted that Sutra not as a way of attempting to control your behavior, but rather in an attempt to give you what I thought might be valuable information from an ancient, wise and knowledgeable source. My intention is only to help you see the potential consequences, so that you can make the best and most fully informed choices in your life. I’m not a member of any particular religious group, but I do study the Sutras (in addition to the physical postures). And it’s clear (to me at least) that Yoga is by definition a religious enterprise. (By the way the word “yoga” itself is derived from the same ancient Indo-European root as the word “religion.”) The Sutras unambiguously declare the existence of a supreme being, an ultimate teacher named Isvara (God). If you do not agree that the concepts in the Sutras form the basis of Yoga practice, then I don’t understand why you call what you’re doing “Yoga.” Is your practice so brilliant and innovative that you believe you can redefine an ancient and venerable practice such as Yoga? Finally, if you don’t believe you’re an addict then that’s fine with me. Please just keep your mind (and your eyes) open.
        • Adele commented on December 13, 2013 Reply
          I agree with George. I read this article thinking, “why does he feel he has to justify his sexual life at all, and what does sex have to do with yoga anyway?” I don’t want to be talking about sex in the context of yoga. In fact, one of the refreshing things about yoga is that it allows me some relief from the constant bombardment we all have in life centered around sexuality, or any other heavy-handed social reality. Personally, I try my best not to think about sex during my yoga practice, with my boyfriend or with anyone else for that matter. I practice yoga so that I can re-center and ground myself each morning, and attend classes so I can push my edges and learn from others. Sure, it’s hard to deny that yoga hasn’t become sexualized in today’s world because of yoga pants and creepy yoga celebrities and the fact that you end up staring at more taint while in class than you ever would otherwise. But isn’t one of the goals of a personal yoga practice to develop concentration and mediation and self-discipline for rising above base desires? To foster an ability to be in control over your own emotions? As a teacher in training, I do feel a responsibility to my future students to set the tone for my class, to offer a space where one can forget about the external, and sex is the #1 thing in life that will instantly draw insecurities, and ego, and external forces to the surface. The role of a teacher (as I see it) is to facilitate that space, and help students learn proper alignment and concentration during poses so they can learn how to breathe and trust themselves. If I were standing at the front of class thinking about sex, that would definitely translate to my students, and I think that is what bothers me here. I don’t mind how many people anyone has sex with, how kinky they are, or how open they are, or in what manner it comes about. I even agree that many social problems arise because sex is too volatile an issue; we are inherently sexual beings…life is sexual because life IS procreation. But. There is something amiss when someone feels the need to justify their sexual behavior, and the last thing I would my yoga teacher, the person whose energy is creating a space for my own personal yoga practice, to be doing is standing up there thinking about me sexually, or even thinking about sex at all. Sex is external to a yoga practice, and carries with it so much inherent baggage, no matter how free and open you are about it. It is an act that so deeply touches our unconscious, our abilities to trust, our ability to open up to people, that it is downright irresponsible to both yourself and your partner to be flippant about its importance. That is just a reality that no one can get away from. There are subtleties in play here beyond simply “the teacher and the student are equals.” On a side note: there are several other comments the author makes that are pretty outrageous: “After all, most of these men and women are conventionally unattractive, socially uncool, religious oriented geeks, and always have been. I would go as far to say that I have never seen one that I would measure worth being taken advantage of by.” I mean, that has not been my experience by any means, but what an awful thing to say about anyone in general! This comment says more to me about Cameron Shayne that anything else in this article.
  • Terence Tofield commented on September 26, 2013 Reply
    If you’ve been studying yoga and martial arts for sometime, you’ll know by now that the restrictions and rules of these disciplines aren’t there to make life more stressful, but to aid the practitioner in the pursuit of happiness. You’ve noticed by now that relationships by themselves do not make you happy. You’ve also noticed that sexual relationships with your students do not make you happy, and do not add to the practice of your students. Your mission as a teacher is to spread yoga, that is your gift to the world. When you are giving your gift to the world, then you are ready for a relationship. In conclusion, sexual relations with your students is not following ones mission, and is not contributing to the practice and welfare of the students. It is therefore an obstacle to true happiness, and the discipline necessary in achieving ones goals as a practitioner and teacher.
    • Nianna commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
      Well said.
    • Cameron Shayne commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
      Terence, I agree with your over all message. My question to you is; how do you know I am not in a relationship? Simply because I have admitted to having intimate relationships with a student over my 30 years of teaching? Quite a conclusion to draw without knowing me or my private life. And I must respectfully add that telling any person what they have learned or noticed is unfair and further presumptuous. I know know what makes me happy, and you know for yourself. But I do not presume to know for you. Some people live their whole lives as bachelors quite happily and others in long term relationships. I am not their judge. My personal mission is to hold a space for people to question, ponder, and look deeply at their motives, beliefs and actions. Nothing more, nothing less. With respect sir. CS
      • Sandy commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
        Get over the, you don’t know me, you can’t judge me defensiveness and just own you shit.
        • Cameron Shayne commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
          What shit would you like me to own Sandy? Your projections and imaginations that suggest that I hunt and prey on my vulnerable and defenseless students? Or that I use my class as a pick up spot because I admitted that I have met partners there. Sorry, but that is simply true only in your mind.
          • Samick commented on September 28, 2013
            What a liar you are Camaron. Why don’t you come clean about how many of your students you took advantage of. It’s not our projection of you, but the pure perception of who you really are.
  • Nianna commented on September 26, 2013 Reply
    RESPONSIBILITY. “Why do people place teachers in positions of absolute authority and thereby surrender their own good judgement and common sense? The answer, I propose, is simple. People prefer the effortless acquisition of other people’s truth, over the experience of earning their own. This issue of vulnerable idealistic adult students being taken advantage of by egomaniacal male teachers for me is like the war on drugs: another completely corrupted strategy designed to deal with the symptom rather than the disease.” In your own words. From what I can tell you have no idea what you are talking about. I don’t get the point of your entire piece that begins and ends in different directions, but none the less, I am concerned about the words above. The answer is not so simple as the one liner you propose. The answer is deeply rooted in they psyche and cultural conditioning. And for far too long now some people, perhaps even yourself, have benefited from this sort of confusion, blurred lines, and power plays. Those days are dying as we bring light to ill conduct of those “holding rank” in that perceived power. When a student comes to us we are responsible to show them the path, not the bed. Why do people surrender their own good judgment? Because they are wounded and broken down in some way. Whether they are conscious of it or not. As real teachers it is our job to see the truth even if they can’t and to see the probable future and outcomes of actions. What they need is a teacher who will see that truth and help them heal and grow healthy, to surrender their own desires and do what is right for their growth. Sex is easy. It can be taken from women easier then it can be taken from them, culturally there is no denying that. Sex is the oldest way of imposing power and domain over another. For the sake of our students and future students lets not sugar coat this.
    • Cameron Shayne commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
      Nianna – Let me clarify. Many of the yoga community followers, like many of the proponents for the war on drugs, go after the drug dealers, rather than investing into the real problem: Eduction and rehabilitation of the users. Making one vice go away does not make the addiction and illness itself go away. So it is on to the next vice. I am suggesting that much of the yoga community crucifies some one like John Friend, who I am not a friend or associate of in any way, and chooses to focus on his sexual affairs, in which no one claimed to be taken advantage of, in order to prove he is a bad man. What ever his mistake were, I suggest that arrogance and poor judgement may be his sins, rather than consensual adult sex with grown women. And while we focus on this, the real problem that can be solved, the edification of students, is passing us by. We cannot control corruption. We can encourage awareness and honesty. Your concern for women who are having sex “taken from them” is the worst case scenario and certainly could not be stooped by a Yoga Alliance pledge or oath. I agree students come to teachers wounded and broken down. And why would any healthy and clear person want to pursue an intimate relationship with that person? I cannot say because I would not, and have not, and will not. But obviously it happens under all conditions. My problem with this line of thinking is if one person in the room is wounded and ill, that another person who is clear and healthy cannot choose from there own space. You are suggesting a restriction of peoples personal rights based on the possibility that error may occur. Its like insurance, and never have we seen a more corrupt institution. All of this commentary is directed at the wounded student and preying teacher. Why is this the only possibility on the lips of these comments? Because it is the most sensational, the most disturbing, the most inflammatory. If this were the story of how I met my beautiful wife in yoga class and our 2 lovely children, no one would care. So though you use my story as way to project, accuse and simply make up things to support your points, know that what you say will not change the fact that people will do as people do. Making a teacher sign and oath or pledge will not change the problem. Solutions are never more rules, but rather a better eduction of the yoga community at large.
  • chiara commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
    I feel that (ab)using one’s position of power to get something which goes beyond the scope of the relationship is always wrong, in yoga, psychotherapy, teaching maths. If you want to shag your teacher or your student, exit that relationship and begin the sexual one on an independent mode. If it still works, good for both of you. If it doesn’t, well… some questions may arise on the initial power dynamics. If you are a yoga teacher, hopefully you have embraced the concept of brahmacharya as ‘not wasting energy’ and therefore one-night stands will not have an appeal anyway. So, assuming you want to create something profound, it will pass the test of time, off-the-mat, from the very beginning.
  • Anna commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
    Hi Cameron, This is an interesting discussion, and one that I feel is especially relevant in light of the allegations of Bikram & Kausthub Desikachar’s sexual, physical and emotional conduct that were recently revealed to the yoga community. Lots of interesting replies to your article, particularly from Sean Feit and Matthew Remski, neither of which you have responded to. It would be great if you could answer Matthew Remski’s questions from his reply above which I have pasted below for your convenience. 1. How do the politics you express create physical and emotional safety for women and men in a classroom situation? 2. How would you respond to and serve those women and men who would feel physically, emotionally, and sexually threatened by your disregard for the prosocial ethics we have evolved to address power imbalances? Many thanks Anna
    • Anna commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
      Right on Anna, couldn’t agree more! Yes, please please reply on Mathews questions Cameron! Many thanks from another concerned fellow yogateacher also called Anna
    • Cameron Shayne commented on September 28, 2013 Reply
      Hi Anna – I am happy to respond to those questions. 1. How do the politics you express create physical and emotional safety for women and men in a classroom situation? First, the politics I express are simple; that clear and healthy consenting adults should have the right to choose without judgement who they choose to be intimate with under any conditions. That may seem idealist, but that is my view. It certainly does not suggest that teachers or students should use the classroom as a pick up scene, as suggested by my critiques, even though it is no where to be found in my article. It is inferred by people who are using worst case scenarios to create social and professional policy. I have at least 2 friends who have healthy and happy relationships from meeting their partners in class as their teacher. This is actually not uncommon. People don’t want to talk about it because it is bad for business to suggest that its okay due to the judgement of others. No one is suggesting that my class is unsafe but the people who seem out to destroy my reputation because of what they think is happening. 2. I would respond to those who feel physically, emotionally and sexually threatened by my politics by asking what have I done to them, against them or with them? I have no interaction with these people. I am absolutely transparent with all people who walk into my class room. I would never even flirt with an mature adult who was clear and honest with me and themselves.
  • Leon Catchatoorian commented on September 27, 2013 Reply Hey Cameron, I just clicked on this from an email link that came to me. I have taught Yoga for now well over 27 years and I need to bring this out to the general public. As much I don’t like Bikram Choudhury (I too was born and raised in Calcutta, India) but am Armenian by ethnicity, I feel the female gender control freaks are taking over things. Case in point, back in May/June of 2001 YOGA JOURNAL printed an article in their “Reflections” section(they no longer have this) by a woman named Samantha Dunn. It was about her special invitation to a “Yoga with Sting” (formerly of the Rock group POLICE) and the article is FULL of sexual innuendo. I will copy the article to you below. I have laminated the original (which incidentally Yoga Journal adroitly has eliminated from their website “search” engine, but curiously they have Dunn’s other articles. She had fallen of her horse with a bad injury and Yoga had rehabilitated her beautifully. Putting that article on their website would prove these women’s lies and accusations against Male Yoga teachers. (Amrit Desai originator of Kripalu Yoga, Rodney Yee, dubbed “stud-muffin” by Oprah Winfrey who made tons of money for Yoga Journal and YJ didn’t say PEEP about this, although the San Francisco Chronicle had the articles, I have those too, even Yogananda had sex with his photographer and SRF hush hushed it. Swami Kriyananda too….blah blah blah) This BULLSHIT has to stop. Females come to my class in the skimpiest of outfit, see-through leotards, boobs hanging out of their blouses etc, and since we males have to take sexual initiative we are ALWAYS blamed, Dr Warren Farrell PhD, Dr Herb Goldberg PhD, Fred Hayward Director of Men’s Rights Incorporated and the National Congress for Men rile against this reverse sexism from control freak lookalikes of Andrea Dworkin, Gloria Steinem etc. Although I didn’t read your article about Male teachers can have sex with their students, I will stick that Samantha Dunn article in front of these bitches who try to blackmail their male yoga teachers. I even contacted Samantha Dunn and she agreed that YJ was being stodgy… People, read this article and then say women don’t get horny. This shit happens all the time to Male teachers who have to cow down to these female’s controlling ways! HERE’S THE VERY VERY TELLING ARTICLE that Yoga Journal has “censored” from their website, because it will expose their hypocrisy HOOK, LINE and SINKER I’ll be watching you Reflections by Samantha Dunn The author discovers that when Sting is your yoga teacher holding the poses is the last thing on your mind Yoga Journal May/June 2001 ( has other articles by Samantha Dunn but NOT this one???) So there I am, halfway through a Sun Salutation, wondering if my breasts will indeed pop out of my new, stretchy black tank top, a top that fits fine when I am standing but is too tight for my less-than-lithe frame when in motion. This fact I neglected to consider on my frenzied shopping spree to find the perfect outfit for a yoga class with Sting- as in The Police, as in “ROXanne/ you don’t have to put on the red light…” as in “If you love someone/set them free.” Sting is making his debut as a yoga teacher for 35 contest winners, four of whom like me won a L.A radio station giveaway; the others have never done yoga in their lives and are winners of other contests from all over the country. I am directly in front of Sting, a location assuring that he will witness the moment when and if the stretchy black top, shall we say, lets me down. Ego Lesson #1. She who attempts to demonstrate to numinously-attuned and handsome-although-married celebrity that she is both Enlightened and a Hot Babe will be humiliated and thus find that when being brought back to earth, the landing is hard. The spandex held, thankfully. Still, certain events in life are so well aligned that is impossible for me not to believe karma is like a freebie pitched straight at my head to teach that which I most need to learn at the moment. The very month I won the “Yoga with Sting” prize, an essay I had written in Yoga Journal was on the newstands, and I was asked by a publisher to write about yoga for an upcoming literary anthology. I was feeling rather pious about my practice, a bit more yogini-than-thou. I hve never entered a radio contest in my life (all right, once before, but that was when I was 15 and it was for Van Halen Tickets, plus my name was never called); that I was selected for this one certified for my small mind (“small mind” in the Buddhist sense) that I had been anointed as a representative for all things yogic. Friends commented on the unusual coincidence, to which I, bodhisattva of smugness, responded with a modest-but-indulgent smile and something about my humbler appreciation. Ha! The reason I entered the contest was twofold: One, I am always up for saving $15 and bumming a free yoga class, and two, while I am used to being around famous people as a longtime contributor to celebrity magazines, I am rarely in the company of an artist whose work forms a part of my emotional lexicon and who seems to conduct his life in a manner I admire. Not to mention the fact that said artist is also high on the ogle meter. Make that threefold. So on the appointed day I arrived in the Los Angeles Center for Yoga, my mat in its Indian-print bag slung over my shoulder with studied casualness. The four other winners and I sat up front and tried our best to relax, while keeping an eye on the door to see if our illustrious instructor was coming. The other winners arrived, cautiously entering the studio, unsure of what this whole yoga thing was going to be about. “Can’t we just watch him do this? I’m not very limber,” someone near me asked. “Do we have to sit on the floor?” said another. So busy was everyone trying to get situated that few notice Sting had slipped into the room until he had taken his place at the platform, flanked by two of his teachers, Ganga White and Tracey Rich, founders of the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara, California. Sting also wore a black tank (though his looked a lot more comfortable than mine) and loose drawstring pants, and he was tanned, smiling, and soft-spoken. I admit I had impure thoughts, although in my defense I believe I was not alone. “How many here have a yoga practice?” he asked. The five of us in front shot our hands up. He regarded each of us, inquired about the forms we studied, and listened attentively as we told him about our experiences. “That’s wonderful,” he concluded. “They’re all branches of the same tree,” I think our collective, sighing reply was, “Goo.” Then he turned his eye on the rest of the group. “How many here have never done yoga before?” Most of the hands went up and with them his eyebrows. “All-right. You have never done yoga before and I have never taught it before, so we’ll all just do the best we can.” He told us all not to worry about the postures so much as relax into our breathing. “You’re doing yoga with…” he laughed a little self-consciously before the inevitable phrase “…with every breath you take.” Then he did something I did not expect. He started to speak earnestly about his own experience with yoga, how he came to it 20 years ago but still considers himself a beginner, how the practice not only has given him better fitness than when he was a much younger man but has also opened up his life incredibly and changed him ways he never anticipated. He said his dearest hope for today was that those who had never encountered yoga would come away with a positive feeling toward it. And who knows, maybe a few would actually be interested enough to start a practice. Then Sting began to lead us through the Ashtanga set he does regularly. He left the five of us to White’s care and focused his energy on the rest of the group, making sure the man from Nebraska who wore blue jeans and a button-up shirt got the hang of it and that the two girls from Seattle could manage Downward-Facing Dog without straining their wrists. “Do you think I can pretend to get this wrong so he can come adjust me?” joked the admiring woman next to me, a Bikram instructor for 9 years. “Not a chance,” I said to her. “I’m a far more desperate case than you, and besides he’s not adjusting anybody. Darn it.” As we got farther into the set I forgot about my too-tight top and about trying to look good. I had to. It was as if the yoga took me by the shoulders and gave me a little shake, admonishing me to “Pay attention! This is more important!” When it was time to relax in Corpse Pose, each settled in as quietly as the next: the man from Nebraska and the Bikram teacher, the rock star and the girls from Seattle. It occurred to me that this was one of the best classes of my life. The beauty of yoga was so clear. If we just do it, surrender to it, yoga always, always takes us to places so much bigger and deeper than anything we can construct on our own, no matter who we are or how we put a roof over our heads, or even if we put a roof over our heads at all. All we need to be, in fact, is human. Samantha Dunn is a freelance write in Malibu, California, whose work appears in SHAPE, InSTYLE, and MEN’s FITNESS magazines. She is the author of FAILING PARIS (Toby Press, U.K.), a novel.
  • Lee commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
    “Therefore the very idea that you can project onto sex a special quality that may exist for you, but not for another, is arrogant, assuming and stepped in antiquated dogmatic ideology. By focusing on sex as an isolated part of the whole, we treat sex as if it were the disease, and not simply a symptom. And we further suggest that the act of sex is more or less sacred than any other act.” Why is Sex such a big Deal Anyway? Respectfully, “Sex is a big Deal”. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t see the trauma, hurt and broken lives of so many molested children. Sex is a huge, huge deal. Sex originates from that sacred space within our bodies, space that shows us in all our vulnerability, bare and raw… looking to be embraced by another in all the humanity of it. Sex emanates from that sacred space that only those we approve of can see. Sex is not a akin to a conversation, a sharing of a meal or a walk… it is much deeper than that, and its impact can last years. It’s never “just sex”. Not for Porn Stars, not for One Night Stands, not for anyone. In the darkness of a room, when we are forced to confront ourselves, there will be a nagging feeling, a sense of discomfort about the girl we just had sex with, the one that didn’t mean anything; or about the Porn Star we were asked to work with, the hundredth man we’ve slept with… say what you will, but we are spiritual beings. And sex is the direct tap into that spirit, when that spirit longs to be shared with another.
  • Leon Catchatoorian commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
    That very revealing article (excuse the pun but include the fun) will shut these hypocritical sexist females up that pontificate about their “purity” and harp on the YogaSutra’s and other such tall bullshit religious tales. Yoga Journal has NEVER written anything about their POSTER-BOY “stud-muffin” Rodney Yee as he has made them tons of money with all his popularity with the “girls” and his DVD’s etc. My good friend Fred Hayward, Director of Men’s Rights Inc, put it this way: “When I meet a woman just as sexism has taught me to check out her body before I bother to find out if she’s a nice person, Sexism is teaching women to check out a man’s job, and his car and his willingness to spend money on her before they bother to find out if he’s a nice person, so that this so-called male advantage ends up dehumanizing men”!!! WOMEN WILL NEVER GET THEIR ISSUES SATISFIED UNTIL WE BOTH, BOTH GENDERS WORK AT THIS TOGETHER. And now to get into the question of relationships. If us men could make one change that would with make the most improvement in terms of ending sexism, ending women being sex objects, and men being provider objects, and ending violence and ending all of that stuff. It would be for women to share the role of initiating. To us men THAT is the crux of the building block of everything that we’re talking about. Women have been conned into thinking that what a man does is great, and it’s easy and its powerful and it’s not. And again, relationships and the interaction between the genders is really the most important thing. The initiative is the central issue, and that’s something men in the men’s movement talk about a lot and women are going have to start hearing it and sharing that burden. It’s a burden; it’s not sharing the power. The power lies in the person who’s at the receiving end of the initiative, (which means the female has the power NOT the male, who is the usual one taking and making the sexual initiative) so it’s not a matter of sharing power, it’s not a matter of sharing fun, it’s a matter of sharing the BURDEN of initiating a relationship, and until that’s done, we are starting off relationships that have to be, they are inevitably going to be a relationship between a predator and prey, between a man hunting a sex object and a woman searching for a provider and a protector, and then we hope that things get better after the relationship starts and that’s really very difficult. We have to start the relationship off in a non-sexist way and that means women sharing this role.
  • Leon Catchatoorian commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
    PLEASE DO NOT CENSOR MY COMMENTS as I’m trying my level best to build bridges between our genders and NOT building WALLS! Read my previous comments and understand what happens to us men and how females are blackmailing us left, right and center.
    • Rebelle Society
      Rebelle Society commented on October 4, 2013 Reply
      Dear Leon, Our comment policy does not allow any derogatory, defamatory or insulting comments. All comments containing insults to either the author or any other commenter will be deleted. We appreciate hearing different arguments but we will NOT tolerate any form of hatred or verbal abuse in writing, indifferent of how sound or adequate the argument might be. THANK YOU FOR UNDERSTANDING AND RESPECTING OUR POLICY.
  • wf commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
    Mr. Shayne. You are having sexual relationships with people who are actively paying you? From an academic perspective, how is your conduct (or the setting) any different than individuals who run bordellos? Perhaps you might keep yourself busy justifying yourself while you wait for the law to arrive.
  • Robert commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
    He reminds me of the guy in the movie, Failure to Launch. Someone who can take adult responsibility and engages in adolescent behavior. Grow up, Cameron, before you end up causing real harm if you haven’t already.
  • Robert commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
    That’s “can’t take adult responsibility”. Wouldn’t want to confuse Cameron more than he is already.
  • Jacqui commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
    Your claim that your viewpoint is predicated on choice and exploration is continually negated by your insistence that one type of choice is right and the other is wrong. This logical flaw renders your hypothesis invalid. Sorry, bro.
  • lucas commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
    ——————————————————- After all, most of these men and women are conventionally unattractive, socially uncool, religious oriented geeks, and always have been. I would go as far to say that I have never seen one that I would measure worth being taken advantage of by. ——————————————————- But you, I see ARE cool, hot and non-religious? Oh, those lucky girls… invite some of them to comment, using pseudonyms, to share their saucy tales. Put the haters at ease, I’m sure your students/ex-lovers will sing your praises.
  • Anna commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
    Cameron, I’ll tell a personal story. I was abused sexually as a kid. When I was 18 I decided Im not gonna be a victim anymore, I dropped therapy after a year and decided to not be influenced from my past. I wasn’t that succesfull. In the footsteps of trying to regain a true sence of intergity I fell “prey” to several male yogateachers sexual endevours. No, they did’t abuse me but, No, it didn’t help me to heal either. Women and men like me, who have been abused or raped (and people in general who’ve been traumatized) need space to heal our nervous system – Desperately! (and honestly – who in this crazy world is not a little traumatized?) Yogateachers can provide a healing space but it requires a hell lot of maturity to provide that! What has helped me are the mature male yoga teachers (and therapists recently) who have seen the hurt kid in me and denied my search for their sexual attention and told me either by words or just by their way of being that – Hey, drop that! Im here for you to finally experience that you are safe, this is a room where we are gonna empower you, make you feel you got the right to put your boundries, so that you can go out in the world and regain what you’ve lost. Those are people who have worked on themselves, who have faced their unavoidable human lonelyness and vulnerability and learned to deal with it in mature ways, and who have developed compassion for others in that process. That’s the only thing that has helped me to step out of being a victim – do you see what Im talking about here? And, that your article concerns yogateachers having sex with their students without refecting a word on accusations of serious charges on rape that recently has taken place in the yoga community leaves me absolutely speachless. Heard of blaiming the victim? And yes, I get absolutely furious reading your article but Im doing my best to communicate constructively. 
I agree with you sex can be the most beautiful thing, but it can also be used as torture. I can not know if you know anything about how that feels, but I do. I would humbly suggest that you as a man of the 21st century, spend a little time to reflect on how power balances between men and women have shaped the world, and how we now have the power to make different choices and make change. Maybe for the first time in history men have a tremendous opportunity to take on those perspectives and take action accordingly. Do it Cameron, empower yourself!
    • Jacqui commented on September 28, 2013 Reply
      Brilliantly said, thank you for speaking.
      • Anna commented on September 28, 2013 Reply
        Thank you Jacoui for your encouragement! Im looking forward to a response from you Cameron on what I wrote in general, and especially on my two questions (ill clarify them) 1. Your reflections on what it actually takes to transform from victimhood? 2. Your reflections on victim blame? Thanks!
    • Birgitte Gorm Hansen commented on September 29, 2013 Reply
      Good questions! well put.
  • the moment already came commented on September 28, 2013 Reply
    This has all been a hoot, but I have to say my favorite part so far has been discovering that on his website, Cameron Shayne has given himself the ironic title of “Kancho.” In Japanese, Kancho is the word for a prank common among schoolchildren, in which you make a pretend gun out of your hands, sneak up on someone, and jab your fingers at their butthole as hard as you can. Which is sort of how I felt reading this article: it was painful for me, I bet Cameron felt pretty cool at first, but in the end we were both a bit embarrassed, and then we got to laugh about the whole thing. So listen, Kancho. You seem to be sitting atop a pretty big mountain of moral relativism here. I know, I know, like you said, you’re just speaking your truth. But let’s pause for a moment and consider that the notion of “your truth” is a bunch of sloppy nonsense. “Truth” literally means corresponding to objective fact or reality, a notion you explicitly deny: “All experience is subjective” or “[The] act of seeking outside one’s self for answers is folly.” What you have here are a bunch of opinions, dressed up in fancypants phrases like, “The guru is dead” and “There are no victims.” And you’re totally entitled to those. I personally find them hilarious to observe, and look forward to more of them; please subscribe me to your newsletter. And let me be perfectly clear: I’m all for you humping anyone, anywhere, anyway the two of you can agree upon. That’s the rich reward of the fact that we’re all big kids now. Never mind the fact your entire setup is predicated on the fact that in your classroom you’re the boss and you get to decide what is or is not for sale. Try working at Dunkin’ Donuts and every now and again asking a customer, “Would you like a BJ with that?” You’d lose your sprinkle privileges real fast over that. But here’s where you really lost me: you’ve pitched your tent on both sides of the field. On the one hand, you’ve made a striking number of normative claims about the nature of a common reality–really most of your article consists of statements about how the world is and how humans function. On the other, you’ve adopted this I-am-a-rock-I-am-an-island style of logic that implies no such common reality exists to any degree, and everyone’s experience is so radically subjective that none of us is qualified to assess the values of another. That itself is a huge claim about reality and a big assessment on values. It’s also a fortress of solitude wherein your privileged experience, “your truth,” is rendered conveniently untouchable by outsiders. When someone disagrees, they’re reacting or being dogmatic or “projecting,” a little piece of word-candy you can’t seem to stop sucking on. An alternate scenario would be that each of us, in our privileged but limited experience has unique but incomplete access to a reality we share to differing degrees. Within that experience, we can discuss and debate the validity of claims to truth, and in that context certain claims are indeed more or less valid based on their ability to more or less completely render a reality none of us can completely perceive individually. That’s precisely the value of seeking outside oneself for answers: by reflecting our own experience back to us through theirs, others can reveal aspects of ourselves we are blind to because of habit, proximity, or, let’s face it, plain ignorance. That’s what a guru, a teacher, a therapist, a friend, a lover, or a hobo on subway who says you look fat in those pants is good for. Oh, you’re still gonna have to do all the work, but it’s nice to have a heads up. In this scenario, your detractors are reflecting back to you the opinion that you’re wrong about a number of things. On the one hand, I don’t fault you for discounting the opinion of people who don’t know you. On the other, if your article is complete unto itself and as you say “most normal humans share the same mental, emotional and spiritual capacity to critically think,” then your readers actually possess everything required to make a potentially valid critique. You have defended this article simply as a statement of your experience. You have responded as if your awareness of yourself and your experience is always accurate beyond others’ observation. You have responded, in effect, by saying, “No one else a position to tell me I’m wrong about that.” I am responding by saying, “You’re wrong about that too, Kancho.”
    • amphibi1yogini commented on September 29, 2013 Reply
      “Try working at Dunkin’ Donuts and every now and again asking a customer, “Would you like a BJ with that?” You’d lose your sprinkle privileges real fast over that. ” Stop right there. Nailed it!
    • Cameron Shayne commented on September 30, 2013 Reply
      This certainly has been a fun read for me as well. Kancho has 2 meanings. One is in fact a kids game, and the other means the director of an organization. That was a cheap shot and contradicts for me at least your level of sincerity, maturity and your own arrogance that you seem to see in me. Second, I wrote this article as a response to the over focus of a judgement of personal choices of consenting adult teachers and students. I am not suggesting that my critiques are wrong in their observations. However most of them have been quoting religious yoga texts as evidence to demonstrate this, and I don’t agree any more than if a person told me I shouldn’t have sex before marriage because the bible told me so. Other people who argue that teachers should consider the weak and vulnerable students minds before trying to shag them, are right. This however does not apply to my article because this was not an argument to demonstrate the justification of teachers hitting on students, but rather the right for teachers and students to have the freedom to choose to be together without judgement. There is no where in this piece that it is suggested, other than out of context. Using sounds bits to prove points is not a true exploration of an argument. I recognize that this triggered peoples pain. They see in my words what they wanted to see. Everyone has seen it through their own life experiences and this has created a tremendous stir. If I choose to engage a person, I do my best to see them fully. We all have pain and work we are doing, so no match is perfect or forever. I am not an island of logic, but I am an island of personal responsibly and accountability. If I make a mistake I own it and work to correct it. I do not make other people the cause for my pain. And you you Duncan Donuts comment further enforces a focus on content in my article that simply exists only in your imagination. Your suggesting that I provide a teaching service, and then offer sexual acts as an up-sale is comical, and I did laugh, but it has no relation to the content of the article. I clearly stated that over the course of 30 years of teaching I have meet intimate partners in that space, and like all good relationships, they evolve over time, by building trust and transparency with each other. What was interesting about this was that I used the work sex and it triggered so much pain and projection. Had I said I have fallen in love with a student this conversation would be quite different. People have not left the guilt and shame behind instilled by the christian value system. So I know you hate to hear these words, but your “projections” of what you think I am saying are not absolute truth either, as many others heard it differently. Yours is one opinion, a fair one i might add, but still not an accurate portrayal of my content or message.
      • Jan Kool commented on October 19, 2013 Reply
        If you’re so confident, why do you care what strangers think of you? People are free to judge anything, you yourself have said as such. if persons who disagree with you are being “non-objective”, then your own subjectivist argument is hollow. If you believe that your post is only about expressing consensual sex, then you clearly need to articulate yourself better. And if I am “in pain”, er… no I am not. it’s a free world (again as you assert) so I am FREE to express any view I want. I DO agree that one doesn’t have to abide by
        • Ravidas commented on November 26, 2013 Reply
          I think he’s attached to expressing his intended message. Silly thing about writers: they always have a point to argue.
    • paul commented on September 30, 2013 Reply
      some homophones of kanchō: 館長 – director; 浣腸 – enema; 干潮 – low tide; 漢朝 – Han Dynasty. though it is i’m not sure there is anything to the bluster gush except a show.
    • the moment already came commented on October 3, 2013 Reply
      Kancho! I wasn’t expecting a personal note with so many people lined up for your autograph here–I’m really flattered. A few clarifying points: 1) I am absolutely immature, and pretty arrogant–what tipped you off? 2) But I am absolutely being sincere here, especially in that: 3) I really do agree you have the right to sleep with anyone who wants to touch your budokon. However, when you talk about: 4) “the right for teachers and students to have the freedom to choose to be together without judgement.” It’s those last two words :without judgement” that make me barf in my mouth a bit. Because: 5) I know you’re not talking about scrounging for BJs at the Double D. Obviously. But my still valid point is this: the ONLY reason your attitude stands up is because no one else is the boss of you in this setting (a fact I am guessing you relish). And because you’re the Tony Danza in your classroom in an unregulated industry, you DO have the right to say, “Hey, welcome to class. Just so you know, I’m gonna make you walk across the room like a monkey today. And if we fall in love, we can decide to do it. And that’s cool.” 6) But as the potential consumers of your class, anyone else has the equal right to say either: “Hey, that dude is always taking his shirt off. And he makes me walk across the room like a monkey. That makes me want to take my pants off. Let’s do this.” Or something like this: “I personally find this teacher’s lack of explicit personal and professional boundaries annoying and lame. I’m gonna go kick and punch elsewhere.” Or, as Krishna liked to say it, “You are entitled to your actions, but not the fruit of your actions.” Not that you listen to him. But here are a couple of thoughts from a guy I bet you do listen to: 1) Learn to attain your purpose without pressing your advantage, to walk without leaving tracks, to press without using force, and to lead without manipulating. 2) Learn not to know, not to hold on, and not to interfere. This allows for people to naturally return to Source. 3) Learn discernment without judgment, love without attachment, compassion without pity, and generosity without expectation. This allows for people to experience true goodness. 4) Learn to be still, quiet, when to stop, and when enough is enough. This allows for people to experience justice. 5) Learn to yield and you can stay centered, to trust so that you will be trusted, to be empty so that you can be filled, to forget yourself so that you will not be forgotten, and to control your cravings so that you cannot be controlled by them. 6) Learn that loss of purpose creates confusion, confusion creates fear, fear creates anger and rage, and anger and rage have no place in the Way. Kancho, if you can really look at that code I am assuming you wrote, and tell me that sexual, emotional relationships with students is serving your ethics, then we better call it a day, or we are gonna be up all night. Is sex with a student leaving tracks, might it be manipulating? Is it holding on, is it interfering? Did you end up feeling a bit attached? Did they? As it a teacher would it have been better for you to be still, to stop, to forget yourself, to control your cravings? Is it possible that for you or your lovers these relationships created a loss of purpose in the classroom, or confusion, or fear, or anger or rage? Because those have no place in the Way. Whatever the fuck the way is. Tell me when you get that figured out. Until then, don’t knock guilt and shame. Those are two great teachers I’ve known for years. They’re offering free classes. And you can even keep your shirt on.
      • Medea commented on November 10, 2013 Reply
        Thank you, that was brilliant!
  • Alan commented on September 28, 2013 Reply
    First off, it’s challenging to respond to something that is so poorly written, and I don’t just mean the innumerable typos. I had to just weigh in a bit though, as there is just so much rubbish here. First off, the idea that “you cannot have sex with the wrong person — only a person that provides you with another intrinsic part of the whole that becomes your story”, is beyond ludicrous. Tell that to someone who is raped, abused, or otherwise manipulated. Then there is this gem: “Someone must concede power to the other, in some way shape or form, in order to become the student”. Hopefully you were laughing when you wrote this, and the joke was just lost on me. The idea that in order for me to learn something from someone, that I must give up power to them, is not only untrue, but it’s not even true teaching or learning. It is crystal clear, from the way you write, that you firmly see yourself as some guru, even as you say you don’t, so it makes sense that you would need to take power from people in order to teach them. The only kind of teacher who would need to do this is one whom is trying to control and manipulate students, or one who is so insecure and weak in his teaching methods that he must exercise his power (or his delusions of power) in order to keep the student in their place. This isn’t learning, it’s dictatorial. Then there’s this profound insight: “This desperate effort to replace an absent father, or experience a feeling of wholeness, or fill some void are the root cause, not the guru”. How convenient this is for you gurus. First, the fact that you need to see yourself as a guru is nausea inducing, and please don’t say you don’t, as it’s so clear you need to see yourself as such. But back to my point. Shouldn’t it be the “gurus” responsibility to at least notice that a student has an emptiness, or is needing to fill some void? Or is it just when a student has a nice ass, compassion, moral standards, and a humanistic view of the world go out the window? For all of your eastern Namaste bullshit, you’re just another guy, who fancies himself something more than what he is, who has read one too many self help books, and has an inflated sense of self. The irony is that all of the people disagreeing with you only serve to further than, and I suppose I am just feeding that beast as well. But oh well.
  • amphibi1yogini commented on September 28, 2013 Reply
    In this declining market, it is easier to find a significant other who is NOT your student, that it is to find another deep-pocketed student. Economics, not libido. THINK!
    • Leon Catchatoorian commented on September 29, 2013 Reply
      Amphji Yogini, what the hell are you talking about. Two women at a Singles Bar meet for a drink to discuss a guy that one of them met. One of them won’t ask the other, “Was he a gentle guy, caring, nurturing etc” NO first thing that they would say is “What does he do for a living?” You fool, women don’t give a shit about a man’s nurturing other than his “deep-pockets” as you bring up. THE SHOE IS ON THE OTHER FOOT huh? When was the last time YOU went up to a guy, asked him for his phone number, asked him out, payed for his dinner, drove him to a eatery? IDIOT MOST “SIGNIFICANT OTHERS” are out to take males to the cleaners, free food, free chauffeuring, and the guy even after he pays A LOT still doesn’t know if they will have sex!!! He can never be a “magic-mind-reader” so to speak! So STFU and stop telling Cameron to find another woman who is not his yoga student. I have taught Yoga for now well over 27 years and most of the students (mostly females) dress soooo provocatively and act like prey (eye-shadow, lip-gloss, mascara, blush, eye-brow pencil not to mention painted toes, fingernails yah dah yah dah….since Lillias Folan mamby-pambied her 30 yr TV stint LILLIAS, YOGA & YOU so that guys say “My old lady does yoga, you know its that GIRLY stuff” this is precisely why these REAL MEN DON’T DO YOGA. Lillias did a great service for females but sure as hell NOT for females, and for Gawd’s sake do NOT tell me to use “gentle” yogic terms in my descriptions ’cause the things you females post ALWAYS begs the question and bashes men who are daring enough to say he has sex with students. READ THE ARTICLE by Samantha Dunn which YOGA JOURNAL has hidden and squelched, I posted it a post before yours!
      • onesadhaka commented on October 30, 2013 Reply
        ouch! do you teach this kind of stuff in your yoga classes?
  • Anna commented on September 29, 2013 Reply
    Perhaps Mr Shayne might want to take up the suggestion by the writer of this article, to discover what “the historical content in his classroom actually is!–kelly-morris/
  • Sarah-John commented on September 29, 2013 Reply
    I honestly don’t understand why so many people are so very offended by this article. I know that people in positions of authority take advantage of that authority and power. As Cameron says, why should we establish boundaries and limitations for everyone because people of authority have and will take advantage of weaker people. It’s not fair, and it’s not necessary. We can’t control this and we can’t stop it. I like the comparison to the war on drugs. It’s a useless battle in my opinion. As far as sex is concerned, we need it. We crave it. And yes, it feels good. Sometimes we are extremely attracted to people we encounter in life. If you have never experienced this type of mind-blowing attraction, you are missing out. My point, though, is that I don’t think it’s fair to force a teacher (or a manager, or any other person of authority) to turn away from a powerful attraction or another human being because of the fear of dogmatic teachings or social or moral structure subscribed to by others. I see more grey area than most. No black and white over here.
    • George Donin commented on September 30, 2013 Reply
      @Sarah-John – You state (and I’d wholeheartedly agree) that it’s not appropriate to force people to deny their sexual attraction to each other. But — in what way is this conversation *forcing* anyone to do anything? It’s simply a conversation, initiated by Cameron, and people are responding with their views, some supporting his position, others arguing that he may be overlooking some important issues. How, exactly, is that forcing him (or anyone else) to do anything? He’s still completely free, as far as I can tell, to continue doing whatever he wants. And others are free to respond as they like. The conversation has provided potentially valuable feedback for everyone. The topic at hand is non-trivial, to say the least, and there have been some thought-provoking responses. But that’s all that’s happened, no?
      • Cameron Shayne commented on September 30, 2013 Reply
        Thank you George. The amount of suggestion, imagination and projection coming from peoples pain onto this article are interesting. It is provoking a very important conversation about personal accountability, honesty, transparency, and blame not only in a yoga class, but in general. People are seeing my suggestion that consenting adults who meet in an yoga class should be allowed to explore that without judgement as a threat to peoples safety. It’s a massive exposure of peoples insecurities and fears. I am certainly not insensitive to that, as people would suggest, but rather calling attention to the fact that we all have out work to do around blaming other people for our pain. People are then using that position to then suggest I am causing pain for some imagined frail, weak, and vulnerable woman. Where is she other than in the minds and imaginations of these readers. I wish us all luck out there. Its no wonder we have a 70% divorce rate.
        • amphibi1yogini commented on October 2, 2013 Reply
          Also, FYI, … Target demo is getting their information from this source … probably a lot more relevant than to this situation …
        • George Donin commented on October 6, 2013 Reply
          Please don’t think that just because I say you are free to do as you wish, that I also think you are acting wisely. I don’t think you are. You appear determined to take a particular path that in my view is likely to leave some damage in its wake, and there doesn’t seem to be much anyone can say (at least in this forum) to get you to reconsider. Sex with other yoga teachers? Great. But with your students? Just seems like a minefield to me. Of course that’s just one man’s opinion. Maybe as a martial artist, someone with a warrior’s temperament, you are by nature attracted to risk. So I truly mean it when I say, enjoy yourself. Live your life to the fullest. And may you find wisdom and compassion along the way.
    • Cameron Shayne commented on September 30, 2013 Reply
      Thank you Sarah for contribution to the article and making the exact point at hand Sarah. Much love.
  • amphibi1yogini commented on September 30, 2013 Reply
    If Sarah-John is a yoga teacher, I would not take any yoga from any sort of enabler–no matter how inexpensive or free. I am dreadfully sorry I ever had in the past (Not rampant sexuality, but in cases when guru syndrome corrupts the minds of yoga teachers.) There is a reason for a code of ethics in any helping profession. Or they have no right to call themselves “professionals”. This goes beyond rational thinking. It’s what’s known as “ethical thinking”.
  • Anja commented on October 1, 2013 Reply
    I just love how Cameron claims people are projecting on him in the comments when he is obviously projecting his own shit on the comments. He is obviously bleaching his original post . If the guy can’t write clear enough that he feels that now, one can understand what he is saying or feels that he is too good to be judged, they he should just hunker down in his studio and continue to bang his students. This guy is really sad and a danger to the yoga community.
  • Rebelle Society
    Rebelle Society commented on October 4, 2013 Reply
    A KIND BUT SERIOUS NOTE ON COMMENT POLICY: All derogatory, offensive, defamatory comments as well as those containing or implying calumny against the author and/or any other commenters have been and will continue to be removed. In addition, all users engaging in hateful, insulting and defamatory comments to any person, will be banned from further commenting on this site. WE DO NOT TOLERATE VIOLENCE, HATRED OR VERBAL ABUSE IN WRITING OF ANY KIND AND WE WILL TAKE ACTION AGAINST ANY SUCH COMMENTS AND COMMENTERS.

    If you disagree with the topic and want to express your opinion, please focus on the argument and provide a debatable counter-argument. If you are not able to do that, please refrain from commenting. If you wish to express any kind of hatred or disgust through questionable unrelated accusations, name-calling, insults or personal opinions about the author and/or any of the commenters, please use your email and confront them in private. If you think this pertains to Rebelle Society, please email: with any serious concerns.

    This section is public and it is reserved for comments on THE TOPIC of whether it is acceptable or not to engage in a sexual relationship between someone that falls under the category of a teacher and someone that falls under the category of a student. All other allegations unrelated to this topic, personal impressions about the author or insults of any kind do not belong in this conversation. Thank you for helping us create a mindful discussion and agree to disagree – RESPECTFULLY.

    Whether we each personally agree or not with Cameron Shayne’s (or anybody else’s) point of view, we believe that he is offering his take on a controversial topic with respect, honesty and integrity and we have chosen to publish his alternative, questioning view of such a sensitive but relevant topic. Please try to do the same in your reply.

    We are about mindfully and seriously questioning the status quo and exploring all the alternatives – as long as this is done respectfully and backed up by solid arguments. If there is no space for mindful disagreements in the world of Yoga or any other physical, spiritual or human dimension, there is no space for us.

  • Erika commented on October 5, 2013 Reply
    Namaste holly… I’m sure there is some light in you.
  • Himix commented on October 6, 2013 Reply
    so this only goes for men teachers right? cause any guy hooking up with a female yoga teacher is a hero, round these parts…
    • Himix commented on October 6, 2013 Reply
      No, seriously… I found yoga is helping me control my long life craving for sex. I was never very successful, so I feel very comfortable getting it out of my monkey mind. But now I’m answering my own comments… what am I going to do with all that spare brain?
  • Doug commented on October 7, 2013 Reply
    Mr. Shayne, it is clear that your point — as far as you are concerned — is that blanket policies or an imposed rule “robs people of the opportunity to establish their own code of ethics, rather than obeying social law and/or policy. After all, beliefs handed down or imposed rather than learned through practical experience…” And it is clear that you wish to declare your freedom to write your own principles and learn from your own experience. What is missing is your own statement of principle with regard to your feeling of responsibility toward others — not only toward the partner with whom you choose to explore a relationship, but toward the other students who doubtlessly become aware of your explorations (if your love interest continues to attend your classes and receive your attentions), or toward the studio, if you were working for one. Your essay is essentially a declaration of your freedom to establish your own code of ethics by which you ratify your own behavior. But limitations on behavior are not inevitably imposed from the ‘outside.’ Limitations express a sense — and a precedence given to a sense — of responsibility. Had you clearly expressed your code of responsibility that takes account of the effects of your actions upon others (as seen from their perspective — is ‘do unto others…’ too harsh and capriciously authoritarian for you?) the fallout from your post would not have nearly been so messy. At the very least you must admit that your declaration (and rather thinly veiled humblebrag) has revealed a rather significant blind spot that you might want to contemplate — taking into account the urgings of others — as well as a certain lack of judgement. This was a mess of your own making.
  • Winky Blinky commented on October 9, 2013 Reply
    Dude keep sayin anybody disagree with him be having personal pain and projection, and anybody agree with Dude has lens of objectivity. Aint take a genius to know Dude be losing money so he looking for something something, and aint just one student he bang be yellin at him. Dude be forgetting Budokon teach: “Never lie, deceive or be partial because of … creed”; “resolve problems before they arise; know when to stop”; “Always be kind with your thoughts, words, and deeds”; “Treat others as you would like to be treated”; “Conquer your cravings”; teach “without manipulation”; teach “by example”; and be “right without being righteous”;
  • Ernesto commented on October 9, 2013 Reply
    Most established yoga studios simply don’t allow teacher-student relationships due to the potential messiness of breakups. Why? Hint: stop pondering the Yoga Sutras, society’s standards or your own “ethics”, and take a good look at your yoga insurance policy’s exclusions. Insurance companies and lawyers don’t philosophize.
  • Steve commented on October 12, 2013 Reply
    “A KIND BUT SERIOUS NOTE ON COMMENT POLICY: All derogatory, offensive, defamatory comments as well as those containing or implying calumny against the author and/or any other commenters have been and will continue to be removed.” If defamatory comments are removed, remove the original article. It defames students, teachers, & the entire practice yoga.
  • Erin commented on October 12, 2013 Reply
    Thank you for being so honest, I highly respect ANY person that has the courage to be so raw. I could not agree more and I am very excited about learning more from you next time our paths cross. Namaste
  • Jan Kool commented on October 19, 2013 Reply
    I think this guy is a sociopath. I like how he cites Buddha, yet then holds selective compassion for various “undesirable people”, which is hardly something Buddha would have endorsed. Per se, I see nothing wrong with sex between students and teachers. But this does not justify IMO taking advantage of people, or “victim-blaming”. As for personal ethics, well yeah, every human has his or her own personal ethics. Big deal, empty facts of the human condition mean little. IMO though, people who often endorse deep spirituality do not generally exercise much conscience, but I don’t care, I don’t generally pay attention to what they do or think.
  • DR commented on October 20, 2013 Reply
    I went to one of Cameron’s workshops a couple of years ago in Washington, D.C. It is truly lovely to watch him move mindfully through poses with grace and strength. However, in class it felt like he was peddling his own sensuality to a degree. I left class self-conscious by his touches, his leering eyes and a comment he made to another (stunningly beautiful) girl in class. Though years ago, I remember that class vividly, confused by the experience. I’m glad this article was published in that it validated the intuitive discomfort I felt around him. Cameron, I can believe that you didn’t prey on anyone you deemed vulnerable through your lens. But I can say that your approach to this subject, your commitment to not “avoid” sexual encounters with students means that you are open to that experience. I want you to know that during class I could palpably feel that you were open to the experience–and therein lies the problem for me. I desired a safe place to practice. The openness you exude felt like a violation of trust–I wanted assists from you, but I didn’t want my expression of movement to be tainted by your lingering fingers or looks. “Real Yogis” pick up on these things.
    • Cameron Shayne
      Cameron Shayne commented on November 12, 2013 Reply
      Dear DR – At least one of us was having a sexual energetic experience during class. Seems that you were experiencing some interesting physical and emotional sensations that brought up some unresolved fear in you. Your perception and interpretation of me is fantastic, and makes for a sensational read. I would consider a job as a romance novelist. Please give my best to all the “Real Yogis” out there, while the rest of us fake yogis, just keep “lingering”, “peddling”, and “leering”, through life.
      • BD commented on October 29, 2014 Reply
        Dear Cameron Shane – Pettiness suits you.
  • Chris Snyder commented on October 23, 2013 Reply
    I am new to yoga having only been practicing for around a year but in that time yoga has changed my life! It has allowed me to stop taking almost all of the medications. It has greatly reduced my level of stress, eliminated my cluster migraines, improved my mood and opened me up to so many new thoughts and ideas. Yoga, and some truly amazing teachers, have completely transformed my life. While I was reading this article and all the subsequent comments, replies, and even more replies. Three things came across my mind. First, the best teachers I know are not teacher for 1 hour at a time. They are teacher 24 hours a day 7 days a week. And the best students are not students only in the classroom, they learn from everyone everywhere. I have seen Yoga teacher help people in bars, at restraints, and in taxicabs. Are these places class rooms? Are the people they helped students? By most of the definitions I have seen above they are(People feel safe, there is a perceived power deferential, etc.) and does that mean these two people cannot or should not explore a relationship? Second, This is not a question of black and white, right or wrong. This is a question of belief, morality, of your ethics. Cameron feels one way. Some people agree, others disagree. But the fact is there is no real right or wrong answer to this issue. You have beliefs, society has norms, the history or culture of what you are doing has rules or guidelines or practices, but no one have the absolute right to say what is right or wrong for another person. Finally the third thing I have never found a “yogi” that did not say Namaste just about every change they get, or at lease at the end of every yoga class. And even if you don’t the point still stands, Yoga should teach open mindedness and acceptance. Does it really matter what another person’s views are? You probably have view they can stand, don’t try to change other people view, embrace them, they are what makes humanity great! Namaste – Your spirit and my spirit are ONE
  • Jan Kool commented on October 30, 2013 Reply
    Yes, morals are subjective. Way to cite empty facts (the Allies invaded the south of France concurrently to Normandy, so I can do it too!) Though I like how you cite acceptance, yet condemn others for their own beliefs. haha! I personally see no wrong in teachers and students sleeping with each other. Screw “pure yoga”, and anyhow that borders on No True Scotsman. I don’t live in ancient India, so what they thought or perceived is not relevant to me. I think the objection here is to Shayne’s wording, as if he seeks to advantage women. If he sees a hot woman and thinks about boning her, fine. Who WOULDN’T in that scenario? There is a strong distinction between disagreement and changing views. I would disagree to the hilt with somebody who wanted to deny women equal rights, but I’d respect his or her opinion (or their right to such at the least). You see, disagreement is part of the human condition, since we all think differently and hold different experiences. Somebody as learned as you must comprehend that, right?
  • onesadhaka commented on October 30, 2013 Reply
    First off…we all acknowledge your right to speak your mind and live your truth. Secondly, as you do not teach yoga but a sort of yoga-martial arts synthesis, I can understand your not accepting the fundamental precepts of yoga. But consider this…your attitude has obviously offended many people. Could this also be happening in your classes? if you deny the fundamental precepts of the yama and niyama, you are teaching something other than yoga. Can you see that? Denying the principles of Buddhism and still calling it Buddhism is disingenuous, at best. Same for yoga. I would suggest trying out those yama and niyama and seeing how they work. While I support free will and choice, could there be a better place to exercise your choice in intimate matters? People come to yoga class for a safe space to grow, and even the possibility that sex is subverting that should give people reason for pause and deeper consideration. You are a self-admitted ‘stud,’ so why not simply use yoga class as a place to practice yoga and use other places to meet people for sexual/relationship purposes? Having been able to resolve the dichotomy between the non-violent practice of yoga and the explicit violence of martial arts (please don’t attempt to ‘teach’ me on this, as I have also practiced martial arts for over thirty years, before dropping that for yoga), it is understandable that you so easily resolve the obvious conflict of interest between being in a PAID and trusted position with using that for your own gain (finding sexual or intimate personal relationships is undeniably gain, if they are real relationships). I would really appreciate your taking the time to answer the questions I pose (perhaps in another thought-provoking post) and not simply dismissing me as projecting my issues on you. All that said…thanks for posting this. As much as I disagree with some things (and agree with some others, in general), you have elicited a conversation on this issue, and a visceral response from all (what author could hope for more?).
  • Mariela commented on October 31, 2013 Reply
    Cameron, thank you for pointing your finger to the cause instead of dwelling in the symptoms. Your writing is clear and honesto. Gracias.
  • darrenmain commented on November 4, 2013 Reply
    1. Respectful dialog on this is essential! Some of the comments on both sides seem to lack basic respect which is sad. 2. Sexuality in a yoga class can and often does have disastrous effects on students, a teacher’s reputation, and the reputation of yoga more broadly. 3. The Bhagavad Gita tells us to act, but to act mindfully. 4. With mindfulness around my second point, one would clearly be advised to avoid sexuality in the yoga class or at the very least end the teacher-student relationship before engaging in an intimate one. 5. I can think of no profession that allows its professionals to casually sleep with clients. I believe yoga is a profession and we should do our very best to act like professionals by, among other things, avoiding sexuality with students.
  • Manuel Garza commented on November 4, 2013 Reply
    I agree with Cameron. There are some who are judging Cameron based on religious contexts and outdated social mores. Yoga today in the West is much different form the Yoga of India in Patanjali’s time. Who are we to judge? In American, we all assume that we live and that we are free thinking, all things equal, so then why do so many of us get so riled up when we find out about a celebrity yogi and his affairs? They were relationships of consenting adults. We’re not in the bronze age anymore so wake up.
  • candid commented on November 4, 2013 Reply
    Egads. You claim to be an expert, then say that people who look to you for guidance shouldn’t. You say it’s fine to sleep with young students. You seem to have no clue why it’s a problem. Yes, people have met in yoga and married and had children, but that’s not a proof that the power balance of teachers over trusting students doesn’t and shouldn’t exist. You want to have your cake and eat it, too. You are dangerous and self-serving.
  • Warren commented on November 4, 2013 Reply
    Answering all these posts must take some time . . . at least the store is safe.
  • yoginilarissa commented on November 25, 2013 Reply
    Well, I am not sure where I want to start or even what I want to say about this article. I know you and like you. But I have a hard time agreeing with all that you express here. I think it is a one-sided limited experience in regards to the teacher-student relation dynamic. I read much of this as being unfair to those who are a victim of sexual assault by a “superior”, who have been manipulatively abused, were taken advantage of because of being naïve or emotionally undeveloped. Come on. Does that mean they are deserving of such misconduct by the “guru” because they have not developed enough? And if the “guru” is so highly developed they ought to know better than to use the power imbalance to get what they desire on a root level – sex. Using one’s power over another, knowing the other is at an obvious emotional disadvantage is clearly not moral or ethical in my opinion. How do you know for certain that the student you are engaging in is, in fact, your equal and you as the teacher are not, in fact, taking advantage of circumstances? We may not be required to follow a code of ethics like therapists or doctors…. but are we not in someway, as yoga teachers, to be responsible and accountable in a similar fashion? I say we ought to follow the same guidelines. I have only seen negative come about from crossing the boundary line of student-teacher relation. Keep it professional. Simply hold yourself at a standard and meet your intimate partner somewhere other than a yoga class. And for goodness sakes, don’t let your ego drive you to getting involved in a student that you have suddenly become their idol. It’s not their responsibility at that point…. it’s yours cause you know better.
  • Ravidas commented on November 26, 2013 Reply
    I would say some of the best yoga teachers are the ones who don’t allow us to fall into guru syndrome because they don’t see themselves as gurus. But even so, many yoga teachers are at no risk of that in western yoga. There is a big difference between studying with an expert who is otherwise your peer at a gym and a living at an ashram submitting to an abbot. John Friend is considered sleazy because he was at the center of a personality cult and the head of an organization that offered power and money to his chosen few (not mention many of the women were married. That is a situation where sexual coercion is almost unavoidable. That is a situation where a rule about fraternization would have been helpful (potentially). A twenty something who is good at yoga and teaches at 24 hour fitness can sleep with whoever he wants as far as I am concerned. Any feelings of transference are not his fault (though he should dispel them and not fuel them). The trouble comes when a teacher props himself up and says I am guru, and you must please me. When Bikram says “I am smartest man ever you will meet in your life” to aspiring teachers entering his franchise and hoping for success, and then he tries to sleep with them: that is a power differential. And when a teacher says “I am the way to happiness, will you sleep with me” that is a problem. But if a teacher wants to trade–yes trade–the teacher relationship for the the friends and lovers relationship I think that is beautiful if done tactfully. Not to mention, anything that gets banned still happens, just in secret. Better that people be open and truthful about it.
  • Mike commented on December 14, 2013 Reply
    KISS MY ASANA! FINALLY! Someone willing to speak the Truth. Nice one Cameron. I’m done having people try & get between me & my students. It’s so disrespectful, dishonest & dis-empowering. If you don’t like teachers having conscensual sex with their students then don’t have sex with YOUR students. Leave everyone else alone. Now go lie down in Savasana & think about it…
  • Eric Shaw commented on January 15, 2014 Reply
    I applaud your courage, Cameron. What this series of posts most reflects is the clouded way in which we all see sexuality. The posts that engage with subtleties of human relationships and offer respect, contribute to our society thinking its way out of the profound projections we all seem to have around what other people’s sexuality must look like. Shayne’s position is a nuanced one, which seems to describe the reality of man-woman relationships much more honestly than the archetypical ideations around female/male, teacher/student, perpetrator/victim that are so commonly thrown around–usually with stridency, and an attempt to shame another. A brave post, Cameron. Thanks for your thought and pluck.
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  • Baba commented on April 26, 2014 Reply
    Dear Cameron, As a yoga teacher, i would like to say is that your article is honest and humane.Sharing a person’s energy that you trust and cherish is better and pure as opposed to having a relationship based on taboo’s and a ridiculous social structure. Thank you…
  • Laksmi Vimalananda commented on October 10, 2014 Reply
    you simply see it as you want to see it. The real question is “should a yoga teacher have sex with his students”. Answer: no. Like it or not, it is a power relationship. You don’t see it that way because you don’t want to . You’re just telling yourself whatever story makes you feel okay about your behavior. Throw in some mumbo jumbo about Patanjali, and you’re spiritual. Well, sorry, Cam, but you’re abusing your power. Deny it all you want, but plenty of people can see this behavior for what it is.
  • lovemags commented on October 12, 2014 Reply
    I am utterly disappointed in Rebelle Society for this article. Another classic example of victim blaming and rape culture. I don’t understand how the paragraph “There are No Victims” could ever be categorized as “sensitive”. As a woman who was sexually violated by a yoga teacher by physical force I am utterly disappointed. This is not the conversation that we need to be having. This is a man trying to justify some bad decisions and talk about something that he obviously knows nothing about. Sexual violence is a problem to make light of it is irresponsible as a publication. Consensual sex is an entirely different topic. Why would you even try to talk about these matters when you obviously have not done your research.
  • SMcVay commented on October 12, 2014 Reply
    Cameron, it seems that your very defensive… Receiving feedback with grace would encourage me to buy into your thought process. You seem very black and white for a yogi on a journey. What if, in fact, you are wrong? Are you open to that being a possibility? Just like a sexual partner was a poor choice, that we all get to make… What if your belief system has not yet matured? Are you open to that? Getting laid is all good and yoga can be a huge turn on… I’m sure there are students who worship you just because you are in front of the class with a beautiful body and speak and move with confidence…. But, what if you held that power as a means for healing what is obviously broken in that person. Or what if you used that influence to speak life into insecurities that go beyond sex. After all, if sex was only sex…. Wouldn’t we not be having this conversation on the first place? The question is, as a leader, how much do you value your integrity? I’m sure sex is easy enough for you to get without hurting yourself but your a teacher…. It’s not about you.
  • Crissi commented on November 3, 2014 Reply
    I don’t get it. What is all this fuss about? Everyone, man or woman, student or teacher, always has a choice in life. So why does anyone feel the need to critisize here? Because it’s easy and anonymous behind the computer? Have some respect for each other no matter how different your opinions are.
  • mist meda commented on March 16, 2015 Reply
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on sex. Regards
  • Gabriele Andreoli commented on April 7, 2015 Reply
    Hi all. I am also a yoga teacher and I have something to object to Cameron’s argument: it is way too moderate! To all the people who would like to apply their limited knowledge of the vast field of yoga, biased by totally extraneous religious ideas, to establish a code of sexual ethics to be enforced in MY class, I only want to say: what?! Are you joking or something? Now who are you to tell me which consensual adults I am allowed to get intimate with and where? The only argument to support this position that repeatedly presents in this discussion, is based on a hypothetical sharp and clear distinction between teachers and students, as if they were, say, parents and children… Well, I see this distinction as quite dubious in any environment of adult education, and blatantly false in my experience of teaching yoga. First: who are my students? Among my regular students there are: other yoga teachers, pilates instructors, university teachers, neurosurgeons, journalists, psychologists and psychiatrists, just to name a few… So shall I regard all these people as helpless minors just because they happen to come to me for wellness and a specific knowledge that I have? Shall I rule out any possibility of expanding my relationship with them anywhere beyond the yoga mat because somebody else said so? Are you kidding me? Second: as many teachers like me, I see myself as a teacher when I’m in charge of a class, a student anywhere else; but this doesn’t change my perspective. Let me explain with one example that also answers the argument ‘powerful man vs. vulnerable women’: a few years ago – after I had started teaching – a visiting teacher (female) came from the US for a workshop on the Yoga Sutras, and as she was a good friend of my first and and main teacher (female), I attended. What I learned from her at the workshop was and still is very important for me, and I regard her as one of my main imprints. Besides that, though, I immediately felt very attracted to this powerful, vigorous, sensual, wise and experienced woman, much older than me. In later occasions, I sensed she felt something too, and at some point we went out for a drink… nothing physical happened really, as circumstances didn’t allow, but quite frankly if something had happened, I would have felt everything but exploited and abused. I would have felt honored by her attention and recognition. And whether the final outcome would be good or bad, I would have filed up that experience among the record of the sexual connections of my life, all of which mean something important for me, and I am proud to say are quite numerous and varied. But if this for me is true in any context of adult education and it doesn’t involve so much two conflictual visions of yoga, but two conflictual visions of sexuality, in the yoga field it becomes even trickier. It’s a tricky matter, really, because it’s hard to deny that yoga roots in spirituality AND sexuality: it is in itself a sexualized spirituality, or spiritualized sexuality, its fundamental principle being the sublimation of the bindu, that is the transcendental force behind the reproductive semen (male and female), which the yogi is supposed to derive all his/her knowledge and power from.. (do we have to really remind of kajuraho evey time we speak of this?). I understand this may be a disappointment for many, but here’s the news: if you have come to yoga in the attempt to escape sexuality (as the main source of frustration in your life), you have come to the wrong place. Most likely, any place would be wrong, but expecially one that holds the root of human vitality to be Muladhara Chakra, right there inter faecies et urina, where you don’t want to look. If it ‘s true in fact that Raja Yoga pursues the identification with Brahman, Hatha Yoga (which is what most of us do) pursues the stimulation and elevation of sexual energy called Kundalini. This is also the root of all Tantra, and now tell me if everyone of us doesn’t associate the word Tantra with sexuality. If you spend some time studying ancient texts though, you soon realize that all yoga is tantra, there is no real distinction between the two. Now let’s say one is a Yoga and Tantra instructor… would he/she not be allowed to touch, or even have a full intercourse with consensual women to whom they could teach sophisticated sexual techniques that may unlock their experience of pleasure and relationships? Wouldn’t that make their lives better? So I’m sorry, but to whoever holds that sex is not a subject that is worth and legitimate to study by direct experience like any other, I have only one thing to say: this is only your religious or ideological position, which you are free to apply in your own life, but not to enforce in the form of a universal ethic. Of course THERE ARE rules, and they are the same that are applied in much more extreme and slippery environments: Safe, Sane and Consensual. Now all this said, scores of morbid readers will imagine me dating a different student every day… well, that’s really not the case, and you want to know why? That would be terrible… for me! If I don’t encourage open flirting with me in the class, is mostly for my own protection. The position of being at the center of attention of many beautiful women, though pleasant in some respects, can easily become overwhelming and crushing. Students can be among the most manipulative people, and women have incredible power (ALL the power, according to yoga) and know how to use it to get special attention of other advantages, advertently or not. A lack of control and discrimination here would be fatal not just for the class balance, but for my own stability and sanity! So in conclusion, what is the skill? Not applying blindly a universal rule, but recognizing that the students are not all the same, and giving to each one what he/she really needs. As others said before me, if as a teacher I recognize a person is vulnerable, my duty is to avoid praying on that vulnerability, and give them the tools to strengthen up, for example teaching them how to understand roles, and that we all can be teacher when we teach, students when we learn, and that no one who expects to be recognized as an absolute authority outside of his teaching session should be trusted.
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  • domace vijesti commented on August 30, 2015 Reply
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  • Sandy commented on September 27, 2013 Reply
    Breathe, Leon.
  • Paul commented on September 28, 2013 Reply
    So you know you are an idiot commenting this site, Leon.
  • amphibi1yogini commented on September 29, 2013 Reply
    This is where you’re not quite right. The “prey” IS the man. The “bait” is the woman’s $$$. A poor woman who could not afford Lulu or a workshop could not stand a chance. Does not matter if she’s married or polyandrous or too young. The man is not much better than a gigolo …
  • amphibi1yogini commented on September 29, 2013 Reply
    It may be the dick doing some of the thinking, but it’s also not obeying aparigraha when it comes to fame and fortune. Men being the “provider” and all. Pretty damning, if you ask me …
  • Erika commented on October 4, 2013 Reply
    Wow holly, if you’re so abusive to someone you’ve never even met I can’t imagine how abusive you are to those close to you… Do you feel good calling people such nasty and derogatory names?

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