The four 2-hour live-streamed seminars will lay out a clear pathway of understanding and repair. Each seminar features an 80-minute presentation with slides, 40 minutes of Q&A, and resources provided through Google Classroom.

Matthew Remski is a Yoga Alliance RYT-500 certified instructor and is qualified to provide YACEP credits in the Yoga Humanities category.

1. Ashtanga Yoga and Other Case Studies

Abuses documented in the Ashtanga Yoga system (the main case study in Surviving Modern Yoga) are not isolated. They follow common patterns that all students and teachers can come to recognize, and reckon with in their own experience. This seminar will detail the facts in the case of Ashtanga Yoga, comparing and contrasting with other abuse histories in the yoga and meditation worlds.

2. Cults Do Not Magically Appear

One of the weaknesses of cult studies is that it leaves many with the impression that toxic groups are aberrations from other social products of imperialism, nationalism, and capitalist logic. This seminar will examine the history and politics through which modern yoga globalized, paying special attention to the flow of power.

3. Control Gets Under the Skin

Three silent influences govern abuse in yoga and meditation communities: body fascism, somatic dominance, and disorganized attachment. The first is a set of socio-political demands emerging out of nationalist fitness ideologies concerning stature, virtue, and purity. The second is the interpersonal dynamics of coercion: how a teacher signals they are in charge of the student’s body before a word is spoken. The third, disorganized attachment, is the toxic bonding that results from the first two operating unresisted. This seminar will expose and demystify the hidden glue that keeps toxic communities together.

4. Best Practices

Things change through exposure, bravery, education, and listening to the voices of survivors and the marginalized. This seminar will offer best practices for understanding and resisting cultic dynamics, and outline emerging trends that make for healthier communities.