The Shadows of Yoga & Spirituality: I was raped by my Yoga teacher in India.

In writing this I hope to spark a flame in my fellow practitioners, teachers, potential seekers, women, and men in this world to be open to the possibility that everything has a shadow. I believe we have the responsibility to turn into, rather than away, from these more challenging aspects and hold all members of a spiritual community accountable for their actions, teachers and students alike. Specifically, our teachers are human like ourselves and are just as capable of inflicting wounds as they are to evoking healing.

This is a demand for Yoga Alliance to seriously invest time and money into creating a task force that can thoroughly investigate previous and current accusations of sexual assault in the industry, and to be transparent about these investigations with the general public to ensure a safer environment.

This is a plea to teachers that they require of themselves ongoing self-reflection and welcome outside measures of accountability knowing that they too can be deluded by these less “spiritual” parts of themselves and by projections others place on them, especially when in a role of “expert”. Though our levels of experience with the practice vary, I believe we are all students, and we are all teachers to one another. As a young woman seeking teachings for my own growth and healing I fell prey to a man who prescribed to this power dynamic, and even once told me, “I’m going to make you famous.” I looked at him in confusion because I had come back to India only to help teach the practice at his Yoga Shala. In my innocence, and perhaps blindness, I was taken advantage of in a very damaging way.  My body was invaded to the fullest extent; in the fall of 2013, I was raped by my own Yoga teacher, and owner of a major school in India that is in full operation still to this day.

I will never forget the sleepless days leading up to leaving India… the all night bus ride that took me to Mumbai…my traumatized body trying to make sense of what happened. I could not go to the police. I had witnessed the man who raped me pay them off on a weekly basis to ensure his illegal activities were covered. I was terrified of what worse things might happen to me if I did report him.

Heading down the crowded Indian streets in Goa I had a panic attack right before a scheduled meeting with my teacher (the owner of the school) and the other instructors for what we were going to teach in the courses coming. I turned my scooter around, called my husband at the time and told him I had to come home NOW. After returning to the United States I went to Planned Parenthood and reported the rape in a private room.  I had my frail body examined in fear I had been given a permanent marking of disease. Later I would learn from lawyers that because it wasn’t reported in India there would be no chance for justice, no matter how many reports made in the United States.

So I will say it again, and please pay attention. This is the voice of a woman who was raped by her own Yoga teacher; by a man who [still] owns a well-known school in India, Sampoorna Yoga School. Very few have wanted to face my trauma; nobody seems to want to dethrone the man who owns such a large school or disturb the romantic idea of Yoga only for healing. Instead, most want to avoid these dark truths, spiritually bypass the pain and focus solely on the “sunshine and rainbow” essence of Yoga. There are, however, a few who have left the school since I told them and witnessed inexcusable behavior, and for that I am eternally grateful.

This is the voice of a woman who has cried, yelled, hid herself in shame, and made repeated attempts to serve justice. This is not a call for sympathy; this is a call for action and a call for others to join with me in putting a stop to this happening again. A call to those within the legal world to investigate how this man, Deepak Sharma, could be brought to justice, and a call to help me hold the organization Yoga Alliance accountable for turning a blind eye to the allegations made back in 2015.

They [Yoga Alliance] are a multi million-dollar company paid to provide oversight. In their code of ethics they state that they hold schools and teachers accountable to “Avoid words and actions that constitute sexual harassment or harassment based on other legal protected characteristics” (Yoga Alliance Code of Conduct, 2016). They clearly are in violation of this moral and legal imperative. I wrote and contacted them several times. They responded on February 19, 2015, that they would “look into the matter,” but I never heard back from them. It has been over a year and I refuse to wait any longer and demand action be taken immediately.

Sampoorna Yoga School is still in good standing with Yoga Alliance. I am afraid other women similar to myself continue to visit the aforementioned school, and perhaps other questionable schools within the Alliance, and continue to be taken advantage of.

I recently spoke at a Jungian conference and told my other story of molestation and recovery in the wilderness, as this [speaking up about my assaults] is one of my commitments I have made as an adult woman to change what is happening in this world. After the presentation I had eight of 50 women come up to me over the next two days and whisper with tears in their eyes, “Me too.” 

My prayer is that women, men, and children who endure this abuse do not have to whisper anymore, and that these practices and teachings lead us to inhabit and empower our body rather than vacate it in search of something “better” outside of us.

This is the story of a woman who is speaking because I believe we can face this. This is most importantly a story of us… standing together in solidarity and restoring not only balance to the scales of justice, but also restoring the balance of shadow with sun. For there to be rainbows, we need both.

Thank you.

Cori Wright

**TO TAKE ACTION**

@YogaAlliance #IDemandACTION #ProtectWomenWorldwide

  1. Share this post in your community to help encourage others to speak up, or simply know they are not alone.
  2. If you have a personal story in regards to any YTTC, or Deepak, write a personal email with as many details and dates as you can. We must speak to be heard. Contact:

Leigh Evans
Senior Compliance Coordinator
levans@yogaalliance.org
(571) 319-0824

3. Write, tweet, call, etc. (whatever your social media platform is…) Yoga Alliance and demand action for this case. If you mention my name and the school they will have my complaints, and also others on file.

4. If you are a lawyer who thinks you may be able to help me in pro-bono work, please contact me at SalutationsForWomen@gmail.com. I am a graduate student who has expended all of my resources trying to make my case.

5. Donate time or money to your local resources for other women like me, such as; SASO, Planned Parenthood, or one of these organizations listed on this website: http://greatist.com/happiness/stop-domestic-violence-organizations.

6. If you are interested in helping me create a non-profit that will work to build refugees and help centers for women who are not as fortunate as me to leave the place where the attack occurred, please contact me personally.

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Cori Wright is currently living in New Mexico and pursuing her masters of science in Somatic Psychology in order to help other victims of sexual assault and chronic illness in wilderness based settings.

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212 thoughts on “The Shadows of Yoga & Spirituality: I was raped by my Yoga teacher in India.”

  1. I M VERY SORRY FOR ALL THIS U FACED IN MY HOLI INDIA, I CANT ASK FOR PARDON ,BECAUSE IT IS NOT PARDONABLE , REALLY VERY SORRY, FEEL VERY GUILT , THAT WE COME TO KNOW ALL THESE VERY LATE , BUT UR STORY WILL BE SHARED AND HOPE U WILL GET JUSTICE, I WILL TALK TO MY SISTER ABOUT THIS , AND THEN LET HOW WE CAN HELP U

    1. You are helping by letting me know you care. Take that guilt and let’s put it into action. I will be doing all that I can do follow through with action that will make a difference for women and the men in India who stand for something different than this situation.

      1. I live in Santa Fe. Maybe I can help you in your recovery from this trauma. I have been around the yoga movement for 50 years, and this type of criminal behavior is endemic to the movement. I will be glad to speak with you if you so choose. You have my e-mail. Peace

  2. Dear Cori,

    I am baffled by this. I am on the same boat, trying to go on a personal journey and I was actually considering Yoga Alliance for this.

    I pray you get the justice you deserve.

    I don’t know how I can help but know that you have my support. I am currently residing in UAE just in case in the future you will need my help.

    Thank you for your strength and courage.

    You inspire me.

    Sincerely,
    Nikka Valencia

  3. The worldwide Yoga community stands with you Cori. Let’s shut down this Yoga School and shame Yoga Alliance. Post widely

  4. Hi .
    I very hear that this Happen to you , feeling ashame of these people they exits on this Planet .

    As i request you can take this matter to The CM OF Goa , and talk with him , he is really Good person . He will really take strict action .

  5. This is horrible Cori… so sorry.
    I don’t understand why this happens. Successful yoga teachers/gurus don’t need to force women, there are so many girls that will loooooove to get laid by their Gurus… no excuse for rape.

    Rape is not acceptable, illegal and such behaviour duly prosecuted. Yoga alliance is a joke, and I support the creation of an NGO to check this out… just a website to shame this will help a lot.

    Yoga teachers/gurus cannot sleep with their students, that is the rule… Surely they will have a lot of pressure from women flirting in a myriad of ways, well, they have to keep a distance.
    Iyenga and Satyananda teachers are raw models for what I have seen…

    And women please, stop teasing your yoga teachers, they are not enlighten divine creatures, only humans…

    In the US, teachers will never force a women as drama will not compensate, but India is dangerous, no cover, so please be careful.

    1. Psychology teaches us that rape is not about sexual desire, but about power and sexual violence. In the future, please don’t link these two things when discussing this issue. Some of what you’ve written here tiptoes into victim-shaming, which is often one of the greatest barriers to healing for most victims.

  6. Dear Cori….I am SO sorry to hear of what happened to you. How terrifying and beyond disappointing in the yoga community and society in general. My mere words cannot express my sadness and horror for your experience. I have seen ‘shadows’ at a yoga center and walked away from one where I trained for 12 years (North America). (A number of senior students with high morales/integrity also turned their back on the place).

    Master yoga instructors should be just that and should not cross the line. We hear of such instructors falling in love with a student (and vice versa) or having open and known flings with many, or far worse actions, and justify their actions because it is all so ‘spiritual’. Yamas and Niyamas have gone out the window.

    In the yoga-world I have seen all kinds of behavior in the past 20 years and the waters can be tricky to navigate. Cognitive dissonance exists just about everywhere in all walks of life and professions; it is sadly real and a huge tide to swim against.

    The Yoga Alliance website states that it is a Registry and not responsible for accrediting yoga schools. From their website, it seems a bit of a mystery as to how they will actually uphold a Code of Conduct? You will probably not receive satisfaction with them, just sayin’.

    Is it too late to return to India and press charges? Please excuse my naive question, but this may have to be your path. I truly wish you well in resolving this and thank-you for your bravery in sharing your painful ordeal. Courage Dear One, Courage. Be well. –MD

    1. Hello cynthia/moondust,

      Thank you for your response. I saw very clearly a couple years ago that Yoga Alliance is no more than a business and I am a number. It is a deep rooted issue, as I HAD to be a YA certified teacher to teach in a couple of the studios in the USA that I did.

      I was on my way to booking a ticket to India to pursue the case with a non-profit lawyer from Mumbai and then was advised not to because I did not make a police report in India, so I am back to square one.

      Thank you for your support and the courage you give me with your response. Every person’s voice counts.

      Blessings,
      Cori

  7. I ask sorry for that bastard done crimes on you as a real citizen of India, As a teacher he had to perform to students as a God, instead doing molestation is very high crime. You might have complained to Indian government regarding and against this through your nation’s embassy in India. That Speak sharma really won’t be a reacher, his main motive would be enjoying with good look abroad girls with comaflage of yoga. Kindly advice your other people before go to join a yoga school, have to enquir about the school from previous studied pupils.
    You have to send complaint to our prime Minister of India about this crime done to you.
    Behalf of our country I apolize to you, feel shame by that coward Sharma.
    Extreme sorry.
    Sincerely well wishing,
    Boj, chauvint

  8. I am sorry for your experience. I have written an email to Yoga Alliance demanding a response for all yoga teachers. They are willingly sending women, under their recommendation, to a rapist. This is unacceptable! I will withdrawal all of my support & money from them if nothing is done.
    I think all women yoga teachers should send them an email or call them in protest. info@yogaalliance.org

    1. Hello Kathleen,

      Yes, I have let my certification expire, and have also heard from many teachers who have let theirs for the same reason. Yoga Alliance is not protecting anyone, and it is a shame that they are the trusted name that some people are required to have.

      I appreciate your writing them, the more the better.

      THANK YOU!

      Cori

  9. Ms Cori,
    As an Indian citizen, i hang my head in shame for what happened to you in my country. I hope you know that India is far better than this. I offer my apologies for the harrowing experience you’ve had.

    I would suggest you connect with our Minister for External Affairs Ms Sushma Swaraj. She is very sensitive to such issues and has been known to take decisive steps to ensure justice. The website for Ministry of External Affairs is http://www.mea.gov.in
    Apart from this, if you wish to pursue this line of action, I’d be more than happy to get you the information necessary to contact the MEA officials and the Minister herself.

    All the best in your quest for justice

    Warm Regards
    Aditya

    1. India is not better than this
      What about that Guru from Poona
      Who started that Ashram and owned
      Many Rolls Royces
      He went to the US and promoted his
      Rubbish teachings and lured many stupid westerners into free sex famous guy who wanted to have sex with a teenage boy when he went along with his parents to India (sic)
      I’ll research this Guru goof and get back

  10. Hi Cori
    I feel very sad that this hapened to you sexual predators are the most vicious and evil monsters, thanks for sharing your story I have seen some campaigs in facebook such as care2acts where you expose your situation and get signatures around the world and some actions can be taken for example , sign the petition and ask Yoga alliance to take away this school or this man his certification for yoga teaching due their sexual abuse or make yoga alliance to make a full disclosure of sexual predators being acussed so other woman can be careful,something like that.. , for me as for you to make this man accountable for his coward action is priority and also to make the public aware of the danger is important, I know so many woman that travel the world seeeking for spiritual teaching its not fair for any body to face such abuse of this type.I am not a lawyer wish I could do something or come with beter ideas . I appreciate you open your heart and your story to help others ; you are a brave soul, dont give up . !

    1. Hi Karla! Do you have a link to that petition? I am so busy trying to respond and organize all of the responses so that I can focus my energy into what feels like it will do the most good.

      Thank you!

  11. Hey Cori! I hate those people who use the yoga teachings and likewise by altering them to become teachers and masters. I believe that there’s so much that has been altered in yogic lore, the original knowledge gifted from Lord Shiva to humanity. But I also believe in justice! maybe it would sound crazy, but I suggest you to curse that person (you have the right to, just formulate your wish in detail and utter it) and surrender yourself to Kali Maa. She supports much and protects women and women rights.
    Wish you all well
    Strega

    1. Hello Strega! Yes, the beautiful Kali Maa! I have been thinking about her a lot, and I appreciate the reminder to keep calling her in… I have a deep respect for the Goddesses of Hinduism. Ganesha has also been an ally, as one who also places the correct obstacles. I pray on Kali and Ganesha to support me in this path ❤

      Wishing you well, too.
      With love.

    1. Hello Ram,

      Thank you for your response! I want to be sure to make it clear that I know many incredible, beautiful, Indian people and this is happening all over the world. I appreciate your suggestion and will follow up on that! Blessings to you and thank you again!

  12. Hello Cori , I started yoga at 16 studying with a very well known – “Yogi. ” I was very idealistic but also had a very sharp eye for bullshit and was amazingly street smart. I also had a love whose other sent us to the ashram he ran to study there as a gift to us. She studied with him. My discriminating eye saw what others refused to see – greed , corruption and falseness …and a creepy lust he had for young girls. I have never said anything .I stared him the eyes the first time he dared drool in my direction – I am a powerful woman , and was at 16. He never dared try its me , but he raped my sweethearts’s virginal young sister who was a year younger than I. She had a subsequent breakdown. I do not think she has ever fully recovered. Nothing was done … to Guruji… and he got richer and richer and fatter and fatter.It was many years ago. I have seen this preying upon sweet women who are starry eyed over spiritual teachers again and again . the omen fall into their traps willingly and offer themselves to be plucked or leave themselves vulnerable due to misplaced trust . It is disgraceful to see . It happens again and again – power preys on the weak .The measure of a person is how they act when they have power over others . I also have other stories to share and would lie to contact you privately . I know of another monster who also preys upon women …time for this to stop !!!!!!!!!! You are wonderful, brave an dot be applauded fr your courage ! Keep the faith and Goddess will smile upon you !!!! peace and love to you, dear beauty.

    1. Hey Natasha,

      Yes, when I was asked to come back and teach for him (which isn’t very clear in my post) and his school I absolutely just wanted to teach and was so deep in my own experience in my TTC that I paid no attention to him. When I came back to teach in Goa, I was appalled at his behavior. He would ask me to teach better to blondes or what he called “good looking women” in class so that they would come back to the drop in classes in Palolem, Goa. I let it go for a few weeks because I just wanted to teach, and for that I am so sorry. Unfortunately I think I may have been one of the first western women to actually say NO to him, and he could not take that for an answer. I always thought I was a powerful woman too, and I am very careful to tell people that if they have been sexually assaulted it means that they are somehow not powerful. Even the strongest (not the weakest) of women get assaulted and raped. This can happen to anyone, and it’s important that people remember that as well.

      Thank you for your response and your support. Peace and love to you as well.

      1. Hello Cari …so good to hear from you …I type very slowly and am very private . Your story however should be shared because this sia common phenomena and happens all the time – I have seen it over and over … and women are so easily victimized. I would like t share something further but would prefer tp do so privately. Email perhaps ? Or better – a phone call … I would gladly call you or give you my email address …natasha@natashavon.com
        I have one question – why did you not fight him off – or could you not ? These fellows usually scare easily … and you should make this story known even where ! These corrupt phoney yogis have been preying on stupid westerners seeking instant samadhi for too long … Many westerners are just so happy to worship anyone and have no sense of discrimination . Sadly , this also happens in the west with western teachers and self styled gurus I have seen … and would lie to discuss this in amore private way . Perhaps we can help by bringing awareness to others and stop these charlatans and posters who
        prey on innocent hearts .

  13. Sampoorna Yoga School has a lot of good reviews in tripadvisor. It would be helpfull if you writte a review there telling your story. I wish you the best of luck!

    1. Hi Camila! I have tried writing a review and it seems that they have to be approved, so I am waiting to see if they go through. If you have access to write, it would be helpful if you did too. There is power in numbers, thank you so much.

      1. My dear Cori
        I have written a review on trip Advisor about this place under the disguise of Yoga!
        If there is anything I can help you with please contact me. I know this place well as I lived in India for 4 years.
        I hope it helps
        Lynn xxx

    2. dear Camila thanks so much this girl is totally lieing , as i know it happen from both side . samporna yoga school owner is good person..i respact deepak this my no 9075298679

    1. Thank you for your support! I will try doing so, I am just beginning to respond to everyone now. I have tried lawyers, Embassy’s, and non-profit Indian lawyers in Mumbai and America. All have told me that because I did not report while in India I do not have a case. I do hope that is not the case, however, it seems like there is momentum now to at the least not let Deepak run a school anymore and have so much contact with women.

  14. My dear, I am so sorry to read about your experience. It happens where it shouldn’t happen and so often so many just want to shut their eyes in front of the truth, just when the ones that are “on top” of the light path are exactly the ones that use their shadow powers to force themselves on women.
    I had an experience with a therapist 5 years ago, he is a quite famous person, being an Osteopath, Yoga Teacher, organizer of “healing” events and even owner of a very big meditation center. I went to him because of my back pain and I was trusting his name. During the second session he started to put his fingers in my mouth out of the blue, and then went down to my intimate parts and started to touch points there and around and back there and didn’t stop, it kept going for 2 and a half hours. It was a nightmare for me, I was frozen and didn’t know how to react, I didn’t know why he was doing it, were I freaking out for nothing? Was it really part of the healing? I know there are points even there and some people have beneficial by such a therapy, but was it the right way of doing it? And the hugs he gave me as I left, so sneaky and ugly and disgusting. He tricked me fully, and kept me in the grey zone, making me doubt about my feelings about it all, questioning if it was me feeling it as wrong or if it was wrong for real.
    I never went back to him and it took long to get over the whole experience, but as I became a therapist myself I learnt that no, that is not the way, one needs to explain to the patient what is going to happen, a patient needs to agree to such an intime treatment and the way he did it was a dirty perversion that had very less to do with healing. And even thought many friends and other therapists told me to sue him, I never did, cause I was afraid of such a big name, I was scared that nobody would believe me, or that many would tell me that it was part of what I needed in order to get treated and that it was my fault for not speaking up and making him stop.
    The reality is that a lot of women don’t know to react in such situations and that a lot of darkness is hidden behind the appearance of light and that these big motherf*****s have too often a lucky escape.
    That’s why I am proud of you for being so strong and speaking up!
    I send you love and a lot of blessings, might your body and soul will soon heal up and you will learn to trust again.

  15. The title is just so wrong… Although I appreciate the author and article itself 😉
    This is not about shadows of yoga or spirituality, but SHADOWS of PEOPLE.

    In every place, every corner of the world, society, grouping or niche evil and sick people happen. People who often take advantage of their “higher” position. Just like that… Because they think they can. And others often believe it.

    You can go to a doctor and receive professional healthcare and understanding, be treated like shit or be abused.
    You can have a good and normal boss, or one that will daily humiliate and underestimate you, also financially, or abuse you sexually.
    You can have a caring and loving partner or one that beats you up for no reason and enforces you to have intercourse on his/her terms you don’t accept.
    You can go to a priest to seek higher power and consolation or to find out that your child has been molested…

    Sad to say, it can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone. You can never be prepared for such situations.
    It’s extremely hard to cope with them, trying to put an end to them and live “normally” afterwards. Especially when people that hurt you are the ones that you knew, valued and trusted.

    The point is, that you can warn others or prevent the same situations happen to them.
    This is not something that you deserved or asked for! So don’t blame yourself, don’t hide… Fear is normal, but don’t let it rule your life. It’s NOT YOUR FAULT!
    And maybe many people won’t believe you, because they don’t want to get involved in unpleasant matters. It’s just easier to think it’s not their business, until it happens to them or they loved ones. If they turn they back on you, they just aren’t worth your attention, effort and feelings.

    SHARE your experience with others. TALK about it. BREAK the silence. DO something about it. FIGHT with it.
    It is hard, but it can save a lot of broken bodies, minds or even lives.

  16. Guess what happened just now, when I posted about your incident on Sampoorna Goa’s facebook page, they blocked me there from posting any comment. Lets all report this page to facebook, and warn every person posting there of everything they do

  17. Hi Cori,
    Please tweet a link to this blog to these two twitter handles. I’m sure they will take action!

    @sushmaswaraj. Min for Ext Affairs ( Gov. of India)
    @manoharparrikar. The new chief minister of Goa

    Would be very happy to see that scumbag guru behind bars…

    TC
    Anthony Balraj

  18. I am Refeaining from saying It serves you right-
    Yoga is in essence Meditating upon
    NOTHING
    Westerners are Completely Fooled
    By the trickery and Treachery
    If the people who worshipCreation
    Instead of the Creator – the One who Inspired and Authored the Bible
    These yoga people worship Creation
    Snakes, The Stone Phallus,Monkeys
    And Even Rats
    Awake Open Your eyes and look at the Sky the Universe etc the invisible God

  19. Hi, this is what I read on their Facebook page. Namaste one and all
    This is in response to the recent, disturbing blog post going around slandering Sampoorna and one of its teachers.
    The author of this post has been trying to defame us and damage our business for reasons unknown to us.
    Based on her complaints, IB (Indian Central Intelligence Bureau ) conducted its enquiry recently and found nothing of such sort.
    The school hereby denies all accusations and unsubstantiated false allegations against the said member of staff.
    We reiterate that this woman is merely spreading pure defamatory allegations in an attempt to cause us mental harassment and ruin our image and business.
    We would appeal & request everyone to please refrain from commenting without knowing the facts, and wait for the truth to come out before posting or re-posting anything.
    We are grateful to our wonderful team of teachers, students and karma yogis who have shown faith in our school and are standing with us in these difficult times.
    Namaste!

    1. Pradeep and Sampoorna Yoga, you cowards. You have blocked comments on your Facebook page. Because of your disgraceful response, there is now a global campaign to shut down asamooorna Yoga, so no more women are abused at Sampoorna. You must have been aware of the inappropriate behaviour of staff towards women.

    2. Pradeep I don’t know the details of this case, but I will tell you something I DO know with 100% certainty. There are VERY FEW women who report false sexual allegations. They have NOTHING to be gained in reporting falsely. How do I know this? Because of people like YOU who add anguish to an already hideous situation by not believing the victim’s story. Please take your own advice and investigate the facts.

  20. Hi! Writing again here. Just wanted to add something. Don’t know if this will be of any help. just `diagnosed“the photo of Deepak psychically. I heard about him first time today actually. What can i say – a bad type of rakshasa/demon, or he is just possessed by it. I think anyone can see by a bare eye, without any abilities-it’s so obvious…Whoever seeks a teacher or meets a person in general-pay attention to their eyes, please. The eyes are the mirror of the soul. At least meditate on the eyes of a picture one minute and listen to your intuition.
    Wish you all best!
    Strega

    1. P.S. So I personally believe you, Cori. But if in any case I would be wrong, without knowing a person, don’t want to judge too much, but I think you wouldn’t go so far and come out with this intimate issue, being a woman, without a real fact. Only women can understand how hard it is to speak about rape and come out with that.
      Blessings
      Strega

      1. Taken from an interview. I think this says it all…
        Deepak Sharma, who runs a ‘yoga beach village’ in Agonda, why it was so popular. “It’s an exercise medicine. These westerners are already motivated in their own country―the UK, Scandinavia, Australia, France―but India is the selling point,” he said. “They get physical exercise with a spiritual coating on the capsule. Your body becomes flexible and you still get to look sexy in your yoga outfit―and have a feeling of purity with it. India has a magnetic pull for them. They feel they can come here and align their behaviour and personality with the laws of nature.”

    2. YES! i could see and feel his bad intentions from the first second I met him. I spent one month there doing a TTC and his attitude and energy disgusted me so severely. At the end of the month, I told him that he is a horrible person with a huge ego. Which made him angry. His dark eyes are a pure reflection of his disgusting soul.

  21. As an Indian this infuriates me so much. I really wish Indian men would make it easier for international women to come visit and enjoy their stay in India. The stares, the selfies, the propositions…. I feel helpless an an Indian man most of the times when I can’t help.

    What happened to you in Goa is a shame on humanity. I hope karma catches up with this shameless teacher.

    I have shared information with my friends in Goa and expats I know. You are brave to speak about it and I am sure the positive energy

    A priest (Sadhu) tried to molest me, but I managed to escape but those few minutes or seconds disgust me even today. I cant imagine what you went though. Thanks for standing up for yourself and helping others.

    Sending prayers and positive energy your way, you are a strong lady!

  22. Dearest Cori, bless your beautiful heart for speaking out, I shall do all I can to ensure that everyone I know hears your story, as a teacher of yoga, a woman and a human being I am appalled and heart broken to hear of your story and the others posted here that woman have been brave enough to speak out about. No teacher should ever sleep with a student let alone force themselves upon another.
    Any support I can offer with regards to the building of your non-profit organisation I offer with an open heart.
    With love,
    Lynn

  23. Hey, sorry hear your story… I am from India. An I am ashamed of these monsters we have around…You can also try to write to PMO(Prime Ministers Office) and Manohar Parrikar the new chief minister of Goa…you can also hashtag the prime minister Narender Modi and write to directly on his app.. I hope these information can help you in any way to get justice.

  24. Hi there in hope this msg finds you and you are well 😊.I have briefed over your post and have noted your are fund raising also to assist your recovery…and also assist others in time? I empathize with your situation stated..but find it very difficult to believe you were unable to approach police in India as on my visit…Golden Triangle. ..note my cover photo..
    I had an issue with an atm guard brandishing a rifle….as they do in areas of india…and when i reached out to a police officer in a coffee road shop to assist…he was very quick to act…the issue has since been resolved but i must say the authorities through my travels treated me with utmost respect…so on…next you are not facing this alleged crime or the person who is aparently the offender. …but training abroad to assist others with loss and grief but by not facing your own issues i am unsure if this is realty for you? Asking for money won’t make it go away…surely….or this has all been leading up to you being…….mmmmmh maybe rejected and it…..mmmh may be a womans scorned. The facts are not adding up…..surely this has all been a scam….and may be from what I have read on other bloggs legal action is forthwith. ….as Naming a person without proof and then moving abroad and asking for money to make your life all the better….mmmh not sure
    …and plead with others to be aware of posting names of people for allegedly carrying out a crime on public forums….may ensure they are also dragged into a court case or civil action? Did you go to a hospital be they many..and clinics to have a rape kit done and logged and sent to your lawyer? These are questions your bloggers should be asking ….if they are supportive of you…😆

  25. May your traumatic experience transform into awarness for all and by doing so may you go beyond the trauma and heal.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Love

  26. Dear Cori
    I am so sorry for you, i hope Yoga Alliance will make this man stop!!
    I also took my TTC at this school 3 years ago.
    I just wrote a letter to Yoga Alliance asking them to stop Deepak doing what he is doing.
    Katja ( Denmark)

  27. i think a police report can still be very much filed with goa state police with the help of ministries/embassies of both the countries. there have been instances wherein the criminals have been booked here in india and judicial proceedings follow as per the law of the land. the entire process may be very very long drawn and hurdles too. since you have taken courage to come out even after over 3 years you certainly need to battle it out. wishing you well.

  28. As an activist who has been involved in cases of abuse of human/womens rights in India I know how difficult it is to be heard and to be taken serious as a female victim in India. Anybody who lightly suggests that the victim should take legal action in India has no idea about the amount of corruption and the lack of awareness about women´s right in this country. This is not about nationalistic sentiments and “protecting your nation”, it is about growing and evolving and about developing compassing, respect and care.

  29. Dear Cory,
    What I read in your story is unbelievable, shocking and so sad. I feel extremely SHAME , such prople just not spoil the name of spirituality but our country too.
    I know how serious you were for yoga and spirituality. And that seriousness brought you india again to enhance your knowledge. I think you shared this to me often.

    But it made me so sad and shame…I really appreciate your courage that ypu could brought this issue in front, so that no other such wicked people dare to do such things with other innocent souls.
    My full moral support is with you, and salute your courage. And surely you should take action against it…

    Though I wrote you before but I think it didn’t reach to you..
    With warm regards
    Krishna

  30. I am so very sorry that you have been put in a position which no woman should ever have to be in. I attended Sampoorna in the last year for a course and obviously met this man there. While he never crossed any physical boundaries he made a comment to me within my first few days which made me feel so uncomfortable that I avoided him for the rest of the course. I was not the only woman on there who felt that he was inappropriate. I also have been told that he was sleeping with one of the other students on the course – though this was consensual to my knowledge. However this man did not make my experice at Sampoorna a negative one, I was lucky enough to be able to ignore him. The rest of the staff are absolutely fantastic and some of the most lovely, honest and kind people I have met. I would be sad to see Sampoorna be shut down as it has done so much good for many people – but I agree that this man has abused his power and hope that Yoga Alliance will take these allegations seriously to prevent other women from having suffering because of him. We women have to stand together. Sending you all the love. Xxxx

  31. Hi Cori,

    I don’t doubt this for one second. I studied at Sampoorna late last year. Although I found the course to be really great, the teachers were amazing and the facility was fantastic, I found Deepak to be very inappropriate for the most part. He was extremely flirtatious with the students and I know for a fact he was sleeping with one. I found this to be so unprofessional and an abuse of his role. All of the students, who were predominantly female had the same feelings on him. He generally seemed to creep everyone out in a way and made people feel very uncomfortable. I’m so sorry this happened to you and I really hope you get justice for what he has done.

  32. Hello Cori,

    I am very disturbed after reading about your experience. Please understand that you are not alone. You are not only the victim of a criminal man with power and means but also of a larger societal malaise that is symptomatic of a much more serious and dangerous affliction that our country is suffering from.

    Have you considered taking action by launching an online mass petition using platforms like awaaz.org or change.org? Such campaigns often attract the support of thousands, even millions who would sympathize with you and support you in your demand for justice. If there’s anything I could help you with in your search for justice, please don’t hesitate to ask. If you do start an online campaign, I will make sure to add many like minded people, especially in India who might be willing to step forward and support you actively.

    Also I believe this man could be repeat offender, or even a serial rapist. For a man of his position, he might have become more confident over the years by committing such crimes and getting away with them every time using his money and influence. That is why he seems to have been emboldened enough to do this to you, a foreigner, which as any clearly thinking person would agree could be taking a very dangerous criminal risk.

    However it is not just him but also the general attitude of Indian men (the toxic patriarchy) that has made such crimes a regular occurrence in this part of the world. A few years ago, reflecting on the violence against women in India, I wrote an article entitled “Notes on Gender-based violence in the contemporary Hindu society” (http://freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Notes_on_Gender-based_violence_in_the_contemporary_Hindu_society). Perhaps you might find it of some use in your search for inner peace and healing.

    Your decision to speak up and seek justice through alternate means is very commendable. An online mass petition will make more people aware of the crime and might even encourage his other victims if any to come forward and speak up, and perhaps even testify if eventually any legal proceedings are started. Ideally you might also try to contact various women’s groups and NGOs who would be willing to formally help you with legal proceedings in India.

    Be aware that he will respond to it politically as all such criminals in high places often do. I see they are already at it. These people not only have no remorse, they often think offense is the best defense. Victim blaming and hinting at “unknown” motivations with the intent to defame is what such criminals and their lawyers resort to as a strategy. Be aware they will suggest much more than that when your campaign gains momentum. Your “moral character” will be questioned. There will be suggestions that financial profit is your real motive. Often they even cook up alternate stories and spread it informally using the media. And there are also cases where false witnesses are produced. Do not let such counter-accusations, suggestions, etc. dishearten you. Just stay strong and calm, and stick to your story as consistently as possible. Let us hope justice will be done eventually. At least, for all it is worth, your example will make these kinds of people fear the law and desist from criminal behaviour because I don’t think they have any empathy or are capable of feeling guilt. At the same time, more women will know better than to associate themselves with such disgusting person.

    I wish you all the best,

    Shubho

  33. You can file the case now also, it’s not late, please take your attorney’s advice and also try contacting your embassy in India and Indian foreign minister Shushma Swaraj, you can find her tweet account on google..!
    You have to kick his ass! Justice has to be served!

  34. I had an experience, not as unfortunate as yours, but as importante. I went to Kranti Yoga school to beacame a teacher and the only thing that I found was that the owner who was smoking weed all day, pass his day to touch all the girls and woman that went there. Hug, massage, little kiss here there to almost every single girls in the Shala. Thaking out my trust in yoga, because no matter how far you travel the yoga is already occidentalise and it’s juste a business to make money and have beautiful ladies around.

  35. Yoga teachers should not engage in sexual relations with their students… the same happens with other teaching professions.
    If you go to a school, ask for their Code of Conduct first.

    Only then, good yoga schools can avoid what is happening here with the alleged rape: This school reputation is dead, and so it should be.

    In my school in Australia, is totally forbidden, and now I understand why… whether is rape or fair play, at times is impossible to tell. If a teacher has an affair with a student, he/she, is out of the school and certificate. Harsh, because there is also legit good reasons, but now I understand the reason of it. Is the only/best way.

    I hope he gets questioned and if proved guilty, do his time in jail.

    All my support Cori,
    you have a lot of courage
    hope he gets questioned in court.

    Alvin

  36. I am not surprised at all to hear this story as I had doubts myself about Deepak’s behaviours. I have studied there myself at Sampoorna and I did not feel comfortable at all about how Deepak behaves with some students. He once adjusted my asana in an uncomfortable way, very inappropriate and I am sure it happened with other girls as well. Listen, I am a mature person and I can trust my gut when something is ok and not ok. The way he used to adjust was too intimate and he does it intentionally. Also, he once told me “you look hot today”!! I never told anyone as I was confused figuring out how I would finish this course!! There are many other inappropriate incidents which I witnessed but I didn’t speak about them until now.

  37. More power to you and deep gratitude to you for sharing this. You highlight a key point here – to not to put oneself or anyone on the pedestal so as to ignore their shadows. How can I contact you directly? I wish to work with you on this.

  38. This is very unfortunate. I’ve heard of lots of stories where so-called “yoga teachers” lure women through their rhetoric of spirituality and sexually abuse them. This doesn’t only happen in India but also in countries like Nepal. I hope the situation can change soon and such people should be brought to justice. Strenuous actions must be taken to set an example.

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