You Are Your Guru

I recently watched the 2019 documentary Bikram: Yogi, Guru. Predator and it really shocked me. Thankfully the #MeToo movement has shined a light on so many. Bikram is not the first of the power-hungry megalomaniacs exploiting their positions of spiritual power and I am sure he will not be the last.

However, something that shocked me was how many conscious intelligent women were giving up their power to this monster they called Guru. What is it about someone that makes us blindly follow? Why in this modern era we are still looking up to people like they are gods and in some cases giving away our power?

Steven Taylor in his article Guru Supreme writes ´the key to understanding guru worship is the psychological need states of the disciples. In the beginning there is a genuine need for spiritual growth this is often combined with a much more unhealthy childlike state of devotion and irresponsibility. For the guru, this mindless devotion usually leads to disaster (as in the case of Bikram and many others in the Spiritual community)´

I must caveat this does not apply to all gurus and there are some very well behaved ones out there, it is more the mindset of those who need to put someone on a pedestal, like a groupie who will do anything to please the rockstar.

From a personal perspective I have seen this so much. Everyone looking up to the yoga teacher hanging on their every word. I remember one teacher I had many years ago, she grilled me for an hour before allowing me to practice Mysore style Ashtanga (who is your teacher, where did you practice, etc) She then proceeded to ignore me for ages (not even a smile when I arrived daily at 6:30) then after a certain time frame she would speak to me....this was the same for everyone she literally ignored and was awful to people for ages.

Her adjustments were brutal and one time she pulled and pushed me into a position my body was clearly not ready for and I am sure she broke a rib or two. However, I still went back – I was a loyal disciple of pain (crazy as this seems to me now) That particular studio had more people in bandages than your average A&E department and everyone looked so bloody miserable! She had some weird mantra about injuries and pushing through the pain. But my point is this, we all loved her! She was our teacher and we all respected her and looked up to her.

Ed & Deb Shapiro in their blog; Why do we get addicted to the Guru (In Huffington Post) state ´Perhaps we worship a guru so blindly and surrender so willingly due to our own self-doubt, the reluctance to acknowledge our own innate understanding, insight and wisdom¨

We have so much wisdom and so much knowledge in each of us, maybe the days of the Guru are over. Yes we can be inspired by wise souls and yes we can have guidance by spiritual teachers but we do not have to give up our power to them. The world is waking up and we must question & trust our own inner guru, now more than ever.

Love and light,

Kate x

The Yoga Sanctuary Ibiza

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