How do we co-create safer yoga and spiritual communities?
Through dogged investigative work, careful listening to survivor stories
of assault and abuse, and close analysis of the cultic mechanisms at play
in the sphere of Pattabhi Jois’s Ashtanga community, Matthew Remski’s
Practice and All Is Coming offers a sober view into a collective and intergenerational
It also offers a clear pathway forward into enhanced critical thinking,
student empowerment, self-and-other care, and community resilience.
Concluding with practical tools for a world rocked by abuse revelations,
Practice and All Is Coming opens a window on the possibility of healing—
and even re-enchantment.
While Mathew Remski is the courageous, insightful, and compassionate author of this informative, challenging, and thought-provoking book, this book is clearly a group effort. Equal parts theory, training manual, expose, and memoir, Practice and All is Coming … is a foray into the difficult topics of personal agency, spirituality authority, and cult dynamics. In addition to his clearly articulated understanding of the problems inherent in many spiritual schools, Mathew provides hope for healing the confusion and anguish that arise in the heart of sincere practitioners when they are betrayed by the revered powers in which they have placed their trust. If you practice or teach yoga, please consider this book an essential companion on your path.
Christina Sell, author of Yoga From the Inside Out, My Body is a Temple, and A Deeper Yoga.
This text is a formidable contribution and necessary, painstaking collaboration that took incredible courage and fortitude to bring to light. It plays a critical role in allowing yoga to move forward in our generation and the next, to reframe what it means to practice yoga, and how. It encourages our yoga community to begin to move out of the darkness of its history of sexual assault, self-harm, and guru as god worship, and into the light toward healing. To enforce a no tolerance policy against sexual abuse and psychological and spiritual manipulation that can end generations of violence against women, men, & the self with our collective, informed, and compassionate will.
As a sexual assault survivor, it took me years, almost 2 decades, to move from victim to victor. This text was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to read. But, it was also one of the most important…. Many times while reading, my body and mind viscerally pushed back against reading, my throat tightened, threatening to close; and the anger, so old now it has turned to grief, begin to rise up and threaten to make me mourn all over again. Mourn for justice that, just like for the women in this book, will never formally be awarded.
The healing potential of this book lies in an equal two parts–one part admission and revelation and one part evolution–the demand for evolution in order to nurture healing and recovery toward ending abuse, coercion, violence, injury, and deceptive manipulation in yoga. Yoga should be about healing, not harm.
Dr. Ginger Garner, DPT, ATC/L, PYT, author, Medical Therapeutic Yoga
An utterly shocking exposé of the fascinating, messy relationships between yoga, narcissism, systems of control, and charismatic leadership. The author usefully synthesizes Attachment Theory and current research on cult dynamics, cutting through the gauzy mystique of the yoga industry with a strong analysis of power, rank, and privilege. Both sensitive and searing, Remski's critique is a tour de force that provides a much-needed public health service to yoga practitioners and teachers alike.
Carmen Spagnola, Somatic Trauma Recovery Practitioner and host of The Numinous Podcast.