312: We Stand with Survivors with Rebecca Sebastian & Colin Hall

We must not be afraid to speak up when we see harm taking place in the yoga world – that is part of yoga. Recently, there was recent news that Bikram Choudhury was scheduled to teach in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. If you are unaware of this, there are some resources you can use to learn more about why this is problematic and why it is upsetting many people in the yoga world.

In this episode, Shannon Crow is joined by Rebecca Sebastian and Colin Hall to discuss this recent event. They share what actions they and others in the yoga community took to put pressure on the organizers and hotel to stop the event from happening and what additional actions we can take to bring Bikram to justice.

Bikram will no longer present at the event as he was originally scheduled to but there is still more to be done to hold him accountable for his actions and the abuse he inflicted on women in his yoga classes and trainings. Tune in to find out more about what you can do and how we can collectively disrupt the sexual assault and harm that occurs in yoga spaces.

Key Takeaways:

[0:00] Shannon reads a note to the survivors.

[3:39] This podcast interview was recorded live with Rebecca Sebastian and Colin Hall to discuss the recent news of Bikram Choudhury teaching in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

[5:14] Shannon shares some resources where you can read more about the current situation.

[7:10] Shannon gives thanks to the sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.

[8:43] There has been a recent wave of effort to keep Bikram out of Canada, and it has worked but there are many more questions arising from this situation.

“How do we stop the abuse of power that is so prevalent in the yoga world?” ~ Shannon Crow

[13:36] Colin Hall, Rebecca Sebastian, and Shannon Crow introduce themselves.

[16:09] Rebecca and Colin share some resources where you can get the backstory of what happened with Bikram.

[18:59] Colin started investigating who was behind bringing Bikram to Canada.

[22:27] Rebecca shares some of her tips on how to make movement happen, especially when dealing with non-profits.

“The truth is that we will get more impact by following the money.” ~ Rebecca Sebastian

[24:31] Shannon shares that there are survivors of abuse from Bikram who are being threatened by organizers of this event.

[27:11] Is this water under the bridge? Is this something that happened and we should all move on? Colin explains why not.

[29:20] Josh Cooper joins the call to share his experience in speaking directly with the GM of the hotel where the event was set to take place.

[32:04] Shannon gives a shout out of thanks to sponsor, OfferingTree.

[33:11][33:12] Rebecca has some action steps that you can take if you are in the US.

[35:10] Colin explains some of the actions that he and other Canadian yoga teachers took to stop Bikram from teaching yoga in Canada and what actions you can take now.

[39:45] How can we decrease sexual assault and harm caused by the power imbalance in yoga?

“So many people are coming into our practices with that vulnerability piece.” ~ Rebecca Sebastian

[43:19] Shannon and Rebecca share their thoughts on why people might still be signing up for Bikram’s trainings and what we can do about it.

[49:18] Not everyone, even in the yoga world, is aware of Bikram and what he did.

[52:05] How do we separate the yoga that we do from the people and the harm they caused?

[57:42] When people get together and organize, you can get results.

“When people get together and organize, you get results.” – Colin Hall

[60:16] Rebecca shares some resources for people who have experienced sexual assault.

[61:03] Shannon shares some takeaways and upcoming events you can join.


Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.

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