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The Commons
Voices / Letters from readers

The power of surrendering

Originally published in The Commons issue #458 (Wednesday, May 9, 2018). This story appeared on page E4.


RE: “#ThemToo” [Special Focus, Apr. 18]:

Sadly, I have heard about this man since I moved to Brattleboro. I heard that he had inappropriate relationships with his students and that he was dogged legally for alleged injuries.

Yoga Alliance, the U.S. overseeing body for certifying yoga teachers, has a clear set of ethical standards, which Rizzo does not seem to follow. I also teach a style of yoga that involves adjustments. I have never felt the need to adjust someone under her clothes, nor to put my full weight on a student. (Such an action would not be an adjustment; that would be a forcible push.)

Additionally, yoga texts warn against accepting the adulation that one may receive from students. A yoga teacher has a lot of power in class, and many students surrender themselves to instruction and adjustments.

That makes a violation even greater, because the students have appropriately surrendered, and then they feel guilty if they have been hurt by their teacher because they tell themselves that they were not really open, were not really honestly surrendering to the practice.

That is why people don’t speak up.

Jo Schneiderman


Brattleboro

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Editor’s note: Our terms of service require you to use your real names. We will remove anonymous or pseudonymous comments that come to our attention. We rely on our readers’ personal integrity to stand behind what they say; please do not write anything to someone that you wouldn’t say to his or her face without your needing to wear a ski mask while saying it. Thanks for doing your part to make your responses forceful, thoughtful, provocative, and civil. We also consider your comments for the letters column in the print newspaper.