When I was practicing Ashtanga Yoga in Mysore, I would receive a lot of praise for my asana practice and for qualities that people projected onto me because of that. I yearned for that praise. Yet, it was an odd thing because I felt like a fraud and that it was shallow and meaningless. It was like junk food. It tasted sweet but there was no real nourishment and I was never satisfied. It became an addictive cycle.
Since my #MeToo post in November, I’ve received a lot of praise for being brave and inspiring. This time I don’t feel like a fraud. It feels both nourishing and satisfying. The other day someone messaged me that I was an inspiration to her. She said if it hadn’t been for me she might not have found the courage to come forward and seek action about being sexually abused as a teenager, by a police officer, who is still in uniform two decades later.
This means infinitely more to me than the most incredible yoga experience/practice I might have ever had.
Ellie Scandrito, you are an inspiration to me. Many times I’ve tried, in therapeutic settings, to go back and imagine telling Pattabhi Jois to stop shoving his penis into me. In that tiny room, practicing with 11 other devotees and several more waiting and watching from the steps, I’ve never found the courage to even imagine saying it. Next time I try, I’ll think of you Ellie and all the people who have thanked me for being brave and hopefully I’ll find that courage.