rethinking gurus in modern yoga: triyoga talks episode 26

Four experts discuss the dynamics of the guru-disciple relationship in this special recording of our recent symposium in Camden. This was an evening of open, honest and fascinating conversation, which we’re releasing by popular request from those who missed out on the day.

The event looked closely at the traditional guru-disciple relationship that ancient Indian epic texts say is crucial to spiritual progress. However, it’s a relationship that’s come under intense scrutiny in recent times amid questions about the influence of power dynamics.

On the panel were an Advaita Vedanta teacher (Bhaskar Ramachandran), an Iyengar yoga teacher (Carrie Owerko), an ashtanga yoga teacher (Philippa Asher), and an academic (Amelia Wood). They discuss ways in which contemporary yoga teachers can approach their duty authentically and traditionally while empowering and championing their students.

Bhaskar Ramachandran explains the basis of the relationship: “In Sanskrit, the word ‘guru’ means dispeller of darkness; one who removes darkness, one who removes ignorance. So, the sole objective of the guru is to remove your ignorance. It should be the sole objective of the guru. This is the basis of the relationship between the teacher and student. It is surrender, it is faith.”

Listen to our other podcasts in the ‘triyoga talks’ series here.

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