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Manhattan Yoga center sued $1 million dollars by ex-employee


In most work environments, there is a chain of command or levels of superiority among New York employees. There are supervisors, leaders, managers and administrators; an order of rank among employees. Unfortunately, when a New York employee is working under a superior, there can be an occasion when a worker in a position of dominance can force an employee into an unwelcome situation.

Such appears to be the case at a popular yoga center in downtown Manhattan, where a yoga apprentice is suing the center, its leaders and her guru for $1 million dollars for sexual harassment. The apprentice claims that the guru asked to stay over the woman's house, sleep in her bed, asked to stand nude for photographs in sexually suggestive poses and on dozens of occasions make sexual advancements towards her. This went on from the fall of 2010 until the fall of 2013, when the guru lost interest. The apprentice claims that the sexual harassment forced her to undergo years of therapy.

The relationship between a yoga apprentice and his or her guru or mentor is tricky, as it requires close personal training between two people. "I followed their philosophy of total devotion and surrender to a guru with all my heart. . . . That's why I didn't question her psychological manipulation," she said.

Any unwanted sexually suggestive situation can be considered sexual harassment. In addition, harassment on the grounds of one's sex or sexual orientation is considered sexual harassment as well. It is crucial to act in any unwanted situation to not only protect yourself, but other potential victims in your work environment too.

Source: New York Daily News, "Manhattan yoga guru accused of sexually harassing apprentice teacher in $1M lawsuit," Barbara Ross, accessed on Feb. 2, 2016

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