Trust Yoga instructor on leave of absence after ex-student alleges sexual assault during class

Wan Ting Koh
·Reporter
·2-min read
(SCREENSHOT: Trust Yoga's website)
(SCREENSHOT: Trust Yoga's website)

SINGAPORE — A yoga instructor from Trust Yoga has been placed on leave of absence after a former student alleged that she was sexually assaulted at the studio.

Trust Yoga said in a statement on Monday (3 August) night that the instructor who was allegedly involved in the incident had agreed to be on leave following internal investigations, and that it is cooperating with the authorities in the matter.

The alleged victim detailed in her Instagram story about the incident on 11 July, where she claimed that the male instructor had molested her while adjusting her position in an inverted forearm stand pose during her class at the studio.

After the molest, the teacher had “acted as if nothing untoward had happened and just continued teaching the class”, the woman claimed. The teacher then left after the class ended. The student added that she was stunned and in shock after the incident.

The next day, the alleged victim claimed to have gone to the yoga studio with her father to talk to Trust’s owners. She claimed in her posts - uploaded three days ago - that the teacher was still conducting classes even after Trust’s owners said they would take “strict action”.

The woman has filed a police report, according to her posts.

In its statement, Trust said that it takes allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously.

“As a yoga studio, we strive to provide a safe learning environment for all students,” it added.

The studio, which has two branches at Telok Ayer and Tampines, said that students who did not wish to be adjusted during classes may use a “no adjustment” card placed at the entrance of the class to convey his or her preference to the instructor.

“As additional safeguards, there are also CCTVs in place at our studio. We will further strengthen internal reporting mechanisms to ensure an optimal learning environment for our students.”

When contacted by Yahoo News Singapore earlier, one of Trust’s instructors listed on its website, Shiou An, declined to comment, citing police investigations.

The studio’s founder is listed as Manoj Deshwal, who is said to have been teaching yoga in Singapore since 2011 and holds a postgraduate degree in Physical Education and Yoga Science.

When contacted, the alleged victim told Yahoo News Singapore that she is currently seeking legal advice.

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