Many people just see yoga as a product or service. As with celebrities, they feel they have a right to voice their opinion or show how they feel about yoga teachers in any way they deem necessary. In a perfect world, everyone would practice non attachment and not let negativity get them down, but this is not a perfect world. When students roll their eyes, walk out of a class, talk about the teacher to other teachers and students and send hateful e-mails to the studio owner, it can be seen as bullying.
There is a difference between constructive feedback and maliciousness. Constructive feedback is done with the intention of helping the teacher be better. Malicious action is meant to hurt and cause damage to the teacher. Dramatically walking out of class hoping everyone notices your disdain. Loudly making comments hoping the people around you can hear it. I had a student recently who was in a class that was not suited for them, loudly whispering, "ridiculous" or "this is to much". When everyone ignored her, she took it upon herself to loudly start up a conversation with the person beside her. I addressed her actions to the class as a whole through a sutra (a few words of wisdom). The funny thing was that the person she was whispering to was taking up for me in an equally loud whisper!
I have seen students send e-mails to the studio honor insinuating that they should take the teacher's class away from them or that they should not be allowed to teach at certain class times. Some students form a click and gossip to anyone who will listen hoping to destroy the teachers reputation. All of this is done not with the intention of making the yoga teacher better, but at hurting them.
Many yoga teachers see what they do as an art. They spend tremendous amounts of time practicing, studying and training to bring their students something they feel will be of benefit. They pour their heart and soul into their offering. Though I have never heard of a yoga teacher over dosing on drugs, I do know many that cry tears of pain and experience tremendous heartache when they are not well received. I have seen teachers, who have so much to offer the world, have their self esteem crushed to a point where they chose to not teach in studios or not teach all together.
One of the Yamas, which is apart of the 8 limbs of yoga, is ahimsa, or non harming. There is much debate on intention. The dehumanization of celebrities and our fellow human beings can be so deep that people don't even think about the damage they may be causing. This was done on a grand scale with slavery where blacks were dehumanized to the point that they were seen as less than animals and treated as such. If a person does not understand what they are doing, are they going against Ahimsa? Yes. Every action we make effects the world and others around us. Even the ones that we are not even aware of as harmful. According to the Yoga Sutras, the path of yoga takes us to a place where we eventually stop accumulating bad karmas. When we live in a state of pure awareness, the dehumanization doesn't happen. We understand our impact.
As of now, we don't know what caused Chris Kelly to be a drug addict and to overdose. We can start today with being more aware of how our actions effect those around us. Take a moment to think about the effect your words and actions have on those around you. If the actions you want to take and the words you want to speak will do more harm then good, consider silence and inaction.