For years, the graying, muscular teacher with a bright tattoo of Buddha inked across his back has been a sought-after yoga guru in South Florida. Every weekend, dozens of students from Miami to Palm Beach have gathered at the Colony Hotel in Delray Beach for classes by the man called Yoga Fox, who boasted of crafting his own style of yoga — complete with live harmonium playing — after years of intense study.
"We try to find a way to become light, to exist but defy gravity," Yoga Fox says in a video about his approach.
But police say the guru — a 58-year-old whose real name is Keith Fox — used his position as a respected teacher to groom and then repeatedly have sex with a 15-year-old girl. Fox was arrested yesterday and charged with sexual battery of a minor.
The news stunned South Florida's yoga world, where Fox had an oversize presence both at his own studios in Delray Beach and at large traveling festivals such as Wanderlust and Yogafest.
He ran his Yoga Fox practice with partner Kelly Brookbank Fox. On his site, he writes that they combined multiple yoga traditions into a unique flow with a specially developed meditation routine at the end. "Keith plays harmonium and shares his devotion at each class as well," the site notes.
Photos and videos show packed rooms for Fox's classes. One former student tells New Times that hundreds of devotees would arrive early at the historic Colony Hotel every weekend for his routines.
But police say Fox used that devotion to abuse a girl for months. Delray Beach PD were tipped off to the crime, they write in a police report, when the mother of the 15-year-old grew suspicious of how much time she was spending with the yoga guru outside of class. The mother hired a private investigator to tail the pair and to stake out Fox's house in June 2016.
The investigator told police he'd seen evidence that Fox and the girl, who isn't named because of her age, were smoking marijuana together. He later took photos through Fox's window of the pair naked and touching each other in a sexual manner.
When cops interviewed the girl in July 2016, she first told them that she viewed the instructor, whom she'd known since that previous February, as a "more of a mentor" and that they had a "father/daughter relationship." But the girl then described a classic predatory relationship: Fox would buy her things, she said, and talked badly of her parents, telling her that "no one could love her the way he did."
Then, she told cops, Fox asked if she had ever had an orgasm and offered a "Thai massage." He then touched her vagina through her underwear and then without any clothing. The girl told police that he'd had sex with her on multiple occasions, but she refused to submit to a rape exam.
Police later interviewed a woman who told them that Fox had also inappropriately touched her by fondling her breasts during a private yoga session.
When police approached Fox in August 2016, he declined to discuss the allegations or submit to any testing; police later received a court order in September to take his DNA. On Tuesday, he was booked into Palm Beach County Jail on a felony charge.
Fox's attorney, Michael D. Weinstein, didn't immediately return a call to comment on the charges. No one answered the phone at Yoga Fox.