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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Stepping Away from Anusara

Dear Anusara Yoga Colleagues,

As most of you know, on February 2 an anonymous website was posted that accused Anusara yoga founder John Friend of serious misconduct. Like many of you, I initially regarded the website, with its startlingly explicit material, with disbelief. However, John openly acknowledged the truth of the most disturbing accusations on the website.

Even after I discovered the revelations were true, I remained passionately committed to Anusara yoga. I’ve spent the last ten days working around the clock with other Anusara yogins to find a way to separate John Friend, the person, from Anusara yoga, the method and community we all love. I felt this would be healthiest for everyone involved, including John. I was deeply moved to see our whole community rise up on Facebook, supporting each other, suggesting ways to move forward, and ferociously affirming our abiding faith and joy in our beautiful method. Even as the revelation of rot at our center devastated me, I was profoundly, sublimely uplifted by the Anusara community. I’ve never been prouder of us.

However, Anusara, Inc. is a sole proprietorship, and the hundreds of thousands of Anusara yogins worldwide can do nothing without the consent of the proprietor. John has demonstrated his unwillingness to take any meaningful responsibility for his actions or work with the community to effect real change.

I was Certified in Anusara yoga, and nothing can ever change that. However, I renounce my business association with Anusara, Inc.

To the original 23 Anusara yogins who stood together, and to the ten who have carried the heaviest burden: your fellowship meant the world to me, and your names are emblazoned on my heart.

With great love,


Blogger Olga Rasmussen said...

I know how hard this has been for you - and for all of us that tried to steer this ship!

With love and blessings always,

February 12, 2012 at 3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the best to you, as you move forward after a hard decision.

February 12, 2012 at 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Lia Menaker said...

Thank you for such an honest letter, Emma. I'm grateful for your studio and for all the certified teachers that have always shown such dedication and love. You all continue to inspire me.

February 12, 2012 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Aylin said...

Emma,I admire your courage and forthrightness! Much love and all the best to you.

February 12, 2012 at 4:45 PM  
Anonymous Brittany Irwin said...

As difficult as this may have been for you, your teachings and your yoga will always come from your heart & soul. If anything, you are only aligning your faith even deeper. You are in my thoughts, Emma! You're on an amazing path!

February 12, 2012 at 4:58 PM  
Blogger Ariane said...

Wow, Emma, this is beautiful. I am so grateful to the Anusara kula, to the marvelous people I've met through this practice. You are a shining example of integrity, courage and devotion. Thank you.

February 12, 2012 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger cate - yogahealer said...

thank you, Emma, for standing in your midline.

February 12, 2012 at 5:46 PM  
Anonymous beth rolland said...

Emma, your devotion to Anasura yoga and your loving, enthusiastic, teaching of its principles have shaped and changed my life in wonderful ways. This break with the organization, while difficult, changes none of that. I applaud your integrity and your stance firmly rooted in your center. Call your yoga whatever you like--your students will stand by you and support you all the more. Much love to you.

February 12, 2012 at 6:09 PM  
Blogger sarcastic yogi said...

i share you feelings! best wishes

February 12, 2012 at 6:13 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

It means so much to me to see teachers that I hold in highest esteem stand in the Highest.

February 12, 2012 at 6:59 PM  
Anonymous colleen said...

Well said... we who are and have not been in the Anasura community welcome you with open arms! With all of this you all are opening more yoga, more teachings and more insights to all! Bless, Bless, Bless, Peace, Peace, Peace.

February 12, 2012 at 7:19 PM  
Blogger vanOs said...

Emma, as you were teaching today, when it all boils down to it, integrity is all you have. This must have been a painful decision for you, but from my (limited) perspective, the right one. Strength to you.

February 12, 2012 at 8:10 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Loving you...

February 12, 2012 at 8:18 PM  
Anonymous Karen B said...

Best of luck to you during your transition.

February 12, 2012 at 9:19 PM  
Blogger Amy Elias, MS said...

L O V E . . .

February 12, 2012 at 9:32 PM  
Anonymous felice said...

Stand up for your principals, even when you stand alone.

February 12, 2012 at 9:33 PM  
Blogger Mandy.Y said...

Can you tell us what do you mean by "John has demonstrated his unwillingness to take any meaningful responsibility for his actions or work with the community to effect real change."?
As part of the community, I am sad to see so many teacher leaving without giving the time for healing, or, for John to "make the change", if he's shown that he's not willing to do that, after all this mess, which I suppose is what you mean here, I think the larger community will like to know what exactly he refused to do.
Thank you Emma.

February 12, 2012 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger Dale said...

You can get a writ based on the damage that JF is doing to the reputation and futire income of his teachers, who he is bound to in a contractial relationship. Lawyer up and fight!

February 12, 2012 at 11:36 PM  
Anonymous Noah said...

Love to you. I am proud to consider you a sister, and a companion on the path. And you have the coolest name ever. Respect! Noah

February 12, 2012 at 11:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is very hard to me as a yoga teacher, not an anusara one though. i think we need to talk more about ethics and to become stronger in the importance of what creating real communities is. thank you

February 13, 2012 at 3:04 AM  
Blogger Mark T said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

February 13, 2012 at 3:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Emma. Does this mean you're slightly more understanding of criticisms I have made or implied in the past (which you corrected with your "ferocious affirmations"), or am I still a big meanie? I could have told you reams about the "rot at the center," (the seeds of which I observed as far back as 1993) but you weren't ready for even the mildest of criticism. Welcome to the waking state, and I do applaud you for proclaiming your freedom -- and wish you success and light in your teaching.

Doug K

February 13, 2012 at 5:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A joke

February 13, 2012 at 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, not really.


February 13, 2012 at 6:27 PM  
Blogger mariacristinayogi said...

Blessings to you.

February 13, 2012 at 7:06 PM  
Blogger Myriam Lluria Sitterson said...

Love & blessings to you Emma <3

February 13, 2012 at 10:25 PM  
Anonymous Gary Rosard said...

I am totally unaware of the goings on discussed. All I know Emma, is that you are an inspiring and awesome teacher. Nothing changes that.

February 16, 2012 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger JeffG said...

Hey Emma. I heard about these recent events for the first time yesterday. I can only imagine what a difficult and conflicted position you've found yourself in. I came across a quote by Martin Luther King yesterday I thought I'd share with you. He said at one point that he was very disappointed in America, but added "You can only have great disappointment where there is great love." At this point I'm sure you feel both. Jeff

March 12, 2012 at 4:49 PM  

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