Occupy Anusara – the View from Rural Maine
The beauty of living and teaching yoga in a very rural, small and tight-knit community is that very little is hidden. We joke that if you live here for more than a week you’re certain to make the local paper. This is a blessing in many ways. Our intimacy encourages high personal integrity as well as compassion for each other’s shortcomings. Our relative isolation from outside opinions and goings on also helps. When outside storms do reach our shores, we most often respond with steadiness and authenticity. That said, as one of Maine’s two Certified Anusara Yoga teachers I feel compelled to offer a response to the recent public accusations that were made about John Friend’s unethical behavior.
You can learn more about what is being said here. I have studied with John for the last 9 years and have learned a tremendous amount from him. Many of us have. Perhaps the greatest teaching we have received is the gift of listening closely to our own truth and to sensitively feeling into and aligning with what is right in our own life, moment to moment. The beauty of this is that over the past decade we have built a tremendous community of Anusara teachers who are fully committed to this wonderfully life-enhancing process. Through our own experience of yoga, in our own communities, as our own students and teachers the practice of Anusara has gained a potency far beyond any one person. And so we rise up together because, as many of us see it, this is a fantastic opportunity to “Occupy Anusara” and to live the truth of our experience.
We keep one hand open to the abundance of infinite possibility and one hand closed with discernment: saying yes to what opens our hearts and knowing that we have the power to say no to what does not serve.
The logistics of how this will play out in the organization of Anusara is yet to be seen, but the method remains as potent as your own experience of it.
If you are interested in more discussion about the role of the teacher in yoga this is a good article by yoga scholar Christopher Wallace. If you want to know more about what other Anusara Teachers are saying, this is a good place to start.
Please know that above all I am dedicated to skillfully practicing and teaching what I know to be true. My greatest hope is that as I continue to find my own heart and my own voice, you will continue to find yours.
With warmth and love,