Moving Beyond Anusara
Since I posted on the Anusara drama a few months ago and resigned my Anusara liscence in April, I will give you one last update on what is happening Anusara-world. Hopefully this will make my own decisions clear and give you the information needed to make your own choices regarding John Friend and Anusara Inc.
Over the last five months various committees have attempted to work with John to re-organize Anusara into a teacher/student supported non-profit organization of some sort. Most recently the Leadership Committee (an international group of certified teachers) posted the following letter on their site Kula Evolution. If you don’t want to read the whole thing, the paragraph below will give you a good idea of where things stand.
The end of Anusara as we knew it
“John has demonstrated throughout our negotiations that he is not open to considering our ideas, not interested in working with us to find a “win-win” outcome, unwilling to allow us to independently find a workable solution, and will not entertain sound, tried-and-true “best business practices” solution. His latest refusal in not allowing us to perform due diligence to understand the risks and rewards of receiving the trademarks is a good example of his approach.”
The continuation of yoga and many other wonderful things
I am quite happy with my separation from John and Anusara. I appreciate the tremendous teaching skills I acquired through my grueling certification process (thanks to Todd Norian) and now I look forward now to using the best of ALL that I have learned over the past 20+ years of my own body-mind practices. I am thrilled to be leading my own 108 hr Immersions and 200hr Teacher Certification courses starting this fall which will incorporate the best of Anusara methodology as well as many other sophisticated therapeutic body-mind-movement techniques. As a former NOLS instructor and experiential educator I am also looking forward to including the leadership and interpersonal skills in my teacher training. These are the skills that today’s yoga-community so badly needs, and will help us all succeed in transmitting the best that yoga has to offer.
In closing, I leave you with this brilliant screenplay by Anusara Yoga Student David Bothe, printed here with permission of the author:
Kali vs. JF Cage Match!
Warning: Vicious, B-grade satire that contains nuggets of truth covered in caca. Absent kindness, caveat emptor. No research has been done for this piece. All errors of fact or fancy are the responsibility of my Muse. All diction, usage, spelling errors and other problems with riting, are the fault of the Nuns. Less catechism and more academics please, for future generations.
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There was a disturbance in the Kula. The ALLTHING decreed a dualistic settlement must be reached. The flowingwithgrace tribe flowed with pain, guilt, blame, suffering and recrimination. Kali stepped forward as the champion of 10,000 pissed off yoginis. JF would pay she vowed. The Universe sighed at the necessity, and then thundered “Release the KALI MA!!!” and the Fates where summoned to create the near-epic battle. Atropos took the first slice at future reality, while all the heavens watched.
“Kali, fueled by the anger of her damaged daughters, planned her harvest carefully. JF must be caught in the act. She chose the WonderLove festival as her battlefield. Kali manifested as a twenty seven year old, green eyed, honey haired, beauty with a killer body. She adorned herself with Lululemon pants, Margarita top, but no toe-sox- she did not want to be too obvious. She conjured a Prana mat only to learn that JF was now hawking Manduka. She transformed it with a wave of her hand. Kali accessorized with a flowered, purple steel canteen and a scarf/drape thingy for her shoulders. Her final adornment was the pink name tag of an Inspired for her mat.
After the Invocation- no mention of her or what she stood for by the way- she set about seduction by sending subtle signals of availability and interest. WTF!!! Out of a class of three hundred, mostly women, a score where sending out the same signals and six were in full groupie mode. As the opening sermonette stretched on, Kali went into action to neutralize her rivals. One she caused a giant pimple to form on her nose, two she cursed with menstrual cramps, another she gave a stomach bug. The last she defeated with some organic spinach lodged in her white teeth, so that JF winced when she smiled at him and her confidence was shattered. There. She was the clear choice. JF had finished talking about pyramids and was well into Sacred Geometry speaking much and saying little, when she started to get even angrier. Move it along buddy! He was in the middle of explaining how the levator ani muscle could be activated during Inner Spiral to get the most auspicious effect on mula bandha when the goddess folded her arms sharply, nodded her head and poofed them to the climax.
Alone, after class, as he stood ready to further her tantric education, she let slip her disguise. With one fluid motion she used her favorite castration technique, an upward cut, with a flick of the wrist that removed stem and stones and left a nice fleshy handgrip for waving. She removed maya and mala from his shocked brain. Kali showed him how far he had strayed from his Divine Blueprint, how much potential he had wasted.
“I just wanted to be liked.” JF croaked.
“I like you this way.” Kali purred as she cut of his head.
Kali Ma declared a STFU World Tour where she displayed her trophies. Maenads sprang up from the drops of blood as they scattered across the land. On Pagan holidays, JF’s gorgon-like gaze would transmute middle aged housewives into vibrant yoga goddesses. The flowingwithgrace tribe became an open source community, led by the divine feminine, resulting in all beings being happy and free.”
Heaven considered this possible reality.
“Turned to the Dark side he has, destroyed he must be.” said Yoda.
Athena, Jehovah, and Krishna voted for it. The Aztec gods wanted REAL open-hearted content, but they agreed anyway.
“Valhalla will take him!” Odin grumbled. As the ultimate judge of warriors, the all-father knew that JF was a pussy. The smallest kitchen boy would punk him in a fight. JF was a Master all right, a master navel gazer. But the Valkyries wanted to learn yoga and his one eye could appreciate them in yoga pants. JF may not be much good in Ragnarok, but the end of time was taking awhile to arrive.
Clotho spun the next version of Fate.
JF felt Kali knifing for him in the edges of his Consciousness. He bilocated to Barbados- she would dance to his tune, not hers. JF was an Ascended Master- the 108th incarnation of Krishna and he had planned to Reveal himself in December in accordance with the Mayan prophesy. He would shepherd in a New Age of Yogic bliss. But this epic battle must come first.
Kali, in her crone form, appeared on the beach holding two long, rusty knives. JF stood on the edge of the surf and smiled at her as she approached. She chased him over the lagoon, and across the beach each knife cut just missing. Kali was used to the heat and humidity of dense Calcutta, this was pleasant by comparison. Open sunlight, ocean, noises, a breeze in her face, the beauty sapped anger from her system. JF retreated up the hillsides encouraging Kali to continue. The battle raged all morning. By mid-afternoon, Kali’s left shoulder was sore. JF slipped in with a quick adjustment combining four corners theory with some outer spiral to get the prana flowing better through her fatigued deltoid muscles. That enraged her even more. Kali decided she needed younger, longer limbs to catch him so she shifted form. But she still could not quite get him! Night fell and on they danced, until the Dance became a Dream….
She awoke the next morning lying on a lounge chair wrapped in a terry cloth robe. She felt Good. Languid and satiated and tingly she looked around. Apasmara was giving her a pedicure. Indra and Kama were in a hot tub resting from their work. She was researching new pages for her Sutra. Now that Indra controlled the lightning he could do the most amazing things with his fingertips. Hanuman was serving Mojitos that he made from ingredients from all over the world. What was she angry at? There was a note on a sliver mirror. Her reflection looked surprisingly like Padme from Top Chef. The note invited her to Dance again tonight after she had enjoyed the beauty of the day. That sounded delightful….”
Two hundred years from now JF is the center of three religions all claiming to be true to his teachings. His greatest gift to humanity was to usher in new Tantric freedoms, that, unfortunately, all were not ready to receive during his lifetime. Later all his actions came to be seen as Divine Will unfolding.
Zeus, Freya, and Jesus voted for this timeline.
Hephaestus agreed. He was getting close to full ekapadarajakapotasana using the UPIs. The hips were opening and side-body-long was really helping his backbend.
Krishna, thinking fondly of the Gopis, voted for this as well.
Spock said. “Fascinating, but this is not logical.”
JRR Tolkien added. “A little too much fantasy for me.”
So Lachesis measured out a conflict between Kali and JF.
“Mahakali, with a sword in each of her ten hands, confronted JF at a gathering of licensed teachers. He looked scared, but not completely surprised to see her. JF started throwing clouds of good Karma to slow Kali’s strikes.
K. “Your poor choices have hurt many.”
JF. “I have given good yoga to half a million people.”
K. “You had sex with your students.”
JF. “Consenting adults.”
K. “You promoted or fast tracked your sexual partners.”
JF. “You can’t prove that!”
K. “You took credit for the work of your senior teachers.”
JF. “They road my coattails. They could have left at any point.”
K. “You abused your power.”
JF. “They invested their power in me. My teachers taught my method. It was a bargain. I gave them a yoga livelihood, they gave me loyalty.”
K. “You manifested a beautiful system, inspired by and with the help of the Divine, and then you refuse to free it, thinking YOU are the creator.”
JF. “If I let it go, the system will get mucked up and watered down within a few years. No one else has the combination of technical skill, heart, and charisma to keep it all together. My worldwide Kula has magic that must be kept pure.”
K. “The beauty of the Kula is a reflection of all involved, not just you.”
JF had been circling the room, his pool of good karma decreasing under Kali’s vicious assault. His breath was short and he was sweating rivers.
K. “Your yoga “off the mat” is weak. Your time would be better spent just listing the eight limbs of yoga, if you are not teaching asana.”
K. “You got bored teaching the same simple truths and you were having trouble selling the same thing over and over again, so you added layers of unnecessary crap.”
The swords were drawing closer with each swing.
K. “You did not practice what you preached in too many ways.”
K. “From ego, you tried to lead the Kula, where it did not want to go. And then you punished those who did not follow.”
K. “You lied and manipulated for selfish reasons.”
JF, his good karma completely gone, used an epic inner spiral to avoid a slash. He summoned his last defense. “You are just a metaphor.” he whispered.
And Mahakali vanished.
JF took a few breaths and then looked for the polite applause. There wasn’t any. And the room was emptying. That was his greatest moment-defeating Kali- and no one cared? There was a void in his third chakra that needed feeding. It devoured adoration and it was getting hungry. Maybe he should spend more time in Asia. Patriarchal, hierarchal societies that were used to listening to authority, with plenty of upper middle class women who would be new his act, it would be great. Virgin territory…..”
Krishna, never afraid of contradicting himself, voted for this timeline as well.