Moving Forward- My Personal Anusara Story

I was first introduced to Anusara Yoga by a spectacular teacher named Sara Davidson Flanders in my 200 hour teacher training. Her experience and teaching forever changed the path of my life. It was incredible. I ended up studying with former certified teacher Katherine Schaefer. I never started off wanting to be an Anusara teacher until I met John for the first time in Toronto and I was mesmorized. I was however concerned about the blind faith of the Kula. It made me nervous to see so many WORSHIPPING one person so intently. I definitely felt the pull of the charsmatic leader. It was nice to feel so included in something so wonderful. My local yoga community left me wanting so much more and I had found it.

After the inital glow of Anusara wore off I began to notice discord in the community. Teachers were always competing for John’s approval and attention. I noticed a sense of jealously between teachers when he paid too much attention to any one person. There was always a feeling of competition among the kula. When I decided to pursue my Anusara Inspired Status I felt a sense of competition and jealousy from other teachers in my community who were also on the path. Who was going to be the first Certified Inspired Teacher in the area? It seemed really important to have this title. It seemed to be the biggest badge of approval and accomplishment.

Earning a Certified/Inspired Anusara title is no small feat. Learning the technology and alignment of Anusara Yoga takes a long of time, study and money. I estimate that I spent upwards of $8000 in training to become an Anusara Inspired Teacher. The education you receive is amazing. I stand behind the technology of Anusara Yoga. I have met and trained with some of the world’s best Yoga Teachers. I learned far more from other Anusara Certified Teachers then from the master John Friend. The Anatomy and alignment priniciples of Anusara Yoga gave me the confidence to serve my students well. I have met some incredible people and felt community through yoga like never before. The biggest lesson learned was how to connect with students and live my truth. It has been amazing.

I slowly started loosing my cult like devotion to Anusara over the past year. I have seen things, heard things and been involved in a falling out between one of my teachers and John that broke my heart. She resigned after a very public moment where John showed his disapproval of her. After that I tried to connect with other Certified Teachers in my area but I didn’t have the same fit as my original teacher. So I decided to connect with national teachers and I LOVE Amy Ippoliti. She was the closest I felt to a connection with the community. I went to study with her, Darren Rhodes, and Christina Frosolono Sell last May. I was hoping to reconnect to ANUSARA after a difficult time. It didn’t really work for me, but I did learn a lot about myself, all my teachers have resigned. A sign from the universe? All my teachers have moved on. Absolutely!

I trust in the universe (God). It/He/She always has my back. It contracts and expands…it opens it closes; it creates it destroys. I love the universe because it always works out. It brings me abundance with discernment. It removes people and things from life that do not serve me. It always vibrates with the great resonance.

As I step away from Anusara Yoga the universe has new and wonderful things in store for me. I know when something ends for me that something new and much better is just around the corner. I hold a soft spot in my heart for John Friend. He forever changed the yoga world by developing a wonderful system of yoga. Unfortunately his ego got away from him. He is human. He will have to confront his own demons. No one is infalliable. I wish him well and I hope he finds freedom!

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  • Linda Makowski

    Really happy for you Dianne. I am sure this was not all that easy or simple.

    • Dianne

       This feels really good and powerful to be the captain of my own ship. Thanks Linda

  • Jane

    Well said Dianne.
    I hope we can all regroup with kindness and compassion and retain our connections. Those of us that love the Anusara UPA method will recover and prosper.
    Now that my OMG reaction has dissipated, I feel sorry for John. He has betrayed our trust and has fallen from grace. It will be very difficult and intensely painful for him if he ever understands how he’s failed so many people. I hope he’s able to heal.
    But we will be okay. We’ll continue to love our ex-Anusara teachers and attend their workshops and classes. We’ll continue to love our yoga.
    We will be okay.

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