First, abundant thanks to everyone who put up with and participated in my incessant filming of class over the last year. It’s a bit ironic that I finally filmed the video I would have submitted for certification the day before the John Friend story broke – but hey, life can be funny like that! Your support, gentle prodding, questions and encouragement have made me the teacher I am today and I thank you.
After several weeks of observation, reflection, prayer and meditation I have resigned my Anusara-Inspired license and will no longer pursue Anusara Certification. While I feel a great deal of compassion for John and the pain he is experiencing regarding the turmoil in our community, I am increasingly disheartened by his response. In my opinion he has yet to fully accept responsibility for his actions; his latest emails have spiraled into victim mode and it appears that despite stepping down as the CEO of Anusara he will continue to have some form of controlling interest in the organization.
Even though John’s actions have precipitated the tumultuous events of the last several weeks and played a huge part in my decision to resign, I must admit that my resignation is not solely due to a desire to distance myself from John.
The Method of Anusara yoga is exquisite and I thank John for gifting it to us all. Just as there are very precise bio-mechanical techniques and parameters applied to the body during asana there are equally precise techniques for teaching the method and high professional standards for keeping these techniques in place. One of the most basic principles of the practice is to create balanced action between stability and freedom through optimal contraction and expansion of the breath, muscles, and tissue. Too much contraction creates too much stability and blocks freedom of movement; too much expansion without contraction can pull the body beyond safety (ever seen my shoulders pop out of place in handstand!) and send the Breath wandering aimlessly.
But how do we know if there is too much stability or too much freedom? Sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we have to be shown. Sometimes we have to be offered a stark contrast to increase our knowing. This is what the current Anusara crisis has afforded me and many others: the opportunity to recognize that our professional muscles have been over-engaged, stability has become constriction and freedom of movement stifled.
The past seven years in Anusara have made me a better student, a skilled teacher and most importantly, a happier person and a better human-Being. I remain committed to my mission to empower you to love the life you were given and to live brilliantly from your Heart by meeting the sacred in every moment through the yogic Art of Life. I will continue to teach the method of Anusara yoga and look forward to watching this elegant method evolve organically through myself and others. There are several projects on the horizon including another Yoga 101, an Empower Practice and other creative workshops to enrich your practice and your life. I look forward to sharing them with you!
On Sunday, March 25th, Lila Rasa Brown, Michelle Corey, Hayley Hedges and I will co-teach an Open-level Community Practice from 9 – 11am at EVOLVE Cameron village, followed by an informal lunch and group discussion. This is a free event, but I encourage you to sign-up in advance so we know how many folks to expect. See you there!
Last, I would like to leave you with the visual that has been residing in my head and heart for the last few weeks.
Shakti-nipata-anusarena shisyo ‘augraham guranam-arati
Kularnava Tantra – 14.38
“By stepping into the Current of Divine Grace, the true seeker becomes ready and able, empowered to realize his/her own Greatness.”
I see a ship, a three masted frigate sailing toward a bright sun, low and glowing in the pink horizon. I do not know if it’s a sunrise or a sunset. It doesn’t matter. I am no longer aboard. I, like many others, are being pulled through the water, clinging to black ropes that trail behind the vessel. This pulling is too much – we’re holding each other back, this ship and I.
I take a breath.
I let go of the rope.
Startled at first, I flail, then begin to tread in the water: heavy, stunned, sad. I’ve done it. The ship sails on, lighter now as it continues its journey toward the sun. I harbor no ill will. I wish it and all aboard well. Then, I smile, lay back in the caress of the water and float, not alone, but finally free in the Ocean of Grace.
May we all step more fully into the the currents of Grace.
With all my love gratitude,