Well that was fast. Much like everything else in this scandal so far, the move to unite the now-divided Anusara community has happened with lightning speed. Just under 4 weeks later, some 30 resigned Anusara teachers, including Bernadette Birney, Darren Rhodes, Amy Ippoliti and Christina Sell and 11 studios have joined together to form what is now the Yoga Coalition. Though they’re still in beginning stages, they seem to be on a mission and already have a website, a logo and a slogan: ‘Excellence through collaboration.’
The group is looking to work together to distance themselves from John Friend and Anusara, Inc. to develop not a new style but something of a collaboration, “building bridges to the larger yoga community,” brainstorming and “re-imagining what a serious yogic education with a true standard of excellence looks like,” according to their FAQ.
“True standards of excellence” aside (aren’t other styles considered excellent on their own?), more than anything, right now YC seems to be serving as a support network for those who’ve severed ties with Anusara, Inc. on a certification level and are left feeling confused, disenchanted and asking themselves what now?
“Yoga Coalition is a collective, grass roots initiative dedicated to excellence, integrity, and community.” (this group as it stands is only for formerly licensed Anusara teachers “who agree to the guidelines and/or standards of membership” currently being developed.)
From their ABOUT page:
Dear Friends, Colleagues and Students,Well. 2012 sure has delivered on its promise of enormous change! In the last month, an overwhelming cascade of events has impacted the Anusara yoga community. All of us are still processing these events in our own ways, and it’s probably not a stretch to say that we are surprised to find ourselves in this place.
Yoga Coalition is a group of yoga teachers who have recently distanced themselves from John Friend and Anusara, Inc. Regardless of our transitions from Anusara, Inc., we are as committed as ever to excellence in the art of teaching yoga, and to our local and global communities. As the dust settles from these recent experiences, we find ourselves asking:
We find the deep camaraderie we developed as co-creators of Anusara yoga is stronger than ever, and we know these bonds help us both to serve others and to evolve ourselves. Change has invigorated our creativity and our self-awareness, so we don’t wish to replicate the old structure, or to create without careful consideration. Instead, we want to initiate a movement toward a new paradigm of collectivity that we can grow organically over time, one based on our education and shared wisdom.
Moving forward, we know we won’t have a perfectly unified vision. This is a good thing–it allows room for more than one voice, and gives us the freedom to grow, independently and together.
We hope to collaborate and build on existing relationships, in a decentralized way that fosters creativity and allows grassroots initiative. Some of us may collaborate on projects and programs to empower our students. Some may focus on building bridges to the larger yoga community. Some of us may work to re-imagine what a serious yogic education, with a true standard of excellence, looks like.
Perhaps you feel the same?If so, you are welcome to learn more, join our mailing list, then find us on Facebook to continue the conversation. There is no obligation, other than a sincere desire to move forward, to participate in honest conversation, and to practice with integrity.Love,Bernadette Birney
Jordan Louise Kirk
Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin
Sara Rose Page
Susanna Harwood Rubin
Lara Demberg Voloto
Be Yoga, Charlotte NC
The Bindu, Cornelius NC
City Yoga, Columbia SC
Dig Yoga, Lambertville NJ & Philadelphia PA
NOLA YOGA, New Orleans LA
South Mountain Yoga, South Orange NJ
Vikasa Yoga, Cold Spring NY
Willow Street Yoga, Takoma Park & Silver Spring MD
Yoga Evolution, Jenkintown PA
Yoga Oasis, Tucson AZ
Yoga Sanctuary, Northhampton MA
So what now?
- Running Timeline of Anusara Controversy, Updates and Teacher Resignations
- Douglas Brooks: Anusara Inc. Must Cease to Exist to Avoid Further ‘Irreparable Harm’
- New CEO Moves to Save Anusara, Buys 50 Percent Stake in 50/50 Partnership with John Friend
- Star Wars ‘Yoga Galaxy’ Indulges Dorkiest Fantasies