≡ Menu

John Friend Cut From Wanderlust Festival 2012 Lineup

in YD News

photo by J.T. Liss

So this is somewhat big news. Speculation has been running wild over whether or not the recent Anusara/John Friend situation and JF’s consequent retreat would see him absent from the bill at Wanderlust Festival, or making his triumphant too-soon return. As it turns out, the team at Wanderlust seems to have made the decision for him. An official announcement from Wanderlust HQ (represented by Saeger Media, also Anusara’s and JF’s PR) comes after a long and grueling 6 weeks of accusations, revelations, confusion and acts of union. (see the Running Timeline of Anusara Controversy)

While we can’t say we find this surprising, it is disappointing if JF did not take the initiative to remove himself from the lineup. As a major presence every year (see above photo) this may have a strong impact, it may not. It should also be noted that Anusara Yoga, Inc. has been a large sponsor of Wanderlust and has had its very own ‘Anusara Village’ consuming a sizable amount of real estate and attention. We’re not sure JF’s absence means any of that will change.

Official announcement via yoganonymous (did anyone get this via email? we didn’t):

Over the past 6 weeks, we have closely observed the situation unfolding within the Anusara community. Both Anusara Yoga and John Friend personally have played a positive role at Wanderlust over the past couple of years, and our heart goes out to the entire Anusara community during this time. Throughout this period, we’ve tried to take what Buddhism calls “the middle path” — to look at the situation from all angles and draw mindful and reasoned conclusions.

Our mission at Wanderlust is to create community and it is our sincere hope that we can use our platform not only for joy and celebration but also healing.  We feel Wanderlust has a unique ability to bring people together. This being said, we’ve mutually determined that it is best for John to not teach at Wanderlust festivals in 2012 as he focuses on personal reflection, retreat, and reconnecting through teachings with the Anusara yoga community.

The yoga experience at Wanderlust remains as rich and diverse as ever, and we offer the Anusara community our support.

For those who have already signed up for one or more of John’s classes at our Colorado, California or Whistler events, you are free to choose a new class — but you do not have to. Our staff will reprogram each of John’s classes with a top teacher and a new class name and description by Thursday, March 22, and you will automatically be enrolled in that new class. Of course, you also are free to use our scheduler to switch to any other class of your choice. You are always free change any of your class selections up until a week before each festival begins.



17 comments… add one
  • Sara

    This just in… he will be participating in the Wandering Boner festival instead.

    • Julie

      Thanks, Sara! I just spit coffee all over my computer screen…..


    • Wandering Boner is my least favorite yoga pose.

      • Pavanatanaya

        It’s not Wandering Boner…It is “Therapy”

  • lala


  • dudeee

    Maybe that means we won’t get like 20 emails begging us to come this year… How refreshing.

  • Where's The Boycott?

    He’s also been cut from the Yoga Journal San Diego conference in July.

    • IRM

      That is good to know, I wasn’t sure what the status of that was. A few weeks ago in the middle of this whole mess, an AY friend of mine had told me about that in dismay – that on the Anusara.com website, Friend was all freshly listed as the keynote speaker (of all things) at the Yoga Journal conference.

      Then I couldn’t confirm it on their website, but I appreciate knowing that that is history. Pretty distasteful, though, from both Yoga Journal & Friend, to come up with that idea to cast him in the role of the keynote speaker. Not exactly the sabbatical as he had promised everyone. The more he can be boycotted the better.

      • malti

        “The more he can be boycotted the better.” Absolutely!!!!!!

  • Chris

    Sigh !

    Remember the good old days, when YD used to be Anusara-free, about Yoga, and humorous and interesting to read ?

    Here’s hoping we can get back to the good old days !

  • Devi

    Boycotting doesn’t seem very yogic to me. He’s a man, not a guru. Any one of you who are perfect and without flaw should certainly cast the first mala. I was never a fan of Anusara yoga, but I don’t think that this man deserves to be shunned either. Everyone in this world makes mistakes. George W. Bush entered us into a horrific war, and yet, we impeached Bill Clinton for having sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. Why aren’t yogis coming down on Bikram for holding to the same guru status? All I’m saying is, do yoga, because it’s rooted in a lineage that goes back to nature. I think that JF’s biggest flaw was attempting to seem god-like and flawless and being the Anusara communities’ leader when truthfully, he was no better or worse than anyone in the whole of the yoga community on or off the mat. And it looks like everyone put him on the pedestal. It’s pretty clear that he was ok with being on that pedestal, but Anusara is not John Friend, it has become a practice that transcends it’s creator.

    Cheers to all of the yoga instructors who are brave enough to not turn their backs on the tradition of the yoga they believe in, but to show their students that they need not put away the lessons Anusara taught them. A true yogi like Nones, his ex-girlfriend, could see that John Friend had imperfections and that he hurt people, yes, but forgave him and allowed him to heal in front of his friends, his students and do that healing through teaching yoga and giving a dharma talk. He needed that dharma talk the most and he needs yoga right now, because he is remembering what brought him to yoga, the need for peace. Wanderlust and Yoga Journal took him out of the line up to avoid controversy, they didn’t cut him out of concern for him. Believe me, I know, those clowns at Wanderlust headquarters in New York are worse than 50 John Friends. They are more Wandering cock there than you know.

  • You understand thus significantly when it comes to this topic, produced me personally consider it from a lot of various angles. Its like men and women aren’t involved until it is something to do with Woman gaga! Your personal stuffs great. Always handle it up!

Leave a Comment