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.
- Running Timeline of Anusara Controversy, Updates and Teacher Resignations
- UPDATE: Anusara Steering Committee Starts ‘Kula Evolution’, New CEO Steps Down