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Ann Pizer

Anusara Rising?

By November 2, 2012

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This week brought a new twist in the ongoing post-scandal Anusara makeover. To briefly recap, last February (2011)  founder John Friend was accused of financial and sexual misconduct and resigned from Anusara leadership. After an absence from public appearances of roughly six months, he announced his new yoga system (The Roots) and tour of workshops in September, 2012. The future of the Anusara school and method of teaching, which had certified many teachers worldwide, has been in question, as the way forward was far from clear. Instituting a new CEO was tried and proved unsuccessful. A council of teachers made several attempts at reorganization, but it seemed that no consensus could be reached on how to proceed. At each stage, more of Anusara's star teachers made the decision to distance themselves from the organization. Which brings us approximately up to date. (Have I missed anything important? Let me know in the comments.) This week, a new website heralded the arrival of the teacher-led Anusara School of Hatha Yoga. An extensive FAQ section addresses the most pressing questions about the company's organizational structure and John Friend's involvement. So those who are inclined to follow Friend personally can move over to his new system. Those who want to work within the Anusara method can join the new organization, though it seems that tithes will still be paid to Friend and it remains to be seen what happens to Anusara without its charismatic leader.

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