Amy Ippoliti, This Is Not Goodbye.

Via on Jan 25, 2012

Amy Ippoliti resigned last night from Anusara Yoga, and I am sure I felt the Earth shake just a little bit beneath my feet.

Let me tell you about Amy Ippoliti, my teacher of the past five years. Grab a cup of coffee because even though I religiously keep my blogs to 500 words, this could take longer. First of all, I wrote a book which is dedicated to Amy. That took me 280 pages (I will stop myself before this blog gets that long). If I did a word count of “Amy” in the book, it would show a fairly serious case of co-dependency on my part.

So after you yoga-stalk your teacher for the better part of five years, and travel with her, and even buy her the kind of underwear that never shows through on Facebook, you cannot be completely shocked when she announces her resignation after 15 years with Anusara. Nevertheless, it was surprising. If John Friend started Anusara on a Monday, then she probably joined him on a Tuesday. Technically, John Friend formally created the school in 1997, and Amy was one of the first certified teachers the next year.

Like many of us, Amy originally found Anusara because she was injured and she was looking for something more on her mat (I might be projecting here). She will often speak candidly of the injuries she has healed throughout her career. Yoga injuries are very much in the news right now and I don’t want to get sidetracked. But let me say that many things in life will hurt you if done mindlessly including men and vodka, neither of which I’m giving up. And yoga, most of all, is about being present.

Amy has been an integral part of Anusara serving on various committees and because I’m not a detail person we’ll leave it at that. I’m sure she has both John Friend and Dr. Douglas Brooks, the architect of the Anusara Tantric Philosophy, on speed dial. In fact, disillusioned with the results of the Teacher Training system in 2002, she created the Anusara Immersion as a way to separate the art of teaching from the dedication of learning. Thousands of people today have taken the Anusara Immersion worldwide, and little do they realize, but they have Amy Ippoliti to thank for it.

This is starting to sound like an obituary, but it’s not meant to be that way at all. In Hinduism, the God Shiva is the God of Destruction, and of Creation. Most yogis realize that to change, you often have to end something else first. Before spring can erupt in new blossoms, the cold winter’s night has to cover the Earth, blah, blah, blah. Amy’s reasons for ending her relationship with Anusara are personal, and I truly don’t know and don’t care to know any details (I’m not a detail person, see above). And I won’t be able to get her drunk enough to tell me the details because she doesn’t drink. In fact, if she has any bad habits at all it may be that she is the hardest working yoga teacher I have ever known, PERIOD.

Most of all, I want to wish her all the best, and to reassure the yoga world that this doesn’t end anything for her, or for her thousands of students and followers. This is a beginning. At some point we all discover what our true purpose on Earth is, and for Amy it is to inspire others to find themselves on the mat, as I did with her in 2007. In my view, she is ultimately a teacher’s teacher, and according to her public letter, she wants to inspire teachers of all kinds of yoga and not be limited to one school.

If one door closes to open another, then I will be there to open the door for Amy Ippoliti on her new adventure. I’ll be her student, and her friend, and yes, if she forgets to pack her underwear I will run out to the store and get some immediately because it is in service that we find our true meaning. I learned that from my teacher, and above all, I am most grateful.


About Michelle Marchildon

Michelle Berman Marchildon is the Yogi Muse. She’s an award-winning journalist, and the author of Finding More on the Mat: How I Grew Better, Wiser and Stronger through Yoga. Her second book, Theme Weaver: Connect the Power of Inspiration to Teaching Yoga, is for yoga teachers who want to inspire their students. Michelle is a columnist for elephant journal and Origin Magazine and a contributor to Teachasana, My Yoga Online and Yoga Journal. She is an E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance and teaches in Denver, Co where she is busy raising two boys, two dogs and one husband. You can follow her on Facebook at Michelle Marchildon, The Yogi Muse. You can find her blog and website at www.YogiMuse.com. And you can take her classes on www.yogadownload.com.

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19 Responses to “Amy Ippoliti, This Is Not Goodbye.”

  1. elle potter says:

    Here's the new beginnings and here's to stepping into our OWN adventures! biggest love.

  2. Unwonderment says:

    "Most of all, I want to wish her all the best, and to reassure the yoga world that this doesn’t end anything for her, or for her thousands of students and followers. This is a beginning. At some point we all discover what our true purpose on Earth is, and for Amy it is to inspire others to find themselves on the mat, as I did with her in 2007. In my view, she is ultimately a teacher’s teacher, and according to her public letter, she wants to inspire teachers of all kinds of yoga and not be limited to one school."

    When did Anusara Amy last teach a public class? Outside of twitter, Facebook, or an ridiculously priced online training? Good Luck, not to sound like a skeptic, but jeez, be accessible, not insulated.

    "whether popularity has been earned by true worth or not, there are potential pitfalls to fame. When a teacher Receives adoration from increasing numbers of students, it is common for these same students not to question the actions of the teacher. The more powerful a teacher becomes, the more intimidating she may be to a student and therefore the less likely a student will keep the the teacher's ego in check by respectful questioning and confrontation. Such a teacher may become swept up in her own egotism and even come to believe that normal rules and laws don't apply to her" Donna Farhi

    • elephantjournal says:

      As far as I know, Amy teaches regular classes at Yoga Pod, where I'm practicing these days.

      As for yoga prices, I can't defend, not being familiar…but no doubt John Friend or Cyndi Lee or Tias Little or Shiva Rea etc's teacher trainings are similarly priced? Genuinely wondering, over heah. ~ Waylon

      • Chas says:

        John offers scholarships to most of his workshops and trainings. I've gotten 50% off each time I've applied, and I know others who have received more.

    • TAP says:

      Unwonderment-

      She teaches weekly in Boulder. in fact, one of her classes is donation-based and 100% is donated to the Tiger-coalition for WildAid. All the proceeds from her appearances on GaiamTV go to charity as well. These online courses take a six-person team to support and many months to prepare…they are priced over $1000 less than similar business programs in other industries that are not yoga specific; plus, the results speak for themselves! Based on that, do you think she warrants those harsh comments?

      Best wishes

  3. Danielle says:

    What kind of underwear never shows thru, please?

  4. For the past five years Amy has held a public class either once or twice a week. Her Tigress class was a suggested donation of $10. Today, I believe she gives that donation to a charity.

    On the underwear question, Felina by Nordstrom, thong style. Absolutely no show ever!

  5. Screw the yoga, I want to hear her explain how to become a light bulb.

  6. Patrick says:

    I think Braja is angry
    I think Braja has too much time on his hands
    I think Braja needs a hug

  7. Beautiful piece Michelle.- Jeannie, a fellow Anusara yogini

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  10. You've posted this 11 times, everywhere my name pops up. I think you're obsessed with me…how sweet!!!

  11. Patrick says:

    I think Braja is angry
    I think Braja has too much time on his hands
    I think Braja needs a hug

  12. elephantjournal says:

    Let's alllllllll play nice and breathe and remember we're all on the same little planet. ~ Way

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