The Anusara world has taken a big blow with the outing of John Friend’s behavior, and the recent light on the inner workings of the organization and confines put on certified teachers.
I have been practicing Anusara yoga for 3 years, but have been practicing yoga for twelve years and teaching yoga for almost 4 years. Anusara presented me with a beautiful method of the UPAs while intertwining philosophy delicately and sophisticated into classes. My practice, my body and my inward journey have been strengthened by studying this method. But at the end of the day, is it not just a method…just another style of Hatha yoga, no different from Ashtanga, Iyengar or Jivamukti? I have been very skeptical of my voyage into Anusara, knowing that no method, no style of yoga is THE YOGA, and clearly I think Anusara’s ego has got the best of it, and now hopefully it will come back down to earth with all the rest of the many beautiful yoga paths.
Am I shocked that, in light of this Anusara ‘drama’, teachers are leaving? Yes! Do I disrespect them for it? No! Will I stop following their teachings? OF COURSE NOT! On the contrary, I am motivated to follow them more than ever before, for they are speaking their truth, making hard decisions and sharing them with the public. Courage, self-love and self-respect—are these not what yoga teaches us, especially here in the west, where our society limits and caps just that? I believe in the method of Anusara, I believe in the method of Ashtanga, Jivamukti, Kundalini and Kripalu, I believe in the path of yoga, don’t you? So it does not matter what style you are a part of. My Anusara teachers are no different today from who they were when I first met them as licensed Anusara teachers. I hold them in the same place where I hold my Hatha and Vinyasa teachers. So what if they make a decision to leave, stay or go to the moon? All I want is authenticity and truth. I commend anyone who does what they want, from a true heart. We all have our personal narratives, and we make decisions based on it. So do not judge or gossip—just smile. Yes, many are making their decisions at the height of the drama, but is it not one of the faults of humans to wait till the last minute? This was not planned, but it happened—Thank you Universe for revealing it. I think 2012 is shaping to be the year where authenticity will hit home to the yoga community. I do not care what method of yoga you teach, as long as you believe in yoga, believe in teaching people to be better versions of themselves, seeking…no wait, finding their truths and at the same trying your best to practice what you preach, and admitting to your faults/mistakes and even teaching from that. To me, that is the true style of yoga.
Chrys Muszka is a Yoga Teacher based in Toronto, Canada. A student first, and teacher second, of yoga, he enjoys just riding this crazy thing called Life—finding love, truth and passion in the process! You can find him at [email protected] or his website.
Edited by Assistant Yoga Editor, Soumyajeet Chattaraj.