“Leaving is the best that I can do with what’s before me.” ~ Desiree Rumbaugh, on Anusara Yoga.

Via on May 27, 2012

And another, final major departure from Anusara. This sad story, that we’ve been covering for months, seems to be resolving itself every once in awhile. This is one of those times.

Here’s to hoping, with Desiree’s help, that this community that’s no longer a community can finally give up, let go, move on, and form something new and fun and meaningful, sans enthusiasm for theism. ~ ed.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

For the past three months I have held a vision that Anusara, the system of yoga that I have loved deeply, benefited from enormously, and supported completely, would gracefully evolve, or perhaps stumble, into a democratically run cooperative. Some say this was naïve. Perhaps that’s true, and yet I don’t regret having given every possibility a chance. During these months, and even in the past days, more revelations have come to light casting an ever-growing shadow on the organization of Anusara and its leadership.

For a time, as more was exposed and discovered, I became increasingly resolved that real authority must be secured for the community of Anusara’s teachers, a genuine empowerment bestowed, and an amicable separation, founder from method, established. I offer my appreciation to the members of the Leadership Committee for their best efforts in this regard. And I extend my heartfelt compassion to all of us whose life path and career has been muddied, altered or washed away by these events.

In the past few days, I have had countless conversations with friends, read the critical remarks of some who were opposed to my efforts, and listened to wise, compassionate counsel. All of it has helped broaden my perspective. I am not one easily bullied, or persuaded by argument. When challenged, I’m thrown to move at my own will. As a practitioner of yoga, I have always preferred to listen to my body and my intuition in order to discover my own truth. I’m also loyal, perhaps to a fault, not wanting to give up on a relationship even when it is no longer serving.

I wrote recently that John seemed to have seen our suffering and misery and finally acted accordingly, signing a letter of intent to transfer the trademarks and properties to the teachers. I had reservations even then though that this choice was brought about mostly by desperation in the face of the newer wave of resignations.

I see now that if John had ever been genuinely caring for the kula, beyond the preservation of his legacy, he would have behaved differently each step of the way. My relationship with John, like other older students, is mainly made up of memories from 2 decades ago when he seemed a different man. In the past five years we’ve barely spoken. For me, and I know for many others, his silence at this moment in Anusara’s history is deafening.

Through all of it I have finally come to see that the method of Anusara will continue to live on in my heart and my body regardless of the name being perpetuated. In fact, many great teachers who have boldly and gracefully moved on from the brand have already evolved into what’s next. I’m learning yet another lesson of non-attachment. For me I see that leaving is the best that I can do with what’s before me. I do this finally now without internal conflict and with peace of mind. To those who are staying within Anusara, those who have looked to me for reassurance, I feel that I am letting you down. I am sorry.

What breaks my heart the most is all the pain that has been caused here on all sides. I support healthy processing and each one’s right for a full expression. My wish is to live in a world in which we humans practice speaking to and listening to each other well; one in which we express ourselves and the truth that lives within us in a way that honors the other as other. I believe much would be solved with this simple intention and act.

And now, the future begins. It is 2012 and it is time for radical change. I can see and feel that old paradigms that engender separation are eventually going to fade.

With love and best wishes for all involved, I sever not only my ties to John Friend but also to the name and structure of Anusara Yoga, my home for 19 years. I move forward with the knowledge and experience I have gained, with the great friends I have made and with conviction that in the end, all will be well and everyone will find their perfect place.

My door is always open, my in-box always free. I hope to see you on the mat, talk to you on the phone, exchange thoughts on Facebook. Nothing real between us has changed, love always remains. And as for me, I intend to continue teaching in my wacky, irreverent, unpredictable, and probably wrong, way.

I offer my love and support to all, wherever you are in your process,

Namaste,

Desiree

~

Editor: Kate Bartolotta

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15 Responses to ““Leaving is the best that I can do with what’s before me.” ~ Desiree Rumbaugh, on Anusara Yoga.”

  1. [...] Update: a final major departure from Anusara Yoga. [...]

  2. cathywaveyoga says:

    it takes great courage.. you showed this with a graceful letter

  3. Thank you Desiree for all your work, your tireless dedication and for keeping the faith for so many during this whole process. You are a wonderful teacher no matter what name is attached to your teaching! With gratitude <3

  4. Brad Coy says:

    Mad love, Desiree. Thank you for always being YOU.

  5. yogasamurai says:

    NEAR FAR WHEREVER YOU ARE
    I BELIEVE THAT THE HEART DOES GO ON

    "Grazie!"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHyJTpDFgc8

  6. G.C.Aloha says:

    Wondering why you said "probably wrong" at the end. Who is to say that the way you or anyone teaches is ever wrong? There are some things that I feel are wrong with the UPAs, and there has most definitely been a lot wrong in the Anusara organization for years, long before I knew anything about it. I spent years deciding people were doing things "wrong," because I had surrendered my good sense and been conditioned to think that Anusara was always right, even as I repeatedly re-injured myself in the same place by applying a principle that never worked for my body. I am grateful for the shake-up that opened my eyes and the eyes of many to the machinations of a structure created to serve just one man.

    Our family just watched the movie "Up" last night. Sometimes you have to stop dragging your house around and move on into the unknown world of possibility.

  7. elephantjournal says:

    #Wilhelmina: Much love to you Desiree!

    #
    Joy Dillow DuPuis I am hiding Elephant journal as I do not wish to see yet another story about this situation.

    #
    Kathy Flora Treat Beautiful message Desiree… Your last sentence gave me a big smile!

    #
    Sarah Lynn Kemp awe, Desiree Rumbaugh, you always make me laugh and cry at the same time. I'll see you in the classroom :) I remember the Grand Gathering, when Des demonstrated the practice and the wonderfully supportive and beautiful things he said about her. I remember he was talking about looking for the good. In that moment his eyes were soft and I felt that he really saw greatness and wanted so much in that moment to enhance that greatness.

    #
    elephantjournal.com Joy, or you could just not click or comment, and choose to read articles you want to read. We do not always choose the news, the news chooses to happen, and we have covered it without joy, but have tried to do so with fairness and critical intelligence, both. So long, we'll miss you. ~ Waylon.

  8. Cate says:

    Love you, Des!

  9. Larry W Thomas says:

    Thank you for speaking from your heart with courage and compassion. You're the best!

  10. Babs King says:

    Lots of love Desiree!! I can't wait to see you on the mat again… and hopefully soon!!

  11. Dale Elson says:

    Come teach another weekend in Austin soon :-). Your magic found an expression in Anusara for a long time, but to quote Eminem, "that was yesterday, yesterday is over, it's a different day."

    But you remain :-).

  12. [...] Last week a video of John Friend was released that, judging on who you speak to, either showed a high bro riffing exuberantly on the imminence of his future success, or a deviant scoundrel further enclosing himself within a secret inner-circle of money-hungry faux-artist ambitions. With this video’s leaking came the predictable onslaught of comments from Anusara students, teachers, and detractors alike, along with another wave of resignations from certified Anusara teachers. [...]

  13. Dan Clement says:

    (From Wikipedia) – A linchpin, is a fastener used to prevent a wheel or other rotating part from sliding off the axle upon which it is riding.

    Desiree, you, to me, were this to Anusara. Farewell Anusara, long live yoga.

  14. Harlan says:

    Desiree, you have always been the heart chakra of Anusara yoga.

    This move was overdue for years and I know that you delayed it out of respect for John and the Anusara style.

    Your resignation and moving on was one of the final nails in the Anusara coffin.

    Would the last one out please turn off the lights.

    Please please set up a system to certify the teachers in the training process who will get certification – some day – in a dead system.

    Breathe life into them and be their leader.

    Love you.

  15. [...] Last week a video of John Friend was released that, judging on who you speak to, either showed a bro riffing high and exuberantly on the imminence of his future success, or a deviant scoundrel further enclosing himself within a secret inner-circle of money-hungry faux-artist ambitions. With this video’s leaking came the predictable onslaught of comments from Anusara students, teachers, and detractors alike, along with another wave of resignations from certified Anusara teachers. [...]

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