Amy Ippoliti: “I have decided to leave Anusara yoga.”

Via elephant journal
on Jan 25, 2012
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Update: this is Amy’s letter on her web site. An expanded letter for we elephants is coming down the pike—check back here if so inspired. ~ ed.

PS: here’s my interview with John Friend, Mr. Anusara himself, from a few months back following the resignations of Elena Brower, other senior Anusara teachers. ~ ed.

Dear friends, students, and dear Ones,

I have decided to leave Anusara yoga.

It’s been a wonderful ride and one that has deeply influenced my life in infinite ways; however, I have found myself no longer in alignment with the direction of the organization.

Some of you will be upset with this decision, others will be elated, but one thing I can assure you is that I am not going anywhere. I am still Amy, and will continue in my mission to expand the horizons of yoga, and to teach from my ongoing practice as creatively as I know how, and in doing so, I will not compromise my personal values or commitment.

My calling is to help yoga teachers and practitioners of all styles.

Over the past several years I have developed professional programs for yoga teachers that are helping to bring more students to the mat. I am proud that these programs have helped equip thousands of our prized yoga teachers around the world with the tools to serve students better.

My move from Anusara Yoga will allow me to best serve students and teachers from all schools, and I am committed to doing so with the integrity they deserve.

I know that the world will be a better place with more yoga practitioners, and my dedication to this goal will always continue.

Thank you so much for being a part of my life and for your presence in yoga.

I can’t wait for what the future will bring, and to practice with you in this New Year!

Be the light,


About elephant journal

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23 Responses to “Amy Ippoliti: “I have decided to leave Anusara yoga.””

  1. john cargile says:

    Love you, Amy. Can’t wait to see what is on the horizon.

  2. yogadivina says:

    You Go Girl!! I love Anusara, and as the Dalai Lama once said.. "use what you have learned as stepping stones to where you need to be"
    You will continue to ROCK!
    Jai Ma! on your ventures!

  3. Madelain Burgoyne says:

    Follow your heart honey!

  4. FurryFred says:

    It's just asanas, people. Everybody relax…..

  5. Adam says:

    I guess you can make more money by setting up your own thing than following someone else's. Ah America! Land of the buck.

  6. anouscka says:

    New Chapters! Great to follow your hearts call.

  7. Jenny says:

    Dear Amy, Lineage is very important, and obviously being free to make the choices you want is as well. Even more important is making yoga openly available without preference to those with money. Whatever your yoga lineage is, was, or will be, I hope you choose to start to offer financial aid or work/trade options at all of your events or offer events in less expensive places that do not require you to ask such big fees from your students (yes, I applied to one of your events and was told no financial aid is available for anyone for this event, and as a not-so-famous yoga teacher, I cannot afford all the costs of traveling to and attending a $800 yoga workshop. I know I am not the only one, and well I teach by the policy of accepting what people can pay me and rejecting no one). Sadly these days, the most popular forms of yoga are often only for people with a good chunk of extra money. The true yoga revolution will come when the superstar yoga teachers and lineages lead the way and take their yoga ethics to heart and go out to offer yoga to everyone, in every neighborhood, around the world, whether they have hefty paychecks or not. It's time to quit living out of fear of lack of having enough money and to start living fearlessly, with our fiery compassion and learned yogic wisdom as our supports and our hearts as our guides. I speak generally as I do not know your personal reasons for workshop prices, etc. Best wishes to you in 2012!

  8. Patrick says:

    Don't think anybody is getting rich here…

  9. notarecoveringyoga says:

    Is car insurance, food, clothing 'affordable'? Why should yoga be? Why should yoga teachers put themselves on sale and not be able to afford to live comfortably?

  10. Shame about the word "superstar," which doesn't really belong anywhere near the yoga studio or the practice of it. I don't see anyone out there with riches and fame *not* affected by ego. I'd love a thirty second audience with her, and I'll tell you exactly where she's coming from. In fact, the ad says it all: better ways to make money online, she doesn't even have to MEET these people! "Yoga" means to connect….who needs to do that when you have a computer, eh? 🙂

    Apart from that, your comment here is upstraight…it's a bit sentimental and low-rent to expect yoga to be free. Why doesn't someone attack Mr. Iyengar for charging? No…they wouldn't. I have amazing Iyengar teachers just out of Dehradun, in the foothills of the Himalayas…they charge, but it's pretty low and affordable for all. But the charge must be there. It might shock some do-gooder charity-wallahs to know, but the principle that covers this subject matter goes way back to the same time yoga was created and comes from the same sources: it speaks of exchange, that if something is free, it's devalued.

    But Jenny has a point: Iyengar's classes are affordable to everyone around him (and let's not get into the nonsense of "what about the street people" cos they're not lining up outside studios, ok?) But to the average person who's out there and has a job, even if they don't, if something is offered, you will find that some arrangement can be made….there is the culture behind Mr. Iyengar's teachings and it's not based on the dollar. He could have had a squillionty dollar industry by now, creating Iyengar bolsters, Iyengar belts, Iyengar blocks, etc. etc. Name it, he created it, he had it first, he could have done it. Hell, he doesn't even own the rights to his Light on Yoga book, and doesn't seem to particularly care! He's 92 and has written what, only 3 books? 4? On demand. So he's done little to market his name or gain from his fame. So the reason I bring him up at all is that you look at one extreme (him) and the other (Amy), and tell me who's got the essence of yoga down….

    Peace, love, brown rice, and be the light bulb…..

    Braja xo

  11. Aww, look….you keep writing my name :))

  12. Braja thinks you're psycho.

  13. I think Patrick's a psycho for pasting this comment in 11 different places. You want meds with that, Patty?

  14. elephantjournal says:

    That's unfair, Braja. Mindful business. She's teaching people yoga. She's a sweet, good person in every interaction I've ever had with her. Elephant has been broke for years, and is breaking even and becoming a viable entity, now, thanks to our readers and mindful advertisers. I'm surprised. ~ Waylon

  15. elephantjournal says:

    I think Patrick, whoever that is, is offering you a mantra. Mantras get repeated 100,000s of times. I've never known you to be anything but fun, authentic, sweet, kind, generous. I think this weird war over Amy is a distraction. The only thing I and others would love to hear, I think, is a genuine dialogue about what's happening, without blame or gossip. Other than that, I think your concerns seem unfair. That said, all for respectful dialogue, that's what we're here for. My two cents. ~ Waylon

  16. Signe says:

    Good Morning, I am glad I misinterpreted your statement. I agree with you that the superstate stuff is a bummer. My comment actually was motivated by the idea that as yoga teachers/spiritual seekers we are here to help one another and sometimes an outside perspective can stop an unhealthy reaction. I was judging but I am just naive enough to think that words on the Internet can help someone. It does make me sad to see people hold themselves as yoga teachers (this is a generalization now & not directed at you) when they are so clearly struggling with issues….maybe this is what some of my students think of me. 🙂 the truth is your comments probably illicited my reply only because they mirrored my language at times. I am sorry that I interjected myself here but thank you for your thoughtful reply. The road to "enlightenment" surely is riddled with potholes and speed bumps!!!

  17. Sarah says:

    You go Jenny. That's what John Friend does. His venues in the past were not luxurious he uses community centers and church halls. How much do one of those cost vs. a ballroom at major hotel? With John you have to apply to get financial aid to attend one of his events. In this way he leaves room for grace to move- which is his whole philosophy. I love that he honors spirit in that way. Your comment is not about lack as others have judged it to be. Your comment is about honoring the abundance of spirit.

  18. I just thought of your response when I posted this article today on Rumi, where I quoted him:

    This being human is a guest house
    Every morning a new arrival.
    A joy, a depression, a meanness,
    some momentary awareness comes
    as an unexpected visitor.

    Welcome and entertain them all!
    Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
    who violently sweep your house
    empty of its furniture,
    Still, treat each guest honorably.
    He may be clearing you out
    for some new delight…

    Be grateful for whoever comes
    because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

  19. […] The situation is this: many of your senior teachers—Darren Rhodes, Christina Sell, Elena Brower, Amy Ippoliti, Laura Christensen, have resigned from Anusara over the past few months. We talked about that, you […]

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