Finally: Elena Brower speaks out re John Friend & Anusara Yoga on Huffington Post.

Via elephant journal
on Feb 20, 2012
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Elena was one of the most senior Anusara teachers, and one of the first to resign from Anusara Yoga and her association with John Friend—if not the first, my chronology is undercaffeinated.

She’s also an old soul—grounded, wise—and I’ve been personally missing her view and guidance on this painful, confusing situation. But she’s been silent. Until now. ~ ed.

  Excerpt:

…Since then, John Friend created for himself an interestingly powerful seat, and amidst his stellar teaching, made some unfortunately destructive choices over the years. After his disgruntled I.T. guy recently posted his salacious electronic interactions for all the world to see, everything in the Anusara community began to crumble. Within the context of that disintegration, it’s become apparent that within the community of teachers, there were two discernible camps. As you’ll see, one of the “camps” knew less and were definitely more “in the dark” about the “real” John than others of us. Together, we were a dedicated group of assiduously studious teachers who chose to be there and truly did make an impact in the world of yoga. We received an incredibly rich and precise education, and in the language of the heart, we all found our voices and made real careers out of our work, and that felt so true for a long time.

The Two “Camps” Within Anusara

There were the ones in John’s closer circle who “knew” of his penchant for women, partying and fun; I’m from that camp. None of us were shocked to see that evidence, although admittedly it was disturbingly graphic and veered from embarrassing to awful to deeply sad. I’ll offer some thoughts from that perspective in just a moment.

Then there were the ones

…read the rest at Huffington Post—so good to hear her words and hear her view of the situation, and how we all might work with it and proceed.

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Comments

147 Responses to “Finally: Elena Brower speaks out re John Friend & Anusara Yoga on Huffington Post.”

  1. raised eyebrow says:

    Hi Benjy,
    Some of the comments you cited were mine. I stand by them.
    My recognition of common humanity is based on a demand for ethics and accountability. Without that, our common humanity is flushed down the toilet — along with all these other sewage these people created. THEY are the ones who did the flushing, not me. I'm just pointing out that the toilet stinks.
    And you're right, some of my responses were ad feminam. I STILL stand by them. Why? I'm responding to voice and actions. I'm reading claims, measuring timing, judging behaviors. I'm measuring credibility, actions, character and motivation when I read, which is what critical thinkers are SUPPOSED TO DO.
    Not used to it? Gee, why am I not surprised?
    I'm a longtime yogi way outside AY. I'm an outsider expressing an outsider's shock and disgust at the CULTURE of AY. It's a sensibility issue. Taken on balance, there IS an over-abundance of "white-people's problems" privileged insularity and preciousness in the AY CULTURE. It's repugnant to me. It messes up people's credibility when they do dishonest, self-serving things and then hide behind a mewling kind of squeamishness about the very conflicts in which they were complicit.
    Call that part of it a gut response. Maybe you don't like it — maybe it's shocking to YOU that not everyone is so impressed. Honest unvarnished responses seem in short damned supply around AY. But OTOH, one thing I can say for the willingness to call 'em and we see 'em is that none of us, presumably, being so openly disgusted about AY CULTURE are the ones who got sucked into the dishonesty and corruption. There is an us and them here. There are those who drank that AY kool-aid and those who didn't. You don't like to be reminded? Tough.
    My ideals about "compassion" are based in ETHICS first. Let these people clean up the messes they've made.

  2. Scott Newsom says:

    Kate,

    I think a lot of us see the argument about the problem being us putting yoga teachers on a pedestal as misdirected and blaming the victim. I also do not see that as a cause of what happened. It may make the consequences worse for those who elevated the guru, but it doesn''t cause the behavior.

    I agree that bashing people and being mean spirited does no good. What I'm not clear about in your posts is who all that accusation covers. It seems to me that a lot of people want to see more light shed on this issue and for the people most intimately involved to take more responsibility for what has happened because that is one thing that needs to happen to keep it from happening again. When they rightfully criticise Ms. Brower for failing to this, they are not bashing her for human failures. They are pointing out a behavior that will shut down the process of healing if it is allowed to continue. I hope you see this distinction and don't lump these people in with those who are doing the mindless bashing (which I also see and dislike).

  3. Scott Newsom says:

    Kate,

    I think a lot of us see the argument about the problem being us putting yoga teachers on a pedestal as misdirected and blaming the victim. I also do not see that as a cause of what happened. It may make the consequences worse for those who elevated the guru, but it doesn''t cause the behavior.

    I agree that bashing people and being mean spirited does no good. What I'm not clear about in your posts is who all that accusation covers. It seems to me that a lot of people want to see more light shed on this issue and for the people most intimately involved to take more responsibility for what has happened because that is one thing that needs to happen to keep it from happening again. When they rightfully criticise Ms. Brower for failing to this, they are not bashing her for human failures. They are pointing out a behavior that will shut down the process of healing if it is allowed to continue. I hope you see this distinction and don't lump these people in with those who are doing the mindless bashing (which I also see and dislike).

  4. Emily Perry says:

    Love to you Elena. This is a hard place to be in, I can only imagine. I have been re-reading Richard Freeman's chapter in Mirror of Yoga called "Cutting Through Fundamentalism". It is an amazing exploration of the nature of the teacher/student relationship, the paradox of the Guru model/energy, and how this plays out in our lives as westerners. He really talks about the process of creating/ dissolving boundaries over and over with our teachers as we evolve, and what this requires of us. In addition there is a lot about projection, and what happens when teachers take-on that projection as reality. namaste!

  5. Guest says:

    If you meet Kali on the road, try throwing glitter.

  6. Publishing scandalous links and claims that you cannot verify is not mindful speech in my book. I like her work across the board. I don't claim that I have never had errors in judgement, and I hope that people would hold me accountable when I do make mistakes.

  7. eh? says:

    It's not that I just disagree w/ aspects of Elena's stuff — the blaming others, the lying about her resignation —
    It's that I think she's totally full of it, in those regards.
    Why publish it in Huffpost? Why spread this stuff to millions of people? Why the obsessiveness about image and self-promotion?
    Think the Anusara core group maybe takes itself a little too seriously?
    Go look up the concept "bad faith" on Wikipedia — that about covers what I think of a lot of that core group's motivations.
    AY can come across as so pious and tiresome. I can understand why people would start wanting to throw around some good old YO' MAMA jokes. Except in the case of JF, it'd be, yo papa jokes.
    Or other things — when Monica Lewisnski joked about putting on her presidential kneepads for her internship, she at least had the semi-excuse of being 19 yrs old. Presumably, these women who slept with JF were old enough to know better.
    Should be create a whole new line of yogini knee pads?
    Get a sense of humor and get over yourselves, AY world.

  8. Livia says:

    i disagree. very few have questioned why yogadork felt the need to report this whithout accuratley checking all facts first. it wasnt a shining moment in their reporting.

  9. Livia says:

    that is not the message elena is sending to her son in my opinion. there are many reasons why people do not initially speak out. elena explains these from what i can tell and in so doing expresses her own growing up in a way.

  10. Susan says:

    Livia. How do you know YD did not fact-check before publishing the emails?

  11. Susan says:

    Really, I don't get the argument that YD didn't check her facts before publishing the link to the jfexposed page. After all, they have turned out to be true by JF and now Elena's own admission.

  12. yoginia says:

    I'm sorry, but it's the shameless self-promotion of the glittery Anusara-trained teachers, past and present, that really gets me. I wish that the Anusara community would stop believing that Anusara training is the ONE best way and simply embrace the teaching of yoga (with no TM). It's sad and divisive. And it's STILL happening even amongst the people who left. I don't get it.

  13. Livia says:

    i dont. how do you know they did. if we are debating and discussing truth and integrity why should we believe the messenger is always honest. that kind of blind faith is part of the problem being discussed.

  14. Loretta says:

    I'm surprised at some of these negative comments. Having been through a similar situation with a spiritual teacher and sangha (though not quite as public), I know that it is a complicated and painful situation, for everyone. The entire practice comes into question and lives are shattered. I thought that Elena's comments were thoughtful and heartfelt. I believe she owned her piece of it, condemned Friend's behavior appropriately, but still remained compassionate towards him as a divine being and affirmed the incredible teachings that she has gotten from the Anusara tradition. Humans doing spiritual practice is always messy and sangha can be the messiest of all. By shedding light on dukkha, we learn and grow.

  15. Susan says:

    Again, how do you know she did not verify the author of the emails, etc? Do you know YD personally? Did she consult you before she posted the link to jfexposed page? John Friends behavior was scandalous and salacious. Let's consult a dictionary, shall we? http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/salacious

    Salacious:

    adjective
    1.
    lustful or lecherous.
    2.
    (of writings, pictures, etc.) obscene; grossly indecent.

    Elena described YD as salacious. Quite the audacity. The content of the emails were salacious. The photos were salacious. John Friend is salacious.

  16. hya says:

    OK – my understanding of the text was that she was teaching expensive SY trainings until she was no longer able to, due to personal reasons, then she wanted to offer an independent (cheaper) training but was barred by JF. Apologies if this was incorrect!

  17. Flo says:

    Dear Kate:

    Yogadork did not make a mistake in posting those links. Don't be so patronizing to a person who had the guts to break this scandal. It so obvious, with 90% of the comments in favor of YD, that it would appear you have a agenda here that is not in line with your readers. EJ is known to use sexually suggestive photos and headlines, so I think you are hardly in position to suggest what is appropriate to publish or not. You seem like a nice person, but posting a bunch of comments is not going to make them any more true.

  18. kidding, right? says:

    She watched him

    “shift the landscape of yoga forever”?
    Dear gawd, what arrogance. ALL of them.
    Obviously it was this woman, and the other insiders, who put this sleazoid on a pedastal.
    Not me. I went to ONE workshop at a larger conference. A total turnoff. They DID claim superiority to other methods. His followers DID act like stoned fembots.
    Really, really a bad scene.
    I get it that now, some people don’t like to hear the visceral responses of those who didn’t buy the scene. Too bad. You need to really get it that this is how truly sicko your little world got. like, it was PLAIN and clear and present even to newcomers at massive conferences who were just SAMPLING, for god’s sake.
    Look at YD. Look at what they’re saying.
    Learn.
    You want to grow? Fine. prove it.

  19. Scott Newsom says:

    Among the victims I am referring to are the the same folks you are saying are responsibile for this mess – those who placed John on a pedestal. There are many more victims of his unprofessional behavior too. I know a lot of Anusara teachers (many who didn't have John on any pedestal) and many of them are suffering in ways that no one is talking about just now. Some students of these teachers are wandering the wilderness in some ways, wondering how this will all shake out, how it will affect their teachers, fellow students and the wider yoga community.

    In any case, I don't know that the women who had sex with John were doing it because they saw him as a Guru either. I haven't heard a single one of them speak up. Now that would be an interesting interview! Lots of folks want to believe that is the case though and I wonder what the motivation is to make that assumption? These same people want to argue that the women were personally empowered, and not victims at all. Which was it? Can't really see it being both.

  20. Yoginijvp says:

    THANK YOU Benji! This was so very needed.

    Namaste,
    Jane Verdurmen Peart

  21. Silvia says:

    Thank you Elena. Your YD comments were spot on and I commend your bravery in saying something in the face of public opinion. This situation with JF was coming out already but this didn't require that YD push the river of revealing and take such delight in the destruction of Anusara and the lives of so many involved directly and indirectly. YD talks about JF's misuse of power, but let us all be careful that YD not misuse their power either (even it is in the name of truth).

  22. Susan says:

    Then stop listening Chelsea. Stop reading. I'm weary of YDs article described as salacious. Look the word up and use it correctly. John Friend is salacious. The spotlight is exactly where it belongs.

  23. eh? says:

    This is not a "wound." This is widespread disgust, wonder and righteous anger at a serious bunch of ethical, legal, and financial misbehaviors. This is a heavy, complicated, and murky attempt to parse out truth and responsibility. Both JF and his henchpeople betrayal their community and disgusted the larger community. The larger community was rightfully disgusted with AY anyway for being conceited and clannish. This is real.
    Not a "wound."Stop the psychobabble. This is a community crisis.
    Stop tsk-tsking and wishing everything would just be nice. An active community working through a crisis is not "nice."
    Again, the squeamishness. If you can't stand the heat, trun off the computer.

  24. Susan says:

    Chelsea, according to his anusara webpage, he has not resigned. He's the first person listed on the "Staff" page. http://www.anusara.com/index.php?option=com_conte

    This is not a disagreement, it's a fact. Please refrain from confusing the two.

  25. yogastudent says:

    I found this article very interesting. Elena a beautiful strong teacher?? But still afraid to do what is right if someone is complicit to bad behaviour it is almost like they are condoning that behaviour. I don’t think anyone is going condone JF behaviour! His behaviour will damage all western yoga it shows yoga to be a big business with few ethics or standards. Teachers are more interested in keeping their jobs, selling their merchandise and completing their teacher trainings than doing what is right!__No one needs to apologise its important the truth is finally out however it found its way it needs to be out. Thankfully others are stronger than Elena who knows what JF would have done next? The truth is often ugly people in yoga say “we should not judge” so continue to allow poor behaviour this is weakness! The light always shines brighter after a dark time this is a great shake up wake up for the whole yoga community. More Inquiry, more discussion stop hiding from the TRUTH___

  26. Ozz says:

    "Anusara yoga seems more like a benign cult than a yoga style"

    Seems likely it has been both. The cult aspect seems pretty much done now – with any luck, Anusara as yoga style will come to the fore and make the cult just one more interesting bit of yogic history. I think this is what Elena was saying.

  27. Ozz says:

    Gotta say, this is a very interesting debate in the comment section. I'm trying hard to find that fine line between judgment and discernment on this one for my part. Not finding it easy.

  28. Ozz says:

    It's quite striking reading through these comments – you have one set analyzing their way through this with their heads, another feeling their way through it with their hearts. I'm writing in reply to your comment, Chelsea, because you're one of the few who seem to be combining the two.

    In my studies of Buddhism, I learned that there are two wings to practicing the dharma: one is insight, the other compassion. Insight without compassion can be too hard headed. Compassion without insight can be too soft hearted. You need both wings to fly. All in all, the invitation in this situation seems to me to be to practice flapping both. Especially the one we don't by nature favor…

  29. Ozz says:

    Cut and paste from HuffPost comment section:

    "For a wrong done by others, [ordinary] men demand justice, while for that done by themselves they plead forgivenes­s. The yogi, on the other hand, believes that for a wrong done by himself there should be justice, while for that done by another there should be forgivenes­s." –Iyengar

  30. chris says:

    Actually, John Friend does like it when anusara teachers put down other styles.

  31. chris says:

    Oops I mean he does not like it. LOL

  32. Jane C says:

    First, let me credit Ms. Brower's effort to take some responsibility for her complicity, halting and myopic as it might be.

    Having said that, a number of things about the post disturb me.

    First the litany of stars that litter the first paragraph. Why? How does that inform the discourse? Mitchel Blier? Seriously?

    Next, the lack of concern for how JF's behaviors, and EB's complicity hurt people – lower level teachers, students, and yoga in general.

    Then, of course, the trashing of Yoga Dork. Holy John Bradshaw – this "don't tell" above all else ethos screams dysfunctional family and a level of wounding that will take many years to heal. Talking about misconduct is not the misconduct – misconduct is the misconduct.

    But I gotta say, the thing that really pushed me over the edge was pointing the finger at Jimmy – the "IT guy", who, by the way, denies posting JFExposed, and who, by his posts, seems utterly reasonable. Why, Elena, was that little tidbit necessary? it raises the specter of JF foot-soldiers cracking the whip. It seems petulant, at best.

    So I guess I'm not giving it a very good review. I hope EJ will recognize that I'm stating a basis for these comments.

    This whole wacky mess, combined with the William Broad book, might be a necessary correction to the crazed narcissistic culture that has enveloped the yoga world. The tropes, the tramp stamps, the lululemon nonsense – I can't abide it – I've taken refuge in my own mat, and some kind, quiet teachers who help me along the way.

    Good luck, kids.

  33. Stewart j. Lawrence says:

    Some experts use the term "organizational narcissism" to refer to the behavior of mission-oriented institutions that suffer from extreme self-centeredness and develop exaggeratedly low or high opinions of themselves in relation to others – just like individuals might.

    Here's just one sample treatment of the subject.
    http://143.107.235.30/informatica/graduacao/mater

    Using the criteria described by the authors, we might say Anusara has been suffering from an acute case of "grandiose" and "exhibitionist" narcissism.

    They're the "Enron" of Yoga

  34. matt says:

    Elena, I like the "You still love me, don't you?" head shot for your article. Very clever.

  35. matt says:

    Benjy, I disagree about the tone. I think it's a healthy path for people to have a place to get it all out. To vent their emotions, frustrations and disappointments. This is the Arab Spring of our little world here, man. At least they're not chasing John or any of his insider cronies into a storm drain in the middle of the hot Libyan desert.

  36. SQR says:

    Having spent some time in the entertainment industry, I’ve been naturally wary of the "rock stars", and this situation where increasing numbers of trainees enter saturated markets for some time. I suspect that model will need to change for the Anusara community to continue in anything like it’s present form.
    If John Friend will always be the main (or only) representative of the Anusara system, then perhaps there's a problem. If, on the other hand, the numerous teachers who’ve invested so heavily in it can form something sustainable and move forward, that would be a pretty good outcome. The “product” would then be more about the stuff that’s helped so many people. Despite Mr Friend’s seeming intentions, the community that ensued has built up a lot more goodwill than one might think from reading blog comments online.

  37. matt says:

    OK, that was cynical, I admit it. It's a commentary on the public relations / damage control aspect of this whole thing. Maybe I'm wrong… Maybe not…

  38. elephantjournal says:

    I (don't) love how even this was voted down. It doesn't have to be like junior high in here, community. ~ Waylon.

  39. elephantjournal says:

    Honor to see you on here, Stewart!

  40. Sorry pal, these Anusara teachers aren't buds of mine, I care about both Waylon and elephant, but my opinion is my opinion alone and I stand by it.

  41. Jonagold says:

    " All that said, it saddens me greatly to see the labeling, ad hominem attacks, and generally vitriolic tone emerging from much of this discussion (on Huffington Post as well as Elephant). I want to know the truth of the situation as much as anyone, yet it saddens me that many of the comments are feeding what I feel is one of the greatest enemies humans face: polarization."
    Benjy , your words here describe the type of reaction anyone within or out of Anusara risked for saying anything at all negative about the method or John Friend before 3rd February. I don't excuse people for having bad manners, or for using language in a hurtful way, however, I do strongly feel that they have a right to be angry. For years, any and all criticism of JF and Anusara was met with considerable "labeling, ad hominem attacks, and general vitriolic tone". By simply having a difference of opinion with John or a criticism of his style of yoga, an individual risked a rapid response from John and his supporters (who were sometimes strongly urged to do so). Those who dared speak out in any way perceived to be negative risked character assassination, and were called everything from "un-cooperative" to "mentally ill."
    After being stifled for so long, I think we are seeing some honest, raw, emotional reactions. Combine this with the elitist way many Anusara yogis presented themselves and the method over the years, the very real human reaction of Schadenfreude can also, unfortunately , be expected. Humans being human, all around. To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
    I have enjoyed your music over the years, btw, thanks.

  42. Etienne says:

    Brower makes clear her values: she was afraid of "losing her place in the yoga world.". Losing a high-octane, probably very well-paying, high-visibilty, glamorous career as a top teacher/rep for a company. But covetousness over status, position, and career is a problem in itself she needs to examine.
    The head-shots, all the prettiness and preening in the yoga world are indeed nauseating. These are the "prom queens" of yoga, indeed. These girls need to retire their glittery pink tiaras
    She put herself and her decisions out there for display, and apparently expected to be petted and fawned over, especially since that what Anusara people do all the time. She got disgust, derision, and criticism instead. Rightfully so. The piece was poorly written, self-serving and ill-timed.
    If she's a good teacher, she'll just keep teaching.
    I'm new here, so I'm just given first impressions. The language is more rough over on Yogadork, but they come off better in all this b/c they haven't tried to stifle debate or lamely complained about the roughness of free debate as being "meany." The obvious petty rivalries between the sites just make both look stupid.

  43. Really? says:

    I'm glad your job is not investigating sexual assaults.

  44. Etienne says:

    Given the hair-raising tales of internet stalking, bullying, black-listing and other persecutions perpetrated by members of the AY camp, I'm sure you will understand why many people wish to remain anonymous.
    People SHOULD remain anonymous to protect themselves. That's wisdom, is a messed-up yoga culture.
    You undercut your own credibility with this pious attitude, man. And potentially put other people at risk

  45. Etienne says:

    sorry about the repeat — new here —

  46. Etienne says:

    Coasting around on these replies — gotta disagree here. I stay anonymous to protect myself from the crazies in the AY crowd. Also — so — I looked you up — you're some kind of "consultant?" So why not get your name our here, huh? Maybe you can attract clients?
    This whole scene just seems to be a big-tent fair for people trying to be visible, get their names and faces out, perform their pieties in order to attract business, students, followers. So if you didn't possibly have a BUSINESS moitivation for putting your name out there, maybe I'd believe you. But as with so many others on these sites, the "Spiritual stands" people take seems twisted by professional and monetary ambitions.

  47. Tam says:

    Lets face it folks, we all love a good train wreck. I am not here to comment on the events themselves or Elena's response but rather on the many comments on all the websites covering this story. Think of bottlenecking on the highway when all the cars slow down to see the pile up. We are all complicit here just by commenting and whether you are in the kumbaya comment section or the ugly, judgmental comment section or somewhere in between, dialogue and conversation are good. Exposing things to the light is good. That said, slandering other human beings is not. Many of the comments here are wildly defamatory, unproven, judgmental statements about an individual, Elena and the wider Anusara community in general. I see many examples of slander (pisunavācā) coming from the words of the indignant righteous on these pages. To you all I say pisunavācā virati or let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.

    Many commenters start with something like "i'm new here…" or "I don't know anything about anusara yoga.." who then go on to make sanctimonious statements sprinkling their prose with words like "disgusting", "nauseating", "narcissistic", "preening", "pathetic", "loser", and many others offer spiritual advice phrased with openers like " you need to.." or "you would be better off to.." and so on.

    To my own observation, the many negative, non constructive comments are not just defamatory and vitriolic but say much more about the level of anger that resides in the hearts of us all. Those of us throwing bombs, what did we do today to make the world a better place, what kind act did we perform, what kind words did we speak, who did we teach, how did we contribute?

    Ethics involves the judgement of behavior, which is everyone's duty in a society. However, we cannot look into a human being's soul, their uniqueness and emotional world without love and compassion even when that is difficult. Many of you don't realize how judgmental you seem to others like me. Nor perhaps, do I know how judgmental I seem to you?

    To quote William Butler Yeats, not once but twice:

    "Every conquering temptation represents a new fund of moral energy. Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before."

    "The light of lights looks always on the motive, not the deed, the shadow of shadows on the deed alone."

  48. eh? says:

    Pretty funny. The problem is you're just as sanctimonious about how everyone else should behave as you accuse other commentators of being. Dear god, but this is some kinda site for finger-shaking!
    If you think the harsh comments are "bombs," you need to go do some relief work in Syria, where the bombs are real.
    Internet "bombs?" First world problems again.
    Rough language is part of community crisis. The AY world needs to get how elitist and annoying it's been. If I have been one of the bringers of bad news, so be it. Whether you see it so or not, truth-speaking IS a form of yoga, EVEN when the truth is harsh.
    And I can understand people making fairly quick judgments as newbies or outsiders, b/c it's not like these problems don't exist in the world outside yoga. They do. We;ve seen it before, elsewhere. Yoga has a long rather sordid history of cultishness and sleaze in this country.

  49. tam says:

    HI eh?

    I think if I read your words carefully, you and I agree. I admit I may seem judgmental myself. I do not say that we should not comment rather that we should not slander. There is a difference. I do say that ethics involves the judgement of behavior, which is everyone's duty in a society. This is truth speaking even when the truth is harsh.

    It is how you do that that I offer my own personal response to. For instance you make a statement: "The AY world needs to get how elitist and annoying it's been". To me a better way for you to say that might be "The AY world needs to get how elitist and annoying it's been to me". Another person's truth might be "The AY world needs to get how beneficial and helpful it's been to me but I am very disappointed with the action's of some in the community" or someone else might say "The AY world would benefit from understanding how it is viewed by others as elitist and self correct by embracing the larger community". And so on. There are many truths and a good conversation might lead to some positive changes.

    All of these comments are helpful and shine a light. Calling someone an "elitist, narcissistic, yoga queen loser" is not.

    It does nothing to further the conversation. It merely judges and judges unkindly.

  50. Guest says:

    From the start of all this (whenever that was) kindness and compassion did not seem to have sufficient force to bring the truth to light. I don't blame anyone for being angry and not speaking in sweet tones. Being nice to a liar or a cheater is not healthy. Being really pissed off is a really legit response to all this.

    Ahimsa includes not doing violence to oneself. One does violence to oneself by stuffing anger, stuffing the truth, staying in unhealthy relationships and situations. Enabling bad behavior = violence. Sweetening the truth may appear to be kind at first but it is not. Being sweet to another when you don't feel sweet is not ahimsa. There is nothing wrong with feeling bitter. There is nothing wrong with being angry. (But stay in it too long and you will get burned.)

    Maybe teachers can help with this by acknowledging their students' anger rather than trying to make it go away. Students should be angry. Perhaps someone wiser could make suggestions for working with anger in healthy and appropriate ways before we ask everyone to "move on."

    I have faith in kindness and compassion but after so much violence has been done by Anusara (where was the ahimsa there?) promoting sweetness at this point, in these circumstances, may come across as false to some. After so much falseness has been revealed — calling for kindness is enough to make anyone even more angry. As we saw, kindness did not bring the truth to light.

    False ahimsa (loving inappropriate people at inappropriate times, supporting inappropriate behavior) has done more harm than good — more harm than some fiery and pissed off words after the fact.