Last week, three senior Anusara Yoga teachers, Darren Rhodes, Christina Sell and Elena Brower, all announced their separation from the trademarked style and its founder, John Friend.
Christina Sell, on her personal blog writes:
I think the most accurate way to explain my choice to resign my certification has less to do with dharmic differences between the two communities of which I have been a part and more to do with my own personal dharma; of how best to aim my teaching in the years to come. […] So we are clear: I love John Friend. I love Anusara Yoga. I love my friends in the system. My students continually inspire me beyond belief. I hope I have been super clear about that. I keep repeating it. It’s the truth. I have benefited form my involvement with the organization and the method in so many ways.
So, having said that, a bit more of my personal process that might fill out the story goes like this: Over the last few years a very subtle yet strong and consistent interest has been rising within me. I started to realize that I was interested in yoga in general more than I was interested in Anusara Yoga in specific. I have never been an Anusara purist, as anyone who reads this blog knows. I like it all. I practice it all. (Okay, well, not all of it, but A LOT of it.) In fact, over the last 5 years since I moved to Austin, I have probably been practicing asana more outside of the Anusara yoga system than in it. Not by design or by intention but simply in an organic way of following my curiosities and inclinations and finding good teachers who
could and would help me with my practice, regardless of method.
In an interview with Waylon Lewis from Elephant Journal, John Friend comments on the trio’s departures:
Yes, 3 top level certified Anusara yoga teachers resigned within the last week. Without any context or insight into this matter it might seem like there may be negative turmoil in the Anusara kula.
However, I have been in regular communication with these 3 teachers, who are also my long-time friends, and this was a move to maintain their own personal integrity and the integrity of Anusara yoga. All three of these teachers have evolved their own styles over time, and now are wishing to be artistically independent.
We all openly talked about it, and so we are supporting each other in our own unique yoga styles.