john friend rises from the ashes, starts teaching yoga again
The last time we heard from John Friend, the founder of Anusara yoga and the centre of a dramatic yoga scandal, was in June. He had posted a long statement on Elephant Journal about his choice to “focus on my own healing and transformation in a private way away from Anusara yoga and the greater yoga community for some time.”
Well, it looks like his time has come. On his freshly launched and understated website, “John Friend, Inc.” has announced his Fall 2012 teaching schedule. He writes:
In October I return to public teaching with a refreshed view and rededication to healing through disciplined practice. I have spent this year in deep, humbled self-reflection, which has led me to realigning with principles of inner harmony, individual accountability, and open-hearted service to the whole.
His tour schedule includes stops in Denver, CO, Lake Tahoe, CA, and – symbolically – Phoenix, AZ. Friend has posted his personal policy on the teacher-student relationship on his website, saying “I respect students’ private lives, and so I do not engage in a student’s personal business or issues. The same respect from the student is also expected by me.”
It also appears that Friend has put some of his recent free time towards developing an asana sequence, “The Roots,” in collaboration with Desi and Micah Springer. The webpage introducing the sequence reads like a press release and also promises the release of a book to “bring attention to this routine within the global yoga community.”
Okay, I know the past few months have been challenging for John Friend and want to have compassion for his process. But does anybody else think he’s back in business a little soon? Three months since his last public statement, seven months since the allegations against him spread through the North American yoga world… Of course, we don’t know what’s transpired in his heart and mind, and perhaps with a team of skilled therapists (and lawyers) personal healing and transformation can be accelerated.
Anyway, I do sincerely wish Friend the best as he enters this next phase of his yoga career, and I also send compassion to the people and teachers in the Anusara community who are still healing and processing recent events.