“there isn’t a solution”: joel kramer & diana alstad speak out on the anusara yoga implosion

Diana Alstad & Joel Kramer in conversation with Yogiviews host, Antonio Sausys

Since the shit hit the fan in the Ansuara community last month, Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad‘s book, The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power has been turning up in conversations (most notably, in this thoughtful post by Brooks Hall on Elephant Journal). Their seminal 1993 book takes a close look at the guru-disciple dynamic, and how relationships function as a mask for authoritarian individuals. It’s no wonder that this lens is helping many make sense of the upheaval in the Anusara community and John Friend’s fall from grace.

In this short trailer, Joel and Diana offer an interesting and neutral perspective on the underlying motivating factors of the Anusara situation. When host Antonio Sausys asks if there’s a solution to the situation “in yoga,” Joel boldly replies, “From my point of view, there isn’t a solution.”

Do you agree with this? Let us know what you think.

Antonio’s conversation will stream live Tuesday March 27, 8:30-9 pm and Wednesday, March 28, 11:30-noon on http://www.cmcm.tv/livecommunity. The full interview will be available shortly afterwards on YogiViews.com and blip.tv.

  1. Thanks for sharing this! But don’t you think that since Joel emphasized the word “a” in “a solution” that he meant there isn’t a SINGLE solution? (Rather than, as you implied in your quote, that there is NO solution.)

  2. interesting clips! will be curious to see how the discussion pans out…
    (I agree with Nina- I interpreted the emphasis on “ay” solution, as “a one solution” as opposed to “no” solution- will be interesting to see what else he said after the cut).

  3. Thanks Roseanne! It’s great to be mentioned here. Thank you! Here’s the link to my article at Elephant: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/03/sexy-cultish-power-yoga–healing/

  4. No, there is no solution.Personally when I heard about this…re: the scandal w/ John Friend..I thought this:

    “This is what happens when people mix their business and personal needs and allow that it overtake them.”

    To me, this is typical of a a man…just a man…masquerading as a yogi…who in the end is a man…a business….and obviously as he said himself in some of his statements….”in need of reflection.”

    The mere fact that he used sexual means as therapy and called it yoga therapy…..says way too much already.