Unveiled: The New Anusara School of Hatha Yoga

Ever wonder exactly what happened to Anusara Yoga? Easily one of the most popular current yoga styles, Anusara Inc. was met with a sudden, unexpected near-collapse in early 2012 after news of Anusara founder John Friend’s alleged misconduct began to surface.

The roster of allegations, which included sexual misconduct, illegal drug use, abuse of power and misuse of money, was followed by a mass exodus of leading Anusara yoga teachers. Since then, the fate of Anusara yoga has been uncertain.

Well, Anusara yoga is dead. Long live Anusara School of Hatha Yoga. Following months of uncertainty, a team of Anusara teachers have now come together to ride out the storm and hang on for brighter skies ahead.

The Anusara School of Hatha Yoga has launched a new website—at Anusarayoga.com—with a new, vibrant purple and orange logo, offering information on the “teacher-run and student-centered” rebirth of the school. From the website:

An enthusiastic team of global teachers has been working with great devotion to create the Anusara School of Hatha Yoga. The ASHY intends to retain and cultivate what was, is, and will be great about Anusara yoga.Teacher-run and student-centered, the ASHY welcomes your input and participation. The Anusara School of Hatha Yoga has formally obtained and secured the exclusive legal rights to use all Anusara registered trademarked material, and to set and maintain the certification standards of its teachers. 

Anusara fans will be happy to know that the Anusara yoga philosophy and methodology remain mostly intact: “The mission of the Anusara School of Hatha Yoga is to uphold and promote the philosophy and methodology of Anusara yoga, maintain the integrity of the method and to include the leadership, talents and voices from communities at regional and local levels in creating a globally sustainable school of Anusara yoga.”

Meanwhile, John Friend has moved on to new pastures. In September, following a mostly silent summer, Friend returned to the limelight with a new website at JohnFriendYoga.com. Also served up: a new teaching schedule and talk of a new book to come out.

Friend is now teaching the John Friend Universal Principles of Alignment, including his newfound Roots practice, all with no mention of Anusara yoga. The Roots practice is “a set of 55 base poses accessible to everyone, with an additional 56 advanced poses that will fully challenge experienced and expert practitioners within a 90-minute period! All the poses are performed using universal principles of alignment, which help to avoid injuries and to make the poses particularly therapeutic and transformative.”

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