Leaving Anusara

Dear Friends,

After a grueling week of efforts to hold our Anusara school together, I have come to a decision.  I can no longer support a teacher whose actions have caused irreparable damage to our beloved community.  It is out of the love I have for our community that I have worked tirelessly to keep it together.  It is for that very same love that I leave today.

I honor and support those who stay with Anusara Yoga.  I wish John Friend the very best.

I will hold what is real and true and good from all these years of teachings.  I promise not only to treasure all that I have received, but to share it, to live with it, to stand by it, and to develop it into the furthest reaches of my life.  I look forward to collaborating with my students, peers, and teachers to create beauty of the highest integrity.

My heavy heart feels an emerging freedom.  May hope always sustain our hearts, minds and souls.

With Love, Sarah

19 Responses to Leaving Anusara

  1. Sarah, I hold you in the highest esteem and support your brave, loving, wise self. You are one of my highest teachers! Love SHannon

  2. While not “knowing you well” I know you well enough at an intuitive level to respect the integrity and love with which you live and to experience that in this move yielding emerging freedom. the love and appreciation of you so present in the communications of a few friend when speaking of you has me wishing you well. who knows coming into your studio if that continues or is to be. with love, michael

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  4. Dear Sarah,
    It was not until just now that I began to realize the gravity of the events unfolding. Upon reading your letter, I burst into tears.
    Though I believe it has been over a year since I have had the opportunity to study with you, with great love, I remain,
    Your devoted student,
    Hannah Byrum

  5. Dear Sarah,

    I know how much John appreciated your wisdom at Wanderlust, Vermont. I am saddened that is has come to all of this. To believe in the “Wizard of Oz’ and all his powers and sleep in a field of Poppy’s…is it all a dream? I wish you the best and hope I can host you here on Long Island…integrity, studentship and all. You are a blessing “in or out” of Anusara.



  6. Sarah
    I know that was a hard decision for you to make. I am disapointed in John for not stepping aside. He could save face for the Anusara “brand” that so many wonderful people have committed their time and money. The teachings are sound and will survive. I would suggest a group of you top teachers re-brand under a new name and any Anusara teacher be automaticly certified.

    Love, peace and xoxo

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  8. Sarah,

    I know this unfolding story is not easy for you or others in the Anusara kula – whether certified instructors, or inspired instructors, or students and those in the process of certification. The larger community of yoga also is impacted – as you are no doubt aware.

    I teach a flow style of yoga heavily influenced by my workshops with John Friend in Atlanta, my classes with Gina in Atlanta, as well as the three immersion trainings I took with Gina in her first group. I now live, work, and teach in the greater Asheville area (actually the YMCA in Marion).

    My feelings are that new growth will arise from this as we all – especially teachers, and especially male teachers (of which I am one) look into our own stories and dharmic path for the level of service we aspire to. Clear-eyed honesty & uncluttered viveka, guided by love and compassion are what we all need to keep in our self-guidance tool box.

    I wish you the best and brightest and much love on this new adventure of yours.

    Jerry Nelms
    Asheville, NC

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  11. After reading DB’s post in Elephant Journal, I understand you completely. There is no one I know who speaks truth more clearly and brilliantly than him. Love to you Sarah. You are going to explode in yourself!!! I can’t wait to see you again!

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  13. Dearest Sarah, I am still hanging on (now Anusara-Inspired), but I so respect your decision. I am waiting to see if something changes for the better. if it doesn’t, I’ll be outta there too. I look forward to seeing you here in Northampton when you teach the immersion.



  14. Dear Sarah,
    I am shocked and saddened by the recent news of John Friend. My prayers are that he heal and bring himself back into alighnment with integrity. I am sure that your decision was not an easy one to make. I salute you in standing in your truth. The principles of Anusara Yoga are filled with intelligence and integrity. For those reasons students study with our wonderful teachers.
    I will continue to study with all the wonderful teachers in our yoga community.
    God bless us all. Much love, Jeanette

  15. Dear Friends,
    Thank you for your courage and support. I know that the yoga community at large will continue to open to truth.
    Much Love, Sarah

  16. None of this about John Friend, whom I have only heard about, surprises me in the least. I like the alignment work in Anusara, but have felt that it is too cult like. It seems almost like a religion to me. Much of yoga does. Mixing business with religion is very tricky – which yoga does. Ram Dass fell from grace way back when for similar reasons. None of this is new. I certainly support Ms. Faircoth’s decision. I also wish Mr. Friend the best in working out his issues. I wish Anusara teachings could be delivered without all the religious hype – but that is just me. This sort of thing happens when you get cult like goings on. These so called gurus are very often very seductive and it is easy to get blinded. Gurus are very appealing.

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