Owning It – Why I am Leading Immersion and Teacher Training

This has been such a transitional year. Resigning my Anusara license in May was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I left in protest of the actions of John Friend and the Anusara office. Though it broke my heart, it was the right thing for me to do. What I left when I resigned was a lot of certainty – including the right to advertise myself as Anusara eventhough I continue to align so deeply, really to live from, its methodology, and to belong to a professional network that has been such a blessing in support of my individual professional growth. When I began teaching Anusara Immersion in 2008, along with being in my heart to share, it was because I was qualified to because of my certification, a niche I held in Atlanta. This would have been the 5th year of Anusara Immersion, with a strong momentum from the wonderful experience it has been – both for myself and for those whom I had the great honor to teach, and from the amazing growth of Anusara yoga in this city. Part of being in the Anusara network too was that it was a standard curriculum, both a benefit for me to guide my teaching and to bring me students who wanted to learn Anusara, and a benefit to the student who could complete their Anusara training with any of the worldwide certified Anusara yoga teachers. In a matter of months all of this dissolved, for myself and those of us who chose to resign this year.

I am not writing this to bring up debate about the Anusara situation or the choice to resign or stay on, but to reflect on where I am right now. I have been going through an incredible period of release, surrender, doubt, retreat, and disconnect. When I resigned I was set to begin my next Immersion and Teacher Training cycle in August, and immediately pushed that back to January to have time to regroup. I did announce last month a re-formatted and re-envisioned Immersion and Teacher Training which is now open for registration. And still my doubt continued. Who am I now without Anusara? I feel I live and teach the principles with more passion, clarity, and freedom than ever since I have been free NOT to. I know I am respected in Atlanta for who I am and not just for my licensed status. And yet, I have been so shaky as January approaches – who am I as “just a yoga teacher?” Who will want to study with just me? I have been going through it, letting go, and letting go some more, ready to even call it off if that felt right.

 “Don’t try to sustain yourself on what is dissolving.”

And, finally, I have made a much needed peace in my heart with what has happened. “Don’t try to sustain yourself on what is dissolving,” my friend Sarah Faircloth spoke during her class at the Southeast Yoga Conference. I needed to hear these words. From dissolution comes new beginnings, but we have to let go to keep the creative flow moving. I have finally been able to let go of what was, and I stand now on the precipice of what is to come. “There are no endings, only change,” says my teacher Paul Muller-Ortega. The story isn’t over for those of us who left, and in fact I am growingly excited about what will be created anew among the very gifted and talented teachers who left the Anusara fold this year.

 “There are no endings, only change.”

And so I am moving on, ready to truly move forward. I am ready to claim what I have to offer. The methodology of Anusara is at once innovative even as it roots deep into the intelligent sequences of reality itself. It is a powerful practice that is a radical voice in the more mainstream conversation of yoga that pervades our culture. These principles transcend the system, and the drama surrounding it, and it is my dharma, or service, to continue to speak them as clearly and purely as I am able. Further, since completing the bulk of my Anusara training a few years ago, I have since pursued a profound philosophical inquiry into the roots of the Tantric yoga philosophy that is the basis for the practice in my Blue Throat Yoga studies with Paul Muller-Ortega. More recently I am actively studying Ayurveda with Cate Stillman, founder of Yogahealer, in her 9-month Living Ayurveda course. Along with going deep into my own quiet and contemplation, steeping in and refining my own self-identity and what this practice to me, the truth is I have more to offer than ever. It would be wrong for me to retreat into silence (though very tempting for this hermit!) when these teachings are so relevant to the evolution of our consciousness as human beings. I believe this is knowledge and practice that can move us into greater resonance with the deep order and intelligence of life itself, which is so needed in this time of planetary crisis. As we sync up more deeply, it ripples out into the world around us, bringing greater harmony and the capacity to creatively uplift the trajectory of our unfolding humanity.

 “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

I am humbled to make this offering, then, again. Raw in its reformulation and without the formal support of the Anusara curriculum and network to hold me, at the same time it will be deeper and spoken from a truer, clarified, more empassioned voice within me. In fact, there is nothing I have loved more than the profound honor and privilege to go into such deep and dedicated study and practice as we do in Immersion. I have lived for it. I can’t wait to talk Tantric philosophy, the 5 elements, the 5 principles, and the doshas of Ayurveda, and so much more. It’s going to be so good! I claim it and I state it – I am here to serve the grace of these teachings. Can we do this together? I would be so delighted for you to join me.

A fellow Anusara teacher shared the below with her resignation letter. It was so poignant then, and continues to be now.

The Hopi Prophecy –

“You have been telling people that this is the Eleventh Hour, Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour.

And there are things to be considered….

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relations?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
Do not look outside your self for your leader.

Then he clasped his hands together, smiled and said, “This could be a good time! There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open and our heads above the water.

And I say, see who is there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey come to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”