I am not truly a pupil of John. I've only taken a few workshops with him, he doesn't come around so much. I consider myself second generation Anusara... my teacher is definitely Todd. I might be slightly fixated on Todd, but I'm definitely not in any John Cult. John doesn't even know my name but I'm sure he knows my face, he memorized it in NC last time, and he'll "know"me when we meet again.
After reading the article, I did feel a sense of wanting to defend John and take care of him, but in reality it doesn't really matter. If his intentions are good if his intentions are deceitful, who cares? I know I am a better person for practicing Anusara yoga specifically. I am confident, I am aware that I am worthy of love and respect, I am connected to the Divine in a way I never imagined and I am growing more and more and more Loving every second of every day. Because I am a better person from Anusara, my family is a better family, my friends benefit, my enemies benefit (because they cease to be enemies). And now that I am teaching this method (at the entry level) I watch my students benefit every time they come to class.
I told Todd in my final homework for YTT that I really get it. In my mind right now, here is the secret of Anusara: The asana is the hook... what we are really doing is changing lives. That's how I see it when I approach teaching now. I know many students don't get it. They come to yoga for the workout, they don't listen, they want to rush and push though... and I say, no big deal. Maybe their transformation is only physical but, hey, hopefully they feel better in some way. But I know others get it deep to their souls and I am amazed at the many many stories of transformation I hear from my students and friends. I recognize daily the power of Grace and of LOVE to bring this transformation. And so I strive to Love Fully, and to teach people to accept and give Love and that's it, simple as that. Anusara for me is a method that brings me into connection with that place that is above fear and is only Love. If John Friend drives a BMW with "Magic" on the license plate is inconsequential when my heart is this full!
Edited 7/31/10: John's response to the article can be found in his blog, which can be read here.