In the meantime I need to write my explanation, not so much for readers everywhere, (ha!) but as record for myself. I could put it in a journal, but I feel the need for a public record. Accountability and Transparency have become bigger words for me than ever. This seems a way to keep both. And to remember time and time again. Plus, then my friends/students whoever can call me on it when I start to give my power away.
My decision to leave was motivated by two main things and supported by others. The major motivation was that through reading comments by others and through reflection I came to realize that I was in "worship John" mode. I gave John Friend a whole heap of power in my life, to the point of fearful reverence. I certainly did not and do not know him personally and did not particularly think of him as impervious to morally unacceptable behavior. But I did allow my idea of him to hold the fate of myself as a yoga teacher in his hand. I believed that I could not teach yoga well without his approval/Certificate. It was a pedestal I had him on and I desperately wanted to get in his good Graces. This had slightly started to shift after the last workshop I took with him where I started to see him as more of a normal guy - complete with the same social awkwardness I experience when in close conversation with students who I don't know but are profoundly touched by the teachings.
In the days leading up to going I found myself grappling with the decision. One of my absolute biggest reasons to stay was to be one of the cool kids, one of the strong ones who stayed in it, and particularly to get closer to John. When I stepped back I felt that this was absolutely the mentality that would keep him holding way too much power in my own personal life. Because of that, despite a huge love for Anusara, respect for John, and absolute belief in change - I decided to go. I saw that if I stayed with Anusara as it was, and my heart as it was believing John to be the end all be all say in my professional life -- I'd only be promoting him into 'rock star status' in my mind and that would not at all be helpful for me, him, or the system as a whole. (co-dependent much?)
The second point that weighed on me, though somewhat lighter was the intimate relationships. Again, I don't have the inside track to John, I didn't read the accusations, I don't know any more than what John wrote in statements and what the rumor mill has generated, and I'm trying to take that with a grain of salt. I worked once in a situation where the male director of the hospital had inappropriate boundaries. Not anything terrible, a hand on a shoulder here, an inappropriate comment there, but enough to make me feel uncomfortable when he came into the room. If anyone in the Anusara organization felt what I experienced with that man when they were around John then I take pause. So then I went back to my first argument for leaving which is the promoting John in my mind to all-powerful, to be honored/feared status and I realized again that my staying and doing that would enable him to operate in the same way as before in terms of relationships.
Those were the things going in my mind. That plus a deep belief in change and creation of new patterns on a cellular level for each person in the system. A profound belief that if anyone could change and grow John Friend could do it. A huge love for the principles, philosophy, and people in Anusara. A belief in good intentions.
Then a feeling of not knowing myself as teacher, possibly even as a person without Anusara yoga. And that realization gave me reason to believe I should take a little time to figure that out.
I just realized that for me to make the shift I needed to make, I personally needed to step away.
And then the other teachers were going too. I'm not going to say that seeing every teacher (save 4) that I ever studied with leave Anusara didn't weigh on me. It did, dramatically. Particularly reading Todd's resignation letter was like the final blow. It felt like watching a natural disaster hoping your loved one is ok only to find out they've been lost with the rest. As I wrote before, I watch the elders, and most of the elders I know took a step back.
I will write more I'm sure about how profound and quick the shift in my system has been. Let's just say no person has dominion over my yoga teaching anymore and I believe I can maintain this newly remembered independence no matter how I choose to align myself in the future.
Anusara 1.0 or, more clearly, myself in Anusara 1.0 is finished.
And yesterday, this morning, a new hope seems to be dawning. Perhaps this beautiful yoga that I and so many love love love will have a resurrection. If so, I'll see what it looks and feels like - talk to my Heart again and go from there. Personally now for the next while I'm working on my self, seeing with new eyes and hopeful that Anusara 2.0 will rise.