John Friend and the Anusara Yoga scandal: A primer

John FriendAfter two tumultuous weeks of revelations and teacher resignations, John Friend officially announced yesterday that he would be stepping down and taking a “leave of absence” from Anusara.

Like Bikram Choudhury, Friend created an entirely new style of heart-centered yoga embraced by 200,000 yogis around the world. He was deemed the “Yoga Mogul” by the New York Times in 2010 and recently created branded products with Manduka, using his name and stamp of approval as the selling point.

The fallout began with a series of mysterious high-profile teacher defections—from Elena Brower to Amy Ippoliti. Then, an anonymous source created a website accusing the leader of  illegal drug use, sexual misuse of power, and pension fraud, to name a few. The thread continued to unravel, as more details surfaced and Friend admitted, to Elephant Journal, that many of the accusations were true.

Amid all of this emerged YogaDork, a Woodward without a Bernstein, breaking this enormous scoop—with a literal anonymous Deep Throat—and keeping up an impressive play-by-play as the scandal continued. She officially gets our yoga-coverage Pulitzer of 2012.

If you haven’t been following the news closely, we put together this handy catch-up primer. Does the scandal surprise you (or do you expect gurus to misbehave)? Tell us in the Comments, below.

—YogaDork reports, last November, that three of the biggest names in Anusara are breaking ties with the discipline.

YogaDork’s amazing, handy timeline of the entire controversy, with links to all of her coverage from Day 1 to the present.

—On Feb. 8, 2012, John Friend responds to the accusations against him in an interview with Elephant Journal editor Waylon Jennings.

—Blisstree posts an interview with Elena Brower about her defection and the scandal on Feb. 16, 2012.

—A Huffington Post editorial asks: Can Anusara salvage its image?

—We ask: What Will Manduka do with all of those John Friend yoga mats?


Loading More Posts...

You May Also Like

What you should know about eyeball sunburns

Busy Philipps just got an eyeball sunburn—is it a big deal if you do too?

Myers-Briggs types and romantic relationships

What each Myers-Briggs personality type needs most from romantic relationships

Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel do cryotherapy

Is cryotherapy why Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel never seem to age?

Kids start caring about reputation as early as 5

You probably started curating your social rep before Instagram existed—and it might be a good thing

The 5 crystals you need in your starter park

Every woo-woo wellness newbie needs a crystal starter pack with *these* 5 stones

Self-employed people have highest job happiness

Don’t love what you do? *This* career path provides for the most happiness, a new study claims