What I Learned After Jumping off a Cliff, part two.
Resigning from Anusara, Inc., the type of yoga which I have studied for the past five years, taught me once again, it would be best to shut up and listen more often.
What I learned, or should have known:
- I should have known trouble was ahead when I first started teaching Anusara and I tried to sing the invocation, which sounds a little like “Row Your Boat” if you are completely tone deaf. It might have been the Universe saying, “OMG go back to Ashtanga,” especially when my dogs howled.
- I learned that when my Colorado Kula, which is your closest group of yoga friends, said, "Let’s print all the blogs on our local Facebook page so we know what's happening," they meant only the ones from John Friend or those who supported him.
- And when I misunderstood and posted blogs from Bernadette Birney, Emma Magenta, Christina Sell, The Huffington Post, Amy Ippoliti and Dr. Douglas Brooks, they asked me not to come to the Kula meetings because I wasn't being "expansive."
- I learned that expansive really means contractive, and that being ‘contractive’ and looking clearly might bring expansion, and so I finally understand Tantric philosophy.
- I learned there is no point explaining free speech, or the First Amendment, or why Yoga Dork and the Huffington Post have the right to print articles they believe are true. That public people, such as those who are the leader of a Yoga School, travel around the world speaking to 300,000 people and are on the cover of The New York Times magazine have less, if any, right to privacy. There is no point in discussing this. It is like getting into a pissing match with a skunk; you will either get wet or you will be stinky, but you will not come out a winner.
- I learned that I really do believe in God. I always knew I did, but have been hesitant to say so because I do not want to offend or hurt anyone’s feelings. However, when I discovered that Anusara Yoga was headed by a Wiccan, I saw clearly. Sometimes you need to know what you are not, to know for sure what you are.
- Even if I wanted to, it is too late for me to be a Wiccan in a coven that does sexual things. That is because I am married, I am over 50 and I just don’t have that kind of energy anymore. Find me a coven that takes a nap everyday and I’m in. And by that I mean sleep.
- I learned that many of my friends are Wiccans, and that some believe in the benefits of “plural love,” which I don't think means how I love both of my kids most of the time. Since I am incredibly open-minded, I am going to suggest to my husband that he give me that hall pass right away for George Clooney.
- And lastly, I have learned that there is going to be a happy ending to this mess. The principles and benefits of Anusara yoga will survive because they are life-changing and life-affirming. The teachers, former and those who remain, will probably come together again in our intention to continue with something that is soooo good. That the parts that were hidden in the dark are now out in the light. That nothing has changed except for this: we can all see a little more clearly, and move more freely on and off the mat, which is never a bad thing.
Michelle Berman Marchildon is an award-winning journalist, a former corporate executive and a survivor of 50+ years of life. She’s the author of “Finding More on the Mat,” a yoga memoir, and a Columnist for Elephant Journal. She teaches the style of yoga formerly known as Anusara-Inspired, and Power-Vinyasa Yoga in Denver, Co. She is NOT an Ambassador for Lululemon, and has been promised she will never be one.