Yes, I just read the NYT and subsequent bloggage. Overall it is simply a excellent that John Friend and the school of Anusara were featured in such a prominent paper. Clearly Anusara is enough of a movement to merit that kind of attention. Having grown up with the NYT on the breakfast table daily, and having been interviewed myself for magazines and articles, I know how easily quotations can be taken out of a larger context. I won't get into all the things I want to say about some of the quotes just now...however, what stuck with me is how this article has stirred up the age-old, conversation about the "commercialization of yoga". (oooh! Hide, run away!)
Here are my two cents on the subject...Can I be frank?
I would love to see the people (who are freaking out) get over themselves around all the concern over "the commercialization of yoga". What good is doing yoga in a cave and not letting people know about it? What good is one yoga weekend in Podunk, when that teacher goes home and there are no more teachings? Enter Yoga DVD's or an internet yoga class which can hugely help these students stay connected!
We are all marketers at heart - whenever we give teachings, we are shifting people's minds. Guess what? That is the definition of marketing! I have always LOVED that John Friend is a model of prosperity, abundance, ethical, and sustainable business as a yogi, while at the same time able to go SO FULLY DEEP into the topics of spirit and oneness. Isn't that combo what we all want?
Not to mention, if yogis actually made and had money - OHHH AH OH WOW! (insert double rainbow guy inflection) what a world this would be. Think about it, since yogis generally do not use money to harm, be corrupt, or overly consume - think of all the causes and charities the yogis would give to if they were making more than $35K a year!! The world is in dire need of this kind of contribution. I want to make this kind of contribution.
I say keep marketing, John. You go!
Nothing but love and a whole lotta shri from me on this topic.