Anusara Announces New Structure

John Friend announces the appointment of a new CEO and plans to turn Anusara Yoga into a teacher-run nonprofit.

Anusara will become a nonprofit organization with an elected board of directors and a new CEO, according to emails released by Anusara on Friday.

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Anusara founder John Friend, who recently resigned as CEO of Anusara, Inc., announced a restructuring of the Anusara organization and introduced a new CEO, Anusara teacher and businesswoman and founder of Shalom Yoga in Israel, Michal Lichtman. (See a video of Friend announcing Lichtman's Anusara certification in January here.)

"With this new restructuring I am effectively putting Anusara yoga in the hands of the community and then trusting that it will grow beautifully in service to the world for many years to come," wrote Friend in the email, which was sent to the Anusara community Friday.

Among the changes will be the transformation of the school into a teacher-run nonprofit 501c3, called Anusara Yoga School. This nonprofit organization will handle certifications and curriculum and "serve as a central hub of information on Anusara yoga its licensed teachers," Friend wrote.

The Anusara Yoga School will be overseen by an elected board of directors and guided by an advisory board of teachers, which will include Desiree Rumbaugh, Sianna Sherman, Scott Lewicki, Sumei Shum, and Barbara Noh.

This comes after Friend's resignation as CEO last Monday following accusations of business and ethical misconduct and the public resignation of many senior Anusara teachers. Friend will remain as founder, student, and Anusara teacher, though he intends to take a sabbatical until June.

In a followup email, Lichtman addresses the community: "As the new CEO of Anusara, Inc, I am taking on all the day-to-day managerial operations, so to free John’s time in order to allow him to return to being the teacher, visionary, and inventor that we all love to be with," she wrote.

Both emails were posted in their entirety by YogaDork.