John Friend

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does John Friend Mean?

John Friend is an American yogi and yoga instructor who founded Anusara yoga in 1997 before resigning his leadership role in 2012 amid allegations of personal and professional improprieties. He subsequently returned to teaching and partnered with yogi Desi Springer to create Sridaiva yoga.

Both Anusara yoga and Sridaiva yoga use Tantric yoga philosophy and emphasize postural alignment. They take somewhat different approaches to that alignment, though. Anusara is a Sanskrit word referring to the natural state or condition of something, while sridaiva means “divine destiny.”


Yogapedia Explains John Friend

In Anusara yoga, Friend created a practice that uses the core energy of the body's midline to support poses rather than using the outer muscles. Friend dubbed this “hugging the midline,” which extends from the crown of the head down to a point between the feet.

In Sridaiva yoga, Friend and Springer use a postural system emphasizing the body's natural curves, a system called the bowspring posture. The back is arched with tight muscles – a posture that Friend describes as a neutral alignment. This alignment is said to allow yogis to hold postures longer, while reducing muscle and joint pain.

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