Yoga’s worldwide popularity is not going anywhere. In fact, with all the styles of yoga that are practiced, it’s almost impossible not to find one form of yoga that speaks to you. Anusara yoga is just one of the modern schools of hatha yoga that focuses on the intrinsic goodness and blissful nature of everything in existence, according to Anusara’swebsite.
Anusara Yoga’s Beginnings
In 1997 a former financial analyst turned American yoga teacher named John Friend created Anusara yoga. This form of life-affirming yoga is a derivation of Hindu hatha yoga. Friend’s health focus, form and spirituality are foundation principals of Anusara. The highest intention of Anusara yoga is to align with the divine, stepping deeper into a state of flowing grace.
Anusara Yoga Methodology
People of any skill level can practice this yoga style. There are no set routines but rather individual progression and sequences that make the most of the individual. Modifications can be made to poses, and instructor assistance is graciously available when needed. This positive-minded yoga style is a full expression of the human spirit.
The Anusara Invocation
The Sanskrit mantra, or mission statement, in Anusara invocation begins every class or session of yoga. It begins with three om chants, three invocation statements and a final om chant. This mantra is also known as the Siddha Yoga mantra.
The Three A's of Anusara Yoga
- Attitude:The power of the heart to awaken to the divine within all of us. It is a celebration of life itself.
- Alignment:An awareness of the body and its position in space using Universal Principals of Alignment
- Action:The natural energy that flows within the body, the foundation of stability and joyful freedom
The Universal Principles of Alignment
- Opening to grace:The intention and focus on open mind, soft heart, bright inside, soft outside, long side body
- Muscular energy:Pulling energy from all points of the body into the central core stability of the body
- Inner spiral:A focus of energy spiraling up through the body from the legs up and inward. This spiral forms an inward strength.
- Outer spiral: A focus of energy that spirals in a contraction outward from the center outward in a heart opening
- Organic energy: An extension of energy outward from the core. This focus brings about a sense of expansion, freedom and flexibility.
Focal Points in Anusara Yoga
During each pose, a focal point is maintained. Breath is specific. Each pose initiates a new focal point. The three focal points are pelvic, heart and upper palate.
Energy Loops for Alignment Refinement
As the practice of Anusara yoga becomes more natural, alignment refinements are sought. These energy loops are defined as mindful foci that spiral up and through the body. There are seven loops to consider: ankle, shin, thigh, pelvic, kidney, shoulder and skull.