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April 27, 2015
What is Anusara Yoga?
Anusara Yoga is a method of yogic practice developed by John Friend in 1997. Anusara means: "flowing with nature" or "flowing with grace," which is the basic principle of this Hatha sub-style. The style includes a simple group of principles of alignment in which students focus on poses that open the heart, and include also the basics of Hatha Yoga, which are meditation and spiritualism.
The main difference of Anusara yoga is that it is a journey for the soul. Those who teach it must see the goodness in all things. Instead of an instructive approach they should find the positives in the poses that the students are already executing, and build on them. The positive approach encourages more commitment and less intimidation. The focus is on finding the spiritual center of each asana. Often times each class has a theme; for example, a quiet mind or an open heart. By doing this, the breath and movement are coordinated with and focus on that very theme, which in turn, cultivates it.
The Three A's of the Principles of Alignment
At the base of the Principles of Alignment are the three A's. They are Attitude, Action, and Alignment. This method is designed to encourage students of any level including children to the elderly. Teachers will move throughout the classroom and instruct first verbally then physically to correct postures. It is possible for each student to be at a different level and still be able to improve; those at a lower level can use props such as chairs, walls or blocks. Each class ends with meditation and a sort of message for students to carry with them throughout the day and week until they return to class. It is meant to improve lives and our spiritual sense of being.
Anusara yoga is a quick-growing method, which is offered all over the world. Many are realizing the spiritual benefits of practicing this Tantric philosophy which includes the belief that all beings are inherently good, kind, friendly, and truthful. The method embraces all religions, but official policy asks that the focus is on this "all are welcome" philosophy.
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