Feb 15

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Anusara Yoga 101 – Attitude, Alignment, And Action

Learn about the 3 categories of anusara yoga: alignment, attitude and action. This is perfect for beginners who want to learn more about anusara yoga!Anusara Yoga 101 – Attitude, Alignment, And Action

Anusara yoga is a modern-day version of the Hatha yoga system, which dates back to the 14th century. It was founded by John Friends in 1997. When translated, Anusara means “going with the flow” or “following your heart,” and is a form of yoga that centers on a ‘celebration of life’ philosophy. Despite it being only several years old, Anusara yoga has quickly become popular.

The practice of Anusara is categorized into three different parts – attitude, alignment, and action.

  • Attitude refers to the aspiration to reawaken to our divine nature
  • Alignment is considered to be the mindful awareness of how different parts of your mind and body and interconnected
  • Action refers to the natural flow of energy in your body.

Throughout the first decade of the 21st century, Anusara yoga became very influential in contemporary yoga, mostly due to its charismatic leader, John Friend. However, in February 2012, it was revealed that John wasn’t such a good guy after all. A post on an anonymous website accused him of illegally suspending his employees’ pension funds, using drugs, and having inappropriate sexual relationships with employees and female students.

John soon admitted to some of these allegations, after which he announced that he was taking a hiatus from teaching, in hopes of working on his personal life. As soon as these details emerged, many prominent Anusara teachers resigned from their positions, and a huge amount of students stopped practicing this type of yoga.

Anusara started gaining back its reputation shortly in the next following months, after a group of teachers announced the formation of the Anusara School of Hatha Yoga. John Friend gave the group of teachers his blessing when they got together in hopes of keeping the Anusara boat afloat.

Whether you’re into yoga or are thinking about trying a new form of exercise, it’s highly recommended that you try out an Anusara class. These classes are fun, positive and lighthearted. Nevertheless, they aren’t easy, since they involve a lot of alignment work. What’s great about Anusara yoga is the fact that the instructors and teachers won’t ‘fix’ the poses of students, but will allow everyone to develop their own.

Nevertheless, students are provided with guidelines on how to align their body, mind, and heart, in order to achieve optimal health, strength, and circulation. These guidelines are referred to as the ‘Universal Principles of Alignment.’

There are five different universal principles of alignment:

  • Opening To Grace – This principle involves the practitioner’s intent to place themselves in alignment with the flow of supreme consciousness. Basically, this principle encourages you to practice open-mindedness.
  • Muscular Energy – This principle encourages you to draw energy from the periphery of the body into a central location in your body, referred to as a Focal Point. This principle increases physical integration, strength, and stability.
  • Inner Spiral – During this phase, the energy within will form an expanding energy spiral.
  • Outer Spiral – The outer spiral is a contracting energy spiral.
  • Organic Energy – Organic energy refers to an outward extension of energy from the Focal Point of the core lines of your body to the periphery of your body. This principle increases freedom, flexibility, and expansion in the pose.

Just like with any other type of yoga, there are numerous health benefits you can experience by signing up for Anusara classes. You’ll become more aware of both your body and mind, which will encourage you to take better care of yourself.

Your body will become stronger and more flexible. Injuries will heal much faster, and you’ll be able to even out the natural imbalances in your body. Finally, you’ll greatly enhance your mood and increase your happiness levels.



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