I totally love yoga in all its forms and have deep honour and respect for the lineages which have brought and continue to the mat every day. However, I can’t see myself being a teacher in any other style. The other day my friend and colleague said “I don’t think you are capable of not teaching Anusara. It’s too much a part of you and your yoga”.
I remember the first time I read the word, it might sound crazy but it was a response to a survey on a website “which is your favourite style of yoga”, someone posted “Anusara rocks!” as a response and it literally jumped of the screen at me. I’ve been in the merry band as we’re known ever since.
This isn’t a treatise on Anusara, I’m not out to convert everyone. I fully believe that each person’s path is their own but as a style which isn’t that well known I’d like to give a very summary overview.
Born in 1997 and formulated by John Friend, Anusara is an alignment based methodology based on five Universal Principals of Alignment. That means that as we move into each new pose we apply specific actions to bring us back into our most optimal alignment. Truth be told, it makes it simple and elegant. However one of my teacher’s would say out of the corner of his mouth “it’s not easy, or we wouldn’t have a job!“
Philosophically, Anusara is rooted in Tantra, so in all aspects of our life we attempt to reconnect to our own goodness and see that in everything around us. A practice in itself but you’ll notice it in class with an experienced teacher; they’ll always say something positive about a student’s posture first. It sounds pretty obvious but it absolutely changes the way people feel about themselves.
Finally, and by no means least is Kula or community. This is a theme I come back to again and again in my classes and it never fails to make me go goosepimply as I recount one story or another about how someone has been lifted up by the power of this community.
That’s it in a very small nutshell.