Anusara yoga is a form of Hatha yoga, founded by John Friend in 1997. This yoga unifies the life-affirming, tantric philosophy of intrinsic goodness with Universal Principles of Alignment. Anusara yoga is the best way to relax, build strength and tone muscles. It epitomizes a philosophy called “celebration of the heart”. It is said that this philosophy looks towards the good in all people and all things. The popularity of Anusara Yoga is growing rapidly all round the globe. There are many training centers in the world, which teach this form of yoga.
There are more than 250 certified teachers, 750 licensed Anusara-Inspired yoga teachers, thousands of teachers in training, and thousands of students of Anusara yoga worldwide. The remarkable growth of the yoga is attributed to its benefits and positive philosophy, which guarantees a healthy life for every individual who follows it. Anusara Yoga School is a tightly knit community of highly trained teachers and fun-loving students. It honors students with all types of abilities, for their unique differences, limitations and talents.
Benefits of Anusara Yoga
- People practicing Anusara yoga are less likely to fall ill, as it increases their immunity power.
- The yoga not only strengthens your concentration capabilities, but also improves your physical health.
- Anusara yoga improves stamina. People following this form of yoga, on a daily basis, feel highly energized.
- It is believed that while practicing this yoga, one can manage his/her feelings in a better way. It increases one’s ability to express his/ her inner self freely.
- Anusara yoga poses are considered to be “heart-oriented” or “heart-opening”.
- The yoga ensures great flexibility in body, at any age. Its poses also stretch out the tendons, ligaments, and muscles and this greatly improves body strength and posture.
- The breathing exercise in Anusara yoga improves lung capacity. They are also considered to be the best stress-busters.
- Along with its other health benefits, the yoga is also known to increase the meditation power of a person.
Aspects of Anusara Yoga
The practice of Anusara yoga has been broadly categorized into three parts, which are also called as the three A's of Anusara Yoga. They include Attitude, Alignment, and Action.
According to John Friend, attitude is the "power of the heart as the force behind every action or expression in an asana." It is "the aspiration to reawaken to our divine nature, and the celebration of life."
John Friend states that alignment is the “mindful awareness of how various parts of our body are integrated and interconnected.”
Action, the third “A” of Anusara yoga, is related to the body. As per John, it’s the “natural flow of energy in the body, which provides both stability and joyful freedom.”
Steps to Perform Anusara Yoga
- Spread a mat or blanket on the ground. Now, sit in a criss crossed position, with your legs facing the opposite thighs.
- Do some deep breathing for five minutes. After this, you can start with Anusara yoga.
- Stand up and lift one foot. Place this foot on the other leg, either on the ankle, calf or thigh. Take a deep breath, focus, and stretch your spine upwards, like a tree growing towards the sun.
- Now, stand straight and bend, placing both hands on the floor, in front of your body. You will be on all fours now.
- Move your weight onto your left hand. Move the right foot on top of the left. Now that your right hand is free, and place it on your right side. Keep your spine aligned and stretch as much as possible.
- Take a deep breath and relax.
- Now, lie flat on the mat, with your arms at your sides. Bend your knees and lift your buttocks. Keep going until your entire spine is off the mat.
- In the last step, you have to sit in a relaxed position. Meditate for 5-10 minutes. Breathe and in breathe out.