Anusara Yoga

Tantric Philosophy

Alignment

shaktipata-anusarena shishyo’nugraham arhati (Kularnava Tantra 14.38)

“By entering the current of Divine’s Shakti descent into the heart the disciple becomes able to receive Grace”

Anusara means “flowing with Grace",  “going with the flow", “following your heart”. Anusara Yoga is a sophisticated yoga system, founded by John Friend in 1997, that blends together the tradition of a Tantric philosophy of intrinsic Goodness, with the biomechanical innovation of the Universal Principles of Alignment™, and the emphasis in the harmony of the kula [community of the heart].

In this page there is some information directly from the Anusara Yoga website. For full information about Anusara Yoga please visit www.anusarayoga.com

 
What will you find in an Anusara yoga class?

Anusara yoga classes are based on a non-dual Tantric philosophy. The premise is that an intrinsic energy of Oneness underlies everything and everyone. This energy is a ‘goodness’ without opposite, it is auspicious. Anusara yoga teachers are trained to look for this goodness first – in the poses, in our practices, ourselves and in all of life’s experience. This perspective is a shift from looking to ‘fix or correct’ the student, to a vision of service by enhancing and revealing more beauty and innate goodness that is the Supreme nature already present in the student.

Anusara yoga teachers are committed to create an uplifting and empowering experience for every student in class. They inspire lightheartedness and playfulness with a joyful creativity that is the nature of the Anusara yoga practice.

  • Each class begins with an invocation or centering as a devotional recognition of the grace-bestowing universal power of Spirit within and around us.
  • A key element in an Anusara class is a heart theme, a virtue. The theme is skillfully woven through the breath and postural instructions of the asana (poses) effectively creating the attitudinal expression of the poses from the ‘inside out’. The heart quality cultivates the connection between the physical yoga poses and the greater spiritual purposes of yogic practices.
  • Movements and actions within every pose are coordinated with the breath.
  • A unique set of concise bio-mechanical alignment principles called the “Universal Principles of Alignment™” , is applied to each asana.  En todas y cada una de las asanas se aplica un conjunto único de concisos principios de alineamiento biomecánico llamados “Principios Universales de Alineamiento”. 
  • Postural alignments in each pose are checked in reference to the Universal Principles of Alignment and the teacher may use verbal cues and/or physical adjustments to help each student enhance their full form of the pose. If you are not comfortable with physical adjustments in class,  just tell your teacher.
  • If necessary, poses are modified or supported with props to help each student achieve the general form of pose.
  • Postural demonstrations may be used when necessary to clarify alignment instructions, show actions or show what the pose should look like.
  • There are over 250 poses that compile the syllabii of Anusara yoga asanas. This syllabus encompasses all of the poses are commonly practiced in hatha yoga classes today, covering all of the major classifications of poses: standing poses, backbends, forward bends, twists, hand balancing, inversions, and restoratives.
  • Although there are no set postural routines in Anusara yoga, classes are designed using principles of sequencing. One of the principles includes progressively sequencing poses which encourages students of all levels to advance in their practice.
  • Practicing variations of the basic poses is encouraged as a full, creative expression of the human spirit. Teachers may also creatively include various practices, including but not limited to pranayama, meditation, chakra focus, bhandas, mudras and mantra, in ways that support the theme and/or heart quality, the Anusara Yoga physical methodology and the students’ movement towards Awareness of (Cit) and experiencing your true Nature (Ananda).
  • The Anusara yoga method is designed to serve students of any level of experience, age, gender, race or religion. The Universal Alignment Principles are therapeutic and students with special therapeutic needs may find relief and healing with Anusara yoga.
  • Classes are concluded with Savasana and/or meditation or a quiet centering to assimilate the teachings and honor the spiritual experience of the class.

Ultimately an Anusara teacher’s intention is for every student to leave the class feeling better about him or herself, uplifted and empowered by a revelation of his or her Divine nature.

Anusara Yoga Philosophy

The vision of Anusara yoga is grounded in a Non-dual Tantra philosophy that teaches us everything in this world is an embodiment of Supreme Consciousness, which at its essence pulsates with awareness (Cit) and the highest bliss (Ananda). (...) The “Non-dual Tantra” philosophy includes both the Shiva and Shakta traditions under one umbrella. Students are encouraged to study either or both of these traditions.

The highest intention of practicing Anusara yoga is to align with the Divine 

The Divine embodies as this world in order to know itself more fully (Cit) and to express itself creatively from that knowing (Ananda), and thus the practice of Anusara Yoga seeks to align with the Divine energy by keeping those two main intentions clear and present.

As we deepen our alignment with the Supreme, we step deeper into the flow of Grace (Anusara). It is through the revelatory power of Grace that we awaken to the truth that this Divine flow is our essential nature, that we are all part of an interconnected web of Divine consciousness.  This higher knowledge naturally fuels our deepest desire to lovingly serve the creative flow of life through each breath and posture in our yoga practice. On our yoga mat we artistically offer our individual light and our unique music with the heartfelt prayer of adding more beauty, love, and goodness to the world.

The art of Anusara yoga is a co-participation with the Supreme—not a practice of domination, subjugation, or control of Nature. The poses in Anusara yoga are considered to be “heart-oriented,” meaning that they are expressed from the “inside out”, from a deep creative and devotional feeling inside, from the essence of Divine goodness within.

 The physical body is a magnificent manifestation of Spirit, not simply an inferior material vessel.

Similarly, our thoughts, desires, passions and emotions are not obstacles to spiritual awakening, but God-given means of expanding our experience of the Supreme. Ultimately, the body/mind is a Divine gift to help us discover our glory, our greatness, and our worthiness to experience the highest sense of freedom. Embodiment is not some sort of karmic punishment, nor something we need to transcend, but rather engage with skillfully. It is through the limitations of the body/mind that we discover that our true nature is boundless.

Life is good –this is a key tenet in the Tantric philosophical vision of Anusara yoga. Indeed, goodness is the absolute nature of the universe. There is no intrinsic or absolute evil in the universe. As we are born free to choose our own experience, we are capable of moving out of alignment with the Divine in a way that creates suffering and harm. Our Anusara yoga practice offers us the ability to cultivate our understanding of  what is life-enhancing and what is not. We then use our power of discrimination and judgment to align with the good in order to reduce suffering, diminish division, dissolve hatred, and conversely to exult in the splendor of life.

Spiritual awakening is the ever-expanding process of recognizing that our true nature is perfect, full, lacking nothing, and interconnected to anything else that exists.  Spiritual freedom or enlightenment is not a fixed state of being. Rather it is an ever-evolving process of unfolding our effulgence, goodness, balance and perfection. 

Progress on the path of awakening is reflected in an increase in one’s spiritual centeredness; wisdom; trust in the Divine’s play; capacity to lovingly honor the Divine in each other; and ability to celebrate the Divine grandeur in life. Further signs of progress on the path include a deepening of an inner strength and steadfastness. Anusara yoga students become more appreciative and passionate participants in Life as they practice this life-affirming philosophy on and off the mat.

The Anusara yoga community (kula or sangha) is inclusive, life-affirming, and evolving. Individuality and creative self-expression, which glorify the greatness of the kula, are encouraged and celebrated. Anusara yoga welcomes all forms of cultural and ethnic diversity and respects a wide variety of spiritual and religious self-expressions. With deep respect we warmly invite everyone to join the grand celebration of life through Anusara yoga.

Curriculum

Anusara School of Hatha Yoga is a highly esteemed and professional yoga school in which teachers are rigorously trained over several years in a broad and in-depth curriculum that encompasses studies in eastern philosophy and yoga history, biomechanics, anatomy, detailed postural alignment, therapeutics, and the art of teaching yoga.

All teachers from the Anusara School of Hatha Yoga are extensively trained in the key areas of yoga teaching such as interweaving heart-oriented themes and Tantric philosophy with postural alignment instruction in order to inspire students to embody the highest purposes of the yoga practice. Other key areas of teaching in which Anusara yoga instructors are trained include the principles of the breath, meditation, postural sequencing, observation, verbal and physical adjustments, postural demonstration, use of voice, and organization of course curriculum.

In its overall curriculum, the Anusara School of Hatha Yoga includes a wide range of classes that accommodates students of all physical ability and level of yoga experience. Beginning students, children and seniors, expectant mothers, students with therapeutic limitations, and world-class advanced yoga teachers can all find Anusara yoga classes to appropriately suit them.

ASHY (Anusara School of Hatha Yoga)

Inspired by our deep love of service, the community and the philosophy of Anusara yoga,an enthusiastic team of global teachers has been working with great devotion to create the Anusara School of Hatha Yoga. The ASHY intends to retain and cultivate  what was, is, and will be great about Anusara yoga.Teacher-run and student-centered, the ASHY welcomes your input and participation.

The mission of the ASHY is to uphold and promote the philosophy and methodology of Anusara yoga through our global community of highly trained and dedicated teachers. ASHY´s mission is fulfilled by teachers from around the world, committed to co-creating a sustainable organization guided by integrity, goodwill, and a desire to serve our Anusara yoga students at the highest level.

The Anusara School of Hatha Yoga has formally obtained and secured the exclusive legal rights to use all Anusara registered trademarked material, and to set and maintain the certification standards of its teachers.  ASHY is completely independent and managed entirely by Anusara yoga teachers.

        The vision of the ASHY is to uphold the high standards of the Anusara Yoga methodology, nurture a community that supports grass roots teachers and studios, honors the tradition of Anusara Yoga and the philosophy at its core, and  encourages  innovation and creative expression. The school will continue to uplift and transform students and teachers of yoga and create a conscious community whose sole purpose is to provide a safe, healthy and joyful environment for all of its participants  to grow and become more connected to their swadharma – their true path.
ASHY Teacher´s Levels

In 2014 ASHY has created two new levels of teacher licensing.  All changes will be implemented incrementally over the next 18 months. If you are currently studying to become an Anusara Inspired of Certified Anusara yoga teacher, please contact ASHY with any questions about how these changes might impact you. 

Anusara Elements™ yoga teacher-  NEW 

The introductory level of teacher, licensed after completing 100 hours of Anusara yoga Immersion, 100 hours of teacher training with an Anusara certified yoga teacher, and a recommendation from a Certified Anusara yoga teacher. The Anusara Elements yoga teacher will present yoga classes entitled “Anusara Elements yoga” or “AET yoga”. These teachers will incorporate the Universal Principles of Alignment™ of Anusara yoga into their classes, along with a basic heart theme.   More details can be found here.

Anusara-Inspired™  yoga teacher 

Anusara-inspired yoga teachers have at least two years of teaching experience after completing their initial 200 hours of teacher training for this level of license. To achieve this title, they must have a recommendation from a Certified Anusara yoga teacher who has reviewed a live or recorded class. Anusara-inspired yoga teachers reflect a higher level of skill that reflects their dedication and professionalism. Their classes may be listed as  “Anusara-Inspired” or “Anusara® yoga”. Anusara-inspired yoga teachers can be found here.

Certified  Anusara® Yoga Teacher

Full certification in Anusara yoga is granted only after a minimum of 500 hours of teacher training and four years of teaching, and all Certified Anusara yoga teachers have passed a comprehensive (30 – 40 hours) exam and a review of their teaching from an experienced mentor. Only teachers that have achieved this level of training and experience may call themselves Anusara yoga teachers, and their classes reflect a highly refined ability to weave the philosophical principles of Anusara yoga with the Universal Principles of Alignment. After apprenticing as an assistant in an Anusara Immersion and teacher training, and with one full year of teaching experience as a fully Certified Anusara Yoga teacher, these teachers may lead Anusara Immersions and 100 hour teacher trainings. Click here to search the Certified Anusara Yoga Teacher directory.

Certified Anusara Yoga Teacher Trainer – COMING SOON

ASHY has begun cultivating a faculty of experienced Certified Anusara yoga teachers that qualify to teach this new level of licensure. These teachers have achieved both Certified Anusara yoga teacher licensing and Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 designations and can lead advanced Anusara yoga teacher trainings. Beginning in mid-2014 new standards for certification will be implemented via a 300 hour Advanced Anusara Yoga Teacher Training program.  This program will consist of 150 – 200 hours of required advanced Anusara yoga teacher training modules, with the balance of hours filled through electives in varied fields like pre-natal, therapeutics, philosophy, children’s yoga, etc. In 2015 the new modular system will be completely implemented. More details about the new Certification process in will be announced throughout 2014.