In Sanskrit Anusara means “flowing with grace,” “going with the flow,” and “following your heart,” and indeed, Anusara Yoga – a modern-day school of hatha yoga - bases its principles on experiencing bliss in your practice and celebrating the gift of life.
Founder John Friend’s own personal background in the study and practise of yoga was strongly influenced by the Iyengar yoga style which he studied and taught before developing the Anusara method. Many of the inherent principles of the Iyengar style are incorporated into the new Anusara style.
The practice of Anusara can be approached and analysed from three different categories defined by Friend as Attitude, Alignment and Action.
Attitude, is the "Power of the heart as the force behind every action or expression in an Asana.” It can be described as the "natural flow of energy in the body, which provides both stability and joyful freedom."
As for Alignment, Anusara highlights the importance of the Universal Principles of Alignment and focuses on teaching the body, the heart and the mind to correctly align in each different Asana in order for you to take advantage of the full health and wellbeing benefits. According to Anusara, Alignment is the "mindful awareness of how various parts of ourselves are integrated and interconnected”.
An excellent option for both beginners to yoga, and advanced practitioners, Anusara involves props and breath work; with classes often looking at opening your heart, looking inwards and seeing the light inside both yourself and others. Although the classes are usually positive, energetic and fun, they can also be hard work. The benefits of this work are numerous and include strengthening the body, finding a balance within and teaching the body to be more flexible.
At The Centre, we teach two Anusara Elements yoga classes on Monday and Wednesday at 6pm, so feel free to pop by and see if Anusara Yoga is for you.