Anusara (a-nu-sar-a), means “flowing with Grace,” “flowing with Nature,” “following your heart.”
Founded by John Friend in 1997, Anusara yoga is a school of hatha yoga, which unifies a life-affirming Shiva-Shakti Tantric philosophy of intrinsic goodness with Universal Principles of Alignment. Anusara yoga has become one of the most highly respected schools of hatha yoga with over 1,000 licensed yoga teachers, thousands of teachers in training, and hundreds of thousands of students worldwide.
Universal Principles of Alignment Anusara Yoga: by John Friend
The principles are a set of bio mechanical principles that can be applied to all physical postures in order to bring the body into alignment. These 5 steps include both physical adjustments and energetic expansion / contractions.
1. Set the Foundation and Open to Grace
What ever touches the surface, grounds down evenly. Connect with earth, become grounded & set an intention for practice. Open to Grace by softening, being still, open to your breath. Open energetically to your own personal meaning of Grace.
2. Muscular Energy/ Drawing in
There are three physical steps. 1. Firm muscles & straighten limbs. Hug muscle to the bone.
2. Draw the energy from your hands/feet, up your arms/legs and plug into shoulder/hip joint. 3. Move the energy outside your body and isometrically hug into the mid line of the body. Draw in physically & draw your focus inwards
3. Inner Spiral/ Expanding Spiral
This action provides a natural curve to the low back. Move the inner thighs/top of thigh bones, sit bones back and apart. Spiral your awareness deeper into your body.
4. Outer Spiral
Direct the tailbone downward, slight pelvic tilt. Balance inner spiral in order to not over arch the low back. Bring the sides of the waist back.
5. Organic Energy
After aligning the body and drawing the energy inward, soften. Be still and allow your energy to flow outward with your breath. Repeat a constant flow of energy and breath in to expand body, then exhale, soften, release allowing your energy to flow outward. Become fluid.