Anusara Yoga is a unique yoga style that infuses a physical Iyengar yoga practice with a spiritual philosophy drawn from the Tantra tradition. The word “Anusara” is taken from the Kularnava Tantra sacred text and translates as “following your heart” or “flowing with grace”. Anusara Yoga is based on a philosophy of benevolent Oneness underlying all things, and emphasizes the heart as the key to discovering this reality. Heart-opening Vinyasa Flow movements are practiced as a way to embody the awareness of one’s divine nature and intrinsic goodness. Emphasis during practice is placed on the “three As”: Attitude, or the spiritual intention behind one’s practice; Alignment, or mindful awareness about the relationship between body and spirit; and Action, or the flow of energy in the body.
What to expect
Anusara Yoga classes offer an uplifting environment that emphasizes the inherent good in each student. Classes begin with a Sanskrit mantra invocation or a quiet moment of centering in recognition of the presence of Spirit. The physical practice focuses on precise alignment, in the tradition of Iyengar yoga, while also incorporating flowing Vinyasa-style movement sequences. Anusara Yoga has its own complex philosophy regarding physical alignment, the flow of energy in the body, and how these relate to consciousness, and these concepts are articulated through a unique lingo that takes some time to learn. You can expect to hear about energy loops, inner and outer spirals, and "opening to grace".
John Friend founded the Anusara School of Hatha Yoga in 1997, drawing on his Iyengar Yoga training and incorporating aspects of Tantric philosophy from sacred Indian texts, while also articulating a unique set of Universal Principles of Alignment. The Anusara trademark is held exclusively by the ASHY, which is now independently managed by a global community of certified Anusara teachers.