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Encyclopedia > Anusara Yoga
Anusara Yoga
Religious origins: Hinduism
Regional origins: The Woodlands, Texas, USA
Founding Guru: John Friend
Mainstream popularity: Growing from the late 20th century
Practice emphases: alignment, "heart opening" postures and the spiritual and meditative aspects of hatha yoga
Derivative forms:
Related schools
Other topics
Tantra

Anusara Yoga is a modern school of yoga started by John Friend in 1997; it is a popular hatha yoga style with a Tantric philosophy. Friend continues to take an active role leading the expansion of the school and training (and certifying) teachers. Hinduism (known as in modern Indian languages[1]) is a religious tradition[2] that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... The Woodlands is a census-designated place (CDP) and master-planned community located in the the counties of Montgomery and Harris in the state of Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area. ... For other uses, see Guru (disambiguation). ... This article or section is missing needed references or citation of sources. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... Look up align in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit. ... For other senses of this word, see Meditation (disambiguation). ... Hatha yoga (Sanskrit हठयोग), also known as Hatha Vidya (हठविद्या), is a particular system of Yoga introduced by Yogi Swatmarama, a sage of 15th century India, and compiler of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. ... The Sri Yantra This article is an overview of Tantra and an in-depth look at the Tantra of Hinduism. ... For other uses, see Yoga (disambiguation). ... This article or section is missing needed references or citation of sources. ... Hatha yoga (Sanskrit हठयोग), also known as Hatha Vidya (हठविद्या), is a particular system of Yoga introduced by Yogi Swatmarama, a sage of 15th century India, and compiler of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. ... The Sri Yantra This article is an overview of Tantra and an in-depth look at the Tantra of Hinduism. ...


The emphasis of the school is on a set of "Universal Principles of Alignment" which underlie all postures, "heart opening" postures and the spiritual/meditative benefits of hatha yoga. Hatha yoga (Sanskrit हठयोग), also known as Hatha Vidya (हठविद्या), is a particular system of Yoga introduced by Yogi Swatmarama, a sage of 15th century India, and compiler of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. ...


Attainable bliss and joy in practice and everyday life are an important aspect of the underlying philosophy of this school. Many western students with a modernist bend find this school attractive.


According to American yoga magazine, Yoga Journal, Anusara yoga is "the ultimate American yoga: It's upbeat, optimistic, entrepreneurial, systematic, and do-it-yourself-friendly, and it has elements of a quick fix. It's spiritual but not dogmatic. It creates a sense of community. And it appeals to Westerners' pioneering spirit by suggesting that there is yet another frontier to conquer—the one inside us." www.yogajournal.com Yoga Journal is an American based media company that publishes a magazine, a website, DVDs, and puts on conferences all devoted to yoga, food and nutrition, fitness, wellness, and fashion and beauty. ...

Contents

Philosophy

The underlying philosophy of this school of hatha yoga is tantric in nature. As such, the manifest universe (perceived through our senses and mind) is seen as a manifestation of the Divine. The nature of the Divine − God, the undifferentiated Absolute, the Essence of everything and everyone, the Transcendental − is pure bliss. The nature of God, by its very definition, is absolute and free of any limitations.


In a grand game of hide and seek, the Absolute seeks to experience its own blissful nature by creating a vast, infinite diversity of form.


Opening Invocation

Each Anusara class typically opens with the singing of the following mantra:

Sanskrit romanized English
ॐ नमः शिवय गुरवे Om Namah Shivaya Gurave I offer myself to Lord Shiva, the Auspicious One, who is the True Teacher within and without,
सचिदननद मुतयै Saccidananda Murtaye Who assumes the forms of Reality, Consciousness, and Bliss,
निसपपचय शनतय Nishprapanchaya Shantaya Who is never absent and is full of peace,
निरलमबय तेजसे Niralambaya Tejase Independent in existence, the vital essence of Illumination.
Om Aum

The Sanskrit language ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... Languages can be romanized in a variety of ways, as shown here with Mandarin Chinese In linguistics, romanization (or Latinization, also spelled romanisation or Latinisation) is the representation of a word or language with the Roman (Latin) alphabet, or a system for doing so, where the original word or language... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... For other uses, see Siva (disambiguation). ... “Om” redirects here. ...

The Three A's - Attitude, Alignment, Action

The practice of Anusara Yoga can be broadly categorized into three parts: Attitude, Alignment, and Action.


Attitude

The concept of Attitude is related to the Tantric concept of Iccha Shakti, which is defined as the energy or power of fullness, or will. The concept of Attitude is related to the heart. Attitude, according to John Friend, 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."[1]


Alignment

The concept of Alignment is related to the Tantric concept of Jnana Shakti, which is defined as the energy or power of awareness. The concept of Alignment is related to the mind. Alignment, according to John Friend, is the "mindful awareness of how various parts of ourselves are integrated and interconnected."[2]


The Universal Principles of Alignment

  • Opening to grace: The practitioner sets the intention to place oneself in alignment with the flow of supreme consciousness. For asana practice, this includes having an attitude of softhearted devotion.[3]
  • Muscular energy: A drawing of energy from the periphery of the body into a central location in the body, called a Focal Point. The goal is to increase stability, strength, and physical integration in the pose.[3]
  • Inner Spiral: An energy spiral that moves outward from the core; it runs from the feet up through the pelvis into the waistline area. Inner Spiral rotates the legs inward, moves the thighs backward, and widens the thighs and pelvis.[3]
  • Outer Spiral: A spiral that moves inward toward the core; it runs from the waistline area down through the tailbone and out through the legs and feet. Outer Spiral rotates the legs outward, moves the tailbone and thighs forward, and draws the pelvis and thighs closer together.[3]
  • Organic Energy: An outward extension of energy from the Focal Point through the core lines of the body to the body's periphery, which increases expansion, flexibility, and freedom in the pose. [3]

Action

The concept of Action is related to the Tantric concept of Kriya Shakti, which is defined as the energy or power of action. The concept of Action is related to the body. Action, according to John Friend, is the "natural flow of energy in the body, which provides both stability and joyful freedom."[4]


John Friend draws the following analogy on the use and interplay of Attitude, Alignment, and Action in one's yoga practice:

A musician (yogi) makes music (performs an asana) by expressing his heart (Attitude) through the playing (Action) of a properly tuned instrument (Alignment of the body). The highest expression of an asana (the most beautiful music that a musician can potentially play with a particular instrument) occurs when the instrument of the body is optimally Aligned, the Action is strong and balanced, and the Attitude is spiritually pure and powerful.

References

  1. ^ Anusara Yoga Teacher Training Manual (eight edition), by John Friend, page 25
  2. ^ Anusara Yoga Teacher Training Manual (eight edition), by John Friend, page 25
  3. ^ a b c d e http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/1330_1.cfm
  4. ^ Anusara Yoga Teacher Training Manual (eight edition), by John Friend, page 25

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Moksha Yoga Center - Chicago, IL (409 words)
Anusara is attracting media attention worldwide including a 2004 Yoga Journal cover story, CBS national news in the US, as well as newspapers and magazines throughout North America, the UK, and Europe.
Anusara's remarkable popularity is due in large part to its uplifting philosophy, epitomized by a "celebration of the heart," that looks for the good in all people and all things.
Anusara is held together by everyone's implicit alliance to the spiritual principles of Anusara philosophy, such as celebrating beauty in all its diversity, truthfulness, and honoring the creative freedom of the Divine in all beings.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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