By Chiara Amati
Anusara Teacher Training student
I discovered Anusara almost by accident.
The first to talk to me about this style – unknown to me at the time – was my friend Chiara (now an Anusara Elements teacher) one day on the phone. I had just taken my first certification to teach yoga, but I wasn’t satisfied. I was feeling sort of incomplete and decided to write and get some information. Laura Casini was the first person I related to. She was very kind and I liked her quiet frankness. I also got to experience my first Anusara lessons on the Yogare website. One thing I immediately liked was the importance that alignments were given: for me, still a beginner at the time, it was like being guided step by step towards the position in a way so serene and simple that it made me feel safe even if there was no teacher to assist me. Thus, in 2016 I embarked on this long journey by participating in the Immersion. I got to know two great teachers, Alessandra Di Prampero and Andrea Boni. It was certainly a demanding training, but it left me a lot.
I could not progress with the following 100 hours because I found myself pregnant and had to take a break. In hindsight, it was a wise decision: Anusara, the system, the preparation of the teachers, had opened up a world to me, a world for which, however, I was not ready at that time. I would have had to wait two years, although I remained in contact with fellow companions and teachers; moreover, the study of the Anusara methodology continued thanks to some workshops and lectures available.
Finally, in 2019 the new Teacher Training begun, in which I participated with enthusiasm, convinced to fill several doubts and gaps once and for all. The group of women who welcomed me is small but lively. There is a wonderful energy. I feel welcomed. I feel I’m not just a name. Alessandra and Laura are present, both during training and outside of it. A community is formed that thrives on esteem and respect.
Respect, above all. Never as in Anusara have I felt such and profound respect for the person, whether he was a student or a teacher. In Anusara, respect is a very important quality: the needs of the body and mind, the dignity and times of the apprentice are respected. In Anusara I felt encouraged, but also understood and enveloped in a warm and luminous love.
I cannot deny that training, even more than Immersion, requires presence and sacrifice. You need to work hard, there are many things to study and understand and it takes patience and discipline. However – and it is a pleasure to repeat – the training teachers have always been present. And patient.
It must also be said that the training of the year 2019-2020 was particularly delicate, due to the epidemic caused by the covid-19 virus. We had to suspend in March and resume (fortunately) in June and July to finish in September. The months of the pandemic have been really tough. But even in this delicate situation, the Anusara community has been able to wrap us in a warm embrace and support us. We had the opportunity to be connected even remotely thanks to the Zoom platform, see each other, talk, practice. It was beautiful, though difficult. What moved me most (and continues to move me when I think back) is the support. It is a strong, discreet, present support. The very principle of Anusara is based precisely on this loving presence.
Anusara is presence and grace. Anusara is light in the dark, it is love in sadness, Anusara is a friend who cries with you and then helps you to (re)find that source where you can draw on new strength. Anusara, I repeat, is presence in love.
Other than that, as a teacher I feel more competent. UPA’s (Universal Principles of Alignment) have led me to be more aware and respectful. As a person always with my head in the sky, I have been able to rearrange my thoughts and follow a common thread that, even if logical, has still left me a lot of freedom. Having a precise methodology that still leaves ample room for individuality is another of Anusara’s precious strengths.
Of course, you have to do a lot – a lot – of practice to refine everything, but the tools that the training provides, in addition to the constant presence of teacher trainers, already makes for a solid starting point. With love and integrity, strongly embracing the Principles, and with the conviction that the light of Anusara has this ability to illuminate every crisis, every bad moment, fear, tiredness, I know that I can go on and never feel alone.