Key Elements of an Anusara Yoga Class

Teaching a yoga class that is fun, inspiring, safe, honors diversity and takes the student to a higher place requires a great deal of skill

Each Anusara  yoga class has key elements that distinguish it as Anusara. They reflect the sophistication and depth of insight of Attitude, Alignment and Action that makes each class life-affirming, safe for practice, unique and inspirational.

Elements include: Establishing a Class Theme, Teaching with Heart Qualities, Emphasis on one of the Anusara Universal Principles of Alignment™, Sequencing Poses, Instructional Language, Giving Effective Demonstrations, Closing a Class.

Universal Principles of Alignment

Universal to each pose are principles that  create support for the theme, love and joy through precise physical alignment.  They create present-moment awareness in a sequential order that builds from the inside out.  The Anusara teacher should chose one or two complementary UPAs to focus on in each class.  It is an art to keep it simple without trying to teach all aspects of each alignment principle: less is more.  Choose the principles that best support the theme and heart qualities you want to weave throughout the class, and poses that best demonstrate the alignment principle. The five UPAs are: Open to Grace, Muscle Energy, Inner Spiral, Outer Spiral, and Organic Energy.

Seven Energy Loops

Proper physical and energetic alignment comes from an awareness of how energy is optimally directed throughout the body in a way that  create an inner connectivity and an outward radiance.   Anusara methodology guides us into an awareness of seven pairs of energetic loops on the horizontal plain of the body that work as secondary alignment guides along with the Universal Principles of Alignment.

The seven energy loops, which work in pairs on each side of the body —rising upward from the heels, through to the skull—move in distinct patterns.  Proper alignment creates a stable physical foundation and freedom of movement in a flowing and organic manner: stability creates freedom.    Working with these lines of force helps the body move into its most satisfying and health-inducing form, the optimal blueprint unique to each individual.  The Seven Loops are: Ankle Loop, Shin Loop, Thigh Loop, Pelvic Loop, Kidney Loop, Shoulder Loop, Scull Loop.

Skillful teaching that inspires and opens hearts

Class themes and heart qualities

Teaching with a theme, heart qualities and the Universal Principles of Alignment is what distinguishes Anusara yoga from other styles of yoga. 

Anusara yoga classes are centered around a meaningful theme that sets the intention and attitude that the teacher invokes throughout a class. The use of heart qualities to support the theme helps the teacher to go deep into the spirit of yoga as a relevant practice for any time and any circumstance.  At times, the theme and heart qualities may be one and the same.

Precision in language that gracefully guides and takes the student to a higher place of practice

The language of Anusara yoga used in teaching a class is supportive, life affirming and inspirational, as well as precise and clear in instruction. 

Using language of the heart to guide students is a hallmark of our methodology.  Use the guidelines below to shape the language and presentation of a theme-based class.  Effective Language includes: Heart Qualities, Action and Feeling Words, Linking Commands, Active and Passive Instructions, Expressive Language, and Making Adjustments.

The Anusara School of Hatha Yoga is the sole school authorized to teach Anusara Yoga. Its close monitoring of how teacher are taught and how they deliver the highest quality of instruction. The Anusara methodology is a precise way to instruct with precision, safety and inspiration. All these key elements make for a truly exceptional yoga class; so much more than just a physical workout, though that is likely to take place too.