Anusara Yoga’s Philosophy Seeks Consciousness in all Levels of Being
We put our Anusara yoga philosophy into practice every day. We first look for the innate goodness at the heart of every situation. Then, we choose to appropriately respond to a situation in a state of present-moment awareness.
Grounded in Non-Dual Tantric philosophy, Anusara teaches us that everything in this world is an embodiment of Supreme Consciousness. The essence of the Supreme pulsates with pure awareness and pure bliss.
Anusara Yoga Philosophy
Anusara yoga’s philosophical vision is based on a variety of spiritually centered traditions, primarily the non-dual Tantric schools of the sub-continent of India. Many of the Tantric schools of yoga philosophy are Shiva-oriented (Supreme Consciousness) in their practices and ideologies while others are more Shakti-oriented (the power of Consciousness).
To honor both of these paths, Anusara School of Hatha Yoga uses the all-inclusive term “Non-dual Tantra” to describe a philosophy that includes both the Shiva and Shakti traditions.
Students are encouraged to study either or both of these traditions without judgement or diminishment of either path. Anusara yoga teachers also study other types of yoga philosophy such as Vedic roots of yoga, the classical yoga of Patanjali, Vedanta, Bhakti yoga, and Buddhism.
Align with the Divine
Anusara Yoga Philosophy
Anusara’s highest intention is to align with the Divine. The Divine embodies as this world in order to know itself more fully (Cit) and to express itself creatively from that knowing (Ananda). Thus, the practice of Anusara yoga seeks to align with Divine energy by keeping those two main intentions clear and present.
As we deepen our alignment with the Supreme, we step deeper into the flow of Grace. It is through the revelatory power of Grace, that we awaken to the truth that this – the Divine flow, is our essential nature and that we are all part of an interconnected web of Divine consciousness.
This higher knowledge naturally fuels our deepest desire to serve with love the creative flow of life through each breath and posture in our yoga practice. On our yoga mat, we artistically offer our individual light and our unique music with the heartfelt prayer of adding more beauty, love, and goodness to the world.
Life is Good
Life is good – this is a key tenet in the Tantric philosophical vision that inspires Anusara yoga teachers and students. Indeed, goodness is the absolute nature of the universe. There is no intrinsic or absolute evil. As we are born free to choose our own experience, we are capable of moving out of alignment with the Divine in a way that creates suffering and harm.
Our Anusara yoga practice offers us the ability to cultivate our understanding of what is life-enhancing and what is not. We then use our power of discrimination and judgment to align with the good in order to: reduce suffering, diminish division, dissolve hatred, and conversely to exult in the splendor of life.
Heart Oriented Yoga Philosophy
Anusara yoga’s poses are “heart-oriented.” The poses are expressed from the “inside out.” Instead of trying to control the body and mind from the outside, the poses originate from a deep creative and devotional feeling inside, from the essence of Divine goodness within.
On our mat, we endeavor to always remember the spiritual purpose or highest intention (Cit/Ananda). In our practice of Hatha yoga, we reconnect with our innate Goodness and expressing ourselves from that Divine place.
Life Affirming Yoga Philosophy
Our Anusara yoga community (kula -or- sangha) is inclusive, life-affirming, and evolving. Individuality and creative self-expression, which glorify the greatness of the kula, are encouraged and celebrated.
Anusara yoga welcomes all forms of cultural and ethnic diversity and respects a wide variety of spiritual and religious self-expressions. The School acknowledges, respects, and invites a diversity of experience both within the Anusara community and among those in the greater yoga community who are seeking to align with the Divine.
Our experience of diversity and difference is an affirmation of the Divine’s own experience of inclusiveness and celebration of plurality. We lead by the example of our own lives, while respecting others’ choices to express their own views and values.
We have the ultimate freedom to choose. Anusara yoga is a co-participation with the Supreme—not a practice of domination, subjugation, or control of Nature.
Similarly, our thoughts, desires, passions and emotions are not obstacles to spiritual awakening, but God-given means of expanding our experience of the Supreme. Ultimately, the body/mind is a Divine gift to help us discover our glory, our greatness, and our worthiness to experience the highest sense of freedom.
Embodiment is not some sort of karmic punishment, nor something we need to transcend, but rather we choose to skillfully engage with our body. Through the limitations of the body/mind, we discover that our true nature is boundless.
We recognize that our physical body is a magnificent manifestation of Spirit.
Honor the Sacred
Anusara Yoga Philosophy
We honor the sacredness of our life experience. Spiritual awakening is an expansive process of recognition that our true nature is perfect, full, lacking nothing, and interconnected to everything else that exists.
Spiritual freedom or enlightenment is not a fixed state of being. Rather, it is an evolutionary process as we unfold our effulgence, goodness, balance, and perfection.
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Anusara Yoga Philosophy
We measure our progress on the path by an increase in
- our wisdom
- trust in the Divine’s play
- our capacity to be spiritually centered
- our ability to lovingly honor the Divine in each other
- our desire to celebrate the Divine grandeur in life.
Additional signs of progress on the path include
- a deepening of inner strength
- a more steadfast presence.
As Anusara yoga students, we become more appreciative and passionate participants in life as we practice our life-affirming philosophy on and off the mat.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ’s
Anusara means to flow with Grace. In Sanskrit, the word “sara” means both to be in the flow and the thing that never changes. In Sanskrit, “anu” often translates as the word “with.” Individuals who practice Anusara see Grace or the Divine as the constant thing that never changes. Anusara is also often described as “follow your heart.”
No. Anusara is a modern yoga system based on a non-dual Tantric philosophy combined with a powerful methodology of alignment-based postural cues called the Universal Principles of Alignment. Anusara is practiced in global regions: North America, Asia/Pacific, Europe, Latin America.
Anusara is a teacher-led, people-centered, global yoga community. Anusara yoga promotes deep personal growth and transformative experiences on all levels due to its comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, creative and joyful approach to the physical, mental, spiritual and mystical aspects of yoga. Through community, movement, meditation, breath work and Tantric philosophy, Anusara yoga aligns your mind, body and heart, thus giving you the opportunity to connect to yourself in a deeper way.
Anusara School of Hatha Yoga supports the transformational power of Anusara yoga worldwide. The School provides a global structure that supports Anusara yoga practitioners and offers rigorous training and ongoing professional development for yoga teachers. It is a non-profit, 501c3 based for tax related purposes in the United States.