Teaching Tips & Tools

Anusara yoga is a precise methodology that teachers are required to master along their journey to certification. Below are resources to help refine your knowledge.

The depth and breadth of training is what makes our teachers such highly qualified yoga instructors.   The material presented below is presented as support for Anusara teachers.  The information is in summary form and is meant to augment the in-depth study Anusara teachers undertake through teacher trainings, immersions, workshops and mentoring.  Each element below has a link to the Teachers Lounge with more information on each.  Licensed Anusara teachers can enter using your account password when prompted.

•  Key Elements of an Anusara Yoga Class

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.

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The Universal Principles of Alignment (UPAs)

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.

•  7 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, Skull Loop.

•  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.

•  Effective Teaching Language

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.

•  Tips for filming an evaluation video

Each candidate for Anusara Certification licensing is required to film and present for evaluation a video filming a full class they teach.  Filming a video to demonstrate your understanding of Anusara Yoga is an important and demanding process.  These guidelines are written to help in your refinement and presentation of your class for evaluation.

•  The Anusara Invocation

The Anusara Invocation is frequently used at the beginning of a yoga class so as to set the intention of opening our practice with devotion and the recognition of the Divine within us as auspicious goodness. The act of chanting together at the beginning of class creates the beauty of community and centering in the heart.  

Om Namah Shivaya Gurave
Saccidananda Murtaye
Nisprapancaya Shantaya
Niralambaya Tejase

•  Sample Class Sequences

Licensed Anusara teachers can visit this page to find sample classes incorporating Themes, Heart Qualities, UPAs, and Pose Sequencing.

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Anusara is … Celebrating the joy of practice

To contribute content to this section or to give feed back, please send an email to Will Doran at will@anusarayoga.com

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