Yoga Class Themes

Precious Gift of Theming

In Anusara yoga, we are known for an incredible methodology of teaching safe and effective pose alignment. We are also blessed with the “precious gift of theming.” 

Licensed teachers are required to demonstrate proficiency in creating evocative yoga class themes that accentuate a positive heart quality, such as

  • courage
  • joy
  • gratitude.

Anusara teachers then use the heart theme during class to help students experience and more deeply embed that quality within themselves.

Keric Morinaga, Certified Anusara Teacher, offers an assist.

Yoga is Skill in Action

Creating a heart theme is no small task. In fact, it is high skill. For an Anusara teacher, it takes dedication to continuous self study and practice with a connection to yoga philosophy and deeper integration or embodiment. To help you increase your connection, practice with a licensed Ansuara teacher.

Yoga Class Themes May Change Lives

Anusara’s gift of theming is “precious” because it can truly change lives.

When somebody walks into a yoga class it is farily likely we don’t really know what they are feeling, what attitudes about themselves they bring with them when they walk through the door.

  • Maybe they don’t feel very powerful – don’t believe they can do anything to change circumstances in their life that they don’t like.

  • Perhaps they feel unworthy of even trying to change things for the better.

  • Possibly they’ve even lost their ability to dream if they ever even had that ability to begin with!

There’s also a fair chance these students have nobody in their lives serving as their cheerleader, their coach. Even if they are seeing a therapist, perhaps the therapist is so busy helping them discover and conquer their particular “issues” that there is no time for any positive messaging. But when that student decides to walk into an Anusara yoga class with a licensed teacher – now they have a philosophy and methodology that is life-affirming! 

When Anusara yoga teachers are skillful in choosing heart quality themes and then delivering them effectively, over time, then sometimes pretty quickly, students who feel trapped in jobs they didn’t like or are in abusive relationships begin to find their personal power.

People who didn’t feel good about themselves begin to feel proud of themselves. They find joy in their lives where it used to feel a bit empty. They become curious about life, inspired, optimistic. They learn to like themselves, even to love themselves.

Yoga Class Themes Help Us Develop Our Highest Intentions

Serving others in this way through effective theming, an Anusara teacher develops their own unique style, ideas, and shares experiences, to help students become the highest versions of themselves.

Becoming the highest version of self, many consider to be the ultimate purpose of yoga – cit ananda, using our particular gifts in service of something bigger than just ourselves. 

Anusara teachers have the ability to touch people’s hearts in such a way helps transform lives. This is truly a precious gift.

Living a meaningful life of service to others, helping others awaken to their own possibilities, is about as meaningful a life as one can have.

With effective Anusara theming, yoga teachers bring this transformational gift to life. 

How to Create a Yoga Class Theme

Create themes based on your own life experience, those things during the week that truly touched your heart, that moved you.

Then, consulting the Anusara Teacher Training Manual, find a heart quality that fits that feeling you experienced.

Alternatively, consider the list of positive emotions identified by Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Internationally, she is one of the most highly cited scholars in the field of positive psychology.

Particularly, Dr. Fredrickson claims the following emotions create a feeling of connection in people when they share any of these emotions.

  • joy
  • gratitude
  • serenity
  • curiosity (interest)
  • hope
  • pride
  • amusement
  • inspiration
  • awe
  • love

Learn How to Become a More Effective Yoga Teacher

To learn how to become a more effective yoga teacher by delivering powerful yoga class themes, study with licensed Certified Anusara Teachers.

Furthermore, attend Anusara workshops, trainings, and retreats so that you may feel the transformational power of Anusara’s philosophy interwoven with its methodology. By feeling the teachings in your body, mind, and heart – through skillful practice – you may teach from a place of embodiment.

The Precious Gift of Anusara Yoga Theming

Watch this video on Anusara Yoga’s YouTube channel to gain greater appreciation for Anusara yoga’s precious gift of theming with Presenter, Bill Dorigan, author of Finding the MidLine and A Manual for Well Being: Using Yoga to Enrich Your Life.

Bill Dorigan, Certified Anusara Teacher, presents The Precious Gift of Anusara Theming.


Tips to Help you Deliver an Effective Yoga Class Theme

As you develop your class theme based on heart qualities, communicate the feeling you experienced through an opening short story that you expand upon during the class.

Remember, occasionally use the heart quality as part of a pose instruction, such as “with gratitude lift and spread the chest” or “expressing your personal power, reach the arms high.”

Also, use your normal speaking style and voice!  Be real as you share what was real for you as part of your service to the fortunate students who chose to walk through your classroom door. 

Additional Resources for Yoga Class Themes

Enjoy these additional videos on Anusara Yoga’s YouTube Channel from its Samudra Shakti Online playlist to help you cultivate powerful class themes. Learn ways to develop a yoga class plan that inspires, encourages, and empowers your students.

The Art of Anusara Class Themes

Certified Anusara Teacher, Lisa Long, presents The Art of Anusara Class Themes.

The Art of Storytelling

Jacalyn Prete, Experienced Certified Anusara Teacher, presents The Art of Storytelling.

About the Content Creators

Bill Dorigan

Bill uses every day experience, mixed with humor, to make the mysteries and beauty of yoga philosophy easy to understand and apply in our life. He spends a great deal of time in his beloved deep woods, marveling at every tree but not losing track of the forest. 

Madhuri Martin

A part of Anusara Yoga’s merry band from its inception, Madhuri enjoys playful practices that keep her connected to serious teachings. When not traversing mountain peaks, you’ll find her swimming in the ocean rediscovering Grace.

Lisa Long, M.A.

Lisa wants to live in a world where Love gives you a permission slip to drop the mask and be who you are. She enjoys practicing near water to remind her to remain in Love’s flow.


8 Ways to Open to Grace
Anusara’s Invocation
How to Invoke Practice
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