Anusara (â€œflowing with graceâ€ in Sanskrit) Yoga is an aspect of yoga built up by John Friend, an American yoga follower, in late seventies. Anusara Yoga is based on his many years of yoga practice and especially from studying the Iyengar hatha yoga and from his devoted studies of Siddha Yoga Meditation.
Anusara Yoga has a diverse approach, integrating a physically demanding practice of hatha yoga with the focus on opening and intensifying the heart chakra. Anusara Yoga is a fast growing hatha yoga practice in the world today, with several hundred Anusara Yoga teachers trained by Friend.
Anusara (a-nu-sar-a), means “to flow gracefully”, â€œflowing with Grace,â€ â€œgoing with the flow,â€ â€œfollowing your heartâ€. The Anusara yoga style is basically created on the non dualistic tantra philosophy of the Kashmir Shivaism as it was expounded by the late Guru Muktananda.
In Anusara Yoga and Kashmir Shivaism view of the world every demonstration of the universe is the result of the vibration (spanda) of energy (shakti), whose being (sat) is Consciousness (chit) and supreme bliss (ananda). According to this philosophy, therefore, every human being vibrates and shines of that same Consciousness and through the practice of yoga it is possible to have its direct experience.
John Friend has had the intuition to create a series of principles (defined Universal Principles of Alignment), which have to be applied to the postures. This principles respect the laws of biomechanics of the body, and at the same time they reflect the principles (tattva) proper of the tantra philosophy. In this way, in the classes of Anusara yoga, the asanas (performed with a dynamic practice), and the philosophical and spiritual aspects of yoga are naturally joined in a real seamless way.