Anusara yoga is a modern school of Hatha yoga grounded in a Tantric philosophy of intrinsic goodness, that was started by John Friend in 1997. Friend was a popular teacher in the Iyengar yoga style and, for a number of years in the 1990s, a member of the board of the Iyengar yoga organization, before he left and founded what he called Anusara yoga. Friend continues to take an active role leading the expansion of the school and training (and certifying) teachers.
Anusara (a-nu-sar-a), means “flowing with Grace,” “flowing with Nature,” “following your heart.”
The emphasis of the school is on a set of “Universal Principles of Alignment” which underlie all postures, “heart opening” postures and the spiritual/meditative benefits of Hatha yoga.
The practice of Anusara Yoga can be broadly categorized into three parts: Attitude, Alignment, and Action.
Attitude, writes Friend, is the “power of the heart as the force behind every action or expression in an asana.” It is “the aspiration to reawaken to our divine nature, and the celebration of life.”
Alignment, according to John Friend, is the “mindful awareness of how various parts of ourselves are integrated and interconnected.”
The Universal Principles of Alignment
The concept of Action is related to the body. Action, according to Friend, is the “natural flow of energy in the body, which provides both stability and joyful freedom.”