As someone who got her e-RYT on the basis of an Iyengar styled teacher training and whose classes are heavily influenced by extensive study of dance and Shiva Rea’s Prana Flow yoga, I now find myself magnetised to the study of Anusara Yoga. Although I’ve dabbled with many styles of yoga, each one adding valuable skills to my toolkit, over the past three years Anusara is an approach that has been able to consistently broaden my horizons, deepen my knowledge and intensify my passion for yoga the way that no other tradition has.
Many people have asked me why I’m choosing to intensify my study of this tradition when I’ve long held (and voiced) the opinion that drawing on many yoga styles has strengthened me as a teacher and allowed me greater insight and wisdom than focusing on just one path could have.
There are three very simple reasons:
1 – Even with my as-yet limited understanding of Anusara yoga, I have never experienced a more reliable, effective and simple way to keep my body injury free on the yoga mat or to heal injuries that I incur in the course of normal day-to-day activities. My sacroiliac joint that has been dodgy for years and my shoulder blade that has been intermittently sticky have cleared and stayed clear for a longer period of time than ever before.
As someone who uses her body for a living, it is immensely empowering to be able to rely almost completely on my own understanding to keep my joints and muscles in top working order. Gone are the days when I have to make time in my week for two or more appointments at an Osteo, Physio or Acupuncturist to sort out some pain in my body. Now, when I do consult with these other professionals (because they are invaluable for fine tuning and ongoing regular maintenance), it is with a completely different level of ownership and confidence.
2 – Anusara teachings incorporate tantric philosophy in a way that is accessible even to a western girl like me who was raised with a Christian background. For the first time in my three decades plus of life, I don’t feel spiritually conflicted, guilty, bad or wrong. Tantric philosophy celebrates life in all its glory and gives me permission to live fully, as I am, where I am, how I am now. The way that Anusara teachers communicate this and model incorporating it into daily life is simple and within reach for me.
3 – My experience of the Anusara community has created new possibilities in my heart, mind and life. The community of people who practice Anusara yoga are warm, friendly and open hearted. Although I’ve found most yogis from any tradition are that way, I have received more genuine love and support from some quasi strangers in the Anusara community than I have received from some of my blood relatives. There is a palpable unconditional quality to their support that even a cynic like me has allowed myself to open myself up to. That opening has changed everything.
As I continue to deepen my study of this yoga tradition and grow in my understanding of it, I bring elements of it into my classes. The results so far have been encouraging. I have been able to help students to help themselves with greater efficiency, clarity and insight than ever before in my teaching career. Having committed my life to empowering others, I am abundantly grateful for the lessons I have learned in service of that goal.
If you’re interested in learning more about Anusara in New Zealand, please contact Katie Lane.
If you’re in Wellington or would like to visit to do some yoga, please consider coming along to the next workshop Katie will be offering October 30 and 31st, 2010. Please get in touch via kelly (at) yogainventure (dot) com.