5 reasons why I love Anusara Yoga. Why Elena Brower, Certified AY Instructor, no longer wants to know if you are a Libra or not…

5 reasons why I love Anusara Yoga. Why Elena Brower, Certified AY Instructor, no longer wants to know if you are a Libra or not…

Plank's Cobra Mat revels in an Elena Brower shout out...

All the different styles of yoga can be baffling even for those who practice regularly, never mind, if you are a beginner. So here are a couple of thoughts on why I love Anusara Yoga, and would encourage beginner and even more so, regular yoga practioners to be flexible to the concept of cross training their yoga edification.

  1. A reason for being: The first thing I love about an Anusara Yoga class, is that there is theme to each class. Each class has a specific reason for being and the poses are the physical questions that correspond to the theme’s brief. The goal is to ask the question of how one approaches their yoga practice, then ask how to relate it to one’s approach to life. In my very first real live class with the lovely Elena Brower, (all others times via the online yoga class lifesaver, Yogaglo.com), today’s theme was, everyone has the ability to change a patterns of behavior, if they put into practice something big they are willing to put at stake. For Elena, hers was to drink a can of Red Bull whenever she found herself being angry, she had tried the self-fining route, but the stake wasn’t high enough. Promising herself to drink ‘poison’ has kept her anger free since implemented. I’m wondering how she’s doing several days on…
  2. Education: The language of an Anusara Class, is highly informative, relating themes in yoga, to efforts applied to posing and to actual life. Today’s theme was an investigation into preconceived notions of self, exemplifying that if we continue to go through life being unaware of our actions, we limit our abilities. What Anusara brings to the yoga party is education, a profound foundational education for those already with a yoga practice, who have the tendancy ‘to do’ the poses. What I love about a class that is based in foundations, is that there is something to be gained for novices and regular practioners. If the listening is present and the listener open to learning, both ends of the yoga spectrum will see benefits. Even though we know that one of yoga’s promises is to find freedom, grace and openess, that does not necessarily show up on the mat. Especially when it hurts, feel too big or too tight or you insist on sticking to your preconceived notion of your ability rather what you can achieve in reality…
  3. Awareness and Insight: With language and communication comes body awareness and insight, in today’s class, we became aware that creating powerful resistance downwards to a lifted leg, as if squashing a large beach ball, enables an ease to Handstands that my class partner, Ali was her name, and I have not witnessed before. I admitted that previously, my handstand attempts were fearful Downward Dogs that Bunny hopped from time to time and as a self-proclaimed, yoga practioner who cannot ‘do’Handstands, the penny drops and the relevance of this class’s theme was jumping out at me.
  4. Tiny Simple Tools: The other thing I love as part of Anusara’s sequencing of poses are the tiny simple tools, which when first mentioned, are concepts that you can understand but until forced to practice don’t truly believe will make a difference. Today’s tool was to breathe a final breath into the middle of brain to bring space and light into that area of the head. Surprisingly even when used for the much practiced Upward Dog, it was a game shifter, that I would not necessarily expect or believe could make such a difference. Having had plenty of tools to help with my Upward Dog already, I loved being intrigued by how much lighter the pose felt, the result of a single breath to middle of the brain. Often told to take a deep breathe when vexed, I myself, am going to see about directing the final breath and see what a difference it can make to my day…
  5. Generousity and Grace: From the few classes that I have taken, I am always present to the generosity and grace of Certified Anusara Instructors, which is transmitted even online. The few AY teachers I have experienced, always reference who or what inspires their own inspirational classes. For me, I have always felt awkward if I do not own up to an inspiration, however I know what I bring to most inspirational reverence is my application, for which, I am confident to own outright, no matter how off beat. Back to grace, I cannot help feeling warm and fuzzy, when Elena announced Plank’s Cobra mat, was sick and checked to see if her students had all seen my mat… I loved her Plank shout out, no modesty required and what I did love even more was to witness Elena’s capacity to share generously anything that inspires her, from the musician playing live in class and his night tour, to the restaurants, books, collaborations, events and the time she had for the people who wanted to ask her questions at the end of class. Elena’s security and vulnerability to talk of what works, where she has failed and where she continues to practice was as refreshing live, as it is online.

Yes, insight is fab, application is where it’s at or in yoga words, practice for a new pattern of behavior or way of being to become a part of your make up and habits. If you do chose to be a Handstander or not, or a free spirited Libran or not, there are a few tiny things you can do, to change those patterns or not… and nothing really doesn’t have to be quite what it seems…

For your reference, it is important to note that a Certified Anusara Instructor has twice as many hours under their belt in instructional yoga education than your typical 200 hour certification yoga instructor. I don’t know quite what that means, all I know, is there is additional knowledge, insight and ability to teach. As an expert in Yoga Class Consumption, everything can be upgraded, including the experience you receive on the mat, preferably a Plank mat but any mat will do…

WHG, an expert in all things, shoes + heels + fitting yoga into a busy lifestyle…


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