Related News

Home » Feature » Health and Environment

A yoga style that comes straight from the heart

EXTRAORDINARILY challenging" is how most yoga practitioners not flexible enough to do advanced poses describe their workshops.

Whenever more difficult variations are introduced, tensions can boil over, and the process often leaves them frustrated. However, these extraordinarily challenging moments might never happen again.

Anusara yoga, an increasingly popular style that teaches practitioners to develop confidence by opening the heart physically and spiritually, is set to alleviate anxiety.

"It is one of the most therapeutically effective and physically transformative styles of Hatha Yoga which combines outer and inner body alignment while honoring each student's ability," says Benjamin Finnerty, an certified Anusara instructor from the United States.

"The heart is the center of our being and the body is a physical manifestation of our emotions. When doing heart-opening poses, one may experience an emotional release."

Finnerty is reportedly the only Anusara-inspired yoga teacher in Shanghai and is now teaching at Yoga Space on Gaoan Road. He considers Anusara yoga the one that connects most with himself, opening his heart and letting the inner bright shines out.

Anusara is a Sanskrit word meaning "flowing with grace," "flowing with nature" and "following your heart." Founded in 1997 by John Friend, who based it on his belief that human beings realize their true potential when they are open to the divine energy of the universe, the school of yoga aims to celebrate the essence of life, spirit and heart.

The 90-minute Anusara yoga classes are always taught with a theme, a subject, a thought, a feeling or something the Anusara teacher has encountered, according to Finnerty. The Anusara teacher will integrate the poses in the class with the theme.

"It's powerful. It triggers a thought process in the student and thus encourages the student to think more deeply," says Weila Wu, owner and yoga instructor of Yoga Space. "In fact, it is not just about the physical poses but engages and integrates the mind, the body and the breath."

The benefits of Anusara yoga include building strength, balance and flexibility, learning body and breathing awareness, helping release emotional blockages and developing muscular stability.

For some yoga practitioners who are not flexible enough to do some advanced poses, Anusara yoga has the magic of empowering them to achieve what is beyond their imagination and limitation, according to Wu.

"Featuring a lot of backbends to open and stimulate your heart, the class will also enable you to do handstands or lotus positions even if you are a starter," Wu says. "It's safe and doesn't hurt."

For those who want to get a deeper knowledge and learn the philosophy of Anusara yoga, a two-month teacher training course is now available at Yoga Space.

"There are moments when you take a class and admire your own teacher's devotion. Unconsciously, one may begin to envision himself or herself no longer as a student of Anusara yoga, but rather a teacher," Wu says.

"The teacher training class appeals to those who desire to share their love of yoga with more enthusiasts. An international standard yoga alliance certification for teaching yoga will be awarded."

Being open to the universe and having trust in oneself - practicing Anusara yoga can brings peace and goodness. Wu says the style of yoga is gaining amazing popularity among many male practitioners who are not so flexible.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend