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What Is Anusara® Yoga?

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Mar 01, 2008

Mind-Body-Spirit News

Continuing our look at American styles of yoga that blend a variety of influences (see the January issue for the first in the series), this column spotlights Anusara yoga, created by John Friend in 1997.

Anusara yoga blends a nondualistic Tantric philosophy of intrinsic goodness with precise alignment principles. Friend trained in a variety of yoga disciplines, including Ananda, ashtanga-vinyasa, Iyengar and Siddha, and a range of philosophies, including Buddhism, Taoism, Sufism, Jewish mysticism, theo­sophy, Wicca and Freemasonry, before developing his own branded system. Anusara means “flowing with grace,” “going with the flow” or “following your heart.”

According to the official website, “Anusara yoga teachers help enhance and reveal the beauty and divine qualities that are already present in the students’ poses. [Teachers] do not try to ‘fix’ or ‘correct’ students’ alignment. Instead, they are dedicated to serving each student and helping them unveil their innate goodness, worthiness and Supreme nature.”

The repertoire of asanas used in Anusara yoga consists of 250 poses. Anusara yoga props are incorporated to allow modifications for people of all levels of ability. All Anusara yoga postures are practiced with a “heart-oriented” focus.

To learn more about Anusara yoga, visit



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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in L...