I have taken three classes of Anusara Yoga and cannot get enough. It is right up my alley. They talk about positive attitudes, energy, trust and heart. I love the fact that for one hour a couple times a week I can go and listen to five minutes of my instructor speaking (called centering) of remembering why I am taking yoga and thanking myself and those who allow me to attend. For one hour, I can devote to myself all the attention and emotion I feel working out as if I were running full speed and yet, I am working within the space of my yoga mat. I love the deep breathing and meditative feelings. I cannot get over the hum of energy that fills the room while the class is happening. I feel so in tune with it all. I am still getting used to the bells and the "OM", but I simply feel inspired when at the end of class, during rest, my teacher sings some song and plays what looks like a piano/accordion.
The name itself, Anusara, means "flowing with grace" or "flowing with nature" or "flowing with your heart."
Not to mention I get quite the workout. The past class there was only a few students, which I was thankful for - the less people to embarrass myself in front of (not that anyone even knows I am there), but I entered "rest" with sweat dripping down my forehead. It was my very first Vinyasa class where we continue to move (or flow) through all the positions. I had up to that point, only been to instructional classes and though my instructor assured me I would be fine, the nervousness didn't recede. I was very proud of myself because not only did I try all the positions, there was only one that I just couldn't get. That is one thing I really like too - my instructor is constantly saying, just give it a try. I cannot stand and hold my foot in my hand while straightening my foot in front of me and then holding my other hand out to the side. I just don't have the stretching ability yet in my legs. Oddly, I don't get frustrated with myself because of it.
(picture courtesy of yogajournal.com)I truly enjoy working my body into positions my mind says - Nope that's not gonna happen. I love moving, flexing, stretching and then holding for a few breaths. Just enough to relax and feel the full weight of the movement. All of this is done while breathing in . . . and out. It is almost like I am dancing with myself. Only my two left feet have disappeared and I am graceful. I am thankful that my teacher is so wonderful and takes the time to subtly help me improve my position posture. I can feel the difference when I am holding a pose correctly.
After just a few classes, my everyday standing posture has taken a remarkable turn for the better. I feel better too.
On the other hand, my body is sore. Especially in my legs and hamstrings. My stretching abilities throughout my legs has never been very good, but I like yoga so much I refuse to give up or not do it fully. I know my legs will stretch on their own.
Ever since my car accident years ago that broke my wrist it has been very difficult to perform certain things like push ups or in yoga class holding the plank pose, but the method that we use in yoga is different. It doesn't create the same pain, though it is sore. The movements and position holds also seems to relieve the pressure that I generally attain throughout my shoulder blades and eventually acting up my TMJ. The strengthening is nothing like I have ever experienced. The muscles I am feeling are oddly ones I don't remember ever feeling throughout my core - stomach, back, thighs and other such (unmentionable) nether regions. (seriously, who knew I had muscles THERE?)
I am very excited. I cannot wait to see what I feel like, what I look like after a few months of this. Not to mention, I feel so blessed to have found a place that I enjoy so immensely.
We talk alot about what our expectations are and what we are hoping to get out of yoga. What is my focus. It's funny because in life there isn't much out there that I don't have goals for. I am such a determined little soul always searching for the correct way, the better way to experience life. I am nothing but (overly) focused. I went in to this yoga class thinking that maybe, just this class, I could experience what it is like to NOT have any goals. Or rather, for my goal to be just simply TO BE. I think that is where life is taking me right now. To live in the here and now. Experience the presence and not be so caught up in what happened recently (past) or what I will need to prepare for (future). Live right here, right now in what I am doing in the current seconds of my life. Obviously a bonus would be to have better posture; be stronger in mind, body and soul, to feel refreshed and calm; to be happy; to allow myself a couple hours every week to be just me doing what I want which is choosing yoga. (see how easy it is for me to set goals and become determined to ACCOMPLISH it all at once?)