Feeling a little too wound up for power vinyasa but too angsty to stew in a long hold yin yoga class? Then Anusara might be the sweet flow style you need in your life. Anusara is a modern-day Hatha yoga style practice that translates to ‘flowing with grace,’ ‘going with the flow’ or ‘following the heart.’ At the root of Anusara is Tantric philosophy that believes we are all inherently good and draws from this understanding to see life, our bodies and yoga practice as a form of sacred joy and source of bliss. So what does that mean as a style? Think a practice focused on the heart that weaves inspiring spiritual philosophy and heartfelt devotion to themes such as self worth, sacredness, community, devotion and love. With of course a deep focus on alignment, creative expression and vitality in the body too, to encourage a soulful, contented state of being.
Sounds deliciously satisfying huh? Well, as someone who had just come out of a week long dynamic vinyasa flow yoga teacher training that consisted of six hour days, you can take my word for it. Anusara was the welcome refuge that saved body and soul that week. Before stumbling upon Bhuti, a wellness and yoga studio in London, I’d never heard of Anusara, and as I said, coming straight off a yoga teacher training (that was coincidentally heart focused), it would only seem natural I would of. Alas, in what can only be described as divine timing, in an entirely unintentional but perfect moment of need, I found myself on the doorstep of Bhuti, the most beautiful studio I’ve seen trying my first Anusara class. A stand alone space with a shop front, health boutique, wholefood cafe, just walking in the door at Bhuti my adrenaline wired London city self wound down instantly a notch. After discarding my shoes and landing back in my preferred barefoot state, I was escorted into the room where my Anusara introduction would begin. And wow, if I hadn’t been calm and content, the stained glass open air studio quickly switched me into zen mode.
Seated in sukhasana, our down to earth teacher Uma took us through a guided meditation where we sang a sacred sanskrit chant, calling upon Hindu goddesses for strength and self-honour. Setting the scene for our heart guided, soulful practise, we then moved into a beautiful flow, incorporating a mix of heart and hip focused asanas, taking the time to breathe, be and tune into the sacredness of practise. Eventually, we found our way into a blissful savasana with Uma soothing us into samadhi with a sacred song, a soulful tune with lyrics so whimsical they trickled deep into our souls like liquid gold. I walked in deeply weary, body heavy, mind wired and left floating, yet with my feet firmly grounded and my heart and mind at peace.
Anusara gave me grace and groundedness in a way I’ve never felt before, and in that day and in that moment, it was everything. For those who are devotees of other yoga styles, I’d urge you to open your mind to Anusara, it’s heart lead path is a sacred blessing I will forever have gratitude for. London based yogis, make your way to Bhuti for a truly blissful Anusara practise, and for those looking for a space to try it, see the official Anusara site here for more.