Yoga and Meditation
Anusara (a-nu-sar-a), means “flowing with Grace,” “flowing with Nature,” “following your heart.” Founded by John Friend in 1997, Anusara yoga is a school of hatha yoga which unifies a life-affirming Tantric philosophy of intrinsic goodness with Universal Principles of Alignment. These Universal principles of alignment are not only therapeutic as compared to physical therapy but they aid in bringing the body back into its optimal blueprint for the best in health and overall well-being.
Anusara yoga’s remarkable popularity is due in large part to its uplifting philosophy, epitomized by a “celebration of the heart” that looks for the good in all people and all things. It is also highly known for its highly therapeutic and healing Universal Principles of Alignment.
The highest intention of practicing Anusara yoga is to align with the Divine. As we deepen our alignment with the Supreme, we step deeper into the flow of Grace. As we step deeper into the flow of Grace, what was once challenging becomes easeful and we begin to live from a place inside of wholeness, self-empowerment, freedom and vibrant health.
In the area of vibrant health, Yoga has postures & breathing techniques for almost all diseases, health disorders, allergies, pains etc. As doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists and others recognize the healing powers of yoga, patients are being steered toward yoga as a therapy for medical conditions. Many of the exercises/postures are simple and have pronounced medicinal effects on most disorders.
When we work with any pose in yoga, we stimulate the nervous system first therefore working directly with the brain or bodymind. Every time we work to move a muscle or bone into its proper place we are in the process of creating a new neuro-muscular pathway from the brain to that particular muscle. We also work both the right and left sides of the body with each posture therefore strengthening both the right and left hemispheres of the brain.
Today, modern scientists confirm the benefits of a yoga practice for general health and well-being, as well as a therapy for certain medical conditions. Even modern science now acknowledges that disease, decay and degeneration are due to the presence of free radicals in the body. But how are the free radicals created?
Toxins cause oxidative stress which creates free radicals. These free radicals will first destabilize the cells, and if they are allowed to accumulate they cause first cell death, then tissue death then organ failure which can lead to death. Toxins are a real problem in today’s industrial lifestyles. They are everywhere: the food we eat, air we breath, water we drink, products we use on our hair and skin, household cleaners – they are everywhere! It is more important than ever today to detox regularly as toxins can easily accumulate to dangerous levels in just a couple of days. Toxins immediately disrupt hormonal balance, exhaust nutritional stores to detox them, and cause sympathetic nervous system dominance (anxiety, depression, nervousness, poor digestion, ADD, ADHD, the list goes on…
Through reducing toxicity which disrupts neurochemical production and balance in the brain and developing attitudinal and behavioral changes, Yoga provides a means to cultivate a better perspective on life which reduces stress hormone production which is known to boost immunity, bring the neuroendocrine system into balance (hormonal and neurochemistry), and direct your energy systems from “flight or flight” to “growth” mode which is the foundation for general good mental and physical health. You can not heal while the body is in the stress cycle, Yoga quickly delivers the student to the growth mode where healing, good digestion, and parasympathetic processes can restore cellular operational integrity thus communication throughout the bodymind. When communication is restored and blocks are cleared, the chi, or life energy, flows freely and is experienced as lightness in mind and heart, joy, peacefulness, inspiration and optimism.
Yoga, in the short term, has very practical purification effects in the detoxification of the body and mind. These detoxification techniques are a cleansing that help the body rid itself of toxins both physical and emotional in the muscle tissues and cells.
Listed below are some of the benefits of a practice of yoga postures, breathing, and meditation, according to one of the bibles of Yogic principles and practice, Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health by B.K.S. Iyengar.
|Benefits of Yoga :|
|Calms the nervous system. Helps to develop immunity by eliminating the toxins and increases overall circulation.|
|Stimulates the brain/mind and aids in removing lethargy (tamas).|
|Increases lubrication, flexibility and strength of all joints ligaments and tendons through ensuring proper blood supply and oxygen and the removal of toxins.|
|Cleanses the colon, stomach, and sinus tracts, provides a massaging effect on the internal organs, including reproductive organs, thereby strengthening their efficiency by increased circulation.|
|Stimulates vitality and helps in retardation of ageing through optimum blood supply to all parts of the body and through proper toning of the muscle tissue shedding excess flaccidity.|
|Increases one’s capacity to think, digest, taste, feel, express, builds an awareness of the greater whole, deepens consciousness and bestows peace of mind and a positive outlook to life.