Say Yes to Life, Can Anusara Yoga Change Our World?
By Desiree Rumbaugh
As I travel and teach Anusara yoga workshops in the United States, Canada, Central America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and New Zealand, it becomes apparent to me that people everywhere are ready for a shift in consciousness and yoga students and teachers are enthusiastically doing their part to help the world make this shift.
The traditional definition of yoga is “union” and to me it means this: When we know ourselves in a deeper way, we feel supported inside, united. We feel more complete and self-confident and this leads us to a sense of connection with our divine or eternal nature.
Without this type of integration, people often live with underlying and perhaps even unnamed fear, anger, sadness, or that ever-present question about life: “Is that all there is?”
Anusara yoga uses a three-limbed approach to help us empower ourselves to the point that it finally becomes possible to surrender to the divine will and trust that all will be well.
1. Tantric philosophy encourages us to “Say Yes to Life” and embrace it fully. We celebrate the gift of our human bodies and our lives and focus on taking whatever we have been given to higher and higher levels of health, radiance, and peace. When hard times come, we continue to look for even the smallest ray of light and focus our attention there until it grows bigger and brighter.
2. The simple yet powerful universal principles of alignment are “user-friendly” tools that help people understand how they can heal their own bodies and that change is always possible.
3. Anusara yoga encourages us to help, encourage, and support one another in and out of the yoga class. Rather than compare, compete with, or envy each other, we learn to trust that there will always be enough for everyone and that there is as much joy in celebrating the success of another as there is in achieving something of our own.
We share the joys and divide sorrows. Look for the good and believe in the possibility of transformation. All this from time spent on a yoga mat? Yes, and even more!
Come and see for yourself.
The Art of “Going with the Flow” and Why Anusara Yoga Is Growing So Rapidly
As I travel around the world teaching Anusara workshops I am privileged to be gaining an eagle’s-eye view of our ever-changing world. In my workshops I often ask students to define the word “yoga.” Most often the answer is “union.” My next question is “union of what?” Most people say “body and mind.” And many are now saying “union with the higher self.”
“Union of body and mind” was my definition of yoga for a long time in the early years of my practice. Now, after 15 years of studying with John Friend, the founder of Anusara yoga, this definition has been further transformed by my understanding of what I am seeking and my practice has given me a unified body/mind that is strong and flexible, resilient and positive.
Now when I say yoga is union, I am referring to the uniting of my divine self with my human self. And I see this trend all over the world. People are hungry to know why we are here and why so many people suffer in our world. We want to know how we can reduce suffering and make the world a better place.
In the past, yoga was taught in a way that made it look as if it required very serious discipline, many hours of practice, and the continued denial of the pleasures of the world. Or it looked like an escape into a world of chanting om and listening to soft music with the sounds of nature in an attempt to soothe our stress. “Going with the flow” appeared to be an appropriate mantra for people with Type B personalities who could live in very modest circumstances and were free of big ambition.
The newer paradigm of “going with the flow” that Anusara offers seems to me to be a more practical fit with the way the majority of us are living our lives.
The message is Tantric: Say Yes to life. Align with your highest nature and then trust. And don’t just believe it because you hear it, actually feel it and know it, within and without.
Live, love, laugh, and embrace all parts of yourself and your life!
Learn how you can make new habits that will gradually replace the undesirable ones naturally and transform your body and attitude until you honestly feel your alignment with your divinity, regardless of how many hours you spend practicing, no matter what you eat, and what “mistakes” you think you might have made in your life.
All of our behavior patterns are constantly subject to change and they will continue to evolve naturally. There’s no need to impose rigid rules on people. It’s better to empower them with an understanding of how to physically and emotionally align with the highest self in a simple user-friendly way complete with laughter and lightness. Then all the rest will take care of itself. All we have to do is ask ourselves each day: “What is mine to do in this moment?
Feel all of your feelings and honor your pain. Then ask the questions and seek to find the answers that lead you back to the wholeness and joy that are your birthright and allow others to do the same for themselves. When your heart opens, fear releases and generosity naturally flows.
For more information about the healing and strengthening power of Anusara and how it empowers people to align with their highest nature through yoga and meditation, go to www.anusara.com.
Desiree Rumbaugh will be presenting an Anusara workshop October 3-5, 2008, in Paradise. Debbegagne@aol.com