I have just returned from the Anusara Yoga Certified Teacher’s gathering. This year we were in beautiful, lush North Carolina. Thank you to the North Carolina Kula for being such wonderful hosts!
I have attended these gatherings for the past several years and each time it always amazes me how much more cohesive the group becomes. It is clear the practice works! During the past year John got super clear about his vision of Anusara yoga and it’s philosophy, Shiva Shakti Tantra so he spent quite a bit of time articulating and sharing with us candidly.
When John wrote his vision in 1997, he said, “Anusara Yoga is a Merry Band of bohemian artists…”. While this vision and the Universal Principles of Alignment remain constant, our experience of them deepens and continues to unfold inside us to become us.
At the gathering John asked us, “What is your art?” He suggested that it is our Dharma to find our art and offer it. It does not mean that you have to paint, dance, write poetry or go to circus school. You could garden, cook, or take care of your family. But whatever it is that we each do, it can be done within the highest vision of Anusara yoga.
The very purpose of Tantric Yoga and the highest intention for the practice of Anusara yoga is Chit Ananda. Chit means knowing your self and your Self. Discovering your own unique talent, beauty and gifts AND connecting to that essence of the Divine Self within you that is at the core of everyone and everything. Ananda is delighting in your life as the ecstatic expression of your self and your Self. In other words, you offer your self in everything you do and to everyone you meet just by being who you are.
As each of us deepens our practice, it is natural for each of us to discover our self more fully and to cultivate our “art”. As the Merry Band grows we are attracting some of the most interesting, creative and wonderful beings on the planet. When we synch with each other it becomes clear that our unity and our diversity are one in the same. We are on the cutting edge of culture and spreading rapidly worldwide. John’s vision of a Merry Band of Bohemian Artists has manifested, how cool is that!
It has been amazing to see so many of the same faces year after year and witness everyone becoming more of them self. As teachers of the method we witness it in our students and it is so gratifying. Each kula has it’s own incredible stories. Both individually and collectively we are all spreading light and making the world a better place.
Bill Mahoney, a scholar at Davidson University came to speak with us. All of his offerings were amazing. One in particular idea he shared about is a Vedic notion I’ve also heard Douglas Brooks talk about, an underlying principle that organizes the universe called “ṛta”. This word ṛta is the root of our word art. It is truly everyone’s creative expression that organizes the universe. It is what makes beauty and adds richness to our lives.
I came away from the gathering feeling excited, inspired and committed to the vision of Anusara yoga and am honored to be part of such an incredible community. It is a tremendous blessing to live this life, doing what I love and sharing light with others. I offer infinite pranams to John Friend for paving the way on this path and so much appreciation to all the students who show up week after week for the teachings. My genuine desire is that we continue to grow and evolve together for many years to come.
I invite you to contemplate “What is your art?” and consider that it is your Dharma to discover, cultivate and offer it. May your yoga practice support you to blossom in all areas of your life.
With Great Love,