I have, amongst many others, a well-loved, dog-eared, and highly trusted resource called “nourishing the teacher.” It consists of “inquiries, contemplations, & insights on the path of yoga” and it is written by Danny Arguetty with Anjali Budreski and Kelli Adams.
My path of yoga began with a very gentle practice. Somewhere along the way I was introduced to more vigorous and powerful styles, with which, the term “Vinyasa” was associated. I had a long and serious love affair with the energy and dancing flow of this practice. At some point, I started to realize that the classes that I was teaching and my style of yoga were being pigeonholed (or kapotaholed). I had some wounds that needed to be tended to on and off the mat. This required me to back up and slow down a bit. It was time for me to take inventory and make some changes.
Enter the book, the lightbulb, the Aha! Moment. Danny and his partners state that: “the Sanskrit term “Vinyasa” is usually associated with fast moving, vigorous classes; yet the word also signifies order, conscious placement, arrangement, and attitude. These definitions provide us with new perspectives through which to explore this fluid practice, whether fast or slow.” These were and are the exact qualities that I want to cultivate in my practice and in my teaching.
The three A’s of Anusara Yoga are attitude, alignment, and action. I adore how John Friend defines attitude as “the power of the heart as a force behind every action or expression in an asana; the aspiration to reawaken to our divine nature, and the celebration of life. He describes alignment as “the mindful awareness of how various parts of ourselves are integrated and interconnected.” And he defines action as “the natural flow of energy in the body, which provides both stability and joyful freedom.”
These teachers have helped me redefine “Vinyasa”. My practice is slow, conscious, fluid, and delicious. I delight in exploring and celebrating life on and off the mat. I am free, like water.
“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.” ~ Bruce Lee