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             24 January, 2021
 

    
Category:  Articles » Health & Fitness

 

Open your heart

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         Views: 2021
2006-06-03 03:48:11     
Article by Nora Isaacs

"Extraordinarily challenging" is how San Francisco Bay Area college professor Michael D'Aloisio, 39, describes his holiday season. Whenever his family gathers, thorny issues emerge, old dynamics rise to the surface, and tensions boil over. In the past, he would shut down emotionally just to make it through to January--but that process often left him with physical symptoms such as shallow breathing and stomach pain.

No more. D'Aloisio has learned to cope with family stress through Anusara yoga, an increasingly popular style that teaches practitioners to develop compassion by opening the heart physically and spiritually.

The Heart of the Matter

"ANUSARA FOCUSES ON THE HEART because it's the center of our being," says Anthony Benenati, a certified Anusara instructor and co-owner, with his wife, Rebecca, of City Yoga in Los Angeles. "The body is a physical manifestation of our emotions, so when you do heart-opening poses, you may experience emotional release."

Anusara, which in Sanskrit means "to flow from grace," was founded in 1997 by John Friend, who based it on his belief that human beings realize their true potential when they are open to the divine energy in the universe. "To be in the flow," explains Friend, "is to feel the moment fully, and then to choose to act in ways that celebrate the essence of life, Spirit, and our hearts."

D'Aloisio certainly credits his discovery of Anusara with his ability to go with the flow, stay joyful, and look for the good in every circumstance. "Anusara's heart-opening aspect, along with its focus on spirals of energy moving through the limbs, creates more space in my body--and consequently allows for more spaciousness with my family," he says.

The Anusara style is characterized by a set of biomechanics known as the "universal principles of alignment," which apply to each pose. Key concepts include softening the inner body ("opening to grace"), drawing the body's peripheral energy inward ("muscular energy"), sending its inner energy outward ("organic energy"), and opening it up through a series of energetic loops and spirals that all work together like interlocking gears. (For more details, visit anusara.com.)

Specialized in: Open Your Heart - Natural Health - The Heart Of The Matter
URL: http://www.anusara.com/
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