The truth is it is and it isn't. There is an elegant simplicity to it and yet the sophistication of our method is quite profound. We can use basic actions to very quickly get people into deeper and more aligned postures. We can do this on Day One. But to really understand the underlying structure and the intricate relationships that exist between form, function, philosophy and the primary and secondary flows takes some time. I know I could not have answered the Immersion review questions after my first year of Anusara Studies. Not at all. Granted I had not been through an Immersion yet because we did not have them then, but even still, 10 months into Anusara practice- no matter how much other yoga you have been doing- is still not a long time.
But we really went deeply into things all weekend long and still had time for some rollicking good fun in asana. We ended the weekend with a foray into back bends and drop backs which went really well. I found myself quite inspired by the developing community of Anusara Yoga practitioners and aspiring teachers here in Austin. Anusara Yoga is growing so nicely here but what is really cool to consider is how much room for growth still exists. Those people training now and over the last few years are really pioneers for the method here. The very real growth and development of Anusara Yoga in Austin, Texas is held in the hands of all these hard working teachers.
I was talking with Mandy Eubanks the other day who told me that she is teaching 12 classes a week. I thought to myself, "Wow- Mandy is teaching 12 classes each week... I wonder how many classes Mark, Hannah, Jeremiah, Kim Schaefer, Jess G, Brigitte, Charlie Lewellin, and all the other wonderful anusara teachers are teaching..." I got to thinking about just how many Anusara Yoga or Anusara-Inspired classes are actually being taught in one week here in this town. Probably A LOT.- (anyone want to take on the task of finding out? A little web research in your spare time?) Then stretch out from there and think about how many teachers are not "officially affiliated" but are incorporating the principles in their teaching. Anyway, it is probably safe to say, there is a growing Anusara Yoga presence here in Austin, Texas.
And the cool thing about being in the grassroots stages of growth right now is that we can grow this community in whatever spirit we like. We can consciously choose to be welcoming, to be inclusive, to be supportive and to work against those tendencies of jealously, competition, scarcity and exclusivity. I have been thinking a lot lately about how John said these principles are Universal. He meant that one level they are applied to every pose and in that case, they are Universal.
But also, he said, they are FOR everyone. You do not need official Anusara Yoga affiliation to take your thighs "in, back and apart" for instance. He said he didn't name the UPA's "Anusara Yoga Principles of Alignment" for a reason. He told our group that he named them "Universal Principles of Alignment" because he wanted everyone to use them and to benefit from them.
So much in the same way I would like Anusara Yoga to grow here. If we look at John's example he has profoundly respectful, collegial relationships with his peers from other methods and traditions. He shares his wisdom freely and learns from his colleagues and I cannot think of a better thing for us to emulate as a community. Let other people fight over right and wrongs of methods and get wrapped up the world of preferences, dislikes and so forth. I personally would rather shine with the light of these teachings and help the people that I can to do the same.