As I was preparing for my yoga classes for this week and looking over possible themes to use - I found a copy of my theme and the opening and closing remarks I made for the last class I taped before receiving my Anusara Yoga Certification - the culmination of a lot of hard work over the course of nearly two years. This class was taped a year ago - the day after my 26th wedding anniversary. As I reviewed my notes I decided to revisit this theme.

Here are my notes for this class:


There are two reasons for practicing Anusara Yoga:

a. Self knowledge (chit) and
b. The delight of the creative expression of the pose (ananda).

We will focus on this latter one...

The yogic scriptures and sages teach that bliss is our birthright. Our capacity for all creativity comes from bliss.

Sally Kemption, the well known meditation teacher says that the English translation of the word "bliss" for ananda is inadequate. More appropriate descriptions or definitions would be words like - ecstasy, or rapture.

Ananda is a joy that wells up on its own from the very depths of the universe and connects us to the vastness of pure being. What this ultimately means is - that ananda - bliss - as we commonly understand this term - is really a manifestation of the Divine - nothing more and nothing less!

Two verses from the Upanishads highlight this understanding:

"Who could live,
who could breathe,

if that blissful self
dwelt not within the heart?

That which gives joy!"


"All things are born out of bliss.
They live in bliss
and dissolve in bliss."

Think of the implications for living our lives if we truly believe what these verses are saying. The yogic view affirms that happiness is possible because it is already inside of us. It does not reside elsewhere. Therefore - It is not possible for something else - or for something that resides outside of us to bring us joy - not even another person. Persons or things might seemingly trigger joy - but the experience of bliss - of ananda - is intrinsic - is it the soul's birthright and is always there - and when we experience it - it feels complete. We are complete!

Think for a moment of a time in your life in which you felt complete and utter bliss. How did that feel?

In the yogic literature and its teachings - the pinnacle of all our inner experiences is the bliss of Divine Love.

When we think of bliss and joy - we connect those experiences to the physical place of the heart. Working with backbends more than any other category of poses connects us deeply to the heart.

The First Universal Principle of Anusara Yoga - "Opening to Grace" - not only brings us to into our hearts - but it invites us to open within - creating a wider and bigger container - so that we can fill more deeply - and therefore radiate more Divinely our deepest Essence.

And tomorrow I will share my closing remarks...


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