Anusara Yoga Immersion, Part One. Open to the Wildest Reaches of Yourself.
I had a revelation this last week. An inner moment. Or rather a series of insights that like a spider’s web, where each nexus, each point as you make your way to the center sit closer and closer together, until you reach the hub of the greatest interconnectedness. The place of stability from which you look out at all other points radiating in all directions and you get a sense of the vastness of this art project you call your life. And in that moment you realize your place of origin and that you, spider, are the creator of this web.
John Friend’s Melt Your Heart, Blow Your Mind Tour 2010 kicked off here in San Francisco. I was called to attend, and in that calling I traced back the web lines in all directions that weaved me present. I can truly say I’ll never be the same.
Have you ever felt something so deeply intuitive that you have a hard time communicating it in words? Then one day you read something or hear something that hits the nail on the head with perfect accuracy. It gives you chills, and you become so excited to have heard your inner experience articulated that you can’t help but scramble for the nearest pen and paper to jot it down – just as proof, as validation perhaps, of your inner-knowing? Anusara yoga and the Shiva Shakti Tantra it adheres to is like that for me. So deeply embedded in my inner-experience that the theme of my mind chatter for the week can be boiled down to one sentence: “this is it.” John says, “if you have passion it’s going to burn.” After my first Immersion, I’m on fire.
Not the least of which has come out of Anusara’s first Universal Principle of Alignment, called ‘Open to Grace’. This is a softening of the heart, a receptivity and humility to the greater universal shaktis operating all around us, in us. It’s an melding to tap into the resonance of that vibration, a sensitivity to Spirit. It’s an invitation to surrender as a student to the moment at hand. As a dancer, this principle goes deep, which is why it’s one of the main ideas I left the immersion with. In the hoop world we talk all the time about flow. Finding the flow, tapping into the channel where you stop dancing and something starts dancing you. That is Grace and your whole inner being blooms into pure light with the fullness of it. An audience member who had truly been moved to tears watching the dance has approached many of us after a performance. But the object of their opening was in fact just coming through us – that’s the Divine, we just attuned to it.
It’s the same for any kind of art, any kind of deep-seated expression. Shiva Shakti Tantra focuses on the intrinsic goodness of every sentient being. In the deepest reaches of your core shines your authentic self, and celebrating that, moving from that place is what will raise the vibration all around us. Anusara yoga teaches that each embodiment, each person on this planet is a perfectly unique expression of the divine. John said; we’re here in this incarnation to live our talents, and we’re lacking nothing. We not only want to create, we have to create. That’s empowerment in the highest.
The second theme of the immersion that I left fired up about was Anusara’s call to action. I feel fortunate to be surrounded by all of you out there who truly yearn to make this world a better place. Not at some arbitrary point in the future but right NOW. John told us that the yoga community is one of the most influential groups of a shared vision in the world today. In North America alone we have 20,000 people practicing yoga weekly. I just read in the New York Times that the yoga industry is one of the top 10 revenue industries for 2010. The attention goes where the money goes, and our shared vision is not one of profit, but one of self-transformation and self-awakening. This is stuff that dreams are made of. He talked about this being a turning point in history – the dress rehearsal is over. We will shift the fabric of time space. We will change this world for the better by living the celebration that is this life. We will do it NOW because that’s what is demanded of us. We will make heaven on earth because life is a gift that we’re not here to transcend, but to LIVE. We will awaken not to coincidences but to synchronicity. We will live our deepest expression in bliss so that we may better know ourselves. And we’ll do it all for the joy of it.
The Anusara Kula or community, shares this vision, which is what makes us strong. We are a ‘wild, bohemian band of merry pranksters’ who understands that revelation leads to freedom, and freedom always feels good.* I’m on the bus, and there is infinite room. At the beginning of every practice John challenged, every dance, every relationship, turn into yourself and ask; why am I here? Not just in this moment, but in this incarnation? What’s it all about? Ask that. Always. Then live it. Now is the time.
* John Friend, Immersion 1, San Francisco 2/8-2/11