This workshop presents the Universal Principles of Alignment as taught in Anusara Yoga, but also includes Gernot's own interpretations and modifications of the universal principles. The beauty of the universal principles of alignment is that they can be applied to any yoga pose to not only bring you into better alignment, but to help you deepen your sense of freedom and peace in each pose through increased awareness and a heightened sense of balance between opposites, whether they are effort and surrender, expansion and contraction, or mind and body.
Alignment instructions tend to tell you in which direction to adjust yourself, but generally not how far to move, at least in part to keep things simple enough to understand easily, and because how far you need to move depends on where you are. A directional cue like "lift your hip crests forward," or "tilt your tailbone up" can encourage a student with a rounded lower back over time to recreate a natural lumbar arch. However, when such a directional cue is applied conscientiously but without good body awareness, it can eventually take a student past the point of balanced alignment to the opposite extreme of over-arching the upper back along with the lower back, resulting in an equally unnatural alignment with its own set of problems.
The beauty of the universal alignment principles is that they include two pairs of opposing actions that are always applied in tandem, and are designed to bring you into balance in the middle, avoiding the potential of a single directional alignment cue being taken to its extreme. In addition, the principles address mental alignment as well as physical alignment, providing a truly holistic approach to refining your practice.
Each of the first 3 sessions will focus on several categories of yoga poses that are particularly useful for deepening your understanding of each alignment principle (or pair of principles), so that by the end of the workshop we will have covered all major asana categories in the context of the universal principles of alignment. The last session then brings together all 5 principles to empower and transform your inversions and arm balance practice.
- Saturday 9:30-12:30: Preparing yourself for the gift of yoga — Setting the foundation/opening to grace (focus on standing poses and hip-openers)
- Saturday 14:00-17:00: Letting your energy flow — Activating muscular and organic energy (focus on standing poses, basic inversions and arm balances, and spinal twists)
- Sunday 9:30-12:30: Finding the place in the middle — Balancing inner and outer spirals (focus on backbends and forward folds)
- Sunday 14:00 -17:00: Learning to soar — Using the universal principles to transform your inversions and arm balances