Ciao Amica Mia,
In the methodology of Anusara® yoga, a philosophical principle called the three A’s is thoughtfully woven throughout an asana class and one of my most favorite teachings.
~Attitude ~Alignment ~Action
The three A’s are present in each pose and every transition. What I appreciate about them is that they’re an equally important component, especially during unsettling times, in the pose of your life.
While the three A’s are physically embodied in the practice of yoga asana, they’re also embodied energetically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
I like to think of this axiom as a guide that’s mapped onto your heart, mind and body.
Attitude is associated with the heart. The principle of attitude evokes the questions “Why? Why am I here? Why do I practice yoga? Why do I care about…?”
In the early formative days of Anusara yoga, we teachers often spoke of the bhavana of a class or the bhav you, the student, brought to class. Simply put, bhavana is referring to the intention of your heart.
The contemplation offered, “is your bhav strong enough to hold the intention of discovering the key to inner freedom no matter the challenge of the pose or the changeability of life?”
Alignment is associated with the mind. In asana practice alignment invites you to gain knowledge and skill of technique. Ultimately, alignment is the key that unlocks the door to freedom in a pose. Good alignment helps you enjoy the posture more fully with less chance for injury or harm.
Self-study, skill and knowledge of technique gives you the “how” to access freedom from pain whether on your yoga mat or in daily living. Knowledge offers you the key to unlock the door to freedom and joy.
Action is associated with the body. While knowledge is vital, without skillful action you remain stuck in the muck. Your progress on and off the mat plateaus.
The desires you hold in the sacred temple of your heart will never be realized if you don’t take skillful action. Whether it’s a down dog or handstand, reading a controversial book or sacred scripture, taking an online class or working with a coach.
Action answers the question, “What do I want my life to look like? What do I hope to contribute? What can I do now, today and tomorrow?” Action teaches you just how much effort is required to discover the key, unbolt the lock and step mindfully into the flow.
Attitude is the willingness to Open to Grace, ignite the fire of your heart’s intention and be the creative expression of your legacy self.
Alignment is the element that gives dynamism to your pose and awareness to the inter-connectedness of your inner and outer worlds. This principle provides containment for the layers of your physical and subtle bodies on the mat and beyond the pose.
Action is the force and power of integration between muscular and organic energy. Between insulation and liberation. So that your pose and your life maintain integrity and magnetism.
The three A’s create a beautiful trifecta that bring you the clarity, confidence and courage to breakaway from what’s holding you back; so that you can realize your personal aspirations. While at the same time bringing you the clarity, confidence and courage to positively contribute in the elevation of human consciousness.
With appreciation and xoxo, Paulette