Anusara yoga was only created in 1997 and is a distinctly modern style, but one that is built upon the foundations of hatha, a much older and historical discipline with which it shares basic elements such as a focus on the traditional ‘asana’ - poses. Otherwise, anusara deals with goals of self-esteem, self-empowerment and general stress reduction, and aims to establish a positive mind-body connection through a series of yoga poses combined with chanting and centering meditation.
Based on the teachings of Hindu spiritual teacher, Swami Sivananda, this style of yoga is more to do with spirituality than exercise. It was devised to preserve the health and general wellness of the practitioner and is based upon five fundamental yoga principles: proper exercise (12 asana poses), proper breathing (pranayama), proper relaxation (savasana), proper diet (vegetarian) and positive thinking (vedanta) and meditation (dhyana). A typical 90-minute class combines the 12 core poses with Sanskrit chanting, breathing exercises, meditation and relaxation.