Opening to Grace in Yoga and Life

anusara yoga open to grace universal principles of alignment Oct 22, 2023

In Anusara yoga, there are universal principles of alignment that guide our journey towards self-discovery and self-realization. The first of these universal principles of alignment is known as "Open to Grace." This principle comprises two essential aspects: "setting the foundation" and "opening to grace." These principles extend beyond the yoga mat, offering valuable insights for our lives beyond the practice.

Setting the Foundation: Attitude, Alignment, and Action

When we speak of "setting the foundation," we are referring to how we position ourselves both physically and attitudinally in the world. This foundation is comprised of three core elements: attitude, alignment, and action. These three A's set the stage for any endeavor, whether it's a yoga pose, a career move, or a life goal.

Our attitude shapes the lens through which we perceive the world. It influences our intentions and the direction we wish to take in life. While your initial intention might be as tangible as mastering a yoga pose or achieving success in a specific domain, as you delve deeper into your yoga practice or life journey, your intentions evolve.

Open to Grace: Surrender, Soften, and Allow

The second half of this universal principle, "Open to Grace," is where the real magic happens. It invites us to soften and allow the flow of life to support us in the pursuit of our intentions and desires. It's a gentle reminder that we are not in full control of every aspect of our lives.

Here's where the practice comes into play, both on and off the yoga mat. It challenges us to soften, to allow, and to welcome a present-moment awareness and acceptance of whatever life brings our way. This process is a lesson in practical application: How do we let go of resistance? How do we embrace the ever-changing nature of life?

Resistance, in this context, is our inner voice telling us that things should have happened differently or according to our expectations. Recognizing this resistance is the first step in opening to grace. It's acknowledging that life unfolds in its own unique way, often for reasons that become clearer as time flows.

Learning to surrender and accept that life doesn't always follow our script is an ongoing journey. It's about learning to flow with the river of grace, to step into its current. Anusara Yoga encourages us to set intentions, align ourselves to the best of our ability, and then take action. As we move forward, we create spaciousness, allowing for an expansiveness that can only be achieved by releasing resistance to the present moment and softening into what is happening right now.

Embracing the Flow of Grace

Anusara, which means "to step into the flow of the river of grace," serves as a beautiful metaphor for this principle. It reminds us that, in setting our intentions, aligning ourselves, and taking action, we must also step into the flow of life's current. In doing so, we create space for the unexpected and the unimagined. We embrace the expansive, ever-changing nature of life.

This universal principle of alignment goes beyond the confines of the yoga mat and reaches into the fabric of our daily lives. It teaches us that intention and action must be coupled with an openness to whatever life brings our way. When we surrender to the river of grace, we learn to soften and accept the present moment. We release the resistance that tells us life should unfold as we expect and instead embrace the beautiful unpredictability of our journey.

As you explore this universal principle in your own life, remember that setting the foundation and opening to grace are not separate entities but interconnected elements in your personal evolution. Align your intentions with your actions, and then, with an open heart, embrace the flow of grace that carries you to destinations you may have never dreamed of.

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