A student first and later a teacher of Iyengar yoga, John Friend founded Anusara yoga in 1997. The ultimate aim of the school is to align one's self with the Divine. Drawing inspiration from Iyengar yoga, Friend developed his own style, which immediately attracted followers from the West due to the Western approach to the conventional art.
The primary aspects of Anusara yoga are:
- Universal Principles of Alignment - Connecting all asanas to the philosophical practice of Anusara, which involves the shifting of focus from perfecting a pose to enhancing the goodness and beauty that already exists in the student.
- The Three A's - These are attitude, alignment and action. The attitude is to reawaken the Divine within the Self. Alignment is about being aware of how the different parts of the body are interconnected. Action refers to the natural flow of energy in the body.
- Focal Points - The alignment principles of Anusara talk about three focal points; namely, the pelvic focal point, heart focal point and upper palate focal point.
- Energy Loops - The seven energy loops of Anusara are ankle loop, shin loop, thigh loop, pelvic loop, kidney loop, shoulder loop and skull loop.