Monday, June 20, 2011

The HH Readers Interview Wanderlust Teacher John Friend the Founder of Anusara

-How does one obtain enlightenment through the practice of yoga? - Gene Douthit
JF: Any time that we tap into our hearts and get a moment of recognition that we are all connected as ecstatically whirling, infinitely creative, auspicious consciousness then we have a moment of enlightenment. Anusara yoga teaches us that the access to the experience of enlightenment can be gained anytime and in relationship to anything. The gateway is the middle place, a flowing union point between contrary compliments. We use Universal Principles of Alignment to harmonize with the flow of life and Spirit so that we are able to access this gateway to the recognition of our true essence.

-What has your practice taught you about yourself lately? - Sarah B.

JF: After 35 years of practice, my understanding of mantra and its power has deepened, offering me new revelations.

-Who has your greatest teacher been? - Erin Connolly

JF: My mother has been my greatest teacher. She taught me how to see the vast possibilities of my life and to see the creative diversity in nature. Yet she also constantly pointed out the universal connections between religions and between various philosophies on Spirit. She showed me how to see the deep order in apparent chaos. Lastly, my mother taught me to keep a positive attitude and to see every day as a holiday.

-Who were your top 3 non-yoga influences in putting together your Anusara philosophy? - Charles Hussein Faris

JF: My top 3 non-hatha yoga philosophical influences are Theosophy of H. P. Blavatsky, Wicca, and Quantum Physics.

-How do you balance your family/friends/significant others with the concept of non-attachment? - Corinne Elizabeth

JF: I honor and respect the other as an embodiment of the Divine. I wish for everyone to be free to artistically express themselves. Each individual has their own karma and needs the space to fulfill their svadharma. Any close or intimate connection with a loved one is a blessing from the universe that is ultimately beyond our control.

-How has your past relationship with Gurumayi led to where you are
today in your practice? - Jessica Sommar

JF: It is through my relationship with Gurumayi that I experienced that everything is a dance with the Shakti, or the power of Divine Consciousness. Yoga comes from the inside out. In the hatha yoga practice, the asana are expressions of a feeling or heart quality that is physicalized within the poses.

-Tell us about your fabulous partnership with Wanderlust and the Anusara events this summer. - Taraleigh Weathers

JF: Our partnership with Wanderlust has evolved since its flagship event in 2009. This year we have 2 dedicated Anusara yoga events, one before Wanderlust Vermont and one before Wanderlust California. The Anusara Grand Circle <> is on the Summer Solstice in Stratton, Vermont on June 19th - 22nd. It will be a gathering of yogis from all over the world. It is Anusara's first large-scale community wide event on the East Coast! The Anusara Inspired Gathering <> is July 24th - 27th. It’s the first time I am holding an event for both Anusara-Inspired and certified Anusara yoga teachers, where we will come together as both teachers and students to dive deep into our curriculum. I am super excited for these events and for the main Wanderlust events - how wonderful to be able to practice and hang out together in the heart of awe inspiring nature.

-What is your favorite healthy snack? - Taraleigh Weathers

JF: I like apple with a nut butter.

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