By Elena Shlychkov M.F.A /M.Ed
Many of us are aware that proper alignment and sufficient instructions are crucial elements and inevitable signs of professionalism in yoga and fitness. We would like to continue our discussion about this topic. Leaving aside the discussion regarding the recent Anusara conflict, we want to contribute our voices to the topic of the importance of alignment in daily practices. Since we do not want to “throw out the baby with the bath water” we will focus on the positive side of the method that was developed by John Friend and other influential and visionary teachers.
Here you can read my interview with an Anusara affiliated teacher Mary Barnes, who shared with me about her practical experience and her incitement. Mary Barnes is a New York based yoga teacher well-known for her Barnes Method of Yoga for Two, which includes pre-natal yoga and postpartum yoga.
E.S. Mary what do you think of the recent Anusara conflict and the debates within the Anusara community?
M.B: I strongly believe that it is not possible to leave Anusara, drop out of it or “resign “since yoga method and the business of yoga are two separate things. I believe that teachers who resigned from Anusara yoga will continue using the principles that John Friend has developed.
E.S. Have you met John Friend and if you did what was your impression about the meeting?
M.B: I met John Friend in 1999 when I took my first class with him. I immediately realized that his Five Universal Principles of Alignment were well structured, well-articulated and easy to comprehend. I taught yoga for several years before I met John but the impression and the results from my first lesson with him were extremely strong. I realized that he was the teacher that I had looked for. I felt that I wanted to learn from him and follow his workshops and classes regardless of the place or any other obstacles. (more…)