created by John Friend, combines elegant Universal Principles of Alignment with an uplifting Tantric philosophy. This innovative and heartfelt approach has made this the fastest growing form of hatha yoga. -Gina Minyard, anusara.com administrative assistant
Evidently the people running the Anusara organization are keeping a close watch on what people have to say on the Internet about Anusara. They insisted I add the above quote.
After having taken Anusara classes somewhat on a fluke. I can see why people like it so much. With all the upward and backward movements, Anusara opens and stretches the body in ways that counter everyday habits. Generally, we go about reality relating to it downwards and forwards. The muscles on the front of the body are normally held in short positions while the muscles on the back of the body are held in elongated positions. When a muscle is held in a stretch for any period of time, we experience pain at its attachment points, particularly the smaller ones. Upwards and backwards is exactly what we need therapeutically.
I am not sure what is so Tantric about this yoga but it is definitely good for the body. Actually, as I have become more and more clear on what a tantric view is, I am certain that the Anusara philosophy is not a tantric view. Anusara is intended for a large audience, a big demographic. Tantra is for only the most ambitious, crazy disciples that have their path thrust upon them; it is not a cozy, compartmentalized, yuppie view. Anusara is entirely too New Agey to be Tantric. Tantra is as old a philosophy as can be found and yet still more fresh than any seemingly new view of today. It is frighteningly raw and unstructured. It cannot be contained by a theistic mind. Unfortunately, the vast majority of available students are hopelessly programmed by theology.
The Tantric philosophy part of Anusara is clearly a marketing gimmick.