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The origins of Anukalana

Twenty years of research

The story of Anukalana was a fascinating journey between tradition and modernity, between needs and insights. This approach to Yoga in fact is developed to answer some needs that certainly you will come across in your path of personal and spiritual growth.

Based on Traditional Tantra Yoga, Anukalana was developed as a result of investigations started by Jacopo Ceccarelli (Yogendra) in the late '90s with the aim of finding the most natural and complete way to practice this discipline.

Having learned Yoga from the monks of the Tantric tradition Jacopo always kept in focus the idea that this practice must be adapted to the individuals in order to respect their physical and mental constitution.

yoga centrato flow formazione

With over twenty years of experience in martial arts and in the field of natural medicine, Jacopo conducted a work of integration (hence the term Anukalana) that led him to develop over time the more fluid and natural way to practice the asanas and vinyasa finding later confirmation by the most recent studies on the anatomy of the Mio-Fascia.

"Yoga is for men, not men for Yoga"

The central purpose of this research is actually always been to give back to practice the role of facilitating the evolution of consciousness through meditation that becomes easier and almost spontaneously when the asanas, pranayama and other practices such as mudra and bandha are performed following a path that suits your constitution and which complies with the laws of nature: the fluid motion, the rhythmic pulsation, the expansion without tension, etc.

Anukalana Today is really the most natural way to practice Yoga because it adapts to your constitution. Everyone in fact is different in nature and is important to remember that the practice of asanas should respect the subjective constitution adapting to the body and mind of the practitioner.

Just as everything should be adapted to place, time and person, even the practice of postures, breathing, alignment, etc. should respect the needs of the practitioner in order to bring maximum benefits while avoiding any side effect.

While in many modern schools and styles Yoga practice is offered in patterns and rules often too rigid: same sequences for all, alignments that do not respect the morphology of individual skeleton, Anukalana instead puts the focus of the individual, his constitution, its needs and promotes the search for a personal way to address the practice making it easy, pleasant and beneficial opening the way towards the full opening of the body and mind.

But how did we developed this approach to the practice?

Jacopo will tell us here:

Anukalana was initially created to respond to needs encountered by every practitioner when he starts to walk the path of Yoga: a practice that is safe, it can be done in a reasonable time and to support the most important part of this journey: Meditation

The first need: A whole  and complete practice in reasonable time

Have you ever had the feeling of not having enough time for your practice of Yoga and Meditation or not getting all the benefits you would expect while devoting yourself with energy to make them like they taught you?

yoga-clock

Just time ... now it has become a precious factor and this is the first requirement that Anukalana met: after many years of research, practice, study, etc. the practices I wanted to do every day had become many and time was less and less.

So in the late '90s I started looking for an integration between Yoga (asanas, breathing, mudra and bandha) and Taoist practices such as Qi Gong and Tai Chi in order to optimize my daily practice. It took some time, the project was ambitious and the first attempts did not give valid results but with the help of my teachers and masters I slowly managed to find a way.

In the end the result was very satisfactory indeed, the practice was rising far too much energy! It was necessary to work hard to refine the system and reach a final formula. Finally, I could practice the asanas and vinyasa with the integration of technical principles inspired by other disciplines that had demonstrated compatibility with the goals and methods of Yoga. All this in total respect of the tradition, without distorting the practice but rather bringing it back to what most likely was in the ancient times.

Thanks to Anukalana today I can daily achieve a feeling of openness and Integrity and in a short time through a practice in which motion, breath, positions, and concentration will coordinate among themselves using elements that facilitate the free flow of prana and development of a very high experience. A practice of 30-40 minutes conducted in this way leads to a fabulous state of inner stillness and I have much more time to meditate.

The second need: A safe and natural practice

anukalana-yoga-chandrasana

Following a series of major back problems caused by a small accident, I realized that yoga practiced according to the principles of the most popular styles did not produce valid results, but rather, often worsened the situation. Added to this was a series of the most important joint problems: shoulders and knees. An unfortunate period of my life ...

That was the time when i went back with passion to the study of anatomy and began to do plenty of research. I began to integrate in practice some of the principles of Kinesiology and Ortho-Bionomy but especially devoted much time to the study of the most recent findings on the Mio-Fascia. It was one of my students (a physiotherapist) to encourage me towards these studies arguing that the way I was doing yoga was much healthier for the body than the styles she had tried until then.

I studied in depth the movements of each joint and the way to manage it during the asana practice. But above all, I changed the way of breathing during vinyasa and asana and new doors opened revealing mefascinating worlds to discover.

To be honest I think today that I have not discovered anything ... I just found the way most likely the body was approached in the ancient times. To confirm this were my own students: in teacher trainings I had osteopaths, physiotherapists and several professional dancers. I asked my students to conduct research for the final thesis to the origins of dance, yoga and movement. Today we no longer have doubts: Yoga has always been smooth and soft. Only in modern times it has lost this aspect becoming unnatural and often dangerous. Especially during British colonialism in India this discipline has begun to integrate aspects of Western gymnastics losing its naturalness and adding a lot of new positions until then only used in martial arts (see the various viirabhadrasana) and still practiced in a way too segmented. The body is in fact not made of segments ... but of curves and spirals.

Obviously I'm not the only one to follow this road, many teachers are rediscovering the benefits of a more fluid practice. But we went further ... we discovered things that have brought Anukalana to be the most fluid and natural approach to Yoga. We used ancient and modern tools to get deep in the body and mind. The real selling point of Anukalana is the community of people who continue to do research and to further the development of this approach.

We are not interested in creating a new stye but to bring back Yoga to be more natural, realistic and closer to each person.

Today the way I breathe and move has changed and the level of awareness that Anukalana develops allows me to feel moment by moment what my body asks for and to satisfy it immediately in practice. Difficult poses become easier and safer, the body can be quickly opened, the energy flows in every area and region of the body and vital status is full :-)

The most fascinating thing is that many people after trying Anukalana for the first time they cry ... deep tensions are released quickly and withheld emotions are released.

Today i thank my injuries as they have been my greatest teachers.

The third need: A practice that prepares and support Meditation

Grand-CanyonMeditate, meditate, meditate. My yogic experience began and grew up in a context related to the Tantra. Meditation is so the most important practice. Sitting Meditation session, long daily sessions.

But sometimes it is hard to focus your mind and is not always easy to perform long meditation techniques.

I was fortunate to be led by Tantric monks with a very open mind who have always encouraged me to do continuous research with firm constancy in daily practice. And so over the years I have learned from many traditions the different techniques that lead the consciousness to expand. But the fact remains that you can not practice all because you would end up getting nothing.

I continued to integrate developing a way of dealing with meditation that today allows me to carry out the practice of Tantric meditation (one traditionally linked to Yoga) effortlessly and with renewed passion.

From the various traditions that I had the opportunity practice (Zen, Tao, Vipassana) I have learned many things and it was a lot of work to try to integrate them without falling into the trap of making a great minestroni that leads to nothing. Where it is most usefull to direct awareness? What tools can I use to sharpen concentration and maintain it over time? how can I quickly shake off everyday stress and tension to get into the meditative state with a light mind and a clear conscience IN EACH SESSION?

To meet these needs, I worked a lot but this research has not created a new way to meditate, rather a very effective way of approaching meditation!

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