Attitude, Alignment, Action
Attitude – (Iccha) The power of the heart as the force behind every action or expression in an asana (posture); the aspiration to reawaken to our divine nature, and the celebration of life.
Alignment – (Jnana) The mindful awareness of how various parts of ourselves are integrated and interconnected.
Action – (Kriya) The natural flow of energy in the body, which provides both stability and joyful freedom. (sthira sukham asanam)
The three A’s distinguish yoga asana from mere exercise or stretching. The main intention of stretching is to increase flexibility and mobility. Stretching often aims at creating maximum sensation, usually in a localized area of the body, whereas asana, performed with the three A’s has a profound spiritual intention, a high degree of mindfulness, precise alignment, and balanced energetic action. Also, yoga focuses on extending the light of awareness evenly throughout the body.
adapted from John Friend's Anusara teacher manual