There is a specific sequence to the major Anusara alignment principles even though ultimately we are doing all of the alignment principles simultaneously. “Organic energy,” the action of reaching out and making offering is the fifth of the physical principles. We do not reach out until we have softened and listened (opened to grace), intentionally drawn in with nurturing, focused embrace (muscular energy), expanded with discrimination (inner or expanding spiral), and drawn in again with discrimination and awareness to concentrate the energy (contracting or outer spiral). We do, in fact, need to be aware and open, to be nurtured, and to study and expand with refinement, to enhance our ability to make offering and to serve in the most optimal way. So we take care of ourselves and draw inward as much as we reach out to keep ourselves in balance.
Once we have taken care of ourselves, though, it has been my experience that without reaching out, there is no true strength or meaning in either a yoga pose or in life. Organic energy as a physical principle is expanding from bone to muscle to skin, expanding outward from the midline, and reaching from the core to the periphery. How I experience organic energy at its most supporting is a true reaching out, an offering of the energy created and refined by the other practices.
What is the point of a self-embrace or personal enlightenment if it is not used to serve, to offer the love and wisdom cultivated by the practice? Organic energy is what changes yoga (on and off the mat) from being enjoyable “navel gazing” and being a source of power that helps us brighten and shift not only ourselves, but our relationships and all around us.