Asana is a fundamental aspect of yoga practice, and it is designed to help us develop physical, mental, and spiritual strength and flexibility. The practice of asana involves holding specific postures or poses, with the aim of promoting physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Here are some key features of asana that make it such an important tool for self-improvement:
1. Stable and comfortable
One of the key features of asana is that it encourages us to find a state of stability and comfort within each posture. This is achieved through proper alignment, engagement of the core muscles, and a focus on deep breathing. Stability helps us to maintain the posture for a longer period, allowing us to benefit fully from the practice. By finding a sense of stability and comfort within each posture, we can learn to stay grounded and centered even in challenging situations.
2. Stimulation and Relaxation
Another key feature of asana is that it stimulates and relaxes different parts of the body and mind. Each posture can be thought of as a specific tool for targeting different areas of the body, such as the spine, hips, shoulders, and legs. Asana first help to stimulate all such different parts of our body, by gentle stretch, improving blood circulation or by massaging effect.
At the same time, asana also encourages us to cultivate a state of relaxation and surrender, reducing tension and stress. This is achieved through conscious breathing and withdrawal of stimulation, at the same time maintaining an internal awareness. By learning to let go of tension and resistance, we can create a sense of ease and openness in our bodies and minds.
3. Merging with Infinity
Another key feature of asana is that it encourages us to connect with the infinite nature of the universe. Each posture is designed to help us access a deeper level of consciousness and awareness, where we can experience a sense of merging with the universe. As we practice different postures, we become more aware of our body and breath, and our mind becomes more focused and still. This helps us to connect with our inner self and the universal consciousness, leading to a deeper sense of peace and harmony.
Through this merging with infinity, we can tap into a source of infinite wisdom, love, and compassion. This can help us to overcome feelings of fear, doubt, and anxiety, and to cultivate a sense of peace, joy, and gratitude.
4. Dual Free
Finally, asana is designed to help us break free from the limitations of duality. In yoga philosophy, duality refers to the idea that we see ourselves as separate from the universe and from other people, as well as the concept of opposites, such as hot and cold, light and dark, or good and bad. This sense of separation can lead to feelings of loneliness, fear, and insecurity.
Through the practice of asana, we can learn to see ourselves as interconnected with the universe and with all living beings. This can help us to cultivate a sense of oneness, compassion, and empathy. By breaking free from the limitations of duality, we can create a sense of freedom and liberation in our lives. As we practice asanas, we learn to be in the present moment and accept things as they are, without getting attached to any particular outcome or judgment. This helps us to transcend duality and achieve a state of oneness and unity.
In conclusion, asana is a powerful tool for self-improvement, offering us a wide range of benefits for our physical, mental, and spiritual health. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced practitioner, incorporating asana into your daily routine can help you to find stability, relaxation, connection, and freedom.
Yoga is neither an exercise nor types of mental concentration. Yoga is a simple process of calming of the mind. As we move towards calming of the mind, there is an experience of slowdown and relaxation at the level of body, breath, and psyche.
Yoga is a natural process integrating the personality. It utilizes the natural reality that we are carrying with us. Our body, breath and mind are the reality of the moment. Yoga utilizes just this reality as the tools available to us to open other subtle dimensions of truth. Mental and physical health is the natural consequence of putting into use the body, breath and mind, the way they are meant to be used.
Yoga is a futuristic science of health and happiness, with a holistic vision relevant to the contemporary society. Yoga is a conscious process helping us to rise from our lower instincts to a level of normal discrimination and further elevating us to transcend normal discrimination to a calm and restful state of pure witness (ability to see the reality as it is).
Yoga not only works to bring fitness and vigor to the physical body, but also harness our breath, mental faculties (will, emotions) and expands our power of insight, vision and analysis. Yoga offers a holistic approach to life by skillfully working on body, breath and mind.
The first level handling is at the body level where we employ techniques of physical relaxation. Simple asanas provide mastery over different groups of muscles by increasing the elasticity of muscle fibers and releasing tensions and stresses. The release of stresses at body level gives deep rest to all the organs and systems in our body.
The second level operation is slowing and balancing of breath. Practice of pranayama, regulates breathing and its rhythm, especially by slowing it down and also by introducing breaks between the breaths. It balances the flow of breath between the two nostrils. According to Yoga, there is close connection between the flow of respiration and the dynamics of mind. Slow breath calms the mind, enhances its clarity and bridges the gap between body and mind.
The third level handling is at the mental level. Practices of Pratyahara (sense withdrawal), concentration and meditation are used to bring clarity and calmness in mind. The rush of the senses towards their objects is brought under control by the technique of Pratyahara, where the senses start imitating the mind rather than their respective objects. Practices of concentration and meditation featured by single thought, slowness, wakefulness, expansiveness and energy conservation refines the mind to a great extent.
Thus we can summarize the principles of Yoga in three points:
Relaxation of all the groups of muscles
Slowing down of the breath
Calming of the mind
In this way Yoga forms a holistic perspective towards life and develops a wholesome personality.
At Akshara Yoga School our teachers understand the methodology of Yoga to help you become a good yoga student and eventually a promising teacher.
Yoga practices like asana and pranayama can give its practitioners multiple physical and psychical benefits. Yoga purifies the various systems of body as well as cleanses the pathways of subtle energy channels. If we are sensitive to inner cleansing, we can cultivate self-awareness and respond better to the demands and messages of body.
Awareness is one of the key components of yoga practice. In fact, it is awareness only which gives yoga a special place among various forms of healthy lifestyle, exercise or fitness regimes. Awareness in Yoga simply means keeping track of body movements, breath, sensations and various changes that occur in body and mind while practicing Yoga which includes kriya, asana, pranayam, etc. When we bring awareness we bring the component of mind into action. This makes yoga work on the entire personality rather than on parts or sections of one’s physicality as seen in other forms of exercise. According to Yoga, mind is all pervasive and not dependent on brain (physical part) for its existence. Mind exists independent of physical body and encompasses it all.
The traditional Yoga practice which involves awareness as its prime component helps in settling the mind into its tranquil states. When the individual mind is clear of disturbances it regains its own serene nature and achieves harmony with the cosmic mind. The clear mind, traversing the entire body, infuses the very basic unit of life i.e. cell with vitality and bliss. Each cell and tissue functions in harmony and exhibit orderliness when surrounded by an unperturbed mind. When billions of recharged cells work in coherence, their collective entity which we call as physical body experiences an entirely different level of health outcomes.
A simple component of awareness can easily lead to a quantum surge in healthy feeling through yoga. Therefore, the yogic way of well-being starts by acknowledging the subtler dimensions of our personality which wield powerful effect on the grosser aspect i.e. body. We can say Yoga is all about nurturing the inner dimensions of personality for apparent manifestation of health in its different facets of physical, social and spiritual well-being. Anyone can achieve this state of perfect health simply by introducing the correct method of Yoga practice in one’s daily schedule.
Yoga is an ancient discipline originated in India as a unique way of life dedicated to inner development. Yoga develops inner qualities, primarily the qualities of mind to help individual to conduct appropriately with regard to our health, speech and action for best possible outcomes in life. Learning yoga in India can be a life time opportunity to enhance health and develop new perspectives for life.
Yoga is a spiritual discipline which aims for integrating the mind and body. Though much deeper in nature, yoga is usually practiced as physical culture with emphasis on breath coordination and awareness. The underlying principle of all yoga practices is same which is to cultivate a mind with the ability to relax, focus and meditate.
Yoga has spread throughout the globe cutting across countries, cultures and religions. This is because of the common shared values of peace, harmony and health that yoga has to offer. The principles of yoga are rooted in deep understanding of the structure and functioning of human body, mind and energy. Therefore, yoga practice not only develop physical health but also inner personality by cultivation a sense of self discipline and self awareness. Thus, yoga becomes a way of life which promotes conscious and not compulsive life which directly affects one’s health and wellbeing levels.
Yoga achieves this conscious living by bringing one’s awareness first to the grossest level of one’s personality i.e. body. As we begin to feel our body, yoga systematically elevates our awareness towards the finer aspects of personality like prana (vital energy) and mind. These finer aspects can be traced beyond the confines of our physical body to the outside world to give us a sense of unity or oneness. Since everything in the universe from gross to subtle is a single continuous mass of matter, the distinctions are narrowed. What once existed in pieces and functioned in compartments, now manifests and functions as one. Yoga defines this state as samatva or evenness. At body level this samatva can be experienced as homeostasis.
Homeostasis is a state of balance within the internal environment of body, which ensures stability. Homeostasis is necessary for survival and in its absence instability and disease ensues. By learning yoga in India one has the opportunity to learn traditional yoga can go deep into the secrets of health, longevity and happiness.