Asana is a Sanskrit word which denotes specific physical positions that can be held in a comfortable and relaxed manner for a prolonged period. Asana is among the eight limbs of classical yoga. According to Asana, poses should be firm, steady, relaxed and comfortable to enable a practitioner to become more aware of his/her mind, environment and body.
Asana postures have an in-depth effect on the mind and body, and so they are used at the start and end of each yoga class to prepare the body and make it relaxed. The effects of asana can only be felt through practicing asana. For instance, the cat posture is used for stretching the spine and body; the Cobra position enables one release emotions and aggression, the hare pose is meant for relaxation.
Asana postures are more than just stretching. Most of the postures carry animal names such as deer, cat, hare, tiger, etc. since they are derived from animal positions and t movements as well as nature. The postures use nature examples on how to help oneself. The postures open the body’s physical centers, chakras, and energy channels increasing spine flexibility, bone strength and stimulated immune and circulatory systems. With proper breathing, asana calms the mind and reduces stress.
Benefits of Asanas
Practicing asana is very advantageous for the joints, nervous system, muscles, mind, chakras, psyche and the cardiovascular system. They are psychosomatic movements that balance as well as strengthen the whole nervous system stabilizing and harmonizing a practitioner’s mind state. The end results of these exercises that one realizes are clear mind, sense of contentment, inner peace and freedom and relaxation.
Additionally, besides stamina, vibrant health and flexibility, this unifying mind and body exercise is also an integral part of spiritual practice. The only tangible way that one can be able to become compassionate is only through the cellular body experience. Learning what it means to let go is through the body since most self-destructing addictions happen through physiological and neurological entrenchment, thus practicing asana is the only way to which one can be able to overcome impulses of overeating or doing something only to regret later. It is very difficult to focus or feel purposeful when the body is full of pains, burdens, illnesses, diseases, and aches.
• Stabilization and normalization of blood pressure.
• Fresh and clear skin.
• Stimulated and regulated glandular and Organ activities.
• Toned muscles.
• More mobile joints.
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