Asana

Asana

Asana is a perfect body stability, constancy of the mind and the spirit.

Often you can meet the reasoning of asana, as any comfortable position. But if this were so, it would be only about pleasure asanas (bhagasanah), which do not require high attention control, but not about yoga asanas.




At the beginning of practice in order to achieve steadiness and comfort in Asana, one should make some effort to get the skill of control of attention in different positions of the body.

With experience, the effort aimed at execution of asanas, loses the nature of effort. Endless state of life reigns in the inner space, when consciousness of the body, mind and soul unites in one.

However, to achieve such a State when consciousness stable in any position of the body, takes years, and even more often it takes decades of continuous yogic practices, accompanied with a high level of detachment.

Yoga-Shastras tell that there are 8 400 000 asanas, that Shiva, father of yoga, gave to people.

Most commonly in various yogic systems use about 100-300 basic asanas that are regularly used in a variety of training sequences.

The number of asanas are fixed in some systems, in other systems they are constantly update and adapt to modern conditions of human existence.

Asana in “Gheranda-Samhita”

The ancient Sage Gheranda in his “Gheranda-Samhita” defined 32 poses as the most important:

1 Siddhasana (perfect pose)
2 Padmasana (lotus pose)
3 Bhadrasana (blessed pose)
4 Muktasana (release pose)
5 Vajrasana (diamond pose)
6 Svastikasana (swastika pose)
7 Simhasana (lion pose)
8 Gomukhasana (cow’s head pose)
9 Virasana (Hero pose)
10 Dhanurasana (bow pose)
11 Shavasana / Mritasana (corpse pose)
12 Guptasana (hidden pose)
13 Matsyasana (Fish pose)
14 Matsiendrasana (Matsendra pose)
15 Gorakshasana (Goraksha pose)
16 Paschimottanasana (Back stretching pose)
17 Utkatasana (raised pose)
18 Sankatasana (woven pose)
19 Mayurasana (peacock pose)
20 Kukkutasana (rooster pose)
21 Kurmanasana (tortoise pose)
22 Uta-kurmanasana (stretched tortoise pose)
23 Uta-mandukasana (stretched frog pose)
24 Vrikshasana (tree pose)
25 Mandukasana (frog pose)
26 Garudasana (Eagle pose)
27 Vrshabhasana (bull pose)
28 Shalabhasana (grasshopper pose)
29 Makarasana (crocodile pose)
30 Ushtrasana (Camel pose)
31 Bhudzhangasana (cobra pose)
32 Yogasana (yoga pose)

asana

A huge amount of wealth a person can gain thanks to these poses, but only 11 of them are considered as key asanas.

Asana in “Hatha Yoga Pradipika”

Yogi Svatmarama, a disciple of the Garkšanatha, specifies these acanas in the text of “Hatha Yoga Pradipika”:

1 Siddhasana (perfect pose)
2 Padmasana (lotus pose)
3 Gomukhasana (cow’s head pose)
4 Virasana (Hero pose)
5 Kukkutasana (rooster pose)
6 Uta-kurmanasana (stretched tortoise pose)
7 Dhanurasana (bow pose)
8 Matsiendrasana (Matsendra pose)
9 Paschimottanasana (Back stretching pose)
10 Mayurasana (peacock pose)
11 Shavasana / Mritasana (corpse pose)

A key position among all recollected asanas belongs to Padmasana and Siddhasana. High quality mastering of these acanas paves the way for mastering the following steps of yoga.

Plunging into the depths of oneself, the sadhaka (Yoga practitioner) achieves with ones attention the smallest parts of the body which helps to master the art of relaxation.

Practice of asanas with using certain breathing patterns helps to “rotate” the consciousness from perception of external objects on the internal, opening up a whole universe of potential opportunities and discoveries.

asana

This condition is called Pratyahara. Concentration on one area – Dharana “unfolds” next. The culmination of Dharana is Dhyana – a deep state of overconcentration on a given object with blackout of all distracting stimuli.

Here lays the sustainable Foundation of detachment — Vairagya.

When the state of combining the body, mind and soul is achieved, a person leaves the limits of the world of opposites and comes out from the impact of oppositely directed trends: pleasure and pain, heat and cold, honour and dishonour.

At the time of gaining perfection in Asana we discover the bliss and happiness that nothing cannot overshadow.

What you want to achieve is reached, what should take place — unfolds in all its beauty and completeness.

In addition to being a tool that works with your consciousness, Asana is also directly affects the physiology of the body.

Performance of various poses with a concentration of efforts on a particular part of the body leads to revitalizing and improving the functions of specific organs.

Some Asana affects the sympathetic nervous system, leading to activisation , some asanas, on the contrary, affects mainly the parasympathetic nervous system.

In addition, Asana, effecting neurohumoral regulation organs and endocrine glands can have a definite impact on the optimization of the glands (for example, Saravangasana affects the thyroid) and through this to provide a beneficial effect on chakra, associated with this gland (in this example – Vishudha chakra).

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