What is yoga asanas?

The word asana is usually translated as “pose” or “posture,” but its more literal meaning is “comfortable seat.” Through their observations of nature, the yogis discovered a vast repertoire of energetic expressions, strong physical effect on the body but also a concomitant psychological effect. Each movement demands that we hone some aspect of our consciousness and use ourselves in a new way. The vast diversity of asanas is no accident, for through exploring both familiar and unfamiliar postures we are also expanding our consciousness, so that regardless of the situation or form we find ourselves in, we can remain “comfortably seated” in our center. Intrinsic to this practice is the uncompromising belief that every aspect of the body is pervaded by consciousness. Asana practice is a way to develop this interior awareness.

The practice of Hatha Yoga (Yoga exercises) can be easily moved into a state of Ego where one drives expectations and goals into the Yoga poses. Rather than connecting with in the Inner Self, the practice of Yoga exercises moves one deeper into the physical reality of disillusion.

Western culture has easily turned Yoga exercises into another form of superficial workout routines and, rather than having a holistic connection, many people are moving to a place of obsession with the body and its’ achievements. Asana can be described as a physical state of the body such that the posture moves one into an existence of wholeness and steadiness allowing one to reflect inwards on the entire being.

Yoga is an incredible practice that is way beyond a regular workout. It works on the mind, body, and soul. It is not just a set of challenging limb-twisting poses. When you combine your breath with movement, yoga becomes something beautiful. It uplifts you both physically and mentally. Eventually, you will realize that yoga is actually effortless and easy.

12 Easy Yoga Poses For Beginners

  1. Tadasana
  2. Uttanasana
  3. Virabhadrasana I
  4. Adho Mukha Svanasana
  5. Vrikshasana
  6. Bhujangasana
  7. Marjariasana
  8. Balasana

How to Create and Maintain a Home Yoga Practice

Create a habit.
Just like taking care of your car or brushing your teeth, your yoga practice should (and will!) become a habit and a standard part of your daily routine. Kripalu Yoga teacher Evelyn Gonzalez leads workshops at Kripalu designed to help people determine how to start practicing yoga at home. Using her personal experiences to guide others, she says, “If I go for months without a regular yoga routine I can feel my body start to fall apart.” The goal is to get to the point at which no doing yoga would be like not brushing your teeth, not getting your car’s oil changed.

 

No pressure.
“Be loose and free about the routine. Do as much or as little as you feel like doing. Think about what’s best for you and you alone,” Evelyn advises. Just because your neighbor practices for an hour a day doesn’t mean you should too. The first thing to ask yourself is: What schedule works best for me? If you’re already a morning person, consider practicing shortly after you wake up. Maybe your lunch break is the best time to practice, or perhaps before bed, to wind down from the busy day.
Breathe first. Let your breath guide your Asana practice. If you’re not breathing, you’re probably not being mindful. BUT, don’t beat yourself up if you notice you’ve lost your deep yogic breath. Compassion and love is what it’s all about.
Do some asana. Surya Namaskar A can be a nice place to start, but once you get going and used to doing a morning practice, I’d invite you to take some long yogic breaths and then move into whatever poses or series of poses you feel called to.
Stick with a set sequence. Practicing the same poses every day repeatedly is a powerful way to keep consistent with your practice. This repetition offers you a clear vantage point from which to watch yourself grow and change. The nature and sequencing of Ashtanga Yoga offers this beautifully. You don’t have to think about what pose you want to do next, so instead you can focus on your breath, bandhas and drishti. This takes you into a deeper meditative and focused place, so that you will step off your mat feeling more present and peaceful.
Do Not Try Everything at Home
However, as much as we love trying new things, that doesn’t mean we should try everything we see on social media. As Crow pointed out, it’s crucial to learn and understand not only the standard asanas but also the anatomy and kinesthetics of the body before attempting extreme variations of yoga poses. And remember, as wonderful as social media can be, it’s always best to learn under the guidance of a teacher. Enough said.

How do you breathe when doing yoga?

One of the most fundamental types of breathing we use is long, deep breathing. This is a breath in which you pull the air from your belly and try to slow your breathing down to one to four cycles per minute.  Below are some of the many benefits of this simple breath.

Breathing is vital for our survival as it is the only way we can send oxygen inside our body and into our organs. We can live for months without consuming food and days without water, however we can only survive a few minutes without breathing. When you learn the breathing techniques it will positively affect your actions and thoughts. Every thought we have changes the rhythm of our breath. When we are happy breathing is rhythmic and when we are stressed breathing is irregular and interrupted. Mastering the art of breathing is a crucial step towards self-healing and survival.

Biologically

When focusing on the breath during our asana practice, the control of the breath shifts from the brain stem (medulla oblongata) to the cerebral cortex (evolved part of brain) due to us being aware of the breath. It’s in that moment, when we are aware, when the magic starts to happens. The mind will become more quiet and a calm awareness arises.

The variations of breathing patterns and styles can often be daunting and overwhelming to new participants to Yoga. However, often the more simple of breathing forms can provide the greatest rewards and benefits. As one of the simplest forms of breathing, basic nostril breathing yields a wealth of benefits.

8 effective  benefits of alternate nostril breathing:

 

Revitalizes you:

Cleanses your lungs:

Improves brain function:

Calms an agitated mind

Merges the left “thinking” brain and right “feeling brain:

Encourage a calmer emotional state

Great preparation for meditation:.

Regulates  the cooling and warming cycles of the body: