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.
- Virabhadrasana I
- Adho Mukha Svanasana