What is Yoga Asana?

What is Yoga Asana?
Asana in Sanskrit means ‘posture.’ There are numerous asanas; each one has a different name, different form, different function and a distinct way of performing.

In the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali describes asana as the third of the 8 limbs of classical or Raja Yoga.In the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali describes asana as a “firm, comfortable posture” referring specifically to the seated posture.

Asanas are designed to restore and maintain a practitioner’s well-being by improving the body’s flexibility and vitality. This may be defined as the condition that is experienced when all the organs function effectively under the intelligent control of the mind. Asanas have an extraordinary capacity to heal, rejuvenate and bring the entire system into a proper state.

Each asana is specifically designed to focus on particular areas of the body. Individually the effects of each asana has significant benefits to both your mental and physical health.

The specific effects of an asana include:

  • To build healthy central nervous system
  • To build healthy endocrine glands
  • To build healthy internal organs
  • Building strength in specific muscle groups
  • To build healthy muscles
  • To build healthy digestive system
  • To build healthy joints
  • To build healthy skin
  • Developing balance and concentration

Functions of asanas according to posture:

  • Standing asanas are focused on strengthening legs and lower muscles of your body.
  • Sitting asanas are focused on making your hips and lower portion of back stronger.
  • Balance yoga postures are focused on in improving your mental condition. It also strengthens muscles.
  • Twisting and turning asanas are focused to enhanced flexibility.
  • Relaxation postures are focused on tranquility and peace of mind thus resulting in total mental rejuvenation.

Things to remember while practicing yoga asanas:

  • While doing any asana, it is very important to be alert and be conscious of what we are doing. Concentration and relaxation play a vital role in the practice of yoga.
  • A glass of fresh water should be taken before performing asanas.
  • The stomach should be empty.
  • Perform asanas in calm and quite surrounding.
  • Force or pressure should not be used while performing asanas.
  • Lower different body parts during practice should be slow like raised heels should be lowered slowly.

Shvasana, Utkatasna, Padmasana, Dhanurasana, Vajrasana, Navasana etc are some popular asanas. All these asanas are a great mixed bunch of easy and complex asanas. If you happen to be a beginner you should only opt for asanas for beginners. And practice them for your holistic health improvement.