Asanas (Yoga Postures)
Yoga asanas are the physical aspect of Yoga wherein the physical postures are practiced to implement healthy living and help us link the eight limbs, creating a mind/body connection and deeper spirituality. Most people associate the asanas as yoga as they are not familiar with the other limbs of Yoga Sutra of Patanjali. However, each of the 8 limbs of Yoga Sutra are interconnected and interrelated helping the individual reach the highest level of spiritual attainment with practice. At White Crow Yoga, we strive to teach the eight limbs and teach our trainees how to share this with their students in turn.
Practicing asanas has varied benefits and some of the best advantages for many yogis might be seen as improvement in balance, strength and flexibility and other immense health benefits. However, asanas are not just physical aspects of yoga but have deeper implications. It is another process of connecting with your higher spiritual self, and the asanas are used as a tool to bring patience, peace and calms the mind to ascend to a higher level. The different levels of asana practices are constantly a challenge and provide an individual with a chance to control, explore the emotions, intents, faith and introspection.
Practicing yoga connects the physical and spiritual aspects of the body, bring a constant change as the asanas are continually practiced and tweaked. The same pose is different each day, as our bodies change and our practice changes with it or vice versa. Our yoga practice brings about unity of mental and physical aspects of your personality, harmonizing the body with the unseen elements of the environment. Constant practice of the yogic philosophies and physical asanas creates a unique balance between the spiritual and materialistic living, bringing about peace in your life.
Asanas as physical and mental exercise:
Each of the asanas is part of the total set of yogic pattern which helps to open chakras or energy channels, while helping the body attain better flexibility, increases core strength and enhance the blood circulation, helping you attain better physical form. Incorporating Prayanama or breathing exercises with the asanas helps to mentally release stress and calm the mind. The focused attention on the different asanas and adherence to the other limbs of yoga helps to de-stress and increases spiritual awareness.
Yogic asanas are known to reduce and prevent hypertension, diabetes, arthritis and many other mental and physical ailments. But the asanas need to be done regularly to have the health benefits. When you do the asanas, it is initially done consciously and slowly increases mental acumen by enhancing concentration.
With regular practice of asanas, it fosters a meditative stage and brings a peaceful demur because the focused energy brings about opening of the energy channels and grounding spirituality. This in turn expands the consciousness and control over breathing, Pranayama (4th limb of yoga sutra) is a preparation for serious meditation. The harmonizing of mental, physical and ethereal body energies streamlines to achieve the next stage of spiritual attainment.