asana is a steady comfortable posture
patanjali yoga sutra II.46
Asanas or postures are a very tiny aspect of yoga, contrarily of what most of the people think, yoga is far to be just postures. None less, asanas are very effective tools in one’s own development. At there foundation asanas have been developed by the yogi to ease the holding of a steady comfortable posture during meditation time. But gradually the yogi’s have understood that asanas were hiding much more then what they were first thought for.
For thousands of years asanas have been developed under the awareness of the yogis and have become wonderful tool to guide and help us to optimize and awaken the latent inner potential of our human nature. Asanas are tools for the realization of our Self and our own existence.
Asnasas work on many different aspect of the body, or if can say ‘the bodies?E because according to the yogic philosophy the human body is divided in five different layers or bodies call koshas on which we will come back on a subsequent chapter. Asanas works primarily on the physical body by reinforcing and maintaining our anatomic structure by toning and massaging the internal organ, by regulating our endocrine glands, by lubricating our articulations and by stretching and feeding our muscles and other body tissues.
Another important aspect of asanas is that it optimizes the operation of our lymphatic system having for consequence a better performance of our immune system.
Asanas work as well on the energy body. Our physical body is a storehouse for our tension, so many people have stiff shoulder, stomach pain, back pain etc all those because of inner stress, inner tension. Those tension create energy block, they stop or reduce the free flow of energy in our body. Asanas are perfect tools to first of all show us our inner tension by giving us opportunity to observe them, and they are perfect tools to help us get rid of those tensions by working on them step by step. Asanas work as knot releaser, when then tension let place to relaxation the energy in the body start to flow freely and our whole being start to reawaken.
And certainly asanas by inducing a better circulation, a better health and a better flow of energy it directly influence the mind and the mental condition of the practitioner. In many ways assanas influence the mind like for exemple by learning to observe our condition whitout reacting to it but more by accepting, understanding and acting with it. Balancing asanas has a very interesting impact on our mental balance as well. To get our body balance we have to get our mind focus and a focus mind is a healthy mind. Most of the time if you notice your periode of mental imbalance you will notice how spread are your thought or just how your mind have control over your thought. Concentration and relaxation are powerful practices, which induces important transformation into one’s life.
Those are just a few exemples of the very incredible benefit one can have by regularly practicing asanas.