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Yogasanas | The Postures of Yoga Spirituality

Updated on June 15, 2009

In yoga, the practice of the asanas is considered to be an integral part of the spiritual path. While the general definition of the word asana remains the same, asana meaning ‘posture’ in Sanskrit, the purpose of the asanas varies greatly between the different sciences of yoga. Raja yoga, for instances, holds the belief that the asana is strictly used to form a comfortable and stable seat for meditation. However, in the practice of hatha yoga, a wide variety of asana postures and series are used to help control the vital energy within the body and balance the mind. To explore some of the varieties of the yoga posture you may wish to visit this site Yoga Tutorial Site which contains a list of free lessons in the asanas.

Usually when people refer to the asanas they are talking about the extended group of postures which are either practiced one at a time as in Iyengar Yoga or in a consecutive series as in the practice of Vinayasa Flow. Traditionally, the asanas were revealed in early tantric texts and later formulated into a more structured system like those which are mentioned in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. The asanas initially appeared as different seated postures that could be used for the practices of pranayama and meditation. The most advanced seated asana is considered to be Siddhasana which is the ‘perfect pose’ and it stimulates the vital force within the body and creates an equilibrium between the channels of ida and pingala.

Later, the asanas were designed to embody a more dynamic approach to fulfilling the path of spirituality. From this perspective, there are said to be several million asanas which can be practice, one posture for each living being on the earth. But in order to simplify things, the number of asanas was reduced to a thirty three to make the practice more approachable. In Hatha yoga, the asanas play a vital role in the practitioner’s spiritual progress and development; in this system, the asanas are used to purify the body and balance the mind. In other systems of yoga, like Raja Yoga and Jnana Yoga, meditation and concentration techniques are used to control the mind. Yet in Hatha Yoga it is believed that the asanas can fulfill all the requirements necessary to bond and balance the mind and body for spirituality. Therefore the asanas became a significant addition to the path of spirituality in the system of yoga.

The practice of the yoga asanas are undoubtedly an important piece of the yogic system. The help to purify the body and removing any toxins stored within the organs, fat cells, and blood stream. They also remove energy blocks within the muscles, tendons, and ligaments which lead to the release of emotional and mental blocks which were stored within the body. Aside from this, the yogasanas also help to stimulate the prana or vital force within the body, increasing one’s vitality and health.

An important aspect of the use and application of the yoga asanas is the maintenance of a consistent and stable practice. If one wishes to find the full benefits of the yoga asanas, they must practice at least 3-4 times a week and also have a good selection of asana postures which are suitable for their biological and psychological disposition. If you are unfamiliar with the yogasanas or do not know which postures to practice, it is best to consult someone who has mastered the practice or teaches the asanas on a regular basis. Success of the asanas come with knowledge of how to apply them.

About The Author

Swami Omkarananda is a disciple of Swami Tureyananda. As a devoted student of spirituality, Swami Omkarananda is working to help distribute the right teachings of yoga for people seeking the spiritual life. Originally from the United States, Omkarananda now lives in India, working with school to encourage the use of yoga in daily classroom activities to promote the health and vitality of students in both private and governmental schools.When not active at the schools, Omkara works with disciples at the Tureya Foundation's Community in India, teaching courses in Vedanta and the traditional practices of kriya yoga.

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    • deepanjana profile image

      deepanjana 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for the hub!

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