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Yoga Asanas: A Primer

Yoga Asanas: A Primer

  • The Yoga posture or pose is called Asana in Sanskrit.
  • Yoga has thousands of body postures that are practised according to one’s proficiency and body type.
  • Yoga Asanas slow us down and connect us in breath, body and mind. Practising increases strength and flexibility while improving balance.
  • Yoga has many different kinds like Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga and Kundalini. Each Yoga is an entire thesis on the science of body and mind.
  • It has a unique and profound impact on one’s mind and body.

The Names Of The Asanas

Yoga Asanas have Sanskrit names that describe the appearance of the bodily posture, like:

  • Downward Facing Dog Pose: Adho Mukha Svanasana, with a posture that looks like a stretching dog.
  • Triangle Pose: Trikonasana, making a triangular shape.
  • Hand To Big Toe Pose: Utthita hasta padangusthasana, where one has to extend a leg upwards and grab the foot with the hand.

The Yoga Sutra

The Yoga Sutra, an ancient yogic text written by Patanjali many centuries ago lists the eight steps for the Path To God.

1. Yamas (the moral values

2. Niyamas (the ethical values),

3. Asanas (the postures),

4. Pranayama (breathing exercises),

5. Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses),

6. Dharana (concentration),

7. Dhyana (meditation),

8. Samadhi (spiritual absorption).

It says the Asanas should be steady, not painful, and one should not try advanced ones too soon.

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