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Classifying Asanas, Levels, Methods, Mastering Them

merry2010-07-05 00:13:41 +0000 #1
Derived from the Sanskrit verb ‘Aas’, asana means position, and according to Patanjali, Yoga positions are meant to be smooth, fluid motions that position the body in a comfortable position, from which one is meant to deposition oneself in unbroken, graceful movements. Slow and controlled, Yoga asanas are to not to be assumed in the fast, bouncy motions so popular in Western aerobics and gymnastics, etc. Asanas (physical positions) can be progressively achieved or mastered in 4 levels in progression, as follows:

1.When an Asana / Position is assumed, stability is an integral part of the process. After assuming a requisite asana, one is required to maintain the body in the same position for a period of time, stabilising all the muscles in the body, whether stretched or relaxed. The classical definition of Asanas explains that the first level is meant for stabilising all bodily functions.

2.After holding a particular asana for a certain period of time, the next level is to feel the comfortable in the position, and maintaining which should come easily.

3.After being able to hold the position in a comfortable and steady manner, one should try to try a gradual relaxation of muscles, which allows one greater stability and comfort in holding the asana. A relaxed body also calms the mind and allows for greater introspection and easy focus.

4.A relaxed mind means one can focus easily on the object of meditation to experience a higher stage, an asana level related to the higher mind, leading to transcendation of a physical experience.

Being able to practise all four levels in progression means one has achieved mastery over the Asana, regular practice of which imparts great physical and mental benefits. Ability to maintain an Asana for 3-hours without experiencing any discomfort and simultaneously reaching the higher stages of meditation means mastery on both the physical and the mental level.


souljourney1082010-07-05 00:18:00 +0000 #2
Beautiful, Thanks Merry.

Hari Om,

Soul

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