Lets see the definition of Āsana🧘🏻♀️:
Sage Patanjali in his Patanjali Yoga Sutra’s defines āsana as
- Sthiram + Sukham + Āsanam (PYS 2.46)
Āsana is a physical posture that is steady & comfortable.
Prayatna + Saithilya + Anantha + Samapattibhyam (PYS 2.47)
By practicing again & again and by meditating on infinity (we can think of endless sky) and adopting a relaxed posture, asana will become steady and comfortable.
Thus by practising āsana and controlling the body and making it fit & healthy, one is to gain mastery over the modifications of the mind…
Pre-requisites & Guidelines for Āsana practise:
According to Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga one is to perform yogāsana after adopting a lifestyle following the Yamas & Niyamas. They will lay a firm foundation for building the character. <Blog on Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga will come up soon>
Cleansing & Shower 🚿:
- Before āsana practise ensure the bladder is emptied and the bowels evacuated. Never practise advanced āsanas without having first doing these.
- Taking shower before practising āsanas refreshes the body and mind and āsanas come easier. However it is optional. After practise, the body feels sticky due to perspiration and it is desirable to shower 15mins after the practise.
Food before & after:
- Āsanas should preferably done in empty stomach. If this is difficult, a cup of water with honey or milk can be taken before an hour.
- Āsanas can be practised 4hrs after a heavy meal or 1hr after a very light meal.
- Food can be consumed half an hour after the practise.
Time to perform:
- The best time to practise is either early in the morning or late in the evening.
- In the mornings the mind is fresh but the body is stiff. The stiffness though can be conquered by regular practice.. After the morning yoga practice, one will fee very fresh and energetic and will be able to do rest of the days activities efficiently.
- In the evening the body moves more freely and hence āsanas come better and with greater ease. More complex āsanas, where one was not able to reach to the final position with ease in the mornings, need to be practised in the evenings too. It helps remove the fatigue of the day’s strain and makes one fresh after the evening practise.
Place to perform:
- Āsanas should be practised in a clean (free from dust & insects) , well ventilated and calm place.
- It is best when done outdoor where the sun’s rays ☀️ falls on your body and surrounded by greenery 🌴..
- If done indoor ensure fresh clean air enters the place rather than a closed air-conditioned one. Also if possible ensure there are indoor plants 🌱 in the place.
- Āsanas are to be performed on a mat.
- Most commercial yoga mats are made of PVC, otherwise known as vinyl – widely produced synthetic plastic polymer, which is not bio-degradable.
- However, more eco friendly options like natural rubber, jute, natural fibre and natural cotton ones are available on amazon <click on the link will take you to the product on amazon page> or check your nearest eco friendly stores. Do opt for them.
In all the āsanas breathing should be done through the nostrils👃only and not through the mouth 👄. Follow the instructions of yoga teacher regarding breathing technique during various āsanas as this plays a vital role in Yoga.
Who can practise Āsanas:
Any healthy individual 👫 👨👩👧👦 👵👴 can practise āsanas. The right method of doing āsanas brings lightness and an exhilarating feeling in the body as well as in the mind and a feeling of oneness of body, mind and soul!
- People with ailments: They needs to practise only certain āsanas and need to avoid few, which will be informed by the yoga teacher. Contraindications or limitations for the āsanas will be mentioned during the practise. Yoga therapy has been scientifically proven to relieve or cure many psychosomatic ailments!
- Kids 👧👦: Yoga is a gift to humanity, and should be started early in life so that the practitioner can reap lifelong benefits of this ancient practice. Simple asanas can be started at a every early age, however after 5yrs one can practise āsanas instructed by the instructor. Immense benefits both at physical and mental levels <to list a few – increase in height, stamina, memory & recollection, prevents and controls phycosomatic ailments, nasal blocks & allergies, asthmatic problems…> can be observed within few months of regular practice.
- Women 👩🏻 :
- during menstruation: Menstrual pain differs from person to person, hence listen to your body and do those you are comfortable to. However certain āsanas that are to be avoided during this time. There are several asanas which on regular practice help relieve or prevent menstural pain.
- during pregnancy 🤰: Few āsanas & prānāyamas can be practised throughout pregnancy that has immense benefits like reliving backaches & improve posture, reduce constipation, help you sleep better, helps you not gain unnecessary weight, prepares your mind & body for the labour & increase the chances for normal delivery.
- after delivery 🤱: Only few āsanas as instructed can be done during 1st month after delivery. Three months after delivery all āsanas may be practised with comfort.
Have a refreshing & rejuvenating yogāsana practise!
Found the blog informative? Give it a thumbs up and subscribe for blog updates. I do conduct āsanas, prānāyama & meditation 🧘🏻♀️ classes as nirvāṇa yoga @ HSR 1st Sector, Bangalore… People who stay near by & interested in joining do get in touch with me for further details. Thankyou 🙏!