Asana has a literal meaning of posture or seat. In yoga it identifies the mastery of sitting still in a firm but relaxed manner for a long time period.In the yoga context, Asana refers to two things. The place where a yoga practitioner sits and the yoga posture attained by yogis and yoginis for meditation.
More than just sitting or stretching, asanas widen up the energy channels and psychic centres of the body. Asanas help keeping the mind focused as well as purify and strengthen up the body. Asanas help you keeping a better hold and control over your mind.
Asana is one of the eight limbs of classical yoga according to which it must be steady, firm, comfortable and relaxed.
When holding an asana one should be capable of breathing slowly and deeply. One should reach one’s edge in the posture where one feels a good stretch but no pain or fatigue.
Following are a few different asanas in yoga which one can master.
- Seated Yoga Poses:
Seated yoga poses are meant for false beginners as majority of them can easily be mastered and adapted to any level of flexibility or strength. Seated yoga poses focus flexibility rather than strength.
- Standing Yoga Poses:
Standing yoga posture require both strength and flexibility and can be categorized as advanced asanas.
- Prone Yoga Poses
These are the yoga postures in which the practitioner rests on his/her belly. Belly down postures in yoga help building core body strength in the lower back and abs. most of the prone poses are the back bends, which energise the body as well as tonify the kidneys. Such poses can be mastered at beginners level yet are difficult to maintain for longer periods.
- Supine Yoga Poses
These are the yoga postures in which the practitioner rests on his/her back. These asanas are meant for the ending practices of yoga session. Their effect is stress releasing and they are also good for raising one’s flexibility.
All these yoga postures or asanas are practiced to master one’s body control. Once attained the control of the body, practitioners are believed to free themselves from the dual feeling of heat or cold, hunger or satiety and joy or grief, which is the first step toward the detachment that relieves suffering. This specific concept comes from Himalayan Masters.
Following are a few important practices that should be kept in mind while performing asanas.
- Asana should be practiced with an empty stomach.
- Force or pressure should not be exerted on body.
- Body must not tremble while performing asanas.
- Change of body postures like lowering of head or raising of heels should be kept slow.
- Breathing should be well controlled. Asanas are more beneficial when the practitioner has mastered his breathing control.
A few asanas can help reducing headache like sukhasana and shavasana