Third limb of Raja Yoga - Asana

Asana is next significant limb of Raja Yoga. Asanas or Yogasanas are so commonly known that many people (wrongly) equate Yoga with Asana. As we saw previously though important it is just one of the eight limbs of Raja Yoga.

Asana means position of body. As per Hathayoga Pradipika, Lord Shiva has told 84 Lakh asanas! He new that normal human being will not be able to do or even remember all of them so he gave just 84 important ones for practice.

Asanas play a wonderful role in curing many diseases and improving immunity of the body against diseases. Many people find them too difficult but with regular and un-tired practice anybody can do many of them. Some common and well known Asanas are:

  • Shalabhasana
  • Bhujangasana
  • Sarvangasana
  • Dhanurasana
  • Matsyasana
  • Shavasana

As far as meditation goes following Asanaa are considered very important:

  • Siddhsana
  • Padmasana
  • Vajrasana
Especially Siddhasana is highly admired by all the Yogies.

These Asanas give firmness and steadiness to your body. Many people can not do these Asanas for longer time because they start getting cramps in their legs. Many modern Yoga teachers recommend sitting on a chair for meditation. However, by doing this you are diluting the effectiveness of meditation. There is a reason why ancient Yogis recommended above Asanas for meditation. When you sit with your legs folder your body remains firm and steady (you can try that your self. Sit in a chair and sit in any of above Asanas and you yourself will realize which one is giving more steadiness to your body). Also, the blood circulation in lower parts of the body reduces. Naturally blood supply  to upper part of body increases where higher energy centers are situated (more on energy centers later).

You may not be pursuing meditation or any spiritual activities but at least for good physical and mental health one must learn and practice Asanas regularly.

Bipin Joshi is an independent software consultant, trainer, author, yoga mentor, and meditation teacher with over 24 years of experience in classical form of Yoga. He is an internationally published author and has authored or co-authored more than twelve books on .NET technologies. He has been awarded as a Most Valuable Professional by Microsoft. He has also written a few Marathi books including Devachya Davya Hati and Natha Sankentincha Danshu. Having embraced the Yoga way of life he also teaches Ajapa Yoga to selected individuals.

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Posted On : 14 July 2005

Tags : Patanjali Hatha Yoga Raja Yoga Ashtanga Yoga Asanas

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