yogasana is a posture in harmony with one's inner consciousness.
It aims at the attainment of a sustained and comfortable sitting
posture to facilitate meditation. Asanas also help in balancing
and harmonizing the basic structure of the human body, which
is why they have a range of therapeutic uses too.
basically perform five functions:
action is the voluntary exercise of the organs of action. The asanas
being the main yogic instrument of balancing the body, they consist
of various physical postures, which are designed to release tension,
improve flexibility and maximize the flow of vital energy. The purpose
of the asanas is to create a flow of positive energy so that our
concentration is directed within ourselves and the mind is able
to perceive the effects of our action. That is
the earlier two actions are fused, our mind's discriminative faculty
guides these organs to perform the asanas more correctly. The resultant
rhythmic energy flow and awareness leads to a mental state of pure
joy (ananda). Physical postures, therefore end up affecting the
various interrelated channels (nadis) of the mind-body complex and
ultimately the performance of a perfect yogasana leads to the absolute
intellectual absorption of the mind on a single task (dharana),
which in turn leads to the fusion of the individual spirit with
the Divine Self (dhyana).
Benefits of Yogasanas
The regular practice of yogasanas has an immense amount of therapeutic
value. Besides various physiological benefits, they positively affect
our minds, our life force energies as well as our creative intelligence.
Regular practice helps to keep our body fit, controls cholesterol
level, reduces weight, normalizes blood pressure and improves heart
performance. Physical fitness thus achieved leads to reduction of
physical stress and greater vitality. Asanas harmonize our pranic
ability (prana means life-force) and mental energy flow by clearing
any blockages in the subtle body leading to mental equilibrium and
calmness. They make the mind strong thus enabling our human body
to suffer pain and unhappiness stoically and with fortitude.
'Pranayama' is a compound term ('prana' and 'yama') meaning the
maintenance of prana throughout one's life. More than a breath-control
exercise, pranayama is all about controlling the life force or prana.
Ancient yogis who understood the essence of prana, studied it and
devised methods and practices to master it. These practices are
better known as pranayama. Since breath or prana is basic to life,
the practice of pranayama helps in harnessing the prana in and around
us and by deepening and extending it - pranayama leads to a state
of inner peace.
The practices of pranayamathe correct breathing technique
helps to manipulate our energies. Most of us breathe incorrectly,
using only half of our lung capacity. Pranayama is a technique,
which re-educates our breathing process, helps us to release tensions
and develop a relaxed state of mind. It also balances our nervous
system and encourages creative thinking. In addition, by increasing
the amount of oxygen to our brain it improves mental clarity, alertness
and physical well being.
practiced along with yogasanas the benefits of pranayama are more
Dharana involves developing and extending our powers of concentration.
This consists of various ways of directing and controlling our attention
and mind-fixing skills, such as concentrating on the chakras or turning
Dhyana is the state of meditation when the mind attains the ability
to sustain its attention without getting distracted. Strictly speaking,
this is not a technique but rather a state of mind, a delicate state
of awareness. This state rightfully precedes the final state of
Samadhi or total absorption, is the ability to become one with the
True Self and merge into the object of concentration. In this state
of mind, the perceiver and the object of perception unite through
the very act of perception, a true unity of all thought and action.This
is the acme of all yogic endeavors, the ultimate 'yoga' or connection
between the individual and the universal Soul!