What is Asana ?
31 Jan 2020 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy
By Erika Bam – School of Hatha Yoga
“Sthira Sukham Aasanam” PYD 2.46
The verse means that Body is steady and comfortable.
Literally, Asana is a seat of the body for the body. It is the position, not a exercise. There are some differences between Physical exercise and Asana. Posture/Aasanam/ Asana is that in which body is steady, comfortably and pleasure-fully rested according to Patanjali Yoga Sutra it is justified so. Asana is the third level of Ashtanga Yoga in Yoga Darshana, second level of Hatha Yoga in Gheranda Samhita and first stage in Hatha Pradipika.
In order to restraint the modifications of mind, one needs to practice to sit in a particular posture. When one maintains the particular grometric posture with co-ordination to breath and thoughtlessness in mind, he/she can connect with the outer cosmos, the source.The connection of inner source with outer source can manifest power, intelligence and knowledge that is the main intention of performing asanas.
“Shareera – maadhyam khalu Dharma-saadhanam…………..the body is the means of fulfillment of Dharama (Ethics). The body is the primary instrument for fulfillment of duties and ethics.
Just Asana cannot manifest the aim of yoga but it is very crucial step to adjust our physical body/vehicle to reach in state of meditation.
Physical Activities/ Body act becomes hindrance for steadiness of mind , while sitting in particular posture the power of body/vehicle gets manifested in form of compassion & intelligence i.e we move beyond animal nature to intelligent being.
Body holds on; mind holds on; thoughts hold on; then consciousness expands.
In conclusion, it can be stated that the source/divine exists within the dense body. So one must understand the real essence of performing asana & implement it on being to meditative state, from which we can realize the divine within and the divine outside as a result we become everything, we dissolve. The state of enlighten happens.