Dec 292008
 

Asanas are specific geometric body movements designed for the anatomy of human body. The ancient yogis created them to  purify the mind and body and keep them free from pain. Asanas correct imbalances, remove toxins, enhance flexibility, stability and strength, increase alertness and confidence. They reset the natural rhythm we are born with and promote inner harmony.
Standing Asanas
Standing asanas are the best way to start a yoga practice. They align and strengthen the skeletal and muscular systems, develop physical-mental stability, endurance and balance. They strengthen the legs, correct the physical defects, prevent and cure many health issues. There are many types of standing asanas. Vertical stretches, lateral bends, forward bends, backward bends, twists and the challenging balancing asanas.
Reclining Asanas
Reclining or lying down asanas, are performed after standing asanas. Reclining asanas  improve flexibility in the hips, pelvis and abdomen, strengthen the abdomino-pelvic and pelvic-lumbar muscles. They release congestions and prepare the body for sitting and inverted asanas.  Relaxation asanas are reclining asanas. They are designed in supine (on the back) and prone (on the abdomen) positions. The supine asanas rest and massage the spine and head, while the prone asanas stimulate the chest and massage the abdomen and pelvis.
Sitting Asanas
Sitting asanas improve your flexibility and strength in the legs, hips, groins, pelvis and abdomen. The spine is elongated and energized, the brain is alert and for this is reason sitting asanas are a preparation for meditation and pranayama practice.The classic sitting asanas are:Dandasana, Sukhasana, Siddhasana, Baddha Konasana, Upavishta Konasana, Padmasana, Virasana, Gomukhasana, Navasana, Janusirsasana, Paschimottanasana.There are many variations in sitting asanas like lateral bends, forward bends, backward bends and twists. They must be learnt from a competent teacher.
Inverted Asanas
Inverted asanas are the essence of asana practice. They massage the internal organs, efficiently remove toxins, repair the damages, slow the ageing process and create an exhilarating feeling, which everyone would love to experience. These asanas strengthen the torso, boost brain functions and keep the body disease-free. Semi inverted asanas such as Prasarita Padottanasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana, Viparita karani and Ardha Halasana prepare the body and mind for the inverted asanas.   Sirsasana (Head-stand), Sarvangasana (Shoulder-stand), Halasana (Plough), Karnapidasana (Blocked-ears posture) are the inverted asanas. Sirsasana is called the “King of asanas.” It creates optimum heat for burning the toxins, strengthens the immune system and reverses the ill-effects of ageing.  Sarvangasana is called the “Queen of asanas.” This asana actively reverses the internal organs in the thorax and abdomen and makes them function efficiently.  It is practiced after Sirsasana as it strengthens the upper back and removes strain from the neck caused while performing Sirsasana.  Halasana and Karnapidasana are extensions of Sarvangasana.  An experienced practitioner can easily get into these asanas directly from Sarvangasana. The biggest obstacle of these inverted asanas is misalignment of body, instability of the mind and fear. These obstacles can be overcome when practiced with an experienced teacher. To achieve the real benefits one must stay in the asana for at least 5 minutes. Props such as wall, chair and folded blankets can be used to improve comfort and prevent strain.
Relaxation Asanas
Yogic relaxation is consciously resting every part of the body and emptying the mind of all thoughts and worries. It is a partial sleep, when the brain is awake and alert, the breath is shallow and the mind transcends to deeper levels of consciousness. The inner silence is experienced only when the tensions from the body and disturbing thoughts from the mind are removed. Relaxation is the natural way of renewing and re-charging the body and mind. Relaxation asanas are designed in the supine, prone and sitting positions. You can choose the asana that provides maximum benefits for you.

 Posted by at 9:43 PM

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