The Purpose and Preparation of Asana

The Purpose and Preparation
of Asana
Yoga Sutras
 Sthira Sukham Asanam – Asana
is a steady, comfortable pose.
 By lessening the natural tendency
for restlessness and by meditating
on the infinite, posture is
 Thereafter one is undisturbed by
 That (firm posture) being acquired,
the movements of inhalation and
exhalation should be controlled.
This is pranayama. 2:46-49
Classical texts
 Prostrating first to the guru, Yogi
Swatmarama instructs the
knowledge of hatha yoga only for
(raja yoga) the highest state of 27
 Having done asana one gets
steadiness (firmness) of body and
mind; diseaseless and lightness
(flexibility of the limbs). Pg 67
 The best of yogis, being free from
fatigue in practicing asana and
bandhas, should practice
purification of the nadis, mudras and
pranayama. Pg 132
BKS Iyengar – Light on Yoga
 The Yogi conquers the body by the
practice of asanas and makes it a fit
vehicle for the spirit. Pg 41
 As a mountaineer needs ladders,
ropes and crampons as well as
physical fitness and discipline to climb
the icy peaks of the Himalayas, so
does the Yoga aspirant need the
knowledge and discipline of the Hatha
Yoga of Swatmarama to reach the
heights of Raja Yoga dealt with by
Patanjali. Pg 22-23
Swami Satyananada Saraswati
 Asana means a state of being in which
you can remain steady, calm, quiet and
comfortable, physically and mentally.
Asana, Pranayama, Mudra and Bandha
by Swami Satyananda Saraswati pg 1
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre
 Asanas are non-violent and provide a
gentle stretching that acts to lubricate the
joints, muscles and ligaments, tendons,
and other parts of the body. Asanas help
to tone the nervous system, improve
circulation, release tension, and increase
flexibility. When performed in a slow and
relaxed manner, they are designed to
develop more than just the physical body.
They also broaden the mental faculties
and enhance the spiritual capabilities.
Asanas make up the third limb, or step, in
the Raja yoga system. Pg 10
What is the Purpose of
Asana for Students?
The Purpose of Asana for Students
 To make me…
stronger, more supple,
flexible, fitter, more
attractive, lose weight,
relax, de-stress, get
away from husband/
family, calm down,
cope, fun, enjoy, have
me-time, connect to
spirit/ subtle side of
life, more aware, more
like my favourite
Teaching Yoga – Mark Stephens
 For most students, the first attraction to
asana is for healing physical or
emotional pain, reducing stress, or
gaining strength and flexibility. At the
very least, the practice should support
these intentions…..By cultivating a
consistent openness to being fully
tuned in, what at first was a more purely
physical practice becomes a tool for
calming the mind, settling the emotions,
and awakening to an abiding sense of
spirit. Pg 157
Asana can be purely physical

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