By Faye Martins
We often hear that asana is just one of many Yogic aspects, but a 200-hour Yoga teacher training program may focus on asana for 100 hours. Yoga asana is essentially a deep internal massage. As you move through a series of postures, the muscles, bones, and organs bend, twist, flex, contract, lengthen and release with each other. In manipulating the body, energy blockages are released, and the internal organs are massaged.
Nerve channels open to clear a pathway for circulation by alternately flushing and emptying the blood and lymph vessels. This flushing or squeezing creates a massaging motion on the internal organs keeping them pliable and healthy. Regular Yoga asana practice encourages the spine to become supple as the joints move freely while muscles lengthen and loosen.
The joints can bend and turn as more space is created for maneuverability. By keeping regular yoga asana practices going, you contribute to good health by keeping the energy flowing freely. The body becomes a conduit for creative life force as it begins the healing process. As the energy flows freely through you, you feel invigorated and re-charged, functioning all the better at your healthiest. Beginning to move through life strong in your purpose and feeling connected!
To practice Yoga asana is to undo the obstructions and limitations in your body and mind to allow for the free flow of creative life force energy. If the flow of energy that connects you to the universal rhythm diminishes or becomes obstructed, health problems will arise.
Moving through the various postures (asana) allows the energy flow to move in other directions that your body normally wouldn’t assume. Each posture brings movement to the affected area opening tight spots as you funnel your energy to that area. Bringing your breath in to help loosen and release blockages in the tissue around that area softens.
Power of Stretching
Stretching is a natural self-remedy, and I encourage you to take the time for this practice to nurture yourself for a little while each day. So many people tune out their body’s cries for help only to find that over the years, they become stiffer and stiffer as arthritic diseases set in.
Honoring Your Body
I can’t stress enough the importance of nourishing and thereby honoring your body in the Yogic way daily. Working out kinks and tension as they arise will keep you loose and relaxed as your natural posture improves due to yoga asana practice. Simple lengthening and loosening stretches can be done anytime, anywhere – even at your workstation!
Mind and Body Connection
When the mind is connected to the body, you will experience the following: optimum health, self-worth, strength, purpose, understanding, confidence, compassion, relaxation, lightness, patience, optimism, balance, grace, contentment, and joy.
By becoming aware of your body and listening to what it is saying through those aches and pains, you will be able to honor it as you tend to your optimal well-being. Body awareness is one of the most important aspects of yoga. It is the foundation upon which all other aspects of the practice are built. Without body awareness, improving your posture, alignment, and breath control is difficult. Body awareness starts with awareness of your body and its position in space.
Intention and Control
Once you are aware of your body, you can focus on specific areas or parts of the body and begin to move them intentionally. For example, you may focus on lengthening your spine or deepening your breath. As you become more aware of your body and learn how to control your movements, you will also start to notice the sensation of your breath moving through your body.
This awareness of your breath will help you to control it more effectively and use it as a tool to relax and focus your mind. Finally, as you become more adept at controlling your breath and movement, you will develop a deeper awareness of the energy within your body. This energy can heal various imbalances within the body and promote overall well-being.
Creativity for Empowerment
Our ability to create comes more freely, and you can direct it into areas of transformation and growth. That said, creativity is a tool we can all use to empower ourselves. Just as our bodies are constantly changing, so too are our minds. When we allow ourselves to be creative, we open up new possibilities for growth and evolution.
Creating Space for New Thoughts
The practice of yoga asana is one way we can tap into our creativity. Working with our bodies and breathing allows us to explore new ways of moving and being in the world. As we let go of old patterns and habits, we create space for something new to enter. When we approach our practice with curiosity and openness, we allow ourselves to expand in unexpected ways.
We may find that what once seemed impossible is now within our reach. As we move beyond our self-imposed limitations, we discover our true potential. Yoga asana is a powerful tool for personal transformation. By cultivating a creative approach to our practice, we can unlock hidden reserves of strength and wisdom. We can use this infinite wellspring of power to heal ourselves and the world.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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