Hi everyone! The asanas are one of the pillars of yoga and performing them correctly takes practice, as well as a good teacher. As in any kind of teaching, the teacher is an essential part of learning and is the one who will give the necessary instructions to do each yoga pose correctly (technique, the correct muscles to work, etc.). He/She is also the one who will help you to run through variations or tricks, and who will correct and motivate you not to give in to any difficulties which you might come across. This, coupled with good motivation on your part, will be the key to properly performing the asanas, which will lead to the ultimate goal of yoga: the union of body and mind.
How to build up the asanas
According to the Patanjali sutras of yoga, an asana is to stay in a firm and comfortable position without moving for some time. To do this, the follow are necessary:
- Paying attention to your own body and the teacher. Follow all directions carefully from your instructor and observe your body, the position of your feet, legs and arms, as well as body alignment, the effort and force required, etc.
- Once built, the posture should be maintained for a while. At first it will be just for a few seconds, but later you will slowly build-up the amount of time you can stay in one position. Maybe one day you will end up meditating in one of the asanas.
- When moving in to and out of the asanas, seek to perform slow, controlled movements.
- Hold the pose for as long as you possibly can; If you feel discomfort do not continue and go back to where you feel comfortable. It is better to go slowly to do the asanas properly, however if you force yourself, you’ll later see that you are inhibiting your progress.
- Observe if you feel comfortable and serene while doing the asanas. If so, it is because you are doing it well.
Benefits of implementing the asanas
By simply doing the asanas correctly, you will get to see their beneficial effects. At first they may seem impossible for you to have any effect beyond the discomfort of stretching muscles that were previously forgotten about, but eventually you will become aware of their effectiveness.
Each of the asanas produces effects in the body, either by improving blood circulation, strengthening the immune system, etc. Here are some other benefits:
- Exercises certain muscles and joints, which allows us to gain more flexibility and movement.
- Stimulates the operation of various viscera and glands, thanks to the massage which we indirectly perform while doing the poses.
- Promotes the activity of certain nerves and nerve plexus.
- Modifies the course of blood circulation in all or part of the body, for a few seconds.
It should also be noted that during the practice of yoga, many parts of the body are working, but to actually reap the benefits you must remember that the most important thing when performing the asanas, both with the most basic ones (tadasana or mountain pose, adho mukha or downward dog, balasana or child’s pose), as well as the most advanced (halasana Parsva or plow twist, crow or headstand), is to do them correctly.
Have a great week!