YogAsana – its importance

The first element of any spiritual goal (Sadhana) is generally Asana. A trained disciplined mind is our greatest friend. An undisciplined and untrained mind is our greatest enemy. Sadhana is nothing but training and disciplining the mind.

To train and discipline the mind we need to work on the mind. To do this we need to understand, introspect and turn in. Thus a steady posture is essential to work on the mind as steadiness of the posture translates into the steadiness of the mind.

YogAsana is a posture at which point where all the energy levels of this system (psychophysical energy system – body) get harmonized and equilibrated.

For working on the mind it is essential that we are able to sit straight and steady. The back must be in balance. That’s why we will find that except for Vajrasana, there will always be a triangle (triangle indicates stability) formation at the base.

The other most important characteristic of a posture for meditation is that the head, neck, and back should be in a straight line. This is what Sri Krishna refers to in the Gita as Samam Kaya Sh- iro grivam, essential.

A correct upright posture fosters alertness. It is an antidote for depression, mental inertia, and laziness to a certain extent. We already know that depression is one of our enemies. Thus at the posture level itself, we have tackled one of our enemies.

Head, neck, and back straight is an easy recipe for cutting depression and fostering alertness.

It is a challenge that we cannot think of a depressing thought sitting straight. Our heads will drop down the moment we encounter such a thought. Thus there is a connection between the mind, the body, and the nervous system.

Ayurveda says, ‘Adi Vyadi’– Adi in the mind gives rise to vyadi in the body by the dislocation of the three – Vata, pitta, and Kapha.

For spiritual purposes, Padmasana and Siddhasana are enough. As most of our systems are under repair, we need the other Asanas to flush out the toxins that are generated by the wrong lifestyle. This will reset the system, both at anatomical and physiological levels. There is also a connection between Asana on the physical and mental levels. Thus it is imperative to understand our needs and learn appropriate postures to enable our journey of self-discovery.

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