The principles of yoga were laid some millions of years ago. While everything in the world meets destruction and gets lost in oblivion, this ancient system has survived eons as this was very carefully passed on from the Guru to the shishya. So perfect is the science of yog that there is not a single asana which strains the 5th and the 6th vertebrae that under strain cause spinal injuries. On the contrary, injuries to the spine can successfully be cured by correct practices of yoga.
Patanjali describes asana as ‘sukham sthiram asanam’, that is, a posture in which you are comfortable and still. Stillness and slowing down is the key to longevity. Modern fitness mantras lay a great emphasis on increasing body metabolism causing faster wear and tear of cells. Asanas do just the opposite , they lower down body’s metabolic rate and increase the strength and vitality of the body. Breath is a very important part of an asana and has to be regulated during holding of a posture.
While following modern exercise routines, your complete focus is taken away from yourself and you are made to imitate others. What you don’t realise is that you are different from others, your body, its capacity and requirements are unique to your being. On the other hand, asanas draw your awareness inwards. You become aware of the physical and subtler aspects of your own body and attune yourself to nature. Slowly you begin to understand the limitations and capacity of your body and with awareness you are able to strengthen the weaker areas of the body.
Asanas bring stillness and stability. Regular practice of asanas as prescribed in Sanatan Kriya increases the capacity of the body by maintaining optimal level of efficiency, where without straining yourself you can achieve seemingly impossible feats. Asanas not only train your body but they affect various states of consciousness; body and mind are just one level of awareness. When a Guru takes you through their practice, asanas touch all the layers of your being and elevate consciousness. With this heightened consciousness, one can affect a change in the physical body and achieve any desired shape or form. So asanas are not exercises, they are potent tools to train the being.
Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Ashram
Published Date: Jun 20, 2012