The Meaning of Asana

The word yoga is typically associated with “asana,” the practice of the postures.  The gateway for Westerns into beginning a yoga practice is typically group yoga/asana classes.  This is only wonderful because new and seasoned students begin to “feel” different as they connect to their bodies, recognizing how asana practice includes stretch, balance, strength work and then rest, and all of this somehow invokes a sense of peace and offers much more, to include mindfulness, a change of perspectiveand a sense of being “open.” That word “asana” actually has a deeper meaning, "a place that the mind can take a seat."   When we begin to enjoy a comprehensive yoga practice, we begin to affect the 12 meridians of the body, the 7 chakras, the centers of energy, and we open up stuck pathways. The emotion(s) behind them can then come to the surface. This is a gift, an opportunity to give away the tension and stress that you do not need to hold onto. To access this great advantage of yoga asana, we must be willing to build time, learning not only the postures, but our place in the postures.  We must practice with awareness of action within alignment, so that we not only have safe progress, but that we build resilience and thus build time in each posture, giving our attention to what comes up.  We must allow the mind to take a seat and sit with the various emotions, reflecting on the lessons that the body is teaching us. This is the way to self-understanding.  This is how asana practice leads us to knowing the next steps in our life’s journey.  The way out is in.  Do not be surprised if your asana practice leaves you feeling lighter, more open to what comes ahead in your day, and gives you more patience to reflect before you react.  This may seem like a lot to expect, but yoga delivers!  Show up ready to pay attention.  Open your mind and trust the practice!  Get ready to learn and practice more than just asana with us.  Start with aromatherapy today, an essential oil that supports the theme of your practice.  Want to know more, look to your copy of Essential Yoga Practice.  Sign up at our website to receive a free diffuser eBook with great ideas.  Namaste friends!