What Are Yoga Asanas?
If you came across a person posing in odd body shapes at your local park, chances are you may have just witnessed them practicing asanas. These asanas are “poses”, or postures used in yoga practice, meditation practice, or just for fun when you want to bend your body in a way to scare your sibling. Here, you will understand key elements about yoga asanas, what their purposes are, how to start, and realize the benefits that come with these unique postures.
It is important for a yoga practitioner to take all safety precautions for their students, whether a beginner or intermediate. It is not about how advanced you are at postures, because everyone is able to get hurt if you push your body too much. If you are just starting to get into yoga or want to take a yoga class, it is advisable to have the proper equipment and most of the time the instructor will have the items on hand. Yoga blocks, yoga straps, and a comfortable mat is all you need to get going. Listen to your instructor and listen to your body as that will be a key principle for your safety.
An awesome yoga instructor could possibly bend into stunning poses and try to teach them, but does not compare to the one that knows the importance of modifications. Not everyone bends the same way, and that is okay, because there is always a posture appropriate to a person’s body. For example, the “ TREE Pose” is where you have one leg propped up above your knee on the opposite leg and hands in a prayer. This is quite difficult balancing on 1 leg and trying NOT to fall. Instead, propping one foot up on the opposite leg but near the ankle for better balance is a great modification for the tree pose. With many variations to one specific pose, most people are able to accomplish different postures.
It is said that there are 84 classic asanas but with the different variations, of new and old poses, there are thousands. The difficulty ranges from beginner to WELL advanced. If you keep at it long enough, anyone could go from easy poses to advanced by being consistent and incorporating asanas in their yoga practice.
The Purpose Of Asanas
People practice asanas for a few reasons. Yogis use these postures in their yoga practice to improve their focus, strength, flexibility, and balance. Doing so, asanas will help with your health, and not just physical health that you are able to see, but your mental and spiritual health.
Yoga practitioners may point out that one should not be worried about what you look like doing the pose, or how flexible you are, but how comfortable and focused you feel to connect with your inner-self.
Benefits Of Asanas
There are numerous benefits of asanas, from building strength, improving your focus, controlling your breath, and reaching your goals to flexibility. If one has consistent practice yoga with asanas included, you can expect physical changes in your body. This can be another way to work-out if you are into body-weight exercise or calisthenics. Flexibility goes hand in hand with strength, the more you practice asanas, your flexibility greatly increases as you are continuing to stretch your joints and muscles. As you find what works for you, you may even notice that some of your pain is reduced.
People with chronic diseases or chronic pain claim that some asanas significantly helped their bodies by reducing a lot of physical pain. From painful joints to back pain, some asanas are a great pain relief. Some doctors today try a more holistic healing approach and prescribe yoga.
Asanas are not just simply physically demanding, but also used for your mental and spirituality. Many people find the postures calming, and can alleviate your stress levels. People with anxiety experience serenity when meditating in a pose for a period of time. So, I guess you can say this asanas are used as a kind of medicine for people.
When To Practice Asanas
To get the full benefits of yoga asanas, a person should ask themselves what they personally want to achieve. This could be wanting to connect with themselves spiritually or wanting to become more flexible to perfect that advanced pose. There is no certain way or a specific guide to practice these postures, rather, start where you are comfortable and what you can get out of the use of asanas.
There are countless poses out there for everyone from inversions to seated poses. Asanas are a small part of yoga, and are widely used in a person’s practice. Depending on what you want out of asanas, it is up to you if they are right for your practice.
Basic Asanas For Beginners
With a little bit of research, you can find yoga communities everywhere. Instagram and yoga facebook groups are a great place to find helpful information. With many people with the same questions and useful tips and tricks, you could apply it to a practice. Not to mention, taking a yoga class with a practitioner that focuses on postures, is one of the best hands-on experiences. This will give you an idea on how you can develop a yoga practice.
No matter who you are, or where you are in life, young or old, yoga postures or “asanas” are for everybody. Figure out what you want out of the poses and listen to your body. With great teachers, modifications, and your body, nothing can deter you from practicing. Many benefits of yoga and postures will give you a different perspective on life, and can change your mind, body and spirit.