There are different terminologies for Yoga poses. Yoga poses are also called Yoga postures or Yoga Asanas.
Asanas can be described as the third one in the eight
limbs of Yoga. Asana, which literally means staying or abiding, is
basically a specific body position, attained by following certain steps.
It is through asanas only that a human being achieves the unity of body
and mind, which is the essence of yoga. Yogic asanas, commonly known as
postures or posse in the west, are created for the purpose of improving
the overall health and well-being of a person.
When a person is performing an asana, there is a corresponding balance
between his movements and stillness. Patanjali, in his famous Yoga
Sutra, says that each posture of yoga reflects a mental attitude,
whether that attitude is one of surrender to the Almighty, strengthening
of the will or creation of a physical prayer with the body. Through the
performance and practice of different asanas, we revitalize as well as
invigorate our body, mind and soul.
Types Of Asanas
- Standing Asanas: The standing asanas bring elasticity in
joints and muscles and build up stamina and physical stability of a
person. The beginners should always start with standing asanas, as
they constitute the most basic training of yoga practice.
- Forward Bending Asanas: In this type of asanas, the
posterior half of the body is stretched. Such asanas prepares you to
proceed and bring consistency in the development of physical and
- Sitting & Supine Asanas: The asanas that involve
sitting upright or supine extending positions help in preparing a
person, physically and mentally, for pranayama.
- Inverted Asanas: These asanas give strength, mental
balance and emotional stability to a person and also help him/her
get rid of everyday stress and pressure.
- Abdominal & Lumbar Asanas: Abdominal and lumbar
asanas are known to tone and massage the abdominal organs and
strengthen the pelvic and lumbar areas.
- Twisting Asanas: Such type of asanas help tone the
internal organs of a person and also tranquilize the mind. They
consists of lateral stretching and twisting of the spine
- Back Bending Asanas: These asanas are the opposite of
forward bends. In forward bends, the posterior spine is extended,
whereas in back bends, the anterior spine is extended and stretched.
This, in turn, brings physical and mental sharpness.
- Balancing Asanas: Balancing asanas are believed to help
strengthen the arms and wrists of a person. They also exercise the
abdominal organs, making the body feel light.
Benefits of Asanas
- The main purpose of yoga asanas is to restore and maintain the
practitioner's well-being, both spiritually and physically.
- Regular practice of the asanas helps improve health, strength,
balance and flexibility.
- The asanas are used as a tool to calm the mind and help a human
being discover his/her inner essence.
- The different poses offer the practitioner the opportunity to
explore and control all the aspects a person's mind and body -
emotions, concentration, intent, faith and even the unity between
physical and ethereal body.
- The various asanas in yoga also provide us a way of exploring our
mental attitudes and strengthening our will.
- Yoga asanas help a person in creating a balance between his/her
material world and spiritual experience.
- The physical benefits from asanas include muscle flexibility and
strengthening of almost all the body parts.
- The asanas lead to a better functioning of respiratory system and
also help control blood pressure.
- and other issues related to the functioning of the circulatory
- Practicing yoga asanas on a regular basis reduces the stress
levels as well as the health problems related to stress.
- Apart from building the stamina of an individual, the various
asanas also improve his/her concentration level.
- All those who are trying to lose weight will find the various
asanas of yoga to be quite helpful.