YOGA POSTURES or ASANAS.
Asanas are suitable for everyone.
There is no age limit for those who wish to practise yoga, or asanas, as the yoga postures are called. They can be practised at any age, no matter whether you are 5 or 95. Asanas are performed slowly with concentration while taking deep, conscious breaths. The yoga postures strengthen the body and have positive effects on the mind and soul.
Beneficial for the body, mind and soul.
The yoga postures improve the flexibility of the spine and the joints, and strengthen the body’s muscles, glands and internal organs. The body is invigorated and toned, and regains its ideal form. Regular asana practice releases hitherto unknown sources of energy and leads to a whole new feeling of physical well-being.
The gentle movements also have a deep spiritual benefit: they help us to overcome fear, develop trust and find inner peace.
Asanas – the perfect lubrication for the body.
Proper exercise is like lubrication for the joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. It increases flexibility and stimulates the circulatory system. The yoga exercises benefit the entire being and hence cannot be compared to any other system. A yoga asana (the term “asana” means a firm and comfortable posture) should always be held for some time. When carried out slowly and with awareness, asanas bring about physical well-being; at the same time, they are mental exercises in concentration and meditation.
A flexible back – the key to long life.
Yoga exercises are primarily concerned with the health of the spine. The spine contains the central nervous system, the body’s telegraphic system. As a direct extension of the brain, a healthy spine makes for a healthy body. If you maintain the spine’s flexibility and health through proper exercise, blood circulation is intensified, the nerves are supplied with nutrients and oxygen and the body holds on to its youthful condition. As the old Chinese proverb says: “Truly, a flexible back makes for a long life.”
Subtle effects on energy pathways and organs.
Asanas have an effect on the body’s inner machinery, especially the key pressure points which correspond to the acupuncture points in Chinese medicine. The stimulation of these points increases the flow of vital energy, of Prana (Sanskrit) or Qi (Chinese).
Asanas also massage our internal organs. The massage increases blood supply to the organs, thus providing them with even more oxygen and essential nutrients. Waste products and toxins that have become deposited in the tissues can be eliminated more easily. Thus by doing asanas we are helping our organs do a better job.
Control over the mind through asanas.
Since asanas are always practised in conjunction with deep breathing, relaxation and concentration, they aid in the control of mental energy. The mind, which by nature is restless and constantly stimulated by sense impressions, withdraws and disengages itself from the sense objects, becomes freed from distraction and is slowly brought under control.