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Encyclopedia > Asana
Ardha Padmasana, or Half Lotus is an intermediate seated posture
Ardha Padmasana, or Half Lotus is an intermediate seated posture
Padmasana or Lotus pose is a more advanced seated posture
Padmasana or Lotus pose is a more advanced seated posture

Asana, Sanskrit for "sitting posture" (asanam is 'sitting' or 'ass' / aste is 'he sits'), is a body position, typically associated with the practice of Yoga, intended primarily to restore and maintain a practioner's well-being, improve the body's flexibility and vitality, and promote the ability to remain in seated meditation for extended periods.[1] In the context of Yoga practice, asana refers to two things: the place where a practitioner (yogin (general usage); yogi (male); yogini (female)) sits and the manner (posture) in which s/he sits.[2] In the Yoga sutras, Patanjali suggests that asana is "to be seated in a position that is firm, but relaxed".[3] As the repertoire of postures has expanded and moved beyond the simple sitting posture over the centuries, modern usage has come to include variations from lying on the back and standing on the head, to a variety of other positions.[4]In the Yoga sutras, Patanjali mentions the execution of an asana as the third of the eight limbs of Classical or Raja yoga.[5] Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1024 × 768 pixel, file size: 283 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1024 × 768 pixel, file size: 283 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Kodo Sawaki in lotus position practices meditation in Zen The first pictorial representation of the lotus position is seen in the ancient Indian depiction of Shiva as Pashupati, Lord of Beasts, in Harappa The lotus position (Sanskrit: Padmasanam -- lotus posture) is a cross-legged sitting posture which originated in representations... Sanskrit ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... For other uses, see Yoga (disambiguation). ... A sculpture of a Hindu yogi in the Birla Mandir, Delhi A yogi (also yogin; Sanskrit , nominative ; feminine: yogini) is a term for one who practices yoga. ... A 10th century sculpture of a Yogini from the Smithsonian Institute A yogini is the female equivalent to a practicing male yogi. ... This is an article about the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. ... Patañjali, is the compiler of the Yoga Sutra, a major work containing aphorisms on the practical and philosophical wisdom regarding practice of Raja yoga. ... Death Pose Savasana or Mrtasana Savasana (Sanskrit: शवआसन, Å›avāsana, Corpse Pose, alternately spelled Shavasana or Sarvasana, and also known as mrta-asana) is a yoga asana often used to begin and conclude a yoga session. ... This page meets Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ... This is a list of common postures (also called asanas) used in Hatha Yoga. ... Raja Yoga (lit. ...


The word asana in Sanskrit does appear in many contexts denoting physical position, although, as noted, traditional usage is specific to the practice of yoga. Traditional usage defines asana as both singular and plural. In English, plural for asana is defined as asanas. In addition, English usage within the context of yoga practice sometimes specifies yogasana or yoga asana, particularly with regard to the system of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. That said, yogasana is also the name of a particular posture that is not specifically associated with the Vinyasa system, and that while "ashtanga" (small 'a') refers to the eight limbs of Yoga delineated below, Ashtanga (capital 'A') refers to the specific system of Yoga developed by Sri Krishnamikurti at the Mysore Palace. Sanskrit ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... The term ashtanga means eight limbs. ...

Contents

Third of the Eight Limbs

In the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali describes asana as the third of the 8 limbs of classical, or Raja Yoga. Asanas are the physical movements of yoga practice and, in combination with pranayama or breathing techniques constitute the style of yoga referred to as Hatha Yoga.[6] In the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali describes asana as a "firm, comfortable posture", referring specifically to the seated posture, most basic of all the asanas. He further suggests that meditation is the path to samadhi; transpersonal self-realization. [7] This article is in need of attention. ... Patañjali, is the compiler of the Yoga Sutra, a major work containing aphorisms on the practical and philosophical wisdom regarding practice of Raja yoga. ... Raja Yoga (lit. ... For other uses, see Yoga (disambiguation). ... Pranayama (Sanskrit: ) is a Sanskrit word often translated as control of the life force (prana). ... Hatha yoga (Sanskrit हठयोग), also known as Hatha Vidya (हठविद्या), is a particular system of Yoga introduced by Yogi Swatmarama, a sage of 15th century India, and compiler of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. ... Samadhi (Sanskrit, lit. ... The term Transpersonal is often used to refer to psychological categories that transcend the normal features of ordinary ego-functioning. ...


The eight limbs are, in order, the yamas (restrictions), niyamas (observances), asanas (postures), pranayama (breath work), pratyahara (sense withdrawal or non-attachment), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (realization of the true Self or Atman, and unity with Brahma (the Hindu and Vedantic interpretation of G-d, also the Taoist Supreme Ultimate, the Judaic Yahweh, the Islamic Allah, or simply the Godhead, etc.)).[5][8] Ten Traditional Yamas or Codes of Conduct The Yamas are codified as the restraints in numerous scriptures including the Shandilya and Varuha Upanishads, Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Gorakshanatha, the Tirumantiram of Tirumular and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. ... The Niyamas are codified as the observances in numerous scriptures including the Shandilya and Varuha Upanishads, Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Gorakshanatha, the Tirumantiram of Tirumular and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. ... Pranayama (Sanskrit: ) is a Sanskrit word often translated as control of the life force (prana). ... Pratyahara is the fifth among the Eight steps of Patanjalis Ashtanga Yoga. ... Dharana (Pronounced Dhaaranaa, with a voiced, aspirated dh) is the sixth of the eight steps of Patanjalis Ashtanga Yoga. ... Dhyāna is a term in Sanskrit which refers to a type or aspect of meditation. ... Samadhi (Sanskrit, lit. ... Atman may refer to a concept in Hindu and Buddhist traditions: Atman (Hinduism) Atman (Buddhism) See also Anatta (anatman) This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article discusses the adherents of Hinduism. ... Vedanta , meaning literally the end section of the Vedas, is a branch of Hindu philosophy. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Taoism (Daoism) is the English name referring to a variety of related Chinese philosophical and religious traditions and concepts. ... Taoists Taijitu The concept of Yin Yang originates in ancient Chinese philosophy, most likely from the observations of day turning into night and night into day. ... For a discussion of Jews as an ethnicity or ethnic group see the article on Jew. ... For other uses, see Yahweh (disambiguation). ... Islam (Arabic: ; ( ▶ (help· info)), the submission to God) is a monotheistic faith, one of the Abrahamic religions and the worlds second-largest religion. ... Allah is the Arabic language word for God. ... In Christianity, the Godhead is a unit consisting of God the Father, Jesus Christ (the Son), and the Holy Spirit. ...


Variety of asanas

In his Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga, Swami Vishnu-devananda published a compilation of 66 basic postures and 136 variations of those postures. [9] Sri Dharma Mittra suggested that "there are an infinite number of asanas." [citation needed], when, in 1975, he set out to catalogue the vast number of asanas in the Master Yoga Chart of 908 Postures, as an offering of devotion to his guru, Swami Kailashananda Maharaj. Through this effort, he compiled 1300 variations, derived from gurus, and yogis, as well as both ancient and contemporary texts.[10] Although it is impossible to establish a complete and exact set of yoga postures, this work is considered a leading collection by students and yogis alike.[11][12] The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga is a 1959 publication by Swami Vishnu-devananda, the founder of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres and Ashrams. ... Founder of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers, Swami Vishnu-devananda, was a world authority on Hatha and Raja Yoga. ... Sri Dharma Mittra is a Yoga teacher, and a student of Sri Swami Kailashananda Maharaj. ... For other uses, see Guru (disambiguation). ... Swami playing the Harmonium Swami is a primarily Hindu honorific, loosely akin to master. It is derived from the Sanskrit language and means owner of oneself, denoting complete mastery over instinctive and lower urges. ... For other uses, see Guru (disambiguation). ... A sculpture of a Hindu yogi in the Birla Mandir, Delhi A yogi (also yogin; Sanskrit , nominative ; feminine: yogini) is a term for one who practices yoga. ...


Common practices

In the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali suggests that the only requirement for practicing asanas is that it be "steady and comfortable".[5] The body is held firm, and relaxed, with the practitioner experiencing no discomfort. This article is in need of attention. ... Patañjali, is the compiler of the Yoga Sutra, a major work containing aphorisms on the practical and philosophical wisdom regarding practice of Raja yoga. ...


When control of the body is mastered, practitioners free themselves from the duality of heat/cold, hunger/saiety, joy/grief, which is the first step toward the unattachment that relieves suffering. [13] This non-dualistic perspective comes from the Sankya school of the Himalayan Masters. [14] The word duality has a variety of different meanings in different contexts: In several spiritual, religious, and philosophical doctrines, duality refers to a two-fold division also called dualism. ...

Students in a variation of Hanumanasana, or Monkey King
Students in a variation of Hanumanasana, or Monkey King

Listed below are traditional practices for performing asana: [citation needed] Image File history File links File links The following pages link to this file: Asana ... Image File history File links File links The following pages link to this file: Asana ... This article is about a divine entity in Hinduism. ...

  • A glass of fresh water should be taken before performing asanas.
  • The stomach should be relatively empty.
  • Force or pressure should not be used while performing asanas.
  • Lower the head and other parts of the body slowly; in particular, raised heels should be lowered slowly.
  • The breathing should be controlled. The benefits of asanas increase if the specific pranayama to the yoga type is performed.
  • If the body is stressed, perform Corpse Pose or Child Pose
  • Some claim that asanas, especially inverted poses, are to be avoided during menstruation.[15] Others deny this view.
  • Nowadays, asanas are generally not performed on floor, but on Yoga mats instead.

Pranayama (Sanskrit: ) is a Sanskrit word often translated as control of the life force (prana). ... Death Pose Savasana or Mrtasana Savasana (Sanskrit: शवआसन, śavāsana, Corpse Pose, alternately spelled Shavasana or Sarvasana, and also known as mrta-asana) is a yoga asana often used to begin and conclude a yoga session. ... Balasana is a Hatha yoga posture, called Childs pose or Childs Resting Pose in English. ... This article is about a piece of fabric. ...

Pranayama & asana

Main article: Pranayama

Pranayama, or breath control, is the Fourth Limb of ashtanga, as set out by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra. The practice is an integral part of both Hatha Yoga and Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga in the execution of asanas. Pranayama (Sanskrit: ) is a Sanskrit word often translated as control of the life force (prana). ... Pranayama (Sanskrit: ) is a Sanskrit word often translated as control of the life force (prana). ... Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga or short Ashtanga Yoga is a style of Hatha Yoga taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India. ... Patañjali, is the compiler of the Yoga Sutra, a major work containing aphorisms on the practical and philosophical wisdom regarding practice of Raja yoga. ... This article is in need of attention. ... Hatha yoga (Sanskrit हठयोग), also known as Hatha Vidya (हठविद्या), is a particular system of Yoga introduced by Yogi Swatmarama, a sage of 15th century India, and compiler of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. ... The term ashtanga means eight limbs. ...


Patanjali discusses his specific approach to pranayama in verses 2.49 through 2.51, and devotes verses 2.52 and 2.53 of the Sutra, explaining there the benefits of the practice.[16] Patanjali describes pranayama as the control of the enhanced "life force" that is a result of practicing the various breathing techniques, rather than the exercises themselves.[17][18] The entirety of breathing practices, those classified as pranayama, and other is called svarodaya, or the science of Breath. It is a vast practice that goes far byond the limits of pranayama as applied to asana. [19] Pranayama (Sanskrit: ) is a Sanskrit word often translated as control of the life force (prana). ... This article is in need of attention. ...


Surya Namaskara

Main article: Surya Namaskara

Surya Namaskara, or the Sun Salutation, is a form of worshiping Surya, the Hindu solar diety by concentrating on the Sun, for vitalization. The physical aspect of the practice links together twelve asanas in a dynamically expressed series. A full round of Surya namaskara is considered to be two sets of the twelve poses, with a change in the second set where the opposing leg is moved first. Sūrya namaskāra (Salute to the Sun), also commonly called Surya Namaskar, is a vitalising exercise, commonly used as a warm up to more demanding activity. ... In Hinduism, Surya (Devanagari: सूर्य, sūrya) is the chief solar deity,one of the Adityas, son of Kasyapa and one of his wife Aditi[1] ,in Nordics Tyr he is said to be the son of Dyaus Pitar. ... A yoga series consists of a number of asanas performed in sequence, that are often in opposition, commonly referred to as a counter-pose, for instance in choice for inhalation and exhalation or having the spine front stretched and back stretched. ... Sūrya namaskāra (Salute to the Sun), also commonly called Surya Namaskar, is a vitalising exercise, commonly used as a warm up to more demanding activity. ...

Benefits of practice

The physical aspect of yoga, the asanas, has been much popularized in the West, and devoted celebrity practitioners like Madonna and Sting have contributed to the increased visibility of the practice. Physically, of the practice of asanas is considered that it promotes: For other uses, see Yoga (disambiguation). ... This article is about the American entertainer. ... This article is about the musician. ...

The emphasis on the physical part has given rise to the perception that yoga consists only of asana practice. A more esoteric intention is to facilitate the flow of prana (vital energy; qi in Chinese; ki in Japanese) to aid in balancing the koshas (sheaths) of the physical and metaphysical body. A top-down view of skeletal muscle Muscle (from Latin musculus little mouse [1]) is contractile tissue of the body and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. ... Flexibility refers to the absolute range of movement in a joint or series of joints that is attainable in a momentary effort with the help of a partner or a piece of equipment. ... A tendon (or sinew) is a tough band of fibrous connective tissue that connects muscle to bone and is built to withstand tension. ... Prana (, IAST: ) is a Sanskrit word meaning breath and refers to a vital, life-sustaining force of living beings and vital energy in natural processes of the universe. ... For other uses, see Qi (disambiguation). ... Kosas are five cases or sheaths which cover the Atman in Hinduism. ...


Some common asanas

See also

For other uses, see Yoga (disambiguation). ... Raja Yoga (lit. ... Pranayama (Sanskrit: ) is a Sanskrit word often translated as control of the life force (prana). ... A mudrā (Sanskrit, मुद्रा, literally seal) is a symbolic gesture usually made with the hand or fingers. ... A kriya (from the Sanskrit, deed, operation, effort) is a technique or practice within a yoga discipline, or more generally any practice with the goal of attaining higher knowledge. ... Majick, meaning much the same thing as magick, only spelled differently. ...

References

  1. ^ Feuerstein, Georg (1996). The Shambhala Guide to Yoga. Shambhala Publications, Boston. pp. 26
  2. ^ "Patanjali Yoga sutras" by Swami Prabhavananda , published by the Sri Ramakrishna Math ISBN 81-7120-221-7 p. 111
  3. ^ Verse 46, chapter II; for translation referred: "Patanjali Yoga Sutras" by Swami Prabhavananda , published by the Sri Ramakrishna Math ISBN 81-7120-221-7 p. 111
  4. ^ Feuerstein, Georg. (1996). The Shambala Guide to Yoga. Shambala Publications, Boston & London.
  5. ^ a b c Patanjali (± 300-200 B.C.) Yoga sutras, Book II:29
  6. ^ Arya, Pandit Usharbudh (aka Swami Veda Bharati) (1977/1985). Philosophy of Hatha Yoga. Himalayan Institute Press, Pennsylvania.
  7. ^ Swami Prabhavananda (Translator), Christopher Isherwood (Translator), Patanjali (Author) (1996, 2nd ed.). Vedanta Press.
  8. ^ Swami Prabhavananda (Translator), Christopher Isherwood (Translator), Patanjali (Author) (1996, 2nd ed.). Vedanta Press.
  9. ^ Vishnu-devananda, Swami (1959) The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga
  10. ^ Mittra, Dharma, (2003) Asanas: 608 Yoga Poses", ISBN 1-57731-402-6
  11. ^ Yoga.com and Dharma is often mentioned among other leading yogis writing on Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Sivananda Yoga, and other classical and contemproy texts
  12. ^ Yoga Journal, Talking Shop with Dharma MittraDharma Mittra - the master teacher behind the 908 yoga asana poster -shares his insight on the practice
  13. ^ Feuerstein, Georg (2003). The Deeper Dimensions of Yoga: Theory and Practice. Shambhala Publications, Massacheusetts.
  14. ^ Rama, Swami (1980). Living with the Himalayan Masters. Himalayan Institute Press, Pennsylvania; India.
  15. ^ Effect of Inverted Yoga Postures on Menstruation & Pregnancy
  16. ^ Taimni, I. K. (1996). The Science of Yoga. Adyar, Madras: The Theosophical Publishing House. ISBN 81-7059-212-7.  Eight reprint edition.
  17. ^ Kriyananda, Swami. The Art and Science of Raja Yoga, ISBN 81-208-1876-8
  18. ^ Yogananda, Paramhansa, The Essence of Self-Realization, ISBN 0-916124-29-0
  19. ^ Rama, Swami (1988). Path of Fire and Light, Vols. 1 & 2. Himalayan Institute Press, Pennsylvania; India.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Asana - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1215 words)
Modern usage of the word asana in reference to the practice of Yoga generally intends the lesser definition; a physical posture or pose.
Asana can be performed 8 hours after a meal, 2 hours after a glass of milk and one hour after eating fruit.
Asanas, especially inverted poses, are to be avoided during menstruation.
asana - definition of asana in Encyclopedia (548 words)
Asana is a Sanskrit word that literally means a seat but in the practise of yoga refers to a pose or posture.
Asana is the third rung in the ladder of the practice of Yoga.
The Asana should be effortless both in the body and in the mind.
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