In the Eight Limbs of Yoga, the practice of physical postures is called asana. This is the most commonly known aspect of yoga for those unfamiliar with the other seven limbs of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra.
The practice of moving the body into postures has widespread benefits: of these the most underlying are improved health, strength, balance and flexibility.
On a deeper level, the practice of asana, which means "staying" or "abiding" in Sanskrit, is used as a tool to calm the mind and move into the inner essence of being.
The challenge of poses offers the practitioner the opportunity to explore and control all aspects of their emotions, concentration, intent, faith, and unity between the physical and ethereal body.
Todays Simple Step will be the first of five posts that highlight the physical practice of yoga!
Get ready to just enjoy the next few moments...
Find a quiet, clean place for your practice and polish up your patience with yourself!
Be prepared to try something new, or do your familiar practice in a new way or with a renewed attitude.
Todays Simple Step
Give yourself 5 minutes of alone time - just 5 minutes
Close your eyes and take a deep breath.
(You can sit or stand for this)
Stretch upward...arms and chest lift...breathe...
Stretch gently side to side...slow down...breathe...
Reach down and slowly let your head hang loose. Relax and breathe...
Notice the places where your body feels tight. Mentally relax them and do whatever gentle movement comes naturally.
Lie quietly for a couple of moments when you feel complete.
If 5 minutes stretches to 10 or 20 or 30 so much the better, but 5 is all that is required.
You have just completed your first asana series!
Notice how many parts of you feel good.
I will offer you traditional yoga asanas in my next 4 posts. Meanwhile, enjoy the delicious feeling you have from the choice you made to move and stretch.
It is the realization and commitment to this good feeling that will carry you through.
Till next time,
Photo Credit GCA by Bob Alba