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Yoga is a journey for dependence to independence !!
Many people associate Asanas with gymnastic exercises, muscle development techniques. This is a totally wrong perception, because Asanas are not designed excess movement not to develop unnecessary to muscles.
Yoga means an experience of unity with our inner being. This is achieved comes through the refining of duality of mind and the experience of the ultimate reality. Asana means a state of being in which you can remain constant calm, quiet comfortable physically and mentally.
In the ancient text, Patanzali’s Yoga Sutras, there is a succinct definition of Yogasanas - Stiram Soukam Asanam - which translates' that the position should be comfortable and stable. The Yogasanas or postures are designed to learn to stay in a posture without discomfort for a long time, such as during meditation.These Asanas can also be performed to improve health. They gently stretch muscles, stimulate our internal organs, and stretch the nerves throughout the body. Yoga can improve our health and alleviate the symptoms and even causes of many illnesses.
Yogasanas and other health systems
The purpose of Yogasanas has deep meaning and value to the development of physical, mental and spiritual personality - while simple exercises have only one physical effect on the muscles and bones. Most Physical exercises are performed quickly and with very heavy breathing.
Aerobic exercises and weight lifting systems tend to develop large muscles, and require more nutrients and increased blood flow. Therefore, the heart and respiratory system needs to work much harder - which can become depleted of vital energy.
The Yogasanas are performed slowly with relaxation, concentration and relaxation.
In this way both the external and internal body systems are improved and the nervous system, endocrine glands, internal organs and muscles are enabled to work properly. Asanas have a physical and psychosomatic effect which helps in removing the causes of diseases. They can be used by both healthy and non-healthy people - young and old. They are extremely useful for concentration and meditation.
General advantages - benefits
Physical: the most important effect is that the endocrine system is adjusted to the correct secreted amounts of various hormones from all the glands in the body. This has positive effects on our physical well-being as well as our mental attitude towards life. If even one gland is not functioning properly, we can feel a sense of loss of health. So it is of paramount importance to keep our endocrine system in perfect condition.
Through the regular practice of Asanas, weakened organs can be restored, renewed and encouraged in order to cope with their normal duties is to keep the body in good health and wellness. The muscles and bones, nervous, endocrine, respiratory excretory- immune system and our circulatory system are coordinated with each other in harmonious cooperation.
The Asanas make the body flexible and able to adapt easily to changes in the environment. The digestive functions are stimulated to provide the correct amount of digestive fluids (saliva, enzymes, etc). The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are in equilibrium.
To summarize, we can say that the Asanas keep the body in good physical condition and encourage health.
The Asanas make the mind strong and able to withstand the pain and suffering. They develop the power of determination and concentration. Balance and vitality become the normal state of mind, after the regular practice Asanas. Will you be deal with sadness, failures and problems peacefully without being troubled. With a stable mind, life is easy and difficulties become stairs that lead us to the perfect mental health and happiness.
The practice of Asanas releases the latent potential forces - so that one becomes able to radiate confidence and inspire others with their behaviour and actions.
The Asana is the third step in the eight fold path of Raja Yoga as a step towards superior techniques Pratyachara (detachment from the senses), Darana (concentration), Dyana (meditation), until the climax of Samadhi (cosmic consciousness).
Hatha yoga gives great importance to the purification of the body as referred to in ancient texts such as'' Hatha Yoga Prantipika’’ and ''Gerant Samchita.''. Although the Asanas themselves may not give a true realization, they are a step on the spiritual path.
Asanas are extremely useful for the awakening of higher energies that lead to spiritual realization. The Asanas should be regarded as forms of meditation and purification. The Yogasanas should be taught correctly and complete manner as described in Tantra, with knowledge of the respective centers embedded in practice.