8 Yogasana For Holistic Development

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Yoga is a Sanskrit word, and derives from the root of Yuj , meaning a union. The human soul merges with the super soul through Yoga. Yoga is a systematised branch of science for the holistic development of personality. The science of Yoga is as old as Vedas . Yogasan is a dynamic branch of knowledge and is also called as science of spirituality.


Introduction to Yoga :-

Maharshi Patanjali in Yogasutra has recommended eight stages for the purification of body, mind and breath. These stages that constitute Ashtangayoga , are Yama, Niyam, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. They are discussed below:

Ashtangayoga :
  1. Yama :Yama means restrain. It means refraining from some actions. It contains five moral principles ie. Non-violence, Truthfulness, Non-stealing, Celibacy  and Non-acquisitiveness .
  2. Niyam : Niyam means rules. There are five rules of Niyam – Sauch (cleanliness) , Santosh (contentment) , Tapa (penance) , Swadhyay (self study)  and Ishwar pranidhan (surrender to God) .
  3. Asana :  Asana means postures. Asana is the third constituent of Ashtangayoga. According to Maharshi Patanjali ‘s “Yogasutra” , Asana is the condition of the body when there is physical balance accompanied by mind’s happiness.
  4. Pranayama : Pranayam means breath control. Pranayama occupies a special and significant place in Yogic exercises. The aim of Pranayama is to stimulate, regulate and harmonize the vital energy in the body.
  5. Pratyahara : Pratyahara means discipline of the senses. The condition when senses get rid of external carvings and turn inwards, is called Pratyahara. The volatile mind and self gratifying senses can be completely brought under control through Pratyahara.
  6. Dharana : Dharana means focussing or increasing mind’s concentration. With its help, the quite mind can be focused successfully on anything or place.
  7. Dhyana : Dhyana means meditation. Dhyana is the condition, when the concentration on any object is maintained and sustained. Dhyana helps in destroying the Rajas and Tamas impurities of the mind and in developing the Sattvika qualities.
  8. Samadhi : Samadhi means self – realisation. When one is fully focused on the object meditated upon, one enters the state of Samadhi. The mind is completely immersed in the object that is meditated upon. Samadhi is the climax of Dhyana.

The first five stages of Yoga – Yama, Niyam, Asana, Pranayam and Pratyahara are called external Yoga. Whereas the group of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi are called the internal Yoga.

Health Benefits And Techniques Of 20 Asanas

Importance of Yogasana :
  1. Yogasana give sufficient exercise to the internal organs of the body.
  2. Only a small airy place and few equipment are required.
  3. Yoga is a solo – practice.
  4. Yogasana help to develop one’s physical and mental power to calm the mind and to control the senses.
  5. There is sufficient elimination of stool and other waste matter from the body through Yogasana.
  6. The body becomes flexible and more active.
  7. Yogasana keep the spinal cord flexible.
  8. The power of contraction and expansion of lungs is increased by practicing Yogasana and Pranayama . This results in the purification of blood to a great extent.
  9. Yogasan help the body acquire a well – balanced growth.
  10. Diseases like consumption, gastric – trouble, diabetes, blood pressure, hernia, headache, etc. can be cured by practicing Yogasana and Pranayam
  11. It make possible not only physical and mental development but also intellectual and spiritual development.
  12. There is no restriction of age and sex for aspirants.

Yogasana strengthen and tone up heart and the nervous system.

  1. It render relaxation to the body and the mind.
  2. One who practices Yogasana becomes a morally good person.
Useful tips:

It is advisable to observe the following tips in order to reap the maximum benefits of Yogasana :

  1. Early morning is the ideal time for practicing asana. The bowels and the bladder should be emptied.
  2. The ground for practicing  should be level, clean, ventilated, well-lighted and free from noise.
  3. Asanas should be practiced on a mat or a carpet. Aspirant should wear comfortable clothes.
  4. One should remain silent while practicing Yogasana.
  5. One should begin with Shavasana before practice other Yogasana .
  6. There should be a gradual increase in the time duration in the practice of Yogasana.
  7. It is a scientific process which deals with the internal and external parts of the body.
  8. The performer of Yogasana should take light food in order to keep the body light.
  9. The number of asana and duration for each of them should be increased gradually. Practicing many asana on the first day should be avoided.
  10. If you feel your body light, feel no fatigue and feel an increase in energy, you should understand that you are deriving all the benifits.
  11. Natural pressure, such as urination or defecation, should not be suppressed before, during or after the Yogasana.
  12. It is essential that the Yogic exercises are performed in the fixed order.
  13. If one is suffering from complicated diseases or severe fever, one should not practice it.
  14. Women should not practice Yogasana for 4 months after conception , for 3 months after delivery and during  menstruation.
  15. Haste or quickness in coming to the final position from the initial position and vice versa should be avoided.
  16. It is essential that the Yogic exercises are performed in the fixed order. One should learn this order, and the logic behind it, from an expert.
  17. One should begin with Yogic purifying technique followed by Yogasana, Mudras and Pranayama.
Classification of Yogasana :

In order to understand Yogasana and study them well, they have been classified as follows

  1. Sitting Postures
  2. Supine Postures
  3. Abdominal Postures
  4. Hand Postures
  5. Knee postures
  6. Leg Postures
  7. Head postures

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