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Asanas are nothing but Postures, as standing in certain postures described in Yoga they bring steadiness, health and lightness of limb. A steady and pleasant posture produces mental equilibrium and prevents fickleness of mind. To perform them one needs clean airy place, a blanket and determination.
Many actors, acrobats, athletes, dancers and sportsmen also possess superb physiques and have great control over the body but they lack control over the mind, the intellect and the self. Hence they are in disharmony with themselves and one rarely comes across balanced personality among them. Being understood the importance of Asanas in Yoga but before that it is more vital to know the Hints and Cautions or Do’s and Don’ts before practicing even the very first asana.
- The basic qualities expected from an aspirant are discipline, faith, tenacity and perseverance to practice regularly without interruptions
- Before starting to practice asanas, the bladder should be emptied and the bowels be evacuated. If the aspirant is constipated or it is not possible to evacuate the bowels before the practice of asanas, start with Sirsasana (Head stand pose) and Sarvangasana (entire body or all the limbs pose) and their variations. Never practice other asanas without having first evacuated the bowels.
- Asanas come easier after taking a bath. After doing them, the body feels sticky due to perspiration and it is desirable to bathe some fifteen minutes later. Taking a bath or a shower both before and after practicing asanas refreshes the body and mind
- Asanas should be preferably done on an empty stomach. If this is difficult, a cup of tea or coffee or milk may be taken before doing them. They may also be practiced without any discomfort after an hour of very light meal. Allow at least four hours to elapse after a heavy meal before starting the practice. Food may be taken half an hour after completing the asanas.
- The best time to practice is either early in the morning or late in the evening. The morning asanas do not come easily as the body is stiff. The mind, however, is still fresh but its alertness and determination diminish as time goes by. The stiffness of the body is conquered by regular practice and is able to do the asanas as well. In the evening, the body is more freely than in the mornings, and the asanas come better and with greater ease.
Advantages of Morning: Practice in the morning makes one work better in one’s vocation
Advantages of Evening: Practice in the evening it removes fatigue of the day’s strain and makes on fresh and calm.
- Do not practice asanas after being out in the hot sun for several hours.
- Asanas should be done in a clean airy place, free from noise and do not do them on the bare floor or on an uneven place. But practice on a folded blanket laid on a level floor.
- No undue strain should be felt in the facial muscles, ears and eyes or in breathing during the practice. You should not over do, only practice each asanas with certain time limit.
- During the practice of asanas, it is the body alone which should be active while the brain should remain passive, watchful and alert. If they are done with the brain, then you will not be able to see your own mistakes during the practice
- In all the asanas, the breathing should be done through the nostrils only and not through the mouth. There are some exceptions for some asanas wherein the breathing technique is with the combination of both Nostrils and Mouth, but the thumb rule is to breathe through Nostrils
- Do wear comfortable clothe, choose something that doesn’t restrict your body movements but also do not wear so loose-fitting that will get in your way. Asanas are practiced barefoot. Wearing socks is not recommended, but you may leave your socks on if you wish.
Effects of Asanas
- Faulty practice causes discomfort and uneasiness within a few days. This is sufficient to show that one is going wrong. Hence it is strongly recommended to watch the videos and understand the instructions properly before attempting.
The right method of doing asanas brings lightness and an exhilarating feeling in the body and as well in the mind and a feeling of oneness of body mind and soul.
Continuous practice will change the outlook of the person. Discipline over food, sex, cleanliness and character will automatically flow from within and a new kind of awareness will blossom.