The first step in awakening the hidden energy
What is Asana
Asana means the physical postures which make our body healthy and prepare us to meditate. Meditation needs concentration. The place and atmosphere play an important role for concentration. Sometimes we need to go to the places for special practices where the yogis have done their practices. The practices are powerful they give the proper result. We need to make our home a “Tapasthali” the place where austerities are done. Our regular spiritual practice brings immense positive vibration. So we suggest the sadhakas to practice in the same place of the home and at the same time. The place you meditated in is charged by the mantra that you chant, charged by the peace and tranquility that you achieved. The place and atmosphere are also like a body outside which carry the specific energy.
The atmosphere and our physical body they are two sides of the coin where Asana plays its role. Asana is established for the whole body. The right Asana is that where the spine is straight, eyes are gently closed or half closed, silent mind, still body.
Aim of the Asana
One should understand why one should practice the Asana? What is the purpose of doing it ? We know that Asanas have therapeutic values. Because the movement of the joints, muscles and glands make the blood flow smooth and make the energy move to each cell of our body. Making the body healthy through Asanas is not the ultimate purpose. The yogis practice Asanas to master the body movement and they dissolve the five elements to its universal source so that when they sit for 3 and a half hours to achieve Samadhi they forget their physical appearance and sensation. They enter to their subtle body.
Now we see there are hundreds of Asana are taught by the teachers but there are only 84 important Asanas are described in the ancient classical text like hatha yoga pradipika written by Swatmarama. Those 84 Asanas are thought sequentially, and systematically in the Rishi Yoga Tradition. The Asana could be practiced at different levels and in different ways according to the capacity and strength of the practitioner. To prepare the body to dive into these 84 Asanas we need to strengthen our muscles and joints. The glands also should be balanced to harmonize the hormone secretions. To train our body in this way there are a series of practices that can be done. That is called “Asthi Granthi Kriya” joints movement exercises. They are very simple and anybody can do them. Those who cannot sit can practice in lying position or in standing position. Asana could be done slowly, consciously with proper breathing. Also it could be done vigorously in a flow. It depends on the condition of your body and mind. When the mind is filled with stiffness and negative emotions it is good to intensify the posture. Relaxation or Savasana (corpse pose) should be practiced at the end of all Asanas. It helps to calm down the body, mind, emotion and prepare to practice pranayama, the breathing exercises.
There are few sitting postures recommended by the texts like Sukhasana, Swastikasana, Vajrasana, padmasana, siddhasana and so on. For yogis who want to achieve the siddhis of the spiritual practices quickly Siddhasana is the most beneficial one. It should not be done for a long period of time in one sitting for Grihastha (house holders-married). Sukhasana and Swastikasana are easy for many people. Those who cannot sit on the floor can perform the Asana sitting on a flat chair.
Asana is the third stage of practice described in Yoga Sutra of Patnjali and it is described as the “Vahya-Anga” external practice. This practice removes the instability of “Raja and Virya” the seventh element of the body and final product of the food. This is also called semen, but virya is the totality of body energy which governs and regulates the whole body structure. By which the stability of the body occurs. And the stability of the body brings the stability of the energy body. Asana removes the “tamoguna” (the laziness, heaviness, slothiness) of our body and mind and leads to “Satwa guna” (the light and pure energy). Without mastering this Asana even it is external practice, without it, it is difficult to master the internal practices “Antaranga”. So tone can imagine the importance of Mastering the Asana. It is possible only by relaxing or calming the unconscious effort and by surrendering the mind in God.
“PRAYATNA SHAITHILYA ANANTA SAMAAPATTIBHYAM” (YOGA SUTRA)
What is Prayatnasaithilya?
There are so many sensations happening in the body, the movement of the limbs of the body also happening unconsciously. Body trembles, shakes on its own without any effort. All the movements that happen are not caused only by discomfort but also by something that is happening at a deeper level. The yogi has experienced in the time of meditation how our hands move, eyes move, head moves even if we do not want it. When the body moves the concentration becomes weak and mind moves into the thoughts. So practicing the stillness in Asana one should surrender in God then only “Asana-Siddhi” Mastering the Asana occurs.
Why one should concentrate on God?
There are two things in this world Parichhinna and Aparichhinna (the things which have name and form and without them).
Everything in this world has the name and form. Mind is unstable because all time it moves into the worldly object. Whenever you concentrate on the worldly object it does not matter if it is a nice thing, it brings sensation, feeling. Everything is made of Satwa, Raja and Tamas. So everything has the tamas particle also. So we will not fully get the divine ecstasy. Yes everything is God. But they are projection and changing and also limited. God is limited and beyond three gunas. God is beyond limitation. There is no form or name of God. God is also not the name of God. It is like space (akasha) which is infinite. Space is beyond sensations, how to concentrate on God? Just feel God is the space and everything is space. In this universe only space remains. This is the first step of realizing God.
Nowadays millions of people practicing Asana but they not meditating on God. Millions are trying to concentrate on God but they cannot because they have not mastered the Asana. So much questions if god exists? Because God is everything and everything is God – there is oneness in the feeling and where ever mind moves there is God. So mind moves in the one object that is God. Mind becomes expanded also and it enters into the infinite. In this way only doing Asana one cannot mastery but concentrating on God is essential.