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Yoga Asana

By Shyam Mehta

The third limb of yoga is asana, or yogic postures. A yoga posture is any static position that you hold for the purpose of contemplation on the non-material [that is on God, on your soul, or on the soul of another being]. If you lie down and go to sleep because you would like to have a rest from the hustle and bustle of life, you do not do yoga. Box, if you lie down and before sleep say to yourself, "I am tired of all wordly activities, please Lord let me in sleep be with you", your posture whilst asleep is a yoga posture.

Sometimes, when practicing postures one forgets one's objectives, but your objective remains. You may do padmasana and in your concern for accuracy forget why you are doing padmasana. This does not impinge on whether or not your posture is a yoga posture.

If, in your heart, you sincerely say to God or your deity once per day, "let me do everything for you" then every static posture you perform that day is a yoga asana. A married woman who tries her hardest to always think of making her husband happy will likewise be doing yoga whenever her body is still.

Lord Shiva has given to mankind a set of specific postures that are particularly beneficial for helping you develop love in your heart, if performed with Ishvara Pranidhana as an objective. The list of postures is set out below. These postures have many benefits, besides their main purpose:

  • They have major therapeutic benefits

  • They reduce desire of all kinds for material objects

  • They help the mind become tranquil and indifferent to everything other than to God and other deities

  • If practiced with love and sensitivity and as yoga they have no adverse side effects.

Lord Shiva's yoga asanas if taught or practiced without Ishvara Pranidhana as a purpose will harm the practitioner. A person is not just a body but has a mind. The postures may benefit the body but harm the mind, or harm both.

[List of postures to follow]

Related Pages
Yoga Postures
Yoga Poses
Yoga Mats

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