AASAN (April 2006)
(Postures – the third limb of Yoga)
Aasans are a system of exercises to make all parts of the body strong and healthy. Out of eight limbs of Yoga, it is one of the widely known and practiced aspects. Aasan regulate breathing, ensure proper digestion of food and increase longevity. The eventual purpose of Aasan is to calm the mind and body in preparation for Samadhi. It is a powerful tool to strengthen individual’s will power. Aasan along with Pranayama helps harmonize the flow of energy and achieve higher state of health. Someone has put very eloquently, “This down-to-earth, flesh-and-bones practice is simply one of the most direct and expedient ways to meet yourself. … This limb of yoga practice reattaches us to our body. In reattaching ourselves to our bodies we reattach ourselves to the responsibility of living a life guided by the undeniable wisdom of our body.”
There are many kinds of aasans of which the principals are Shirshaasan (head stand), sarvangaasan (shoulder stand) and padamaasan (lotus posture). The Surya Namaskar exercise is extremely beneficial. There are numerous books, which teach the yoga postures.