Yoga Poses

Benefits Of Yogasana And How Do Exercise And Yogasana Differ


Yogasanas According To Raja Yoga And Hatha Yoga

There are many branches of Yoga but we know that mainly two talks about Yogasanas and they are Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga. Maharshi Patanjali, in his Yog Sutras, which is the basic Raja Yoga, has put only one phrase to describe asanas. Yog Sutras states asana as ‘Sthiram Sukham Asanam’, which means the asana is that state of body, in which one can maintain that posture for good period of time with comfort and without moving. In Hatha Yoga, the aim of asanas is to bring a balance between two very important Nadis viz Ida and Pingala.

What Asanas Do To Us

Yoga is for good physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and regular practice of asanas is an important part of it. Asanas control the emotions, produce mental peace and distribute pranas evenly throughout the body. Asanas help to maintain the healthy functioning of the internal organs by massaging them and removing toxins and stagnant blood from them. Asanas provide proper stretch to muscles of the body. They play an important role in awakening the energy centers of the body called Chakras. The Asana means the static posture of the body and not the dynamic movement. Asana is that position or condition of the body which regulates and bring the balance in the various functions of the internal organs. Thus the practice of asana eradicates the illness that which may be due to an imbalance in the lifestyle.

Asanas And The Body-Mind Connection

The gross form of the mind is the body and the subtle form of the body is the mind. The practice of asanas harmonizes the two. Both the body and the mind harbor tensions or knots. Every mental knot has a corresponding physical, muscular knot and vice versa. The practice of asanas will release these knots. Asanas release mental tensions by dealing with them on the physical level i.e. through the body to the mind.  A few asanas daily for at least fifteen minutes will give wonderful health, vigour, and vitality. But regular practice of it is of utmost importance.

Today’s unbalanced lifestyle, mental and emotional stress has led to the loss of both physical and mental energy levels, loss of strength and vitality and loss of youth. According to the saints and sages of yore, the key to reconstructing the human mind, to regain lost youth, strength, and beauty, is to be found in yoga asanas. The asanas are not merely physical exercises.

Asanas Help In Spiritual Awakening

There is something spiritual, something divine at the bottom of this system, because it awakens the energy centers, cleanses the Nadis, activates the Sushumna and ultimately awakens the sleeping kundalini shakti. They help a yogic student a lot in becoming fully established in meditation and finally makes him taste the nectar of cosmic consciousness.

The Benefits Of Yogasana

The best way to perform an asana will be when the system will be spending the smallest amount of energy in order to secure the greatest amount of benefit. The asana hence performed will increase vital energy, build up a healthy nervous system, ensure healthy excretory organs, take care of the circulatory system and develop the muscular system. By the practice of asanas, the blood is charged with abundant oxygen, the body is filled with abundant energy, the brain centers, and the spinal cord are strengthened, memory is improved, intellect is sharpened and intuition is developed. In addition, asanas cause a mild awakening of the chakras.

How Do Exercise And Yogasana Differ?

The basic aim of the exercise is to make the muscular system strong, remove excess fats and keep good health, whereas the aim of Yogasanas as described above is quite different.

Exercise stimulates the Sympathetic Nervous System resulting in an increase in metabolic rate, consumption in calories and body temperature. The increased metabolic rate causes the heart rate to increase, more demand for oxygen and hence increased blood circulation. Asanas, in general, stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. The metabolic rate either is same or lessened. Most of the asanas either have a cooling and calming impact on the body or very little impact on the temperature of the body. Asanas bring down both heart rate and the blood pressure. Blood circulation is balanced and well managed. Yoga postures tend to arrest catabolism whereas exercise promotes it. In addition, asanas are designed to have specific effects on the glands and internal organs, They are designed to alter the electrochemical activity in the nervous system.


About the author

Mahendra Kumar Vyas

Mahendra Vyas, with parental home at Jodhpur and born to Late Shri Goverdhan Lal Vyas and Shrimati Sharda Vyas, did Civil Engineering from M.B.M.Engineering College, Jodhpur. Shifted to Mumbai after completing engineering and worked with Sanjay Narang's Mars Group and Aditya Birla Group. With an inclination to spirituality and service, joined the Yoga stream and became a part of Yoga Niketan, Goregaon (west) in 2002 and since then practicing and imparting Yoga knowledge at Yoga Niketan and different corporates.

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