Asana

by Christina on December 30, 2009

It is an amazing feeling to be able to practice with no pain. I have a new appreciation for my body and I will be much more careful with it from now on!

I love what Iyengar writes about asanas, the 3rd limb of Ashtanga:

“Asanas have been evolved over the centuries so as to exercise every muscle, nerve and gland in the body… their real importance lies in the way they train and discipline the mind…

By performing asanas, the sadhaka first gains health, which is not mere existence. It is not a commodity which can be purchased with money. It is an asset to be gained by sheer hard work. It is a state of complete equilibrium of body, mind and spirit. Forgetfulness of physical and mental consciousness is health. The yogi frees himself from physical disabilities and mental distractions by practicing asanas…

The yogi never neglects or mortifies the body or the mind, but cherishes both. To him the body is not an impediment to his spiritual liberation nor is it the cause of its fall, but is an instrument of attainment. He seeks a body strong as a thunderbolt, health and free from suffering so as to dedicate it in the service of the Lord for which it is intended…

Just as an unbaked earthen pot dissolves in water the body soon decays. So bake it hard in the fire of yogic discipline in order to strengthen and purify it.”

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