The importance of asana

by Christina on February 21, 2011

As you yogis know, it is not always easy to get up and practice yoga in the mornings (especially on cold snowy mornings like today).

After trudging through the cold, wet, and empty NYC streets this morning (coffee in hand), I finally made it to the changing room where I happily ran into my yoga buddy. We were both laughing asking ourselves what are we doing?! Why are we here!

She said: “We wake up and we know we don’t have to, but we also know that we have to.” Exactly 🙂

Gregor Maehle also has a good answer for why we practice asana (in this book which I highly recommend):

The Importance of Asana:

“Modern (and particularly modern Western) practitioners of yoga can easily jump to the conclusion that yoga postures are mere gymnastic exercises, without spiritual or philosophical significance… asanas are part of a spiritual culture that aims at nothing short of bringing practitioners to a state of complete and absolute freedom in which they realize their innermost divine potential.

For the majority of modern people, mere sitting in meditation is not sufficient to achieve any lasting spiritual progress or transformation. If you practice only sitting meditation or self-inquiry or the study of scripture, you can easily fool yourself about your state of attainment. True knowledge is not something that occurs in one’s mind alone; it has a physical dimension as well…

Asana lays the groundwork for achieving the biochemical and bioelectrical changes in our bodies that are necessary for gaining true knowledge… [If] your intellect oscillates, as mine does, between frenzy and dullness (with some bright moments in between), then the practice of asana will be useful for you.”

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