The Third Limb of Yoga

ASANA – yoga postures

Asana is the practice of physical yoga postures. It is the most commonly known aspect of yoga. Westerners often consider the practice of asana or postures as an exercise or a way to stay fit. Asana was create to prepare the body and mind for meditation. If you are free of physical distractions and can control the body, you can also control the mind. To sit for a lengthy time in contemplation required a supple and cooperative body. Patanjali said, “Posture is mastered by freeing the body and mind from tension and restlessness and meditating on the infinite.”

The challenge of poses offers you the opportunity to explore and control all aspects of your attitudes, emotions, concentration, intent, faith, and unity between the physical and the emotional. It is a way to move into the state of grace that comes from creating balance between our material world and spiritual experience.

“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.” To this B.K.S. Iyengar adds “the needs of the body are the needs of the divine spirit which lives through the body. The yogi does not look heaven-ward to find God for he knows that He is within.”