Yoga asanas are the physical postures prescribed by the yoga gurus and the Asanas are the yoga asanas which are taken up in order to bring about spiritual transformation. There are different kinds of yoga asanas. An asana is just a basic body posture, initially and generally a generic term for a seated meditation posture, and even later extended to some kind of standing, laying, inverted, balancing, twisting and turning poses. Yoga originates from India where it has been adapted and developed by the yogis of Tibet and Nepal, owing to its proven results both on the physiological and psychological front. It has been practiced worldwide especially in Asia and is extremely popular over there. But today, it is practiced almost everywhere in the world, except in few areas of the Middle East and South America.
The benefits of yoga asanas are not only good for health and fitness, but they are also known to promote healing of various disorders and diseases. For example, if we look at the arena named Trikonasana, which is usually practiced with a front leg forward, this posture helps to stretch the lower abdomen and rectum, externally by stretching the lower intestines and externally by stretching the upper anus. In this, the hamstring muscles are stretched as well.
The primary reason for back pain is bad or improper alignment of the spine. Hence, yoga asanas can help you keep your spine aligned perfectly and improve its functioning so that there is less chance of getting back pain. Some of the most common yoga asanas which help you with your alignment are Bikram, Savatthi and Yograj-Guggulu. These yoga asanas help to relieve back pain and keep the spine healthy.
One of the most important things that people do not realize about yoga asanas is that they are based on the original Sanskrit words. There is no such thing as performing these yoga asanas without doing them in Sanskrit. However, Sanskrit is the base language of yoga. Therefore, if you want to make the practice of yoga as a spiritual one, then you need to learn the basic yoga asanas in Sanskrit.
Another important aspect of yoga asanas is meditation. Meditation is the final step towards achieving flexibility. The more flexible you are, the better you will feel. Therefore, yoga poses like meditation not only help you to relax, but they also improve your sense of control and hence your ability to concentrate on your activities.
Do’s and Don’ts of Yoga Exercises:
Let’s have a glance at some Do’s and Don’t while exercising certain Yoga Poses:
- Sauca is a Greek word that means cleanliness. This is an essential prerequisite to practicing Yoga. Sauca means cleanliness in the environment, body and mind.
- Asanas should not be done with a full stomach. If you feel weak, take a small amount of honey with lukewarm liquid.
- Before beginning Yogic practices, it is important to empty your bladder and bowels.
- As it helps to create a relaxed environment, practice sessions should begin with a prayer or invocation.
- Yogic practices should be done slowly and in a relaxed way, paying attention to the body, breath, and surroundings.
- To avoid injury, you must do a warm up and loosening exercise before performing asanas.
- Slowly do asanas and practice to advance.
- Satvik food is a good choice.
- Before you start your yoga practice, make sure to stay hydrated
- Comfortable and supportive clothing is recommended. To allow for easy movement, light and comfortable cotton clothing is preferred.
- You should practice yoga in a room that is well ventilated and has a nice breeze.
- Yoga asanas can be done on a mat that has a firm grip.
- When performing Yoga asanas, be aware of your breathing.
- To cool off, complete the yoga session by adding relaxation techniques
- If it is not specifically mentioned, do not hold your breath during practice.
- Except where instructed, breathing should always be through the nose.
- Don’t hold your body in a tight spot or make undue jerks.
- You should do the exercises according to your ability. You will take some time to see results so it is important to practice consistently and persistently.
- Yoga practices can have contra-indications or limitations.
- A yoga session should conclude with meditation/deep silence/ Sankalpa/Santi patha, etc.
- The Yamas and Niyamas, yoga’s ethical guidelines, and disciplines, are for the spiritual seeker. They are laid out in the first two legs of Patanjali’s eightfold path. Together, they form a code of conduct. The niyamas refer to things to do or observe. Sauca (shauc), which is purity, clarity of mind, speech, and body. Santosa(sntoss), which is contentment, acceptance of other people and their circumstances, optimism for oneself. Tapas (tps), which is austerity, self discipline,  persistent mediation, perseverance. Svadhyayaya, svaadhyaay: Self-reflection, self-reflection, and introspection of one’shvara/Supreme Being, the supreme consciousness.
- Yoga should never be done in a hurry, sickness, or when you are exhausted.
- Regular yoga practice should be avoided by women, especially during menstruation. Instead, you can try pranayama and relaxation techniques.
- Do not do yoga right after eating. Do not do yoga immediately after eating.
- After doing yoga, don’t shower, drink water, or eat for more than 30 minutes.
- Yoga Practice should be stopped during illness, surgery, and any other sprains. After consulting with experts, they can resume yoga.
- After yoga, don’t do any strenuous exercise.
- Avoid practicing yoga in extreme and adverse weather conditions (too cold, too hot, or humid).
- The yamas are restraints, as stated in the yoga texts for spiritual seekers. These are the fundamental principles that must be followed in order to achieve spiritual growth.
Before you start practicing yoga, consult your doctor if you have any medical conditions or are pregnant.
One of the main yoga poses that help you to maintain your balance while you are stretching is the plank pose. The plank pose is very useful in improving the overall blood circulation in your body. The biggest benefit of the plank pose is that it helps you slow down your metabolism and hence lose extra fat from your body. The main idea behind doing yoga poses like plank pose is to stretch your body and get the muscles, joints and connective tissues loose.
The other yoga asanas that you need to know before you do this asana is to breathe properly. Breathing in yoga asanas is very important because the breathing techniques are similar to yoga pranayama. When you breathe in the asana, you have to inhale all the air into your lungs and exhale all the air out. Inhaling and exhaling are complementary to each other and hence you need to perform it properly. Apart from breathing correctly, you also need to control your movement because in this pose all your muscles are being pulled down and hence the posture is termed as the leaning banana.
Most people find it difficult to keep their balance while practicing yoga asanas. Most of the people make their body uneven and this postures are a bit difficult to keep your balance. To maintain your balance you need to do some difficult postures on the inner arena which will help you balance your body. If you think that you do not have the ability to keep your balance, then it is better to take help from a yoga teacher. The yoga asanas are very simple and everyone can easily perform them.