Ashtanga Yoga : Asana

The Eight Limbs of Yoga, or Asta-anga (Ashtanga) yoga
Yama | Niyama | Asana | Pranayama | Pratyahara | Dharana | Dhyana | Samadhi

handstand by Karl ErbAsana:
Appropriate postures for meditation-absorption.

Asana is practice of focusing the mind through work in the poses and conscious breath.

Sutra II.46: “Shtira Sukham Asanam” is one of three sutras that mentions asana and can be translated as:

“The posture {should be} steady and comfortable.” – Georg Feuerstein, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras

“Asana is firmness of body, steadiness of intelligence and benevolence of spirit.” – BKS Iyengar, Light on Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

Most yoga classes teach asana. Asana is the vessel, the path that opens up other awareness. Asana is a catalyst towards meditation, or dhyana, through focus of mind and senses, or dharana. Asana is art, meditation and prayer. Breath and energy (prana) are the foundation.

See also BKS Iyengar’s Books : Light on Ashtanga Yoga, Tree of Yoga.

Some yoga poses or asanas

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