1 April 2014

Anatomy Asana Alignment and Yoga

                                                

With this I begin my happy april blogging spree with good wishes to all my fellow bloggers and readers.
This is an offering of 26 pearls that are to me the very essence of life- yoga. Today we can start our little journey and look at anatomy, asanas and alignment in yoga.

Over the years many a yoga guru has taught me in person or through their writings and I thank all of them. My posts are distilled from this learning and the personal inquiry which is an outcome of it.

The subject of yoga is the self and this self resides in a physical body. Integration of mind, body and breath is its core.. A key element that differentiates yoga practice from many an exercise regimen is the intentional integration of breath, posture and movement.

Many a session have I taught and when I gently invite the students to be aware of their anatomy, not just the flesh, bone, muscle, sinew but also the soft organs housed within, some take to it like a duck to water while some find it a little strange.
         Why should it be strange I wonder, yoga is not something airy, removed from reality. Not at all. For yoga practitioners, anatomical awareness is a powerful tool for keeping the body safe, our minds grounded in reality.

Asanas are perceived far and wide as a contortion of the physical body to achieve flexibility and even weight loss if undertaken at a faster pace with lesser interim resting periods. One out of the eight limbs of yoga, asana, literally means seat. Originally ascetics sat or stood long durations whilst engaged in meditation and this required the body to be nimble and fit. Having seen that animals abound in energy and natural fitness, the ascetics adopted postures imitating many a creature to be able to maintain an easy stillness. So asanas were a means to an end.

The yoga I practice and teach, involves awareness of the prime mover and shaker of our lives, the breath as it flows all through the body moving and energising each cell, if we allow it to flow unhindered. Moving into asanas, staying in the posture and finally moving out, all require us to stay constantly mindful of what is happening within us. As the base of a structure needs be strong so also the base of each asana. If the feet and legs are not firmly placed and connected to the ground the rest of the asana will be a house of cards, easily toppled.

Are the various limbs and torso aligned fluidly? Only if the entire body is aligned with its other parts is when we are allowing energy and prana to traverse us undeterred.

I could go on and on but this is enough for today.

The picture of the butterfly below is by an artist friend Humna Mustafa. The art emerges from her inner recesses and pours out beauty on any medium at hand, much to the delight of the people who know of and enjoy her work. Inner beauty spilling out in such perfection is yoga being lived out.In my posts you will see her art and others too.




Below link will take you to all the other blogs participating in the April blog challenge. There is a huge variety of theme and the bloggers have worked with great interest to bring you well written, interesting posts.

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

28 comments:

Eli Z said...

Sunila, I am so happy we r in the same group so I can for sure follow your 26 pearls this month. Love your theme:-) And what a great start:-) Perfect to learn more about the concepts of yoga (in addition to practicing it). You tell it in a very nice and interesting way:-) Thanks for sharing, and I am eagerly waiting for next post:-)Good luck in the challenge:-)

Srilakshmi Indrasenan said...

Yoga - wow. I am a big time yoga buff!!! I will surely have a lots to learn and lots to share with you :) I am visiting daily :)

Anonymous said...

I keep deciding to join Yoga classes and always fail to do so. Maybe your month long posts will motivate me enough :) Thanks Sunila!

Beloo Mehra said...

A very informative post, Sunila. I am sure your series of posts this April will inspire me to re-start my own practice...somehow inertia has stuck in for the last few years, but I used to go regularly for my asana-breathing practice. Thanks for taking up this very important topic of well-being.

Aditi said...

Sunila lovely post. It swayed...that beautiful motion and the connect you talked about in your post...I felt it! So so glad you have picked up Yoga as your theme. All the best! :)

Bhavya said...

I am glad this is the theme you have picked. Looking forward to picking up many things from you.

Ishithaa
#AtoZChallenge

Sunila Vig said...

Thanks for the loving acceptance of my theme and for ur comments on my Day 1 post :D Eli Z, Srilakshmi, Mindbrewblog, Beloo, Aditi, Bhavya. I do look fwd to sharing and gaining, Thanks :)

Mina Menon said...

U know one asana I have never ever ben able to hold is vrikshasana! Surprising rt..

Nabanita said...

This was such an informative post Sunila....I'm forwarding this to my sister as well :)

Sreeja Praveen said...

Very informative and a 'healthy' post :)
lovely, looking forward to the rest of it :)

Sheethal Susan Jacob said...

That was one informative post.... looking forward for more :)

Corinne Rodrigues said...

As I read your post, I saw the connection between yoga and improving one's creativity. Wow! That's an eye-opener, Sunila!
Fab start, indeed!

Damaria Senne said...

I don't know much about yoga, so this is interesting to me in an informational way, but I don't have a frame of reference or anything. Good luck with the challenge.

Sunila Vig said...

Mina that does need balance but the trick is to fix the gaze on a point on the floor all through :)
Thanks Naba, hope ur sister likes it too :)
Thanks you Sreeja, Sheethal and Damaria. Corinne the unlocking of blocks via yoga does unleash so much potential, amzing isn't it :D

sitara nair said...

Yoga......I have also been practising though still a learner....
Love it

Anonymous said...

Health regime starts today :P
Hoping to get fit by the end of this month :P

Jayanta Tewari said...

Yoga as a theme is quite interesting. First post in very informative as well. Look forward to more. Thanks.

Inderpreet Kaur Uppal said...

Sunila I love yoga and will be following you very avidly this April. Simply superb start!
Thanks
www.inderpreetkaur.blogspot.in

Preetilata【ツ】 said...

Informative and impressive, both as the same time. All the best, Sunila.

Ida Chiavaro said...

I can see your posts will be a moment in my day where I can remember that my body needs to move from this seated position and breath - Thanks Sunila

Erica Gore said...

What an interesting theme. Thank you, Sunila, I will be returning daily for more.

Sunila Vig said...

Nibhs, tks, you definitely will be fit by the time we reach Z just by reading the posts :D
Sitara, thats great :)
Thanks Jayanta :)
Inder, good to know ur a yoga lover too :)
Tks Preetilata :)
Ida tks for that lovely comment :)
Erica thank you :)

Debbie said...

Interesting Sunila! I've heard so much good about Yoga but have never tried it, myself. Perhaps I should consider it. :)

Srikanth said...

Profound knowledge, rather eloquently put forth!

Chai a Cup of Life said...

A very well written post and can certainly relate to you on the feeling and fluidity of yoga.

Aparna Marthi said...

Be it morning or evening or yoga for a cause, I love doing yoga.I see a yoga class/session right in front of my eyes as I read your blog.Thoughts very well expressed! Keep them coming Suni :)

padma hari said...

Good choice of topic.. Suits you and your commitment to Yoga and fitness.

Anonymous said...

This seems the beginning of well explained yoga lessons covering all its aspects...Informative post