The Third Limb of Yoga: Asana

The third limb of yoga is Asana. Of the eight limbs of yoga                                                    the Asana practice is by farAsana the most popular worldwide, however it wasn’t developed as a workout routine so we could look good and burn off some extra calories. An Asana practice is a means to promote, heal, and maintain physical and mental health. Our physical bodies are the vehicles with which we function in this world as we travel on our inward spiritual journeys. The Asanas help us develop control of our bodies by improving strength and flexibility, which helps us develop inner balance, and by opening up energy centers and channels (chakras, nadis), which leads to higher awareness. Through an Asana practice we can develop sound bodies so that we can also develop sound minds.

Originally there were 8,400,000 Asanas. Luckily we don’t have to master nor do we have to learn that many in order to develop self-awareness of our bodies, and in turn of our minds and souls. Asana, which means “seat”, was a practice developed so we could sit in one seat for a long period of time in silence…for meditation. An Asana practice is about developing wholeness and self-awareness of the body and the mind, of the interconnectedness of the body and mind, and of the body and mind’s interconnectedness to the Self and the Divine.

Those who aspire to the state of yoga should seek the Self in inner solitude through meditation. With body and mind controlled they should constantly practice one-pointedness, free from expectations and attachment to material possessions.

– Shri Krishna, Bhagavad Gita 6:10

Self-awareness is the opposite of self-consciousness. When you are self-aware, you are fully within yourself, not outside yourself looking in. You are aware of what you are doing without ego and pride…Watch yourself from the inside. It is full of silence.

– B.K.S. Iyengar

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About Julianne Victoria

I am a writer, spiritual life coach, and intuitive healer in Santa Barbara, CA. I hope to help heal, teach, and inspire others on their journeys and in this life. © Julianne Victoria and Through the Peacock's Eyes Press under the Common Law Copyright; My main Blog: www.peacockseyes.com
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11 Responses to The Third Limb of Yoga: Asana

  1. jenmccarron says:

    Hi Julianne –
    Thanks for the Iyengar quote – that is a great one to use for an inspiration in asana classes. I also enjoyed your medicine buddha post – I use that mantra a lot. A teacher told me the first bhekaze is for removing superficial disease aspects, the second bhekaze is to heal samskaras that perpetuate the diseases and the third bhekaze, the MAHA bhekaze is to heal all beings throughout time.

    Thanks for checking out my blog! Love you gravatar too – I am just getting to know Saraswati. And now she pops up everywhere!

    Blessings – Jen

  2. patoudi10 says:

    Nice post, i enjoyed reading it. thumbs up

  3. augusta says:

    Nice to see a gracious reminder that asana is not just a way to get a great body or improve one’s golf game.

  4. set2sit says:

    Love this! I am always sharing this with people through my blog and in my life! 🙂

  5. Thanks for visitingt my blog. I look forward to your posts. (Beautiful peacock images.) 🙂

  6. What a great translation! Thank you very much. I am enjoying your posts on the Eight Limbs of Yoga too!

  7. Hi Julie –
    I thought you might like this very modern translation of the Yoga Sutras that mention Asanas. It is a translation that my teacher’s good friend Swami Venkatesananda prepared:
    II.46. sthira sukham āsanaṁ
    The posture of the body during the practice of contemplation and at other times, as also
    the posture of the mind (or attitude to life) should be firm and pleasant.
    II.47. prayatna śaithilyā ‘nanta samāpattibhyāṁ
    Such a posture can be attained (1) by the abandonment of effort and the non-use of will,
    and (2) by the continuous awareness of the infinite eternal existence.
    II.48. tato dvandvā ‘nabhighātaḥ
    Then follows immunity from the onslaughts of the pairs of inseparable opposites – like
    pain and pleasure, heat and cold, success and failure, honour and dishonour.

    Here is his URL:
    http://www.swamivenkatesananda.org/

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