Yoga Asana As Meditation

Tuesday, 18 February 2020 09:08
When you first come to yoga, it can be quite astounding the amount of directions and instructions there are to specify how the body should be in a particular pose (asana). What does this achieve?

Over time, with practice, you become more familiar with the shapes of the poses. Your body and mind goes more quickly into it. It takes time and I can’t stress enough the importance of regular practice to get to this point.

With time, you have the opportunity to explore the pose. We can only do this if the mind is relaxed. Quiet but alert, receptive. You have to approach your asana with an open mind, available to all possibilities. 
BKS Iyengar says:
“The purpose or goal of asana is to align and harmonise the physical body and all the layers, or sheaths, of the subtle emotional, mental, and spiritual body. This is integration. But how does one align these layers and experience integration? How does one find such profound transformation in what from the outside may look simply like stretching or twisting the body into unusual positions?”  (Light on Life
How indeed?
Firstly, you practice.
Secondly, you learn to find a sense of quiet to open your mind.
This brings about a state of awareness. Creating a deepening of perspective to go from the outer layer, or sheath, of your body and peel away each layer like an onion. It is often described like that, an onion. It is simplistic analogy as everyone can relate to the experience of handling an onion. I don’t really think of it like that. To me, it’s more fluid, sometimes change can be fleeting and you just get momentary glimpse and then it’s gone. That is what makes it brilliant, fascinating and enticing all rolled into one. It’s you in the asana.
“Relaxation begins from the outer layer of the body and penetrates the deep layers of your existence. Detail and precision of the body lead to mastery of the art of relaxation.” BKS Iyengar in Light on Life, Rodale, United States, p. 40)
When you know how to relax you can meditate. You meditate in the asana, through the body and through the movement of breath. The breath guides you and communicates your state of mind. All you have to do is listen, be patient and practice.
See you on the mat :)


Nicole Schroeter
Certified Iyengar Teacher

Yoga Path
An Iyengar Yoga School

Learn more about your yoga - become an Iyengar Yoga Teacher
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