The Sanskrit word for posture or pose is called Asana. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali state that Asana is a position that is steady and comfortable. Furthermore, asanas are Indian originated but in today’s world, they are practiced worldwide. And it is one of the most popular aspects of yoga. Meanwhile, Asana helps a person benefit his/her mental, physical as well as spiritual health.
Although nowadays people are bent towards the gym, asanas have been practiced for many ages. In comparison to gym workouts, asanas do not require any equipment. Additionally, the asanas are easy to practice. However, we all are always in a rush because of our busy schedules. In this scenario, we must pause everything for a while and focus on our inner peace. Practicing asanas can help us in increasing our flexibility, strength as well as make our minds peaceful.
Some common asanas & their benefits
Hatha yoga, the classic text, refers to 84 asanas as taught by none other than Lord Shiva himself. Another scripture, Gheranda Samhita says that there are approximately 8.4 million asanas. Furthermore, it also mentions that there is one asana for each living creature in the universe. The medieval hatha yoga texts also claim that asanas provide both spiritual and physical benefits. Some most common asanas and their benefits are-
Tadasana or Mountain Pose
This is an easy posture to practice. Meanwhile, Tada means a mountain so it is also called the Mountain pose. The Tadasana is the starting asan for all the other asanas.
Benefits: Practicing tadasana regularly can improve your health in many ways. It can help your back pain go away and improve your posture. Moreover, tadasana not only helps your physical health but expands your mental awareness as well. This asana also helps in opening and clearing your lungs. Along with it, if you practice tadasana after having a bad and stressful day it can help you beat your stress and depression as well.
Halasana or Plough Pose
Hala in Sanskrit means Plough so this asana is called Halasana. In this posture, the body takes the position of the plow.
Benefits: The Halasana is effectively considered to help in losing weight. It also strengthens the abdominal muscles and reduces our stress levels. Along with that, if someone is suffering from diabetes, practicing Halasana regularly can be a big help. Moreover, this posture also works in making the spinal cord flexible and strong.
Dhanurasana or Bow Pose
Another name of Dhanurasana is the Urdhva Chakrasana. The original name comes from the Sanskrit word Dhanura, which means bow. Meanwhile, Dhanurasana includes many other preparatory poses such as Bhujangasana, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, Salabhasana, Urdhva Mukha Svanasana and Virasan, Supta Virasana.
Benefits: Practicing Dhanurasana regularly can help anyone cure asthma, back pain, and also in weight loss. Additionally, if a person practices this posture regularly their kidney will function well. Furthermore, Dhanurasana helps effectively in reducing lethargy and strengthens the spinal column as well.
The Boat Pose or Naukasana
One of the most common asanas is Naukasana. The word Nauka refers to boats in Sanskrit and so is also called the Boat Pose. While practicing Naukasana, our body takes the shape of a ship. This posture is useful in many ways.
Benefits: If you want some six-pack ABS and a gym is not an option for you then Naukasana is for you. Apart from that, this asana also helps in reducing belly fat and improves the blood circulation of our body. One who practices this asana regularly can have benefits regarding the function of the kidney, liver, and lungs. Additionally, strengthening the thigh, hips, neck, and shoulder muscles, and maintaining the sugar level for diabetic patients are some prime benefits of Naukasana.
Gomukhasana or Cow Face Pose
The Sanskrit word “Gow” means cow and “Mukha” stands for mouth or face. Gomukha also may refer to the lightness of the head.
Benefits: Asanas are known for helping your physical and mental health as well. Moreover, the Gomukhasana has been considered to be a big help in reducing stress and anxiety. Along with that, this posture helps in the well functioning of the kidney and stretching the full body parts. Also, one of the prime benefits of this asana is that it helps our body with improved posture. To improve the body’s natural posture, Gomukhasana stimulates our spine, chest, and shoulder muscles.
Sarvangasana or Shoulder Stand
The word Sarvangasana refers to our entire body. This asana engages the entire body below the neck. Meanwhile, this asana can be hard for the beginner. Nevertheless, after practicing for more days one can find this posture as easy as the others.
Benefits: The benefits of Sarvangasana include proper functioning of the kidney and it is beneficial for people suffering from anxiety as well. Along with it, this asana can help people with low blood pressure. People who practice this asana regularly can get big relief in case of headache, giddiness, functional disorder of the eye, the nose, and the throat as well.
The Easy Pose or Sukhasana
The Sukhasana is one of the easiest asanas to perform. The word Sukhasana comes from the Sanskrit word Sukham meaning delight.
Benefits: Although Sukhasana is easy to practice, this asana also has lots of benefits for those who practice it regularly. This asana improves our body posture and stretches our spine. Along with it, Sukhasana also helps in opening our hips, reducing fatigue, stretching our news and ankle. Meanwhile, helping a person with anxiety, stress, and mental tiredness can be counted as a prime benefit of this asana.
Asanas for a better life, health, and mind
Running continuously behind our jobs and work has become our daily habit. Therefore, we hardly get time to worry about our health or food habits. These can cause so much stress and tension which leads to anxiety and depression. Whereas, many people prefer to join the gym but can not always continue because of their busy schedules. Meanwhile, in this condition of life, practicing yoga postures or asanas can bring so many benefits to our physical as well as mental health. Our body is the vehicle to our soul and the regular practice of these asanas can help us lead a cheerful and happy life.