Yoga Asana Vs Pose

In the yogic text The Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna, the yoga student, asks Krishna, the teacher, which is better, to act or to have the awareness that comes from paying attention. Krishna responds that you want your actions to be informed by awareness. You want to move consciously through the world.

The above lines have made this article simple

Asana are done mindfully taking time to connect action and awareness. Asana is the outside in process; it uses your body to explore the thoughts, feelings and emotions

When we talk about Pose, our mind pictures a well toned body with good flexibility and a well balanced picture. Pose is made for the camera at the right angle & right time.

In this social media era we do get to see lots of posts or videos where we see people making asana with ease and having a lot of flexibility. Often people wish to be in their bodies or wish to achieve these poses. Lot of young people do join yoga classes to achieve what they have seen in social media poses, but drop out as they find it difficult or to them it may be a little boring.

Let us find out the difference between Yoga Asana and poses and why one should want to be a yogi.

Talking about the physical benefits of the asana which I am sure all are well aware of is, it improves the strength, tones the body, improves the flexibility and balance, and increases the mental focus and concentration. So does the other form of exercise?

Now let me take you through the hidden benefits of yoga asana that makes it different from other forms of exercises.

  • Any person (who is not lethargic) can do yoga, be it young, old, very old, sick or weak.
  • One who is determined to practice will obtain yoga and practice alone is the course of success.
  • Through practice (tapas) we learn to study ourselves (svadhyaya) and this will lead us to a better understanding of who we are.

“It is not the speech we should want to know; We should know the speaker. It is not the seen which we should want to know; We should know the seer. It is not sounds we should want to know; We should know the hearer. It is not mind which we should want to know; We should know the thinker. BKS Iyengar”

  • Asana gives the courage, confidence & faith which can be seen in the balancing postures, one can do without fear (sirsasana, Nataraj asana, veerbhadra III etc) and with ease.
  • Asana gives you positivity, one starts to look at life & situations with a positive attitude. You don’t think about the things you cannot do, your mind starts to look for what you can do.
  • Pose is a lovely pursuit, looked upon as contortions of the body.
  • Yoga asana has enormous aesthetic appeal and a science and philosophy in itself. There are various methodologies to perform an asana and each method has a different effect; the various sequences have different effects on the musculo skeletal, organic body and the mind.
  • Yoga is a self enforced discipline (abhyasa) and not a discipline by any external force or energy.
  • Pose when made correctly gives happiness and if the result is not as per expectations gives sadness.
  • Yoga makes you calm under all circumstances and duality free. Yogis have faith (shradha), valour (courage), intense memory and keen sense of observation and do not get disturbed with failures.
  • While making a pose the mind is on the outside beauty of the body and looks.
  • While when one is in the asana you are mentally, emotionally, physically inside the body.
  • Pose is a symmetrical presentation of asana with alignment.
  • Asana is the presentation of the body with alignment and consciousness (via the underlying wisdom of discernment).
  • You cannot repeat the pose every day or may get bored to repeat the pose to get the perfect shot.
  • It’s a joy to be in the same asana every day & with each day one finds a new method to achieve perfection and feels overjoyed to share the experience. The same asana can teach different things every time we get into the asana, be it the movements of muscles, joints, or organic body changes or how peaceful you feel after the asana.

“Who knows where the body ends and the mind begins or where the mind ends and the soul begins. BKS Iyengar”

  • You cannot remain in one pose for a long time not because you cannot but the affliction in your mind will not let you be in the pose for a long time.
  • One can be in the Asana for a long time because you are in peace with the outside body (physical), the mind and the breath.

“As the potter uses his hands to mould a pot, use asana to mould your mind, intelligence and consciousness” BKS Iyengar


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