New Delhi: Yoga is the ancient and traditional science that is designed for humankinds universal well-being and advancement. Asanas form just one aspect of yoga, and yoga contains 82 lakh asanas in total. They are inspired by the science of nature, and named after the sages who performed Tapasya holding a particular posture for centuries.
Each asana comes with its own specifications of alignment, breath, Dhrishti (gaze), and even direction. Just like sacred geometry, asanas hold a science in its formation which consists of solutions to problems. Yoga is a holistic tool that works on the physical, spiritual and energetic aspects of the individual. Therefore, yoga asanas affect everything from organ health, mental well-being, give you a strong and flexible body and also aid in spiritual development.
Through breath, yoga aspires to connect and unite us with our consciousness. It is a journey of the self to the self and through the self, and asana forms just one of the many yogic practices on the path of yoga.
Formula of Vinyasas
When asanas are woven together, they form a sequence also known as Vinyasa. In this style of practice, rather than static postures, many asanas are threaded into a scientific sequence with a specific goal or purpose to it. Some well-known flows include the Surya Namaskar and the Chandra Namaskar.
The Surya Namaskar contains a total number of 8 asanas woven into a sequence of 12 steps for each side, Right and Left. When you begin the Surya Namaskar, you must start with the Right side as the sun's energy is represented symbolically through this side, while the Moon is represented by the Left. One complete cycle is done when you cover both the sides, and this is made of 24 counts, says lifestyle coach Grand Master Akshar.
The moon represents emotions, emotional intelligence and taste. As the Chandra Nadi or Moon Channel runs along the left side, you begin the Chandra Namaskar with your left leg first. Chandra Namaskar must be practiced at 6 pm facing the Moon. The Chandra Namaskar contains a total number of 9 asanas woven into a sequence of 14 steps for each side, Right and Left. The Left side is the moon energy and is represented symbolically through this flow, while the Sun is represented by the Right. One complete cycle is done when you cover both the sides, and this is made of 28 counts.
In this way, even the right and the left sides of the body hold special powers or energies within them that can influence our health, and life.
Yoga recommends which asanas are best done at what time of the day. Some asanas are restricted for women during their monthly cycles, during pregnancy etc. This only goes to show that yoga asanas are not mere physical exercises. They hold deep and ancient secrets that are linked to the spiritual path to attain the divine consciousness. Certain schools like Hatha, and Ashtanga detail out the sequence of your practice suggesting the order in which they need to be done.
It is important to maintain a sense of sanctity when following this science. It is not to be done whimsically, it is important to know the right techniques to get in and to navigate out of the postures. Voluminous books consisting of each and every detail of asana science contain the knowledge of their formula, and can help us attain the true benefit from them by following the correct procedures.