… getting to know the yoga postures
Yoga's physical postures are called 'asana's'. This Indian Sanskrit word means 'to be seated comfortably'. To be in asana we become aware of our whole body and with practice develop greater physical ease and better health. The postures work to cleanse, tone and strengthen the bodies systems and we become more flexible and strong. Our mental and emotional states improve. With more flexibility and strength our quality of life improves and we cultivate stillness and inner peace.
Here is an overview of the different types of yoga postures and how their practice benefits us on all levels:
standing postures have a dynamic quality. They require co-ordination and balance and build strength, endurance, will-power and a strong foundation for us to stand on. They tone the legs, strengthen the spine and open the hips.
sitting postures are less strenuous than the standing postures and help to develop flexibility in specific areas of the body; lengthening the spine, opening the chest and shoulders, releasing the hips and stretching and strengthening the arms and legs.
twistingpostures are invigorating postures that massage and cleanse the internal orders. They release the spine and tension in the muscles and joints. With regular twisting the bodies digestive system improves and stress and anxiety are wrung out of the body leaving one feeling physically and mentally refreshed.
balance postures require focus and develop co-ordination skills and mental clarity. The whole body is engaged enhancing one's inner awareness. Being balanced physically we experience stillness within and cultivate mental and emotional wellbeing.
backward bending postures stimulate the nervous system, open the chest and shoulders and help to promote good posture. They are invigorating and stimulating, refreshing mind and spirit. Practice to keep the spine supple and to prevent it from shrinking with age.
forward bending posturesrelax the nervous system, calm the mind and cool the body. They are very beneficial for when feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, helping to restore the bodies energy levels. They counter balance the backward bending postures.
inverted postures are a boon of health to the systems of the whole body. The upside down effect increases circulation to the whole body. The brain is given a fresh supply of oxygenated blood promoting clear thinking and energy levels. Some inverted postures are restorative, resting the heart and calming the mind, others more dynamic. Explore the different variations and practice regularly.
relaxation postures are vital for good health and are especially effective when feeling stressed or anxious. People who are over tired or over worked gain great restorative benefits for the heart and whole bring through relaxation yoga helping to prevent the onset of illness and disease.