Asanas ("asana" means "comfortable posture") is a system of physical exercises, developed by yogis thousands years ago. Asanas help to maintain good health by stimulating the circulation of blood, improving mobility of the joints, toning up the muscles and massaging the internal organs. Furthermore, asanas also benefit to calming and controlling the mind.

Yoga asanas are completely different from the athletic exercises in fitness or aerobics. Such physical training is performed in the rhythm of the heartbeat (60-80 movements per minute). While asanas are done in the rhythm of the breath (14-16 movements per minute). The periods of rest are alternated with staying in a particular position holding the breath. This leads to deep relaxation of the nerves and muscles.

During regular asana practice instead of wasting the energy the body accumulates a lot of vital power, which is necessary for the mind to gain higher states in meditation.

Having mastered the skill of relaxation and remaining in the sitting position for a long time, one gains the control over the nervous system and physical state, thus attaining the balance, which is crucial for long meditation.
However, the most important thing is the effect of asanas on the endocrine system. Endocrine glands influence the emotions and mental state. Gentle pressure on various glands during asana practice regulates the secretion of the hormones and establishes emotional balance and calmness of the mind. Endocrine glands are pancreas, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal glands, ovaries, thymus and pituitary gland.

It has been noticed that such emotions as fear, sorrow, anger, jealousy, hatred, love and joy influence the body and especially the endocrine system in different ways. Intense grief or fear may become the cause of death.

These emotions are similar to a shock, which affects the nervous system and leads to ruining the body. Restorative effect of the asanas on the endocrine system is one of the most important. With regular asana practice, a yogi gradually acquires the ability to maintain psychic balance and inner peace in any circumstances.
There is no need to perform long and complex sequences of asanas. Depending on the condition of your body it is usually enough to do several asanas a day. Ideally, everyone should have a personal set of asanas suitable for their particular needs.

Asanas as well as other yogic practices are an integral part of the holistic psychophysical training. They are a step on the long path, which preferably should be followed with the guidance of a qualified spiritual teacher. It is recommended to get an individual set of asanas from an Acharya (a teacher of yoga and meditation).

Complexes for asana practice

For a start it would be nice if you start with the basic asanas, then add some asanas, which are easy to perform. Subsequently you will be able to choose the asanas on your own, based on your experience. Please, take your time to learn about the rules of doing asanas here.

However, if there is an opportunity, it would be perfect if you ask a teacher of meditation for a personal set of asanas.

It's time to make asana practice regular!
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