E53 Asana - the 3rd limb
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The third limb of Yoga is Asana, sometimes defined as “seat” and often as “posture,” is what people typically think of as Yoga. It is the collection of evolved shapes designed to prepare the body for deeper pranayama practice (breath work), to sit in meditation with more ease in the body, as well as being a sharp tool for self-study. It’s also fun!
The conversation recognizes that Asana is only directly mentioned three times in the Yoga Sutras (pithy aphorisms strung together to codify and explain what Yoga is), out of the 196 that cover the rest.
Yoga has so many different lineages, styles, and practices, it can become overwhelming to do the deep dive. The hosts, while decades long practitioners & teachers, found this episode especially challenging to unpack, given the many in-roads.
Embodiment, at times, can erase the need for words, rendering them harder to catch on the fly, requiring active effort. Other times, the words lyrically flow from the body without any effort at all.
This circles back to the main Sutra on asana: Sthira Sukham Asanam, which asks the practitioner to find balance in the effort of exertion and the effort of ease in every pose – both should be present.
Asana is a steady comfortable posture*
*From The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – translation & commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda
ARE YOGA POSES ANCIENT HISTORY? Author: Jill Miller
Origins of yoga postures – a closer look at the purpose of yoga asana
Our Amazing Team:
Judith George - Editor (video & audio)
Keith Kenny - Music
Cindy Fatsis - Photography