The stages or eight limbs of Yoga – Asana
In Patanjali’s Ashtang yoga, after Yama and Niyama, the third limb is asana or posture. Patanjali says “Sthir Sukhasanam”, which meansthe posture in which we can sit for an indefinite period comfortably and steadily is called ‘Asana’.
Asana brings actual steadiness, health and flexibility to all body parts, which ultimately brings mental equipoise and peace. They are altogether different from gymnastic exercises. One does not need any infrastructure, facility or equipment to perform Asanas, as in the case of games or gymnastic exercises. It can be performed alone and anywhere without any specific preparation. The only requirements are a small blanket, some clean and airy space and determination. Practising Asanas helps to enhance physical health, endurance and vitality.
Asanas help the Yogi conquer the body and make it a fit vehicle for the soul.