Asana is a Verb: Let Your Yoga Evolve

This entry was posted on Aug 22, 2023 by Charlotte Bell.

Adho Mukha Downward Facing Dog Pose
Asana is a Verb: Let Your Yoga Evolve 7

Within the age of social media, yoga pose photographs can encourage and/or intimidate. Instagram is chock stuffed with picture-perfect fancy yoga poses. Taking a look at yoga pose photographs is one approach to set intentions in your apply. It may be useful to watch how others apply. However photographs have one main limitation: they’re static depictions of residing, respiratory kinds. However yoga is just not a static apply. Asana is a verb.

What Does It Imply to Pose?

A part of the rationale we regularly misread asana as a static kind might be a matter of semantics. Most of us use the phrase “pose” to explain asana. The Oxford Dictionary’s first definition of the noun type of “pose” is that this: “a selected means of standing or sitting, often adopted for impact or so as to be photographed, painted, or drawn.” This sounds an terrible lot like what we do once we pose for a potential viewers on social media.

The verb definitions are equally problematic. Based on Merriam Webster, the primary two are: “1. : to imagine a posture or perspective often for inventive functions. 2. : to have an effect on an perspective or character often to deceive or impress. posed as a physician to realize entry to the ward.” Yikes!

This is the reason I’ve tried—with restricted success—to alter my behavior of utilizing the phrase “pose.” Outdated habits die exhausting, however I do really feel that the phrase “asana” is discovering its means into my yoga instruction extra usually than it used to. The rationale I really feel that is vital is that most individuals don’t come to yoga apply with a preconceived concept of what asana means. The phrase is extra malleable, making it simpler for college students to interpret it in additional versatile methods. Asana is a residing, respiratory course of. So it’s vital to not confine it to a static definition.

If Asana Is a Verb, How Do You Method Observe?

Listed below are some methods to discover the method of asana:

  1. Step one in recognizing asana’s evolving nature is to let go of our ideas of what every pose “ought to” look or really feel like. Which means growing our “newbie’s thoughts.”
  2. When you open to permitting your asana to unfold naturally, as an alternative of attempting to make it match a selected preconceived mould, you possibly can start exploring.
  3. Every asana begins with our preliminary intention to apply it. So, set an intention to be current with your entire course of, starting with no matter sensations come up once you determine to apply a selected asana. Are you anticipating what you would possibly really feel, primarily based on previous expertise? Is there trepidation or anxiousness across the pose? If it’s a pose you get pleasure from, are you in a rush to maneuver into it?
  4. Then be current with the sensations that accompany organising your physique so as to make the form of the asana. Do you begin the method from a selected standing, sitting or mendacity down place? What sensations are current as you put together?
  5. Be current with the method of shifting into the asana. Transfer slowly, so to really feel the altering sensations as your physique shifts towards the asana.
  6. As soon as your physique has discovered the form of the asana, breathe and calm down. Keep related to the unfolding course of. The place do you are feeling stretching or stabilizing sensations? How are these sensations shifting and altering?
  7. Keep inside your physique, letting the breath information you. Every a part of the breath—inhalation and exhalation—will recommend to your physique to both retract from or deepen into your asana. Chill out into these solutions, permitting your physique to oscillate, gently and subtly, into and out of the pose. Be current with the method. That is in all probability the best approach to perceive how asana is a verb.
  8. What sensations accompany the impulse to return out of an asana? Keep related to the method of shifting out of your asana. Then pause for a second in a impartial place to really feel the consequences.

A Few Extra Solutions

  • It may be useful to apply a selected pose greater than as soon as. For those who keep current as you apply, as within the above directions, you could really feel utterly totally different sensations the second time round. That may assist unstick us from our preconceived concepts concerning the asana.
  • Have enjoyable with it. One of the simplest ways to maintain your apply contemporary is to strategy it with curiosity. Every time you apply, say, Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Going through Canine Pose), you’re coming to it with a unique physique/thoughts. Irrespective of what number of occasions you’ve put your physique within the form of the asana, it really is totally different every time. Staying current with the method can maintain your apply contemporary.

About Charlotte Bell

Charlotte Bell found yoga in 1982 and commenced instructing in 1986. Charlotte is the creator of Aware Yoga, Aware Life: A Information for On a regular basis Observe and Yoga for Meditators, each printed by Rodmell Press. Her third e book is titled Hip-Wholesome Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Information to Defending the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Ache (Shambhala Publications). She writes a month-to-month column for CATALYST Journal and serves as editor for Yoga U On-line. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte performs oboe and English horn within the Salt Lake Symphony and people sextet Crimson Rock Rondo, whose DVD gained two Emmy awards in 2010.

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