Asana, Pranayama & Kriyas
ASANA: An asana is defined as a posture which gives steadiness and comfort.
Steadiness will come when your attention is fixed either on the
breath or sensations in the part of the body being worked upon or on
the body movement in certain asanas. An asana can be perfected by
learning to hold the posture in relaxation (relaxing unnecessary
effort and tension).
I practiced yoga
asanas under many teachers before I went to do my Teacher's Training
Yoga Institute. I will always be grateful for the beautiful way
in which they teach asanas. Behind each asana is a Bhava, a feeling.
For example, forward bends create a feeling a of let go and
surrender. Backward bends require effort and give confidence.
Meditative asanas create a dharma bhava, a feeling of stillness in
which your duties and responsibilities (chosen by you) become clear.
Another aspect I
enjoyed at the institute was the simplicity of all the practices.
All asanas affect the mind and it is not required to contort your
body in fabulous acrobatic poses to achieve peace, harmony and a
feeling of being energised.
I would recommend
the 7-day camp and of course the teacher trainings to anyone wanting
to live a yogic life.
(Prana- bio energy; Ayama- control / management / expansion.) The essence of pranayama is to
breathe effortlessly; your inhalation should merge with retention,
retention should merge with exhalation, exhalation merging into
suspension or holding your breath outside. The breath is usually
smooth, rhythmic and long during the practice of pranayama.
I have enjoyed
pranayama immensely with
Swamiji. His classes are a blend of yoga asanas and pranayama.
His intuitive knowledge of the body and his ability to be able to
sense the energy of the student makes his classes a joyful
At the Institute, Dr
Jaydev once put it very beautifully that the purpose of pranayama
was to become one with God. When with time and practice the pranayama can be done effortlessly, it creates wonderful states of
KRIYA: (Kri- to do) Cleansing techniques such as Jal
Neiti, Tratak and Kapalbhati. Asana is a comfortable posture; for
complete comfort, cleanliness is essential. Impurities will distract
the mind. Jal Neiti cleans the eyes, nose and sinuses. Tratak
results in concentration and helps to strengthen the eye
muscles and stimulates tears to clean the eyes.