Healing Principles for Practicing Asanas
by : Dr. S. Natarajan Ph.D
The body is just like a musical instrument. It has to be rightly tuned; only then would higher music arise out of it.
Manushi School of Yoga practical training is a form of Hatha Yoga in which there is a focus on the structural alignment of the physical body through the development of asanas. Through the practice of a system of asanas, it aims to unite the body, mind and spirit for health and well-being. The discipline is considered by its practitioners to be a powerful tool to relieve the stresses of modern-day life, in turn helping to promote total physical and spiritual well-being.
From the moment we are born we are learning about our bodies, and negotiating gravity and space. We can re-visit these early learning experiences and use them as building blocks for our sense of internal awareness and our capacity for integrated movement. When we talk about alignment, it’s worth articulating what we are aligning ourselves with -an external form or shape? An internal sensation? a community value? Then we can explore questions about how embodying our anatomy and developmental process can support communication and relationship as foundations for alignment. Deciding which anatomical details of yoga poses to depict is quite a challenge. Unlike weight training and stretching, which focus on specific muscles, yoga focuses on asanas that are whole-body practices; no elements are entirely passive.
Our muscles like musical instrumental strings. “Music arises when the strings are in such a state that we can neither say that they are very tight nor can we say that they are very loose. There is a state of the strings when they are neither loose nor tight. There is a point in-between, a midpoint. Music arises only there. And an expert musician, before he starts playing, checks the strings to see if they are too loose or too tight.”Like that the muscles acts as strings in our body.
Consider this point Manushi School of Yoga practices applying this major Three Principles of Practicing Asanas
- Moving Consciously,
- Level of Awareness,
- Maintain Comfortably,
Asanas are consciously moved from one position to another to improve the skeletal muscle functioning. Skeletal muscles is the only voluntary muscles (like legs, arms etc) in the human body. Conscious movements increases the stimulation of the cerebral cortex(sensory nerve start from the skin end with the sensory cortex) through skin receptors like touch receptors, mechanoreceptors, vibration receptors and thermo receptors. These skin receptors can be stimulated performing the asanas consciously within.
Level of Awareness
Asanas should be performed with maximum awareness to increase the electrochemical signals and messenger molecules so as to stimulate the effective cell functioning. The capacity for communication among our cells and tissues underlies the role the NeuroEndocrine System plays in listening, processing and responding to signals from our internal and external environment. When we settle into the many layers of responsiveness present in all our systems, new possibilities for presence and movement arise. Electrochemicals are located in the cell membrane(mem+brain) called sacrolemma.
- Physical Level (arms and Legs)
- Physiological Level (Functions of the organs,pranic level)
- PsychoPhysiological (Chakras/energy centres)
- Emotional level(minding the mind)
Asana means maintaining in one position comfortably. Patanjali defined Asanas as “ To Be seated in a position that is firm, but relaxed”(Sthiram Sukam Asanam). When we talk about alignment, it’s worth articulating what we are aligning ourselves with -an external form or shape? An internal sensation? a community value? Then we can explore questions about how embodying our anatomy and developmental process can support communication and relationship as foundations for alignment. Asanas are performed to conserve the energy, by gently moving into the posture we receive the energy while maintaining the posture we distribute the energy. While returning from the posture, we are persevering the distributed energy.
Physiological changes of maintaining the Asanas comfortably.
Increased Parasymphathic nerve stimulation,
Vasodilatation (enlarging) of the blood vessels,
Enhance the micro circulation,
Cells get more anabolism.
To grasp the core principles of both yoga and anatomy, we will need to reach back to the evolutionary and intrauterine origins of our lives. Whether we look at the simplest single-celled organisms or our own beginnings as newly conceived beings, we will find the basis for the key yogic metaphors that relate to all life and that illuminate the structure and function of our thinking, breathing, moving human bodies.