Asanas for Psychological Benefit

It is easy to see that yoga students could approach their disciplines in a manner that is motivated by an aim to physically master each of the classical Asanas.  But this is only the beginning.

The system of Asanas was developed through understanding that the attitudes of the body affects the mind just as a mental attitude reflects in the physical stance or position assumed. Body language is well accepted now in fresh awareness of an ancient rule.

To allow flexibility to assume any physical attitude at will, or to apply strength to our mind and will, the 84 classic Asanas were devised. These represent a complete cataloguing of physical abilities but also they have corresponding psychological attitudes associated with them. The complexity is difficult to fully comprehend but the basic principles are possible to practise and to apply for our benefit  as we discover for ourselves this art which helps us to integrate mind and body.

For example –

Anjaneyasana is a representation of mental aspiration through personal effort

It can be used to uplift us when suffering despondency or even pain.

Bakasana expresses strength and confidence to rise above problems

This represents a test of our will, our strength, our balance and self belief.

Chakrasana reflects generosity and turning personal selfish ego inside out

When aware that we are becoming too self centred, it is useful.

Garbhasana is a symbol of foetal security, refuge, safety- to feel complete and comforted

When we feel things are too much to bear after hurt, trauma.

Halasana awakens spinal energies to flow towards the upper chakras

This is used with caution to gradually stretch the channel between body and brain in time to develop the siddhis or full potential of our faculties.

Suryasana –  It is here that we  identify with the power and strength of the Sun.

This asana represents all positive energies qualities of the soul – to help our self image.

Sirshasana demonstrates the complete reversal of depression and material limitations by stimulation of our full brain potential.

We are reminded that attunement to the spiritual values rather than the worldly values is in opposition to general thought.

Savasana is the surrender of the whole psyche awaiting refreshment by the Universal energies of nature.

Positive vitality increases as we dissolve negative emotions and mind states. By so doing, we encourage our future growth through an expansion and acceptance rather than by a resistance of life.

It is important to remember that each Asana is only completed by maintaining the position for a period of time together with specific breathing or pranayama and sometimes the addition of bandhas. Seek the advice of your Yoga teacher.

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