To avoid the use of Asanas becoming an abuse through sheer fascination with the variety and complexity of positions that the human body is capable of assuming or accomplishing, it must be borne in mind that there should be a reason and purpose for selecting each pose.
Understandable the student will wish to attempt positions and to practise for personal accomplishment and rather more limited understanding, the following offers a simple a guide for the yoga teacher who should be aware of the very reason behind any suggestion that students assume particular Asanas in classwork.
Some purposes are as follows –
Relaxation – Tension/contractile Asanas , followed by resting and Yoga Nidra.
Health – tonic Asanas for glands, nerves, circulation to joints, kidneys heart etc.
Remedial Asanas – to counteract health problems – asthma, headaches etc.
Stretching tendons – for increasing flexibility
Strengthening muscles – requiring maintained contraction of muscles
Involvement of infrequently used muscles – difficult Asanas
Mental control of entire muscular system – specific areas and the body entire
Vitalization – to help release flow of prana and relieve fatigue
Balance – to improve sense of balance and self confidence
Concentration – introduce new Asanas or those needing concentration
Challenge Asanas – those a little beyond the present ability of student
Sun/Moon Hatha Yoga choices – alternation of strength /flexibility
Glands and Chakras are stimulated according to the Asanas selected
Accenting strength (male) or flexibility(female) poses relevant to the birth sex
Encouragement Asanas – graded so students build confidence and capability
Will Power – testing the ability to overcome discomfort (discriminate with this)
Psychological Asanas – to assist each one with personality self culture – Sadhana
Preparation for Meditation – Asanas that stimulate the brain but relax the body
Meditative Asanas should be comfortable to hold for a period, with spine erect,
Either in X legged or in the ‘Egyptian’position- knees together, hands on thighs.
Look for more details on psychological benefits in the post in category ‘Psychology’.