Definitions for asanaˈɑ sə nə
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word asana
(Hinduism) a posture or manner of sitting (as in the practice of yoga)
A body position, typically associated with the practice of yoga.
Asana is a body position, typically associated with the practice of Yoga, originally identified as a mastery of sitting still. In the context of Yoga practice, asana refers to two things: the place where a practitioner, yogi, or yogini sits and the manner in which he/she sits. In the Yoga sutras, Patanjali suggests that asana is "to be seated in a position that is firm, but relaxed" for extended, or timeless periods. As a repertoire of postures were promoted to exercise the body-mind over the centuries, to the present day when yoga is sought as a primarily physical exercise form, modern usage has come to include variations from lying on the back and standing on the head, to a variety of other positions. However, in the Yoga sutras, Patanjali mentions the execution of sitting with a steadfast mind for extended periods as the third of the eight limbs of Classical or Raja yoga, but does not reference standing postures or kriyās. Yoga practitioners who seek the "simple" practice of chair-less sitting generally find it impossible or surprisingly grueling to sit still for the traditional minimum of one hour, some of them then dedicating their practice to sitting asana and the sensations and mind-states that arise and evaporate in extended sits.
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