(Āsana): Posture (in particular, a yoga pose); seat. This is the aspect of yoga that is most familiar to those in the West. Yet, perhaps less understood is that the practice of asanas is not only for the benefit of the physical body, but also for cultivating a deep meditative state in which the body, mind, and soul are brought into a beautiful state of harmony. In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali defines asana as “a stable, firm, and comfortable posture” (2:46), and that “the practice of asana is accompanied by the dissolution of effort and meditation on the infinite.” (2:47) Thus, asana refers to a physical posture in which aspirants stay and meditate on their Supreme Nature. In each asana we can open certain chakras (energy centers), and thus, we come into resonance with energies that exist in both the microcosm and macrocosm. As we learn how to use the asanas to awaken the universal energies within, we can also work on developing certain psychological aspects, such as determination, forgiveness, creativity, and intuition.
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