Asana is defined as “posture;” its literal meaning is “seat.” Originally, asana served as a stable pose for prolonged seated meditation. More than just stretching, the yoga poses open the energy channels, chakras and psychic centers of the body. Asanas purify and strengthen the body, as well as control, calm and focus the mind.
When holding a yoga posture, make sure you can breathe slowly and deeply, using Dirga or Ujjiayi Pranayama. Go to your edge in the posture, holding where you feel a good stretch and/or your body working, but don’t feel pain, strain or fatigue. If you have not practiced yoga postures before, please read our beginner’s guide.