Lesson 2.0 - Introduction ~
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Day 1: “What are Yoga Asanas”
Welcome to Day 1 of our 21-Day Yoga Asana Journey! Today, we begin our exploration of yoga asanas and their significance within the broader context of yoga. Let's delve into the world of yoga postures and discover how they can bring a union of body, mind, and spirit.
Yoga, which translates to "union," represents the harmonious integration of various aspects of our being. Asanas, on the other hand, refer to the physical postures practised in yoga. By engaging in yoga asanas, we can experience a profound union within ourselves, nurturing the body, calming the mind, and awakening the spirit.
While yoga asanas predominantly focus on the physical body, known as the Annamaya Kosha, they have always been an integral part of yoga. In fact, they trace back to ancient yogic mythology, with Shiva being considered the first yoga teacher. The tradition of yoga asanas encompasses a rich heritage of 84 traditional postures, each with its own unique benefits and significance.
In the contemporary era, yoga gained immense popularity in the West, thanks to influential teachers who introduced it to a broader audience. Among them, three notable figures are Krishnamacharya, BKS Iyengar, and Pattabhi Jois. (Insert respective pictures) These teachers played a pivotal role in bringing the explosion of yoga asanas to the West, starting from the 1950s and onwards.
While this course acknowledges the importance of the physical aspect of yoga, we will also explore how yoga postures fit in with the other limbs of yoga. Yoga is a holistic system that extends beyond the mat, encompassing various limbs or aspects that guide us towards a more complete union. By integrating asanas with other practices, such as pranayama (breathing exercises), concentration (Dharana), meditation (Dhyana), and ethical principles (Yamas and Niyamas), we can experience a more profound and transformative yoga journey.
Yogani, the author whose teachings form the basis of this course, aptly refers to asanas as the "Billion Dollar Industry" due to their immense popularity and commercialization in modern times. However, as you embark on this 21-day journey and engage in daily practice, you will discover that the allure of yoga asanas gradually draws you towards exploring and embracing the other limbs of yoga. The practice becomes a gateway to self-discovery, inner stillness, and a deepening connection with yourself and the world around you.
So, let's begin this transformative journey by immersing ourselves in the practice of yoga asanas. As we progress through the course, we will continue to explore the interconnectedness of asanas with the other limbs of yoga, allowing us to experience the true essence and holistic benefits of this ancient practice.
Remember, each day is an opportunity for growth and self-exploration. Embrace the journey, and let the magic of yoga unfold within you.