Asana is the third limb on your Eight-Limbed journey.
In Raja Yoga, or the “Royal” Path of Yoga, focused on the practical application of the Yoga Sutras and Yogic Sciences, Philosophy, Theory, and Practice for the sake of spiritual liberation (also sometimes called Eight-Limbed Yoga, the Eightfold Path of Yoga, or Ashtanga Yoga, which is not to be confused with the Asana practice of the same name), Asanas are described by the revered Sage Patanjali as “steady, comfortable posture” in Sutra 2.46. This “steady, comfortable posture” is preparation for Meditation that leads to Samadhi/Self-Realization.
In Hatha Yoga (the most popular, common, and well-known form of Yoga practiced in modern times and in Western cultures, focused on the use of Asanas, Pranayamas, Bandhas, Shatkarmas, and Mudras to obtain higher states of being and consciousness after clearing the body’s energy channels), Asanas (which has now been synonymously equated with the word Yoga itself) are practiced before even Yamas and Niyamas to open psychic and energetic channels in the body before graduating to higher preceding wisdom limbs on the Eight-Limbed Path and eventually to limbs 5-8 in Raja Yoga (for the serious practitioner who moves beyond basic physical exercise).
In this form of Yoga, the use of Asanas and Pranayamas, etc, are well studied and performed as a means to get the body-energy systems under control, and this, according to Sutra 2.46’s implication, is what then prepares its practitioner’s body-mind to withdraw inwardly and sit for extended periods of time in meditation to obtain higher states of consciousness once the necessary preparations have been made to master her/his use of her/his energy.
Since Asana practice is an important part of any Yoga practice (Raja, Hatha, and almost all other paths, recognizing the physical nature of humans’ presence here on Earth), this course provides you with the foundational knowledge required to get started with safely crafting your own personal Asana routine and engaging with group Asana Classes in structured settings so that you can make the necessary preparations for success in Meditation that leads to Samadhi that prepares you for Union/Liberation which is the goal of Eight Limbed Yoga practice (if that is your goal for practicing, otherwise, you can simply approach this course as preparation for learning the foundations for effective stretching/movement that will support and empower you with the basic knowledge on how you to create, maintain, and promote health and stability in your physical body).
- Commitment to practice.
- A clean, dry, spacious (as much as you can spare at any given moment), and distraction-free space to practice in is recommended.
- Yoga mat, rug, or body sized blanket.
- Optional materials/supplies as mentioned in this course.