Āsana or poses for fitness

Read about the contributions of five generations of Yogacharya Sundaram’s family to the worldwide growth of yoga.

School of yoga explains fitness using āsana or poses

What is popularly called “Yoga or yogāsana” for fitness is actually “āsana”.

Āsana is described in the seminal book of yoga, the “Hatha Yoga Pradeepika” as “sthiram-sukham-āsanam”. This can be approximately translated as “Static comfortable pose is āsanam”. This means that when performing āsanas, a person should be static and comfortable.

According to mythology, all āsana’s have been given to mankind by Lord Siva (the diety that controls our sense of Identity), out of which 84 are most important. However, there is no consensus on which of these comprise the 84 āsanas.

Patanjali Yoga Sutra does not mention any āsana by name. Hatha Yoga Pradeepika mentions some important āsanas out of the 84. Hatha Ratnavali does mention the 84 āsana but only 52 are described. Gheranda Samhita asserts that only 32 of the 84 are of value, while Siva Samhita adopts a slightly different approach.

Āsanas in School of Yoga follow the lineage of Yogacharya Sundaram.

This website tries to identify and explain the most important of all known āsanas for improvement of health and spiritual development. The āsanas chosen herein as well as methodology, benefits and contraindications are a modification of the 1920’s work of Yoga pioneer and Guru – Yogacharya Sundaram (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seetharaman_Sundaram).

Initially, prerequisites for performing āsana are detailed. Then, the most important āsanas as propounded by Yogacharya Sundaram for good health are documented until shavāsana (corpse pose). The rest are optional āsana. Each āsana page covers technique, benefits, contraindications and references.

It is very important to know that anyone wishing to practice āsana should first get a clearance from a certified doctor. Even after that, a practitioner must be aware of the constraints and be careful and conscious during practice. In case of any signs of pain or discomfort, the practitioner must stop and consult a doctor. Also, it is advisable that all āsana be learned under the direct supervision of an expert. Avoid on-line classes initially, at least until some proficiency is achieved and understanding of the limitations is understood.

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