The third pillar of the 3 pillars that the Mindful Warriors program is built on is Asana (movement).
The word Asana translates as “pose” or “posture”. Its literal translation is “comfortable seat”. We will focus on individual Asanas in future blogs but here let’s focus on why Asanas are an important part of our Yoga practice. Why aren’t observing just the Yamas (self control), Niyamas (observances) and keeping the attention on the breath enough?
We practise Asanas because they not only have a strong physical effect on our body, but also have a strong effect on our consciousness. As we practice both basic and advanced postures we continue to expand our consciousness and learn to be comfortably seated and centred regardless of the situation we find ourselves in - both on and off the mat.
The Asanas we struggle with the most are the Asanas we should be embracing, not shying away
from. Working patiently on challenging postures allows us to develop an internal awareness - connecting our mind, body and breath.
This is what separates Asana practice from all other forms of physical exercise. Through the Asanas, we practice being present, aware and doing things consciously - instead of mindlessly. Even every half of a breath is accounted for in yoga.
As you get comfortable in your seat - your Asana - there is calmness where the pauses between the breaths and thoughts are observed. Everything in your body is being extended from the fingertips to the toes; to your mind and your breath.
Once the body has become light and free in its movement and the mind present and clear through practice, we are able to sit comfortably in our seat and meditate. This is the reason why we practice Asanas.