What makes a Healthy Asana?

Boat Pose

5  Essential Elements of Yoga Practice :

IMMOBILITY  - the ability to remain motionless in the asana for a number of breath cycles.

BREATH CONTROL – the breath is constantly in motion in a continuous stream.  The practitioner must breathe through the nostrils and be soft and complete in their breathing.

EFFORTLESSNESS – a healthy asana is achieved without straining or pushing oneself beyond one’s abilities.

MUSCLE STRETCHING - various muscles will be moved with equal emphasis on  surrendering and stretching as activation and contraction.

MENTAL CONCENTRATION - It is essential for a the aspirant to find a quiet focus which keeps the mind firmly anchored in the present moment.

 

Tree of Yoga

 

Tree of Yoga

 

Happy Eostre,  getting creative at home.  I did a wonderful guided meditation on Good Friday, where I saw myself as a tree.  It was a huge ficus with a giant canopy of boughs, providing a sanctuary of shade and shelter.  It had amazing flowers and delicious fruits, and it had just as much reach under the surface of the ground as was visible above.

The drawing is of the Tree of Yoga. The roots are the foundation or the Yamas / ethics, the trunk is represented by the Niyamas / codes of conduct and the Tapas / dedication to practice.  Leaves are the symbol of Pranayama / the breath or bridge between inner and outer.  The bark is the protection to allow Pratyahara / sense withdrawal to the sap which is the Prana / life force moving through the whole.  Flowers represent the Dhyana / meditation and the fruits are Samadhi / bliss.