My Practice moving with Asana

In yoga, the word asana means “posture”. The movements are gentle.   Performed regularly and slowly, they make the body strong enough to hold the positions for a length of time without discomfort. The real work happens when we are holding the pose.  The alignment of the full posture has to be in line. The idea is to keep still while the position is maintained, breathing consciously into the pose.   Then the body and mind will flow naturally into stillness and equilibrum.   As we breathe deeper, we can take the stretching alittle further. Asanas strengthen, stretch and tone every muscles in our body.  The important work of the asanas is in the strengthening and purification of the nervous system. Especially the spinal cord and nerves because this correspond to the channels of prana. The increased pranic energy will awaken the spiritual potential.   My attempt at Sirsasana (Headstand) Prior to training at Tirisula, I’ve never been able to do a headstand. On our first week at class, we were asked to do a headstand with support to the wall and I remember Huiyan telling us to practice safety first at all times. Facing the wall, I kneeled in fear and thoughts of me getting into the pose and channeling ‘I can do it repeatedly’ just was not clicking together. Under her careful guided instructions sweats rolling down my forehead, fingers interlaced and forearm on the mat elbow width apart, I walked towards my chest as close as possible and push off lightly from the toes. I begin to elevate my feet off the mat and knees closed to my chest holding it here in stability for mere seconds. My arms were shaking and it has also spread open. After several corrections and attempts, my arm was now firmly planted and back strongly engaged. From there, I then tried to bring my feet up straight up pointing towards the ceiling. Consciously breathing into the posture, holding it 5 seconds and increased with time. It takes effort and determination to succeed. Repeated tries brought me in alignment and I can now say I’ve done it.   Through the practice of Asanas, it promotes a therapeutic state of mental well-being and improved physical health.   It restores vitality and activates the nerves centre in the brain. Maintaining alertness of the mind, reduces stress and improves concentration.   Gradually, one begins to experience the sensation of pranic energy flowly freely through our channels.   Esther Ong Weekday YTTC Sept