Yoga asanas are specific body positions which open the energy channels and psychic centres. Asanas are classified into three groups: beginners, intermediate and advanced.
The beginners group should be performed by those who have never practised yoga before. This group consists of elementary techniques designed to prepare the body and mind for major and meditation asanas.
These practices are no way inferior to the advanced asanas and are very useful in improving physical health.
Included in this group are the pawanmuktasana series, eye exercises, relaxation, pre-meditation and meditation poses, asanas performed from vajrasana, standing asanas, surya and Chandra namaskara.
In Sanskrit these practices are referred to as ‘sukshma vyayama’, which means subtle exercise. The word ‘pawan’ means wind or prana; ‘mukta’ means release and ‘asana’ means pose. Therefore. Pawanmuktasana means a group of asanas that remove any blockages preventing the free flow of energy in the body and mind.
Pawanmuktasana is divided into three distinctive groups of asanas: the anti-rheumatic group, the digestive/ abdominal group and the shakti bandha group to release blocks.
All three groups supplement each other, stimulating and encouraging a free flow of energy throughout the body. Practitioners are advised to perfect each group before attempting the major asanas.
Excerpted from ASANA PRANAYAMA MUDRA BANDHA/ Swami Satyananda Saraswati
(This is only a demonstration to facilitate practice of the asanas. It must be supplemented by a thorough study of each of the asanas. Careful attention must be paid to the contra indications in respect of each one of the asanas. It is advisable to practice under the guidance of a yoga teacher.)
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