There are many types of yoga schools, teachers and styles available today, but most of them focus on physical techniques. Additionally, most styles are a variation of Hatha, which emphasizes physical mastery through posture (asana) and yogic breathing (pranayama). Above all else, the student will probably focus on asana and the alignment of postures during the first years of training. For this reason, let’s discuss the physical and mental importance of asana alignment for yoga teachers and students.
Realizing a natural physical balance in yoga can allow you to maintain a level of fitness and consciousness that bring you to a new state of mental awareness. Many yogic practices of the past showed that maintaining your physical core balance is critical to being fully alert to your surroundings. The process works by tapping into the center of your body’s natural core, and maintaining that balance the whole time you are in asana practice. You can achieve this by narrowing your concentration to only the most basic stimuli available.
On and Off the Mat
Knowing your body well, and learning the unique ways you can move, while still remaining in sync with your natural rhythm can help you gain the physical and mental results you truly want from an asana practice. You should practice keeping your body movement free flowing, but at the same time be controlled and relaxed. When working on these techniques, try to remember that you are the central figure in your movements and that you should stay at one with yourself. Practicing these basic ideas can be done almost anytime during the day, and will greatly improve your ability to stay in control of your body the entire time you practice and throughout life.
The ability to concentrate, along with being able to narrow in on what you are thinking about should greatly improve in time. Your yoga posture practice and skeletal alignment should become enhanced. The more you practice asana alignment, the more you will benefit mentally, physically, and emotionally; if you practice asana alignment for life, achieving unity within yourself and your surroundings, will be much easier.
You will notice a considerable improvement in your mental focus and general athletic ability. After a short period of time, many yoga practitioners notice how their body posture and inherent ability to move increases. You can also work with other people through yoga training exercises that help each other maintain good form. Just connect with a group or local yoga school and learn how to improve each other’s movements. This is the physical reward of group asana practice; whether you buy into yogic philosophy or not. Much can be learned from working together and many ideas can be formed you may have never realized before. This is the fundamental idea behind group yoga training for posture alignment.
© Copyright 2013 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
Visit our yoga community and see videos, demonstrations, and lectures related to our inexpensive hatha yoga teacher certification intensive programs and specialized continuing education courses.