Asanas (Postures)

Awareness, relaxation and activation of energy in the body is what we try to attain with the practice of postures. Asanas aid in releasing tension and stress from different joints and muscles in order to come to a state of relaxation in which you are physically comfortable in whatever you do.

-Swami Niranjanananda

In the yoga traditions there are many different types of practices. Most of us begin by working with the body through yogic exercises and body postures called asanas. Asanas are specific poses and movements that we perform with our bodies, combining breath awareness and mental awareness. Asanas begin the process of refining our senses so that we become more aware of what is happening on many different levels within us. Asanas are techniques that get the body's energy moving to bring about a process of healing, health and wellbeing.

Regularity of Practice

For the best results and maximum benefit, one should practice regularly every day, ideally at the same time. Set your goals within your reach. Start by making a fifteen minute time period and trying to do it daily for about a month.

Principles of Yoga Practice


The most import aspect of practice in yoga is the development of awareness. In the practice we cultivate our awareness through staying focused on the practices. If you are able to feel your body, observe your breath and thoughts, and be present in the moment, then you are developing your awareness.


Be a witness or an observer of yourself. You are not the body, nor the breath, nor the thoughts in your head, but rather the observer of the experience.

Stay Focused

Keep the mind focused on the sensations you are feeling in your body and on your breath. In this way the mind, body and breath are all focused on one thing. You will find that often during the practice, the mind will begin to think about other things. When you realize that is happening then just come back to watching your body and breath again. Keep lovingly, softly bringing the mind back again.


If you feel the practice is not suitable for you for whatever reason, then modify it a little until it is comfortable, do an easier variation, or avoid the practice until you feel your body is ready for it.

No Strain

Practice with an attitude of 'non violence' 'ahimsa' so that you never strain yourself or experience any pain in the practices. Find a way to do the practices so that it creates a feeling of pleasure and well-being inside you.The practices can be done anywhere that there is enough space to allow you to lie down. A thin mat or folded blanket on the floor can be good enough to make you more comfortable.

Empty Stomach

The practice of asanas can be performed anytime during the day or night except after meals. Ideally the stomach should be empty, so wait at least a couple of hours after large meals.