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Classification of Yoga Postures

Classification of Yoga Postures

Classification of Yoga Postures has all the time been a discussion in yogic culture. Some yoga schools classify yoga postures as STANDING, SITTING, LYING ON BACK & LYING ON STOMACH. While some yoga school will classify as: FORWAD BENDING, BACKWARD BENDING, TWISTING, INVERSIONS, EXTENSIONS & BALANCING.

Here I would love to place the standard view on classification of Yoga Postures, where there are only 3 categories as below:

Cultural Postures

Postures for Rest

Meditative Postures.

CULTURAL POSTURES: All yoga postures that help to stretch the body from various directions/angles are generally known as cultural postures. By activating specific muscles, ligament, tendons and nerves, the aim of cultural postures is to release tension from every a part of our body. The results of cultural postures should not limited to the muscles and joints, but additionally they stimulate our internal organs and helps us regulated the functions of our internal organs. In consequence we do not only gain suppleness and strength in our body, but additionally get enhanced physical wellbeing and an excellent sense of control. These postures may be very therapeutic as they assist in stopping various conditions similar to back pain. All sort of forward bend, backward bend, twisting, balancing, inversion, and extensions are Cultural postures. For instance: Pachimottasana (seated forward bend), Bhunjasana (cobra pose), dhanurasana (bow pose), vrikshasana (tree pose), Ardhya-matysendrasana (Seated twisting), Shirshasana (Headstand) etc. are cultural postures.

POSTURES FOR RELAXATION: The aim of those postures is to supply rest to the body in between or/and after the practice of cultural postures. Traditionally there are only 2 postures for rest: SHAVASANA (The Corpse Pose) & MAKARASANA (Crocodile Posture). Often a typical Hatha Yoga session ends with Shavasana, because it provides an entire rest to the body and the yoga practitioner feels more refreshed and energized after the reasonably feeling drained. In yogic tradition, there may be great importance of SHAVASANA because the practice of YOGA NIDRA (physic sleep) is completed in SHAVASANA. SHAVASANA can be very therapeutic and it is very beneficial for many who suffer with hypertension, insomnia etc. MAKRASANA (Crocodile Posture) is greatly helpful for strengthening diaphragm in an effort to activate diaphragmatic respiratory. Proper respiratory literally means, living joyfully and live more rigorously. Especially in the fashionable world, where we do not breathe well, there may be great importance of MAKARASANA for many who often breathe through chest. We should always not forget that (chest respiratory produce anxiety and tension inside the body). Diaphragmatic respiratory can be an excellent foundation of PRANAYAMA and MEDITATION.

MEDITATIVE POSTURES: The aim of CULTURAL POSTURES and POSTURES FOR RELAXATION is to arrange the body for meditative posture. Meditative postures provide good stability and luxury to the body in an effort to sit longer with none physical distractions during meditation. We must not forget that physical stability and luxury, each are complementary to one another. Stability within the meditative postures brings great comfort and vice versa. Meditative postures helps to maintain the back straight by maintaining the natural bends of spine. By keeping the back straight, we allow our diaphragm to maneuver freely and thus there isn’t a blockage within the energy flow during meditation. One can select a cushty meditative posture for meditation, which allows proper blood flow towards lower half body. There are total of 4 MEDITATIVE POSTURES as per tradition are: SUKHASANA, PADMASANA, SIDDHASANA & SWASTIKASANA

Note: Some traditions do recommend VAJRASANA (thunderbolt pose) as a meditative posture. But, traditionally it will not be a meditative posture.


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