Asana Practice: A Narrowing of Yoga.
Here in the US, Yoga has become, in a lot of ways, synonymous with asana practice, i.e. the sequence of postures that one performs during a session of yoga. In a lot of ways, thus, yoga has been stripped of a lot of its tradition and deeper practices, which I contend lead to the greater benefits of cultivating a yoga practice. Of course, before continuing I must say that approaching yoga as a purely physical practice is not necessarily a bad thing: it gets people moving, it builds strength, it brings people together and can act as a springboard into the deeper inner workings of the yoga tradition. This is ultimately how I came to start my yoga journey, so I’m definitely not knocking it, but I think it’s important to make a distinction between Asana practice and the larger tradition that is Yoga.
Yoga has a very long history, often tied up in the religious traditions of India. And what has ultimately developed as Yoga involves much more than just physical movements.
APRIL 18, 2014 BY NBECK
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