kuryāttad āsanaṃ sthairyam ārogyaṃ ca aṅga lāghavan |
“Āsana Practice brings steadiness, reduced illness and a lightness of limb.”
– Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā of Svāmi Svātmārāma Chapter One verse 17
This verse is commenting on the development of Āsana
as a foundation or accessory for more subtle practices.
Better not to confuse the vehicle with the direction.
I am reminded of a quote from Srivatsa Ramaswami:
“I studied with Śrī Krishnamacharya for a number of years.
I do not remember a single Yogāsana class which did not have
a decent dose of Prāṇāyāma and Ṣanmukhi Mudrā in it
and short prayers to begin and end the session.”
kuryāttadāsanaṃ sthairyamārogyaṃ cāṅgalāghvam |
‘Āsana brings steadiness, health and lightness.’
– Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā Chapter 1 verse 17
For me, still to this day, one of the finest, simplest, direct and most succinct definitions on the purpose of Āsana within the processes and practices of Haṭha Yoga, is the definition offered in the Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā Chapter 1 verse 17.
It is a definition valid for any presentation or as a response to questions from any level around why we practice Āsana.
It can be a springboard to discussing physiological qualities such as the relationship of Agni to the energetic qualities of health and lightness.
Or it can be a springboard to discussing psychological qualities such as the relationship of the Guṇa, such as Rajas, to mental qualities such as steadiness.
Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointer 1 – The movement of the breath is a mirror
The movement of the breath is a mirror to the movement of the mind.
– Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā Chapter Two verse 2
Link to Posts Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers
Yoga Sūtra Study Question 10.
Explore and discuss the concept of Dvandva in Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 48,
by relating it to the definition of Āsana in Chapter One of the Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā.
To Download or View this Question as a PDF Study Sheet