Fitness or Asana

School of yoga explains fitness using yogasana or poses

What is popularly called “Yoga or yogasana” for fitness is actually “asana”.

Asana is described in the seminal book of Yoga, the Hatha Yoga Pradeepika” as Sthiram Sukham Asanam”. This can be approximately translated as “Static comfortable pose is asanam”. This means that when performing asanas, a person should be static and comfortable.

According to mythology, all asana’s have been given to mankind by Lord Siva (the diety that controls our sense of Identity), out of which 84 are most important. However, there is no consensus on which of these comprise the 84 asanas.

Patanjali Yoga Sutra does not mention any asana by name. Hatha Yoga Pradeepika mentions some important asanas out of the 84. Hatha Ratnavali does mention the 84 asanas but only 52 are described. Gheranda Samhita asserts that only 32 of the 84 are of value, while Siva Samhita adopts a slightly different approach.

Asanas in School of Yoga follow the lineage of Yogacharya Sundaram

This website tries to identify and explain the most important of all known asanas for improvement of health and spiritual development. The asanas chosen herein as well as methodology, benefits and contraindications are a modification of the 1920’s work of Yoga pioneer and Guru – Yogacharya Sundaram (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seetharaman_Sundaram).

Initially, prerequisites for performing asanas are detailed. Then, the most important asanas as propounded by Yogacharya Sundaram for good health are documented until shavasana (corpse pose). The rest are optional asanas. Each asana page covers technique, benefits, contraindications and references. 

It is very important to know that anyone wishing to practice asana should first get a clearance from a certified doctor. Even after that, a practitioner must be aware of the constraints and be careful and conscious during practice. In case of any signs of pain or discomfort, the practitioner must stop and consult a doctor.