Monday, September 30, 2013

Standing Asanas

Standing postures are the most fundamental class of all asanas because they create the foundation for your practice by laying the groundwork for the more advanced postures. They help you increase power, strength, and stability on the legs. In addition, they aid in proper digestion, circulation, mobility, and spatial awareness. During a series of standing postures the heart and lung actively detox the blood. Following standing postures, the nervous system is better insulated, therefore leaving you feeling refreshed, attentive, and settled.

Standing asanas strengthen the leg-muscles and joints, and increase the suppleness and strength of the spine. Owing to their rotational and flexing movements, the spinal muscles and inter-vertebral joints are kept mobile and well-aligned. The arteries of the legs are stretched, increasing the blood supply to the lower limbs, and preventing thrombosis in the calf muscles. These asanas also tone the cardio-vascular system. The lateral wall of the heart is fully stretched, increasing the supply of fresh blood to the heart.

Standing poses have elements of all the other poses; you can bend forward, back, and to the side. You can twist, balance, and even go upside down. As stretched out postures, they utilize large muscles, warm the body at the start of your practice and also develop stamina. Standing postures demand involvement from the whole body. 

While they make you stronger and more flexible, they have an integrating force. Just as in life, without a steady foundation in these postures, you will never be able to extend to reach your maximum. Standing poses teach you about firm grounding, and only from there can you radiate outward, blossoming to reach your full potential.

"An asana is not a posture which you assume mechanically. It involves thought, at the end of which a balance is achieved between movement and resistance."

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