Asanas : Importance of Yoga posture in kundalini yoga

2 June 2024 by
Asanas : Importance of Yoga posture in kundalini yoga
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Four key Asanas are recommended for Japa and meditation: Padmasana, Siddhasana, Svastikasana, and Sukhasana. To achieve Asana-Jaya (mastery over the Asana), one must be able to sit in any of these postures for a full three hours without moving.

Achieving Steadiness in Asana

  • Steadiness is Crucial: Without a steady Asana, progressing in meditation is difficult. The steadier your posture, the better your concentration and one-pointedness of mind.
  • One Hour of Stillness: Even an hour of steadiness in an Asana can lead to a one-pointed mind, infinite peace, and Atmic Ananda (bliss of the soul).
  • Mental Affirmation: While in the posture, think: “I am as firm as a rock.” Repeat this affirmation half a dozen times to help stabilize your Asana.
  • Living Statue: Aim to become like a living statue during Dhyana (meditation) for true steadiness.

Practicing and Perfecting Asanas

  • Start Small, Grow Gradually: Begin with half an hour of practice and gradually increase to three hours over a year.
  • Proper Alignment: Keep your head, neck, and trunk in a straight line.
  • Consistency: Stick to one Asana and perfect it through repeated practice. Do not switch Asanas frequently.

Benefits of Asanas and Their Related Practices

  • Dridhata (Strength): Asana practice provides physical strength.
  • Sthirata (Steadiness): Mudra practices enhance steadiness.
  • Dhairya (Boldness): Pratyahara brings courage.
  • Laghima (Lightness): Pranayama promotes lightness.
  • Pratyakshatva (Self-Perception): Dhyana leads to the perception of the self.
  • Kaivalya (Isolation/Freedom): Samadhi offers ultimate freedom or final beatitude.

Variety of Asanas

  • Asanas for Every Posture: There are as many postures as there are species, totaling 84 lakh Asanas described by Lord Siva. Of these, 84 are the best, and 32 are very useful.
  • Standing Asanas: Examples include Tadasana, Trikonasana, and Garudasana.
  • Sitting Asanas: Examples include Paschimottanasana and Padmasana.
  • Lying Down Asanas: Examples include Uttanapadasana and Pavanamuktasana.
  • Inverted Asanas: Examples include Sirshasana and Vrikshasana.

Historical and Modern Context

  • Ancient Practice: Historically, these Asanas were practiced in Gurukulas, contributing to the strength, health, and longevity of people.
  • Educational Integration: Introducing these Asanas in schools and colleges can have similar benefits today.

Beyond Physical Exercise

  • Holistic Development: While ordinary physical exercises build superficial muscles, Asanas are intended for both physical and spiritual development.

Asanas for Concentration and Meditation

A few notable Asanas that aid in concentration, meditation, and awakening the Kundalini include:

  • Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
  • Siddhasana (Perfect Pose)
  • Svastikasana (Auspicious Pose)
  • Sukhasana (Easy Pose)

“Asanas are not just exercises; they are a way to explore the mind-body connection and awaken the spiritual potential within.”Swami Sivananda

By dedicating time to mastering these Asanas, one can achieve profound physical strength, mental clarity, and spiritual awakening.

1. Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

Amongst the four poses prescribed for Japa and Dhyana, Padmasana comes foremost. It is the best Asana for contemplation. Rishis like Gheranda and Sandilya speak highly of this vital Asana. It is highly suitable for householders and even ladies can sit in this Asana. Padmasana is particularly suitable for lean persons and youths.

Steps to Perform Padmasana:

  • Sit on the ground by spreading the legs forward.
  • Place the right foot on the left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh.
  • Place the hands on the knee-joints. You can either:
    • Make a finger lock and keep the locked hands over the left ankle, which is very convenient for some persons, or
    • Place the left hand over the left knee and then place the right hand over the right knee with the palm facing upwards and the index finger touching the middle portion of the thumb (Chinmudra).

2. Siddhasana (The Perfect Pose)

Next to Padmasana comes Siddhasana in importance. Some even eulogize this Asana as superior to Padmasana for Dhyana purposes. Mastery over this Asana leads to acquiring many Siddhis. It has been practiced by many Siddhas of yore, hence the name Siddhasana.

Benefits and Suitability:

  • Fatty persons with big thighs can practice this Asana easily. In fact, it is better for some than Padmasana.
  • Young Brahmacharins aiming to establish celibacy should practice this Asana.
  • Note: This Asana is not suitable for ladies.

Steps to Perform Siddhasana:

  • Place one heel at the anus.
  • Keep the other heel on the root of the generative organ.
  • Arrange the feet or legs so that the ankle-joints touch each other.
  • Hands can be placed as in Padmasana.

3. Svastikasana (Prosperous Pose)

Svastikasana is sitting at ease with the body erect.

Steps to Perform Svastikasana:

  • Spread the legs forward.
  • Fold the left leg and place the foot near the right thigh muscles.
  • Similarly, bend the right leg and push it in the space between the thigh and calf muscles.
  • Now, you will find the two feet between the thighs and calves of the legs. This is a very comfortable Asana.

Alternative: If you find it difficult, you can sit in Samasana:

  • Place the left heel at the beginning of the right thigh and the right heel at the beginning of the left thigh.
  • Sit at ease without bending either to the left or right.

4. Sukhasana (Easy Pose)

Any easy, comfortable posture for Japa and meditation is Sukhasana. The important point is that the head, neck, and trunk should be in a line without a curve. People who begin Japa and meditation after the age of 30 or 40 often find it challenging to sit in Padma, Siddha, or Svastikasana for long periods.

A Comfortable Sukhasana for Older Adults:

  1. Take a cloth 5 cubits long.
  2. Fold it nicely lengthwise until the width becomes half a cubit.
  3. Sit in your usual way, keeping the feet below your thighs.
  4. Raise the two knees to the level of your chest until you get a space of 8 or 10 inches between the knees.
  5. Take the folded cloth and keep one end near the left side, touching the right knee, and come to the starting point. Then, make a knot of the two ends.
  6. Keep your palms face-to-face and place them on the support of the cloth between the knees.

In this Asana, the hands, legs, and backbone are supported, ensuring you never feel tired. If you cannot do any other Asana, at least sit in this one for extended Japa and meditation. You can also perform Svadhyaya (study of religious books) in this Asana.

5. Sirshasana (Topsy Turvy Pose)

Sirshasana is often referred to as the king of Asanas.

How to Perform Sirshasana

  • Spread a four-folded blanket.
  • Sit on your knees and make a finger lock by interweaving the fingers.
  • Place the locked fingers on the ground, up to the elbows.
  • Place the top of your head on the finger lock or between your hands.
  • Slowly raise your legs until they are vertical.
  • Stand for five seconds initially, gradually increasing the period by 15 seconds each week up to 20 minutes or half an hour.
  • To come down, do it very slowly to avoid jerks.


  • Useful in maintaining Brahmacharya and helps in sex-sublimation.
  • Enhances memory, stimulates Pranayama and Samadhi naturally.
  • Lawyers, occultists, and thinkers highly appreciate this Asana.

Caution: Perform the Asana very slowly to avoid jerks, and use a wall or a friend for support initially.

6. Sarvangasana (All-Members Pose)

Sarvangasana is a mysterious Asana with wonderful benefits.

How to Perform Sarvangasana

  • Spread a thick blanket on the floor.
  • Lie on your back and slowly raise your legs, trunk, hips, and legs vertically.
  • Support your back with your hands, keeping the elbows on the ground.
  • Press the chin against the chest (Jalandhara Bandha).
  • Keep the legs straight and avoid shaking or moving.
  • After the Asana, follow it with Matsyasana.


  • Acts as a panacea for all diseases.
  • Enhances mental power and awakens Kundalini Sakti.
  • Provides a blood supply to the spinal nerves and keeps the spine elastic.
  • Effective in maintaining Brahmacharya, curing obesity, constipation, and toning the abdominal muscles.

7. Matsyasana (Fish Posture)

Matsyasana helps float on water easily with Plavini Pranayama.

How to Perform Matsyasana

  • Sit in Padmasana with the right foot over the left thigh and the left over the right thigh.
  • Lie flat on your back.
  • Hold the head with your elbows (first variety).
  • Stretch the head back until the top of the head rests on the ground, forming a bridge or arch (second variety).
  • Place the hands on the thighs or hold the toes with the hands.


  • Relieves stiffness and cramps in the neck and shoulders after Sarvangasana.
  • Aids in deep breathing, beneficial for asthma, consumption, and chronic bronchitis.

8. Paschimottanasana

Paschimottanasana is excellent for stimulating the abdominal viscera.

How to Perform Paschimottanasana

  • Sit on the ground with legs extended forward.
  • Bend the trunk forward and catch the toes with your fingers.
  • Exhale and bend slowly until the forehead touches the knees.
  • Hold the pose initially for 5 seconds, gradually increasing to 10 minutes.


  • Stimulates the abdominal organs, cures constipation, and reduces abdominal fat.
  • Enhances the elasticity of the spine and tones the muscles of the abdomen and back.
  • Relieves lumbago, piles, and diabetes.

9. Mayurasana (Peacock Pose)

Mayurasana requires good physical strength and balance.

How to Perform Mayurasana

  • Kneel on the ground and sit on your toes.
  • Raise the heels and join the forearms, placing the palms on the ground.
  • Bring the abdomen against the elbows, supporting the body.
  • Stretch the legs back and raise the feet to the level of the head, balancing on the elbows.
  • Retain the breath while raising the body and exhale slowly when finished.


  • Strengthens the arms and core muscles.
  • Enhances balance and coordination.



Mayurasana, or the Peacock Pose, is renowned for its exceptional benefits to the digestive system. Here are some key advantages:

  • Improves Digestion: Enhances digestive power and counters the effects of unwholesome food.
  • Treats Dyspepsia: Effective for chronic gastritis (Gulma) and other stomach ailments.
  • Reduces Organ Enlargement: Alleviates spleen and liver enlargements by increasing intra-abdominal pressure.
  • Stimulates Abdominal Organs: Tones and stimulates all abdominal organs.
  • Cures Constipation: Resolves ordinary, chronic, and habitual constipation.
  • Awakens Kundalini: Vital for spiritual awakening.

11. Ardha Matsyendrasana

Paschimottanasana and Halasana bend the spine forwards. Dhanur, Bhujanga, and Salabha Asanas bend it backward. However, to achieve perfect spinal flexibility, lateral movements are necessary. Ardha Matsyendrasana fulfills this requirement by providing a lateral twist to the spinal column.

Steps to Perform Ardha Matsyendrasana:

  1. Left Heel Placement: Position the left heel near the anus, under the scrotum.
  2. Right Ankle Placement: Place the right ankle at the root of the left thigh, with the right foot on the ground near the left hip-joint.
  3. Left Axilla Over Right Knee: Place the left axilla over the top of the vertically bent right knee.
  4. Twist the Spine: Slowly twist the spine to the right, aligning the face with the right shoulder.
  5. Right Arm Placement: Swing the right arm towards the back and catch hold of the left thigh.
  6. Retain the Pose: Hold for 5-15 seconds, keeping the vertebral column erect.


  • Increases Appetite: Enhances digestive fire and appetite.
  • Destroys Diseases: Effective against severe diseases.
  • Rouses Kundalini: Stabilizes the Chandranadi.
  • Spinal Flexibility: Keeps the spine elastic and massages abdominal organs.
  • Relieves Muscular Pain: Cures lumbago and muscular rheumatism.
  • Tones Nervous System: Benefits spinal nerve-roots and the sympathetic system.

12. Vajrasana (The Adamantine Pose)

Steps to Perform Vajrasana:

  1. Foot Position: Place the soles of the feet on either side of the anus.
  2. Thigh Placement: Position the thighs over the legs with the soles on the buttocks.
  3. Knee and Ankle Contact: Ensure calves touch the thighs and the part from the toe to the knee touches the ground.
  4. Body Alignment: Sit with the trunk, neck, and head in a straight line.
  5. Hand Placement: Rest hands straight on the knees.


  • Aids Digestion: Sitting for 15 minutes after meals improves digestion.
  • Strengthens Legs: Fortifies the nerves and muscles of the legs and thighs.
  • Relieves Pain: Eliminates myalgia in the knees, legs, toes, and thighs.
  • Treats Sciatica: Helps in curing sciatica.
  • Reduces Flatulence: Effective against flatulence.
  • Stimulates Kanda: Positively influences the most vital part from which all the Nadis spring.

13. Urdhva Padmasana (Above Lotus Pose)

Steps to Perform Urdhva Padmasana:

  1. Begin with Sirshasana: Start in the headstand position.
  2. Leg Placement: Slowly bend the right leg and place it on the left thigh, then place the left leg on the right thigh.
  3. Balance and Safety: Ensure you can maintain Sirshasana for more than 10-15 minutes before attempting this pose to avoid falls.

Instructions on Asanas

  1. Foundation of Ashtanga Yoga: Asana is the first Anga of Ashtanga Yoga.
  2. Practice on a Blanket: Use a blanket on the floor for comfort.
  3. Wear Appropriate Clothing: A Langotee or Kowpeen, and optionally a banian.
  4. Avoid Spectacles: Do not wear spectacles during practice.
  5. Post-Practice Nutrition: Light tiffin or milk after long sessions.
  6. Consistency is Key: Regular practice is essential.
  7. Empty Stomach: Best practiced on an empty stomach in the morning.
  8. Mastery of Asanas: Necessary for progressing in Yogic practices.
  9. Integrate Japa and Pranayama: Enhances the benefits of Asanas.
  10. Patience and Perseverance: Essential for perfecting Asanas.
  11. Adhere to a Set Routine: Stick to one set of Asanas for maximum benefit.
  12. Steadiness in Asanas: Crucial for concentration and meditation.
  13. Mild Kumbhaka: Increases efficacy and vitality.
  14. Personalized Asana Selection: Choose Asanas that suit individual needs.
  15. Healthy Lifestyle: Diet, Asanas, and meditation lead to overall well-being.
  16. Spiritual and Physical Practice: True Yoga transcends mere physical feats.
  17. Pranayama before Meditation: Helps in removing laziness and steadies the mind.
  18. Optimal Practice Environment: Open, airy places or non-congested rooms.
  19. Balance Physical and Spiritual Practice: Ensures a strong and healthy body for self-realization.
  20. Importance of Physical Health: A healthy body supports a healthy mind.

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