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 Asanas - Postures and Physical Culture
 Order of practices - asanas
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235 Posts

Posted - Mar 30 2021 :  04:52:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
In Lesson 383, it is pointed out:


As a rule of thumb, if our asana routine lowers our metabolism (relaxation of respiration and heart rate), it is good preparation for sitting practices, if not taken much beyond 5-10 minutes. More than 10 minutes done daily for an extended period of time could lead us into an energy overload, due to cumulative doubling up of the energy effects between asanas and our sitting practices. We would not do pranayama for half an hour, would we? Or meditation for an hour? Any of these excesses pursued in combination over time, could lead us into uncomfortable symptoms of energy overload. Asanas are no exception. A half hour of asanas followed by sitting practices is far more powerful than a half hour of asanas with no sitting practices. This is a lesson many asana practitioners have learned the hard way when adding powerful sitting practices.

In the past, I indeed did my 30 minutes asana routine (kriyas) right before sitting practices. When I understand the lesson correctly, it would be wiser to do a longer (perhaps more physically orientated) routine after sitting practices than before. Is that correct?


2226 Posts

Posted - Mar 30 2021 :  07:35:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Cato

Yogani’s advice here is certainly yogi specific, and if one is particularly energy sensitive (such as yourself based on your past posts) I would certainly heed it. As I have mentioned, the pandemic has eliminated my asana class, so I have been doing a daily asana routine outside at a lovely spot overlooking the Atlantic. This routine is about a half hour, is fairly active (albeit, standing in one place, no prone poses), followed by my sitting practice in the car. While being outside has some grounding attributes, the meditation afterwards does have a stronger energetic quality to it, as cautioned by Yogani. I have been blessed with a very stable progression of my AYP practice, with no overload after months of this, but I could easily imagine this would not be the case if I was sensitive.

In your case, a lighter asana routine before meditation is wise, and should you wish for more asana, you could try a slightly more rigorous routine (outside?) many hours after your sitting. I would build this asana practice slowly, and over time, to assess how it impacts you so you don’t overload. As with your sitting, follow the routine with ample rest afterwards and engage in grounding throughout your waking hours.
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2516 Posts

Posted - Mar 30 2021 :  1:25:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Cato
Kriyas will overload you if you are over sensitive no matter what , same for ashtanga and all the fast paced yoga

Edited by - maheswari on Mar 30 2021 1:28:03 PM
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Gustavo Woltmann

22 Posts

Posted - Mar 31 2021 :  07:57:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I usually start my day with sitting practice and then Yoga. Are you suggesting I should do them the opposite?
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United Kingdom
4407 Posts

Posted - Mar 31 2021 :  08:57:32 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I usually start my day with sitting practice and then Yoga. Are you suggesting I should do them the opposite?

Hi Gustavo,

Yes, if you can, it is best to do your asana practice before your sitting practices. This is because asana practice will loosen up the nerves, making the sitting practices more effective. It should be a sequence that is focussed on being comfortable and steady (sthira and sukha), as mentioned in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

See here from lesson 71:

"Yoga asanas begin to take us from physicality to more subtle experiences of divine energy in the nervous system. This is why asanas are so relaxing. It is their main draw. People do asanas for relaxation, for some inner peace. Yoga asanas are very good for that. They are also very good for preparing the body and mind for pranayama and meditation. This is the way we will look at them in these lessons - as a preparation in our daily routine for pranayama and meditation."[ Yogani]

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