Asana has many meanings:
- and alignment are among them.
Each is full in its own right as well as the integrity that each brings to a person or habitualizes within one. A practitioner would be well served by focusing on one aspect or dimension of asana for a year, let alone for a few sittings, a day, or a month.
For example, asana is posture. What is one’s posture at any given point of the day? Posture elicits or supports various biological and biochemical processes. As such, for example, a slouching posture reinforces an embarrassed or shamed demeanor within one. Stand or sit straight and confidence and integrity are reinforced. Posture includes one’s groundedness. Is one grounded? Grounded includes being practical, or following-through, or having common sense about something. Being grounded offers truth, not being in denial, and being willing to experience one’s emotions as they are rather than running away from them, dismissing them, or judging them. There is much more to asana as posture, but this indicates some of the range that can be engaged by one who has chosen a Path of awareness.
Position is full as well. It also changes through one’s day. Being aware of the various positions that one holds, holds onto, would rather not be in is very important for one’s psychological well-being and maturation. Positions include: one’s place in the pecking order of the family, one’s siblings, in the workplace, thus in the primary relationships of our lives. This not only speaks to if one is the eldest or youngest (in the family, at work, on the bus, etc), but also the subtleties of these positions and how changeable those are. For example, I am the eldest of the children in my family. That meant all that it did when growing up which all who are “eldest” have lived. My family also looks to me for a certain composure or demeanor. They put me in that position whether it seems true or real to me or not. Then, in many of the classes and programs that I teach, I am usually one of the youngest people in the group yet am the teacher. Position, then, offers much to observe of one’s inner psyche, inner presence, and one’s ability to adapt to the variations of person-ness that the groups or environments ask or require of us.
This meditation is simple. Its focus is an instruction on alignment. It, too, could be practiced for a year and be very worth the focus.
*sword image from DeviantArt. Sorry, to the artist who I cannot find again to credit.