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Physiology of Yoga Poses Part I

The asanas affect:
• the body and mind complex,
• the different body systems,
• the deeper states of awareness
• awakenings of kundalini (Dormant creative energy)
• release of prana (vital energy)

Asana: To be steady and comfortable in whatever position you take
Two categories of Asanas:
Cultural Active: affecting all parts of the body, for better health
Meditative Inactive, relaxation, affects state of awareness (consciousness)
Asanas are also classified by:
Groups (i.e. twisting, forward bends, backward bends, sideways, inverted, balancing, stretching, relaxing, meditative) – Some are in combinations or,
Starting position (i.e. supine, prone, sitting, standing)
Posture

Systems:
Digestive, Circulatory, Endocrine, Skeletal, Musculatory, Nervous, Reproductive, Excretory
Mind

How do the asanas affect the different systems and mind?
There are two ways to do asanas:
Postures as Exercise:
• Stimulation to Sympathetic Nervous system
• Blood Pressure increased
• Heart Rate increased
• Superficial Muscles contract
• Sweat
• Stress response

Postures as Yoga practice (Hold the position and progressively Relax)
• Stimulation to Parasympathetic Nervous system
• Effect is deeper
• Blood Pressure decrease
• Heart Rate decrease
• Superficial muscles relax. (Golgi tendon or clasp & knife reflex relaxes the muscles)
• Nervous system starts relaxing when you maintain the asana for at least 15-20 seconds
• Stress is passed onto the deeper muscles which support the organs
• Internal organs are stressed = metabolism increases, nervous impulses go up, blood, nutrient and nerve supply increase, glands are affected, and toxins are removed.
• You MUST relax in order to have this benefit!
• You are more flexible if you are relaxed

Reference:
Asanas – Swami Kuvalayananda (Kaivalyadham, Lonavala, Mumbai)
Asanas – Rishi Dharmajyoti (Yogacharya Vishwas Mandlik)
Physiology of Yogic practices – Dr.Makarand Gore (Kaivalyadham, Lonavala, Mumbai)

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