Importance of alignment during yoga Asanas
With National Yoga Day celebrated on 21st June and Yoga finally gaining its fair share of recognition globally, we should also know why and how it should be practised to get its optimum results on our health and our minds.
So, what is Yoga?
Yoga is a practice of series of body exercises, breathing exercises, spiritual training, and mental exercises, which together are responsible for creating Harmony in our Body, Mind, and our surroundings. Yoga initially originated in Ancient India, intending to provide the fundamentals of life and our body and channel it to attain Harmony and peace. Yoga gained popularity when Swami Vivekananda first popularized it, and since then, it has been practised in different parts around the world.
Yoga asanas Alignment
Yoga asanas are the body's physical exercises for the healthy functioning of our body, including muscles, joints, tissues, and our nervous system. Some activities are essential and can be performed without any difficulties. But just like any sport, with advancing levels, the difficulty level increases, more the problem higher is the chance of getting injured and having its negative drawback rather than its intentional positive response.
Thus, Alignment in Yoga needs to be strictly kept in mind and followed to get its optimal output. Alignment is defined as the precise way a yogasana needs to be performed or positioned to gain its maximum production with minimum risk of getting injured. Alignment is a vital subject while practising Yoga as it keeps our body-safe, channelizes the energy, and gives our Body mobility and fluidity.
Yoga aims for healthy joints, strengthening up our weaker muscles and stretching the stiff overused muscles, which ultimately relaxes our body with refreshing energy flowing through us. If somehow this flow is restricted due to lack of proper alignment, then it can lead from mild to severe injuries. Thus, alignment helps in providing the key to the appropriate functioning of the body without these restrictions.
Even though the principles are Yoga is defined, but each individual has a different alignment. So if you are new to Yoga, stick to the basic yoga asanas with universal Alignments to understand the concept of alignment and know your body more before advancing to the further stage.
What alignment provides us with?
1. Reduces risks of getting injured: The most crucial reason for alignment is to minimize the risk of injury. Our body is used to use a particular set of muscles, and thus we instinctively use these joints and muscles to avoid the extra work and load on the weaker muscles. This may prove fatal and cause injury. Alignment ensures the proper use of every muscle intended to be worked on by the particular asana and reduces the risk of getting injured.
2. Increases strength: Proper use of Yoga and alignment increases the power of every muscle in the body, including the one's which are often neglected in our day to day activities. This decreases the muscle imbalances in our body and properly strengthen us up.
3. Less Fatigue: With proper alignment in Yoga, the person who performs it experiences less Fatigue as compared to the one's who have not achieved appropriate alignment and thus you're able to perform with much more energy and enthusiasm.
4. Internal efficiency:- Alignment ensures that the flow of blood and oxygen is not obstructed while performing these exercises. Thus it increases the efficiency of organs and the whole body as well.
5. Energy Flow- Yoga not only works our body on a physical level but also in a mental and spiritual level. Ensuring proper alignment helps in better flow of energy in our body, thus giving us a feeling of relaxation from the heart and mind as well.
6. Better Posture- It is often said that an upright man with good posture is always more desirable than the one slouching with bad posture. Good posture emanates confidence. Practising Alignment also helps in improving your posture.
Your Next question must be How to improve alignment?
There are various principles which need to be followed to improve your alignment and have a safe and healthy experience.
1. Starting with the base of posture :
Begin with the alignment by beginning with the base of the posture before moving to the other parts of the asana. Having a strong foundation will always keep you in advantage.
2. Stacking the joints- This helps in keeping your body stable and robust. It distributes the pressure, which helps in handling the stress well.
3. Having a stable core:
Yoga has a considerable involvement of core movements, so having a robust and stable core will not only keep your joints and spineless injury-prone but also strengthen your abdominal muscles which in turn can prevent you from long term injuries like Hernias.
4. Always maintain your breathe: while moving in and out of the poses because holding on to breathe can attract unnecessary tension on muscles and lead you to injury.
These are a few necessary steps which should be kept in mind while performing the art of YOGA.
We hope this will help you in better understanding of how Yoga works and how to perform it. We hope you all have a bright and healthy future ahead.