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The physical practice of yoga is articulated around a series of positions, in Sanskrit  āsana,  which, at a first level, act on our body by shaping it e  making it more toned and flexible. In a short time we observe the positive effect that the positions have on muscles and joints and we are encouraged to deepen the practice because we sense that behind those very pleasant and encouraging signals there is something more. In fact, they improve the functions of internal organs and all systems and systems and, even if these effects are more difficult to notice immediately, over time we feel better and better: the intestine works better, improves digestion and sleep and bad habits are generally replaced by healthier habits. On an even more subtle level we feel more lucid, we have more energy, we are more proactive, more open and in a good mood. In short, the benefits of the practice of postures are felt as much on a physical level as on a mental and emotional level.

In order for the process of external and internal transformation to take place, it is necessary that the three components come into play: the body, the breath and the mind. During the practice the mind is oriented towards inner observation, towards the perception of body and breath so as to grasp the sensations and the profound sense of what we are doing: when the mind wanders or judges or when the breath is irregular, the āsana  vanishes. Only through the balance and synergy between the physical body, regular breathing and concentrated mind does the posture acquire that delicacy and that power that we perceive as stability and comfort, the two characteristics that according to tradition define the very essence of āsana. Stability concerns the possibility of staying in the position in a concentrated way and without the need to move, and is closely linked to comfort or the condition of absence of effort thanks to which we can hold the position for a while.

The postures also invite a search for geometries and forces, alignments and balances that lead to radically rethink our relationship with the  body, with the external environment and with nature. We enter into a deeper and more conscious contact with the Earth, the Sun, the Moon and the stars and with all the natural phenomena by which we are constantly influenced. The postures are one of the tools that allows us to get closer to the idea of being that microcosm that reflects, in a small way, everything that is expressed in the universe in large.

Very far from being more or less acrobatic contortion exercises, yogic postures represent the delicate synthesis of the relationship between body, breath and mind through which a great little miracle of psychophysical transformation is accomplished.

by Rossana Dall'Armellina

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