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Introduction to yoga anatomy

(from the book of YOGA Anatomy-Leslie Kaminoff)

The ancient yogis held the view that we actually have three bodies: physical, astral,and casual. Yoga anatomy is the study of the subtle currents of energy that move through the layers of those three bodies.

Yoga practice is the integration of mind, breath, and body. If there is breath and mind, then there can be yoga regardless of age, infirmity, or inflexibility.

The practice of asana-pose is a sistematic exploration of unobstructing the deeper self-supporting forces of breath and posture. Achieving proper alignment is a means to a greater end, not an end in itself. We don't live to do yoga; we do yoga so that we may live more easily, joyously and gracefully.

Within the practice we orient our attitudes toward the discernment to distinguish the things we can change from the things we cannot change.Breathing is a potent teacher of yoga. 

Breathing has the dual nature of being both voluntary and autonomic, which is why the breath illuminates the eternal inquiry about what we can control or change and what we cannot.

Yoga practice emphasizes the relationship of the breath and the spine. All other body structures are viewd in light of their relationship to the breath and the spine

In breath anatomy from a yogic perspective we distinguish two functions: PRANA and APANA.

PRANA refers to what nourishes a living thing (a cell or a whole living organism) or the action that brings the nourishment in. Is the manifestation of all creative life force.

APANA refers to the waste that's being eliminated as well as the action of elimination.

Sthira and Sukha are the structural conditions that have to exist in a cell in order for nutrition to enter and waste to exit.

Sthira means firm, hard, compact, strong, durable, lasting or permanent. 

Sukha means easy, pleasant, gentle, mild. It also refers to a state of well-being, free of obstacles.

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