Asana 101

Jamie Horgan shows us Lotus pose

Whether you are new to yoga or have been practicing for years, you likely missed out on a lesson about the origin of the asana. Yoga asana have a rich cultural history dating back to 3000 BC where cave drawings show figures in the Lotus position. Today, Lotus is still the most widely recognized yoga asana. Here are some other fun asana facts:

  • The word “asana” is actually plural. Asan is the original singular form.
  • There are three types of asana: meditative, relaxing and cultural. The power yoga we practice at The Green Yogi would generally fall into the cultural asana category, but poses like Lotus are meditative, and corpse pose is relaxing.
  • Within the three main asana categories, there are 84 lakhs asanas according to the “shastras” – or Hindu scriptures. Each lakh contains 100,000 different asana. You got it; this means there are 8,400,000 different asana you can practice!

To a Westerner, learning about asana means engaging with a wholly new culture rich in tradition far older than most modern forms of religion and spirituality. It also means turning a listening ear to a new language, and a difficult one at that.

The good news is: we are blessed with excellent teachers. These teachers will be helping us learn more about their favorite asana in the coming weeks. So stay tuned as your beloved Green Yogi instructors lead you through a simple introduction to the world of asana through their own eyes!

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