About Asanas & the benefits of the first 3 basic Yoga posture in Sivananda Yoga school

About Asanas or yoga posture :

In ancient times, meditation was the goal and asanas were a means of enhancing the capacity of the body and mind so that a person could sit in meditation for long periods with as few distractions as possible. Only when the body is healthy and the mind one-pointed and inward does a person have a chance to discover the inner dimensions of life. This self-discovery is the essence of spiritual practice.

 "Yoga is the path of union, and yoga practices help you come to the realization that there is a connection among the different aspects of ourselves."

 In the process of self-discovery an aspirant begins to see the connecting link between body and breath, breath and mind, mind and soul. But today, people often go to “yoga” classes to enhance their physical fitness, and in most classes asanas are taught as a means of addressing the concerns of the body, with little or no attention given to cultivating this inner connection between body, breath, mind, and soul. Yoga is the path of union, and yoga practices help you come to the realization that there is a connection among the different aspects of ourselves. The physical level of asana practice is not yoga and does little to help you grow spiritually.

Sivananda asana Sequence & benefits on physical level 

The first 3 posture :

Headtsand <=> Sirshasana 

Often referred to as the "king of asanas", the headstand is considered by many to be a panacea for many human ills. Usually practiced as the first of the twelve basic asanas, immediately after the sun salutation, the Headstand is one of the most powerful asanas for body and mind. Mastering the headstand requires a littles strength, but is mainly a matter of conquering your fears & believing that you can do it.

Physical benefits :
  • Give rest to the heart & circulatory system.
  • Slow rates of respiration & heart beat.
  • Increased oxygen supply to the brain.
  • Help constipation.
  • Lumbar & sacral areas are relieved of much of their usual burden.
  • Extremeties will warm up.
Mental benefits :
  • Mind will be calmed with increased control on emotions & of spirit.
  • Memory & intellectual capacity increased.
  • Improved concentration.
  • Improved sensory faculty (eyesight, hearing)
  • Help to balance nervous disorder.
  • Self-confidence & empathy will improve.
Counter-Indications
  • High blood pressure.
  • Recent neck injury.
  • Eyes surgery, glaucoma, detached retina.
  • Severe headache or Bloch nose.

Shoulderstand <=> Sarvangasana.

Physical Benefits :
  • The main benefit of the shoulder stand is that it strengthens & balances thyroid function. Many weight disorder on physical level are due to a poorly functioning of thyroid. Regular practice of shoulder stand can overcome this problem.
  • Help regulate the blood, heart & slow breathing.
  • Headaches can be reduced.
  • Help keep the spine strong & elastic.
  • Help blood circulation.
  • Encourage deep abdominal breathing.
Mental benefits :
  • Help relieve mental sluggishness & lethargy.
  • Brings independence & self-control.
  • Help to cure insomnia & depression.

The plough <=> Halasana

Physical benefits :
  • Keep spine strong, healthy & elastic.
  • Slow the appearance of aging signs.
  • Tensions are released from cervical region.
  • Constipation is released & kidney or bladder are strengthened.
  • Insomnia is relieved.
Mental Benefits :
  • Remove lazyness.
  • Mind becomes clear & calm.
  • Rapid recovery from nervous exhaustion.
  • Ability to remain still & centered increases.