Types of Cultural Asanas
Cultural Asanas are sub-divided into physical asanas and relaxative asanas. Physical Asanas greatly assist in rendering the body healthy, while Relaxative Asanas work on the Chitta (the understated aspect of consciousness) level, eliminating every physical and mental tension.
According to the postures, the Physical Cultural Asanas can be divided in 7 groups which are as follows -
Relaxative Cultural Asanas are practiced in a supine position. Shavasana and Makarasana are the two foremost Relaxative asanas.
Phases of Cultural Asanas
There are three important phases while practicing cultural asanas: the phases include getting into the position, holding the position and getting out of the position. Each of the phases requires a considerable amount of time and should never be done in a hurry that may result in negative effects.
Effects of Cultural Asanas
The cultural asanas are primarily meant for culturing the body and mind. They are mainly aimed at fashioning a comprehensive physical culture and thus maintain the health of the body. The organs of human body are made up of tissues and the health of the body depends on the health of the tissues. The circulatory system can be kept in the best condition through cultural postures, which guarantee a steady supply of proper nourishment and of the internal secretions of the endocrine glands and elements necessary for nourishment of tissues.
Most of the Cultural asanas work on the abdominal part of the body. Cultural asanas require static stretching, which brings about an appropriate toning of muscles. They aid in bringing flexibility of the spine and render the back and spinal muscles stronger. Cultural asanas also enable the proper working of the vital organs in the thoracic and abdominal cavities.
The smooth functioning of the digestive system requires the gentle and automatic massage of the digestive organs that is provided by these kinds of asanas. Cultural postures like Bhujangasana, Salabhasana and Ardha Matsyendrasana keep the abdominal organs in good health and enable efficient removal of waste products. Cultural asanas are excellent for keeping the spine healthy and preserve the health of the nerves. They also increase mental power, concentration and the capacity to sustain large workloads without strain.
Cultural Asanas were developed from a small body of meditative postures, and converted into a comprehensive system of physical culture. Most of the asanas are cultural asanas, and their various beneficial effects on the body have made them a vital part of yogic practice. It is from this foundation of physical and mental well being that the higher challenges in Yoga are assayed.