A Yogi must attain Asana Siddhi before beginning breath control and progressed yoga rehearses like Meditation and Samadhi.
Asana is the third crosspiece in the stepping stool of eight-limbed Yoga. Simply after consummating asana, a yogi gets qualified to go for the successive stages. Hence it is significant for a Yogi to see obviously what is Asana Siddhi and How to achieve it.
This article encourages him to know this better.
Asana Siddhi Meaning
The Sanskrit Phrase Asana Siddhi is the blend of two words: Asana and Siddhi. Asana is a yoga posture and Siddhi means getting perfection or attaining mastery. Hence, it means mastery of a yoga pose or perfection in a yoga pose.
Posture is that which is firm and pleasant. Verse 2.46. Yoga Sutra of Patanjali
According to Patanjali, a perfected Asana should give steadiness and solace. A yogi should not feel discomfort and should not lose steadiness in his/her stance. Then only it is called Asana. Sage Patanjali didn’t prescribe a specific yoga pose. He recommends any seated yoga pose that gives firmness and comfort.
One thing that is fundamental for Asana is to keep the spine liberated from pressures while at the same time keeping the head, neck, and trunk in a straight line.
In English, we may call it mastery of Yoga Pose or perfection in Yoga Pose. More perfectly, we may call it mastery of Yogic Sitting.
How to Attain Asana Siddhi
By slight effort and meditating on the unlimited, Posture becomes firm and pleasant. Verse 2.47. Yoga Sutra of Patanjali
According to Patanjali, Asana Siddhi is attained by slackening the effort and meditating on the infinite. There should be an intense effort that should be slight, simultaneously concentrating on the unlimited.
When you sit in a yoga pose for meditation for the first time, obviously you cannot sit for longer than a couple of minutes. This is because your muscles will experience some pain and nerves will feel the pressure. As a result, you could not concentrate. If you put more effort, more will be your distraction. By putting in effort, your very aim of meditation is spoiled.
Then how could a yogi get Asana Siddhi? When you start feeling the pain or discomfort, just stop and continue it after some time or the next day. Slowly, the duration of the sitting will increase without effort.
How long should a person practice like this? Ancient yoga texts say that the yogi should be steady and comfortable in the posture at least for three hours. This is because Pranayama and advanced meditation techniques require a minimum duration of three hours.
Once a Yogi can sit in a posture steadily without any effort for three hours, he is said to have attained Asana Siddhi. However, advanced Yogis can sit in a posture for days.
Suitable Poses for Asana Siddhi
Any sitting yoga pose is suitable for getting Asana Siddhi. You can go for any cross-legged position like Lotus Pose, Easy Pose, or Adept Pose to get mastery. People who are not at ease while doing cross-legged positions may try Thunderbolt Pose.
Select a pose according to your fitness level, and practice it every day. Also, increase the duration from day to day. In due course, you will get perfection in the pose.
Consistency is the key. For example, you practiced for some time and you can sit in a posture for an hour. You stopped it for six months for some reason or other. When you start again, it will not be possible or easy for you for sitting an hour. It requires some more days to achieve it again.
So, consistency is the key. Stick to a regular practice. One fine day, you could sit for three hours with ease and firmness.
Asana Siddhi Benefits
Only after getting mastery of yogic sitting, a performer gets the eligibility for breath control and other meditation techniques. Hence, it helps the Yogi to claim further rungs of the yogic ladder. This is the foremost advantage of getting perfection in a yogic posture.
Posture being conquered, the dualities don't obstruct. Verse 2.48. Yoga Sutra of Patanjali
As per Patanjali, mastery of yoga poses frees the Yogi from dualities. What are the dualities? The pairs of opposites like good and bad, pleasure and pain, heat and cold, and the like. It gives the yogi physical and mental balance. His concentration and focus improve extremely. Heat and cold could not affect him as before. Likewise, he could prevent many diseases.
Despite the fact that Asana Siddhi is endorsed in the yoga texts, the current yoga network doesn’t give due significance. This is on the grounds that individuals seek after yoga for wellness and medical advantages as it were.
Additionally, present breath control procedures and contemplation techniques require just a brief term of time for practice. Henceforth, there is no need for getting perfection in yogic sitting as specified in the yoga scriptures.
All things considered, if a Yogi needs to rehearse meditation or breath control methods for a shorter duration of time, say 30 or 60 minutes, he ought to have perfection in yogic sitting for that length of time.