Yoga today is an enormously popular form of self-exercise and self-discipline. Almost every locality can boast of its own special yoga guru who boasts of various unique approaches starting from Ashtanga yoga to hatha yoga and the like. While any or all of these could be incredibly useful for a person’s overall wellbeing, not just the physical health, what actually happens is people sometimes come away after experiencing big discomfort or extreme pain as a result of doing it. You might wonder why would this happen? Well, that is because of improper alignment.
Yoga works just like a medicine. While the right dosage can be extremely beneficial but improper dosage can cause many complications and undue pain. This happens essentially when the alignment of the body gets disturbed, and the general flow of body movement is halted. Stretching your body in an incorrect fashion or shifting the body weight improperly can even cause grievous injuries. All this type of situation arises due to incorrect alignment. Yoga Asanas are one form of exercise and self-disciplining which relies on alignment heavily and the maximum benefit from it can be extracted only by improving and correcting the alignment.
What Is Alignment?
At the very behest, it is very important to understand what exactly do you mean by alignment of the body? Essentially it means that any kind of body movement is always a net sum of the various body parts. So what happens is that the entire body parts move in tandem with each other. This is the alignment of the body. If, for any reason, this natural flow is restricted, it leads to pain and injury.
Yoga enthusiasts often make the mistake of stretching the relatively the more flexible parts of the body a lot more and often end up relying on their muscles that are significantly better developed, often leading to improper posture and faulty asanas resulting in pain. We must remember the basic aim of yoga is to strengthen the weak parts and loosen up the stiff areas. Correction of the natural alignment can actually work towards reducing joint pain, removal of fatigue and even remedy natural distortion like slip discs and similar alignment related ailment. What happens as a result of this is also the various body parts get the right relaxation quotient and get naturally healed.
Importance Of Proper Correct Alignment
In his yogasutras, Patanjali mentions that, “the fruit of right poise is the strength to resist the shocks of infatuation or sorrow.”
Perhaps even in modern times this fact holds as much truth as the great master and conceptualist visualized so many centuries ago. With the help of right alignment, a practitioner takes ‘yogabhyas’ or yoga practice to a completely new level.
Proper alignment not just makes you do a particular asana correctly, it helps you to connect better with your body and actually feel the asana as you perform it.
By correcting the asana, you allow the benefits of the asana to percolate through your body and spread its healing touch.
The correct posture also allows you to address pain points in your body in a way that not only do you get a temporary relief from pain but also a permanent cure from the specific disorder that might be the cause of the pain.
Correction of a posture or alignment is also intrinsically linked with better coordination and balancing of your pitta, vatta and kapha or the three main doshas of the body. In Ayurveda (The Indian yogi Medical science), the three doshas are derived from the five elements and they are: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Known as mind-body types, the doshas express particular patterns of energy—unique blends of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics
Another great benefit of alignment improvement or stressing on correct alignment while performing yoga is that age-related issues like stiffness of joints and other related woes get addressed a lot better and the body is better adept to handle these kind of changes with age.
Practicing yoga in an aligned way is a better means of connecting and recognizing our body’s natural rhythm. Alignment plays a key role in this aspect. By getting the alignment properly you are better able to feel the benefits of yoga, and also the positive elements percolate through your entire being thus enhancing your overall wellness.