Asana is Rebellion: Part One

By Amy Elizabeth Mareno, M.T.S., RYT-200

In the ancient language of Sanskrit, one of the essential translations of the word “Asana” is simply “sit in a comfortable posture”. More broadly as the practice of Hatha Yoga has evolved in the West, the term “Asana” has come to connote , “physical posture”, whatever shape it may take.  However, the practice of Asana in its depth is a call to rebellion.

The hypnotic pulse of “Mother Culture” is not shy about reminding us that our fulfillment awaits us, just beyond our reach, that we can own its elusiveness one material purchase at a time. It encourages us that we must race to where we should go, to clutch tightly to what we accumulate. Be rebellious, just “sit”.  

Hatha Yoga Asana or the physical postural practice of Yoga, (which happens to only be a mere slice of the infinite entirety of the philosophy and practice of Yoga as a whole) is a discipline one viscerally embodies as a means to inner transformation. Initially, we see the practice of Yoga as illustrated through physical postures, but the Asanas are not made for external consumption or to be impressive maneuvers for one’s internal validation of accomplishment.

It is a rebellion because it asks you to search inward, to not reach to the external for meaning or peace. The external world does not, and will never be a solace or a panacea. The discipline of Hatha Yoga encourages us to rely on ourselves as a source of novelty, as a field of possibilities, to ease our need to grasp at the empty promises of externals that only serve to enslave us. It is a rebellion because it teaches us to notice, embrace, and flow with change and fluctuations that take place within our bodies, not be fearful of them or to judge them.

In a society that not only seeks, but demands as well as feels righteously entitled to immediate results and immediate gratification, the practice of Asana is a rebellion because it is not meant to render any of these indulgences. In fact, the practice of Asana is about embracing the evolution of process, inevitably taking “time”, a covetous and precious commodity of which we convince ourselves we have a paucity. It is a persistent study that grows and changes with each breath. It asks that we show up consistently through a long period of time. This is why it is referred to as a “practice”, not a “program” to be completed. In order to be able to repeatedly return to the mat with enthusiasm, it needs the commitment of our hearts. The practice requires devotion, the essence of surrendering one’s false ego.   

Amy is a wellness enthusiast, spiritual seeker, and lifelong student who believes that Yoga is more than a physical practice but a positive means of calming the chaotic nature of the mind and becoming the best, most authentic version of yourself off the mat. Drawing inspiration from the world’s wisdom traditions as well as her studies of Biology and Anatomy, Amy is committed to creating a light-hearted atmosphere in her classes where her students can experience a safe space that fosters healing, growth, exploration, reflection, and learning. Amy encourages self-study through anatomy focused Vinyasa alignment practice and traditional yogic philosophy. Amy teaches Monday evening 7:30pm Vinyasa Flow, and 10:00am Core Vinyasa Flow on Saturdays. Register for a class here