The body we have today is nothing but the accumulation of our past thoughts, emotions, and actions. In fact our body is the crystallized history of our past thoughts. This needs to be deeply understood and contemplated. It means that asana is the method that releases us from past conditioning, stored in the body, to arrive in the present moment. Many obstacles to knowing one’s true nature are manifested in the body, for example disease, sluggishness, and dullness. The body profoundly influences and, if in bad condition, impinges on the functioning of mind and intellect. Asana is an invitation to say goodbye to these extremes and arrive at the truth of the present moment.
Our Soul Passes 8.4 Million births to arrive into this precious human body, this was the wisdom shared in the Bhagavad Gita, by Lord Sri Krishna to Arjuna. After so many births, this is a very special opportunity in this human body for our soul. The Bhagavad Gita continues (2.22) and says that, ‘just as one gives up an old shirt to put on a new one, the soul gives up an old body to acquire a new kind of body’ (vasāmsi jirnāni yathā vihāya). Thus, there are 8.4 million (84 lakh) types of bodies, out of which the soul assumes a body at the time of death. As a reflection and representation of these 84 lakh incarnations, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (15th century) specifies 84 asanas. The first four are the most important for meditation: Siddhasana, Padmasana, Bhadrasana and Simhasana.