Why did people practice Asanas ?

Prowess in asanas will certainly get one a sculpted body. It will certainly get one a huge social (media) following. But these were not the reasons people practiced asanas in olden days. Pattabhi Jois, in spite of his limited English, put it very elegantly in the audio clip below. Asanas were not practiced with flowery language oozing with superlatives, nor were they practiced in a rigid manner following a strict sequence. Patanjali says in Yoga Sutra 2.48 that Asanas remove the dualities (conflict) in one’s mind. It was practiced with the aim of making the body fit and settling the mind for inner contemplation.

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