Sadhguru gives enlightening insights into yogasanas - how they can create a foundation for a hatha yogi to reach their ultimate nature. Sadhguru also elaborates on attaining to Asana Siddhi, or mastering a yogasana.
Sadhguru: So these eighty-four asanas which are the fundamental yogasanas are eighty-four ways to make the body into a passage. It is not necessary actually for everybody to do eighty-four asanas. If they do one, it is enough; usually hata yogis… serious hata yogis who are taking Hata Yoga as their path to liberation practice only one asana, just one asana. It is difficult for a thinking mind to understand why would somebody spend his whole life trying to sit in a particular way. But if you learn to sit right, if you just learn to hold your body right, everything that you need to know in this universe you can know because… this is known as asana siddhi. If you can sit in a posture stable and comfortable for two and half hours then we say you have attained to asana siddhi that you are in absolute comfort and at ease in a particular posture. That is asana siddhi - if you achieve this everything that you need to know one can know internally.
How is this possible? How can by sitting everybody… you can know everything that you can know? If you have a television at home, television is just a box with a little bit of electronics in it but it becomes a world by itself. The whole world can stream into this place that we call as a television or this box that we call as a television simply because there is a receiving mode. If you set the antenna right, if it is properly adjusted then the whole world flows into its… into your place or into this box. If it is not set right, same instrument, it has everything but can't do anything.
This is how human being is – a human being is… an individual human being is who he is only because of what he perceives. Only because of what he or she perceives an individual human being becomes whoever they are. Right now you are who you are only because of whatever you have perceived in your life till now and you will be who you will be only because of what you will perceive in future. Whatever you perceive is what makes you whatever you are today.
So the whole system of yoga is only interested in enhancing perception. So if you hold the posture right, if your alignment is right and if it matches with the cosmic alignment in some way… eighty-four alignments. If one gets into these eighty-four postures or even masters a single posture and approaches the remaining eighty-three through that then everything that has happened in the creation till this moment one can know because the memory of that is right here within your system in a… let us say in a codified way - it can be activated and ignited if it touches another dimension outside of yourself.
So asanas are powerful means… Yogasanas are powerful means to connect. I… I do not want you to forget what yoga means. Yoga means union; union means two have become one. Two is just this - there are only two in the existence - you and the rest of the existence. In the rest of the existence you may identify this one, that one, that one but essentially there are only two, you and the rest of the existence because there are only two dimensions of experience within you. You do not know what is up and down in this cosmos, you do not know what is forward and backward in this cosmos, you do not know anything. These are all things that we’ve made up for convenience. The only experiential reality is - there is something called outward and there is something called inward. So these are the two dimensions of experience inner and outer.
So yoga means to bring a union between these - inner and outer, you and the rest, you and the other. When there is no you and the other, there is just you and you, that is yoga. So asanas are a physical manifestation of approaching this, a physical form of approaching this ultimate union because physical body is the easiest thing to work with. If you try to do something with your mind it will pay to… it will play too many tricks. At least with the body you know whether it's doing it right or not doing it right, whether it's cooperating or not cooperating. A mind, if you push it too hard it will play all kinds of tricks with you, it will make you believe all kinds of things and dump you the next day but body is not like that, it is a reliable factor, if you work with it sensibly the yogasanas will definitely lead… yogasanas will definitely lead to the possibility of ultimate union.
In the meantime by getting into the postures before all this alignment with the ultimate happens, inner alignment happens which will naturally achieve a chemistry of healthfulness, joyfulness and blissfulness, and above all balance. Balance is something that modern societies have ignored and they’re paying a huge price for today. Whatever may be your intelligence, whatever may be your competence and education and qualifications, if you do not have the necessary balance you will not succeed, you will not go very far in your life. So the most important thing for people who are seeking to be successful, people whether they’re working in corporate sector, or they’re political, or they’re military or whatever field, the most important thing is balance. Only if you have a balance which is not disturbed by external situations, will you be capable of making use of the competence and intelligence that you carry within you, otherwise the most wonderful qualities that one may have will all go waste simply because of lack of balance. And Hata Yoga means balance.
Editor’s Note: Isha Hatha Yoga programs are an extensive exploration of classical hatha yoga, which revive various dimensions of this ancient science that are largely absent in the world today. These programs offer an unparalleled opportunity to explore Upa-yoga, Angamardana, Surya Kriya, Surya Shakti, Yogasanas and Bhuta Shuddhi, among other potent yogic practices.