The Seven Moving Principles of Yoga Asana

Yoga asanas are postures that become vehicles for experiencing one’s own essential nature. Poses present us with an opportunity to listen deeply to our own body’s wisdom and to re-discover the joyfulness and peace that is our true nature. The goal in yoga is not necessarily to physically perfect the postures themselves, but to constantly refine and explore the spirit in which we practice them. 

In Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit, Donna Farhi describes 7 principles or lines of self-inquiry to help us refine our concentration in each asana so that we may practice asana safely in a spirit of self-discovery, finding deeper inner meaning every time we come to our mats. 

1. Breathe

Let the breath move you

2. Yield

Yield to the Earth, balancing weight and levity

3. Radiate

Move from the naval centre out the limbs and beyond into space

4. Centre

Elongate the spine to maintain its integrity 

5. Support

Establish the foundation of the posture from the ground up

6. Align

Create clear lines of force through the body which create ease and comfort within effort

7. Engage

Support each pose with the muscles and breath

∞ Return

Return the mind to the original silence

Further Reading

“Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit” by Donna Farhi

“Light on Yoga” by BKS Iyengar

“Light on Life” by BKS Iyengar