Wellness dictionary

Little ABC for your spa-break questions ...

In their treatment discriptions, wellness hotels often use technical terms, which are hard to understand for potential guests. We have therefore collected and defined the most relevant terms in our small wellness ABC. A tip: Our wellness dictionary also supports word requests. You don't need to know the exact wording.


What are asanas?

Asanas (the term "asana" means firm posture and comes from Sanskrit) are fixed physical exercises that are performed slowly and meditatively. An asana should always be held for a certain time. Conscious breathing plays a decisive role in the execution of the asanas. There are different categories of asanas. They can be performed sitting, standing or lying down. There are forward, backward bends and turns. When performed slowly and consciously, the asanas not only bring physical well-being, but are also mental exercises in concentration and meditation. In an ideal exercise programme, all joints from the toes to the fingertips are moved once and all areas of the body, including the respiratory and circulatory systems, are felt and trained.

What do asanas do?

Practicing the asanas improves muscle strength and muscle tension. Asanas increase flexibility and also stimulate the circulation. Regular practice of the asanas also increases stamina and concentration. It is important to practise the asanas regularly under the guidance of a competent teacher, as imprecise or incorrect postures can lead to damage.

The asanas are also said to have other positive effects. These include:

  • The activation of the muscles
  • Straightening of the spinal column
  • Improvement of the elasticity of the whole body
  • Improvement of the blood circulation
  • Support for physical detoxification
  • Stabilisation of the cardiovascular system
  • Stimulation of the metabolism
  • Strengthening the immune system

Which asanas are there? Overview of the asanas

The exact number of existing asanas cannot be determined. The following are known, for example:

  1. Shirshasana (headstand)
  2. Shavasana (position of death/relaxation)
  3. Paschimottanasana (Prevention)
  4. Bhujangasana (Cobra)
  5. Vrikshasana (tree cultivation)
  6. Sarvangasana (shoulder stand, candle)
  7. Matsyasana (fish)
  8. Shalabhasana (grasshopper)
  9. Dhanurasana (bow)
  10. Ardha Matsyendrasana (swivel seat)
  11. Pada Hastasana (head-to-toe position)
  12. Adhomukha Shvanasana (Downward looking dog/roof position)

The execution of the asanas has a positive effect on the three levels

  • Body
  • Spirit
  • Soul

and on the energetic level.

Asana Sequence: The Sun Salutation

The asanas are typically not performed as a completed exercise, but rather merge into one another. Such a sequence is called vinyasa. These follow the breath and thus result in a flowing sequence of movements. Among other things, the sun salutation is known, which comprises a total of twelve asanas. These include:

  • Tadasana (mountain posture)
  • Urdhva Hastasana (mountain position with hands up)
  • Uttanasana (Standing leaning forward)
  • Ardha Uttanasana (half bend)
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (looking down dog)
  • Push-up
  • Filing
  • Bhujangasana (Cobra)
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (looking down dog)
  • Ardha Uttanasana (half bend)
  • Uttanasna (full bend) + Urdhva Hastasana
  • Tadasana

The asanas and their history

In its country of origin, India, yoga has a thousand-year-old tradition and, due to its strong spiritual orientation, encompasses all areas of daily life. However, the most common form of Hatha Yoga in the West is not so much a world view as sports and relaxation exercises.

The term Yoga comes from the word root "Yuj" from Sanskrit. Yuj means to bring together, to unite, but also to focus the mind and reach a point that previously seemed unreachable.

In the exercise programme of yoga, five elements are usually practised. The asanas (postures), pranayamas (a technique to regulate the breath), recitation (of syllables, words or text passages), meditation and ritual.

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