Most yoga popularisers tell their students that the purpose of asana in HYP is to perfect the material body (the first of the sheets/ koshas). This line of argument claims that the effect of asana on the material body is either indirect – through improved flow in the kosha of the energy body – or directly on the material body – by stretching and purifying it.
The same line of argument applies to two other hatha-yoga limbs: diet and cleansing techniques. Following the logic of this interpretation, perfection means physical perfection’ of the material body. Hence a perfect body is flexible (relieved of tensions), healthy and well fed (relieved of toxins, nutritionally supported), and fit (activated and coordinated muscular system).
We can spend days, weeks and even years in dreadful Yoga poses energy anticipation of the situation which we fear is going to materialize. As time wears on we Yoga poses energy become exhausted by the anxiety. Eventually, from sheer weariness, we are forced to give in to the fear and we exclaim to ourselves, I don’t care anymore. I’m tired of worrying; I give up. Let the worst happen!The very moment that you sincerely make this decision, not only are you freed from the fear, but you find that even if the dreaded situation should materialize which it most often does not, it cannot be one fraction of what you anticipated. You have surrendered yourself to experience and the actual experience can never be what the ordinary mind has imagined. You will free yourself from the image of fear and from all such images through your willingness to feel and experience, through your acceptance of whatever the experience may be. Thus our fearis a label of the ordinary mind, a label conjuring up frightful images which are the symbols of the experience, but never the experience itself! To experience then, is to become the thing which is to be experienced.