Excerpt from the book Spiritual Yoga by Gyandev McCord
In his book, Gyandev shares affirmations for many different yoga postures. See the bottom of this article for a list of several of the affirmations that can be found in his wonderful book! You can get your copy of Spiritual Yoga at SOYA’s upcoming 27th Annual Retreat in June 2022, or from Amazon. Article shared with permission by @Hansa Trust
Each asana has one or more specific beneficial effects on your state of mind. As I mentioned in Chapter 1, bodily position alone can do only so much, but you can amplify its effects by using the power of your mind. One effective way to do so is unique to Ananda Yoga (R): silently repeat a specially-crafted affirmation while holding the asana.
Each asana has its own affirmation that reinforces a particular positive effect of that bodily position on your state of mind. For example, Ardha Chandrasana** (Half-Moon Pose, see pictured) awakens a great deal of energy and stimulates subtle energy centers associated with attitudes of courage and steadfastness. As you hold the asana, amplify those effects by affirming silently,
“Strength and courage fill my body cells.”
Mentally repeat the affirmation multiple times, with energy, willpower/willingness, and most important, with the quiet, confident feeling of strength and courage. Don’t move your lips or tongue; just think the words and sensitively attune your mind to the qualities of strength and courage. This will help you go deeper into those qualities – ideally, go beyond the words of the affirmation into the pure feeling of those qualities. Different asanas strengthen different positive qualities, and therefore have different affirmations, but the affirmation method is always the same.
**Note from SOYA. This version of Ardha Chandrasana is also known as Nitambasana. It is common to have names differ for common asanas from lineage to lineage. Image from SOYA archives.
As with any new activity, it may take time before the asana affirmations feel natural in your practice. To speed the process – and to go deeper into the positive qualities – adopt the attitude of the affirmation as you first come into the asana. For example, don’t wait for Ardha Chandrasana or its affirmation to give you strength and courage; instead, practice the pose and affirmation with a strong, courageous attitude. That puts you on the wavelength of those qualities so you can receive even more.
The following are some of the asana affirmations you will find in the book Spiritual Yoga – Awakening to Higher Awareness, copyright @Hansa Trust. Pictures from SOYA archives.
Vrikasana (Tree Pose)
“I am calm. I am poised.”
Janushirasana (Head to Knee Pose)
“Left and right and all around – life’s harmonies are mine.”
Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)
“I attune my will to the Source of all power.”
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
“I rise joyfully to meet each new opportunity.”
Co-Director of the Ananda Meditation® Teacher Training, Director of Ananda Yoga®, Level 2 Ananda Yoga teacher, E-RYT 500, Raja Yoga Teacher, Spiritual Travel Host, Writer and Lecturer, Ananda Minister
Nayaswami Gyandev McCord is a longtime disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, and a Kriyacharya (teacher of Yogananda’s Kriya Yoga meditation technique) with Ananda Sangha. He lives and teaches at Ananda Village in Northern California as well as online—primarily training yoga teachers and meditation teachers. He is a co-founder of Yoga Alliance and author of several books, including Spiritual Yoga: Awakening to Higher Awareness, as well as more than 50 yoga videos.