There are three parts to the yoga posture or (Asana in Sanskrit)!
First part: Proper alignment; There is a proper way of practicing the poses for all levels, beginners, intermediate & advanced students. An exact position to safely achieve maximum results. That’s the beauty of the Yoga Asana. It’s like the key opening the lock. The tumblers have to fit just right to to open the door/body. It’s the teachers job to guide the student to the ideal position. Side note to alignment: Coming in and out of the pose slowly with precision and mindfulness will enhance your practice significantly!
Second part: Holding the pose; Now that you have found the proper alignment we HOLD the pose! This a very unique concept in Yoga exercise. Holding the Asana allows for a new muscle, and over time skeletal memory. We are reprogramming our physiology!
Third part: Releasing the pose; While are are holding the pose we actually cut off the circulation to the targeted area. For example, in the Cobra Pose we lift the upper body off the floor and cut off the circulation to the lower back. When we come out of the pose there’s a tremendous release of blood and oxygen flowing back into the lower spine! It’s what my teacher called the Tourniquet effect!
In Conclusion: Proper alignment, Holding the pose & Releasing the pose are the three parts to the Yoga Asana!!!!