Definition - What does Upasana mean?

In Hinduism, upasana is a term that denotes a method for approaching or getting close to a deity. It typically refers to worship or meditation with the purpose of connecting with the universe or a higher power. It is a Sanskrit term that translates as “sitting near God.” Since the spiritual goal of yoga is oneness with the Divine or the universal Self, it is a key component of upasana.

Upasana also refers to a yoga pose that is the opposite of chakrasana (wheel pose).

Yogapedia explains Upasana

The concept of upasana developed as a common practice in the Vedanta era. It eventually came to mean an intense systematic meditation. In this type of meditation, the yogi becomes one with what he/she is meditating on – a deity or an abstract concept such as the universe, the universal Self or the Absolute Truth.

Today, upasana also refers to methods of worship (Bhakti yoga). Upasana is also sometimes referred to as puja, which is a type of worship involving songs, prayers and rituals. However, puja is just one form of worship in Indian philosophy.

The yoga pose known as upasana begins with the yogi on his/her back. The legs are raised up 45 degrees, then the back is raised as the hands reach to touch the feet. Only the buttocks remain on the ground. It is believed to balance the body and nervous system, especially after chakrasana.

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