Sunday, July 20, 2014

Asana (Patanjali's 8 Limbs of Yoga)

Namaskaram


Asana - 3rd Limb

Yoga has been defined as the mastery of the thought patterns of mind field , so that Self-realization can be experienced To be able to do the meditation practices that allow this, it is essential that the posture be Steady, and Comfortable . In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali suggests that the only requirement for practicing asanas is that it be "steady and comfortable"

It is very important to understand that asanas are not exercises. Yogis have always understood that the physical body has a whole memory structure. Everything – from how this cosmos evolved from nothingness up to this point – is just written into this body. So when we do asanas, we are opening up that memory and trying to restructure this life towards an ultimate possibility. It is a very subtle and scientific process – and it can become an explosive experience.


A group of 84 classic yoga asanas taught by Lord Shiva is mentioned in several classic texts on yoga. Some of these asanas are considered highly important in the yogic canon: texts that do mention the 84 frequently single out the first four as necessary or vital to attain yogic perfection.The Hatha Yoga Pradipika specifies that of these 84, the first four are important, namely the siddhasana, padmasana, bhadrasana and simhasana


The Gheranda Samhita (late 17th century CE) asserts that Shiva taught 8,400,000 asanas, out of which 84 are preeminent, and "32 are useful in the world of mortals. These 32 are: siddhasana, padmasana, bhadrasana, muktasana, vajrasana, svastikasana, simhasana, gomukhasana, virasana, dhanurasana, mritasana, guptasana, matsyasana, matsyendrasana, gorakshana, paschimottanasana, utkatasana, sankatasana, mayurasana, kukkutasana, kurmasana, uttanakurmakasana, uttanamandukasana, vrikshasana, mandukasana, garudasana, vrishasana, shalabhasana, makarasana, ushtrasana, bhujangasana, and yogasana


The means of perfecting the posture is that of relaxing or loosening of effort, and allowing attention to merge with endlessness, or the infinite.(prayatna shaithilya ananta samapattibhyam)


From the attainment of that perfected posture, there arises an unassailable, unimpeded freedom from suffering due to the pairs of opposites (such as heat and cold, good and bad, or pain and pleasure).(tatah dvandva anabhighata)



Om