For every act of evil, there is an act of beauty. You Can't Change the World, Only Your Attitude Towards It.

Yoga - what? why?

Yoga: To Yoke: To bring body and mind to one. Yoga is not moving the body into odd positions, that is Assana, a part of Yoga. Yoga comprises a number of activities from breath to diet to assanas.

The most important part of the assana regime is to get the body flexible enough to sit for extended periods. It is not to show how flexible you are as that is not required for spiritual gain only ego. If it is fun to do, do it, if you benefit from the stretching, do it, if you want to show off how long you can stand on your head with full lotus, then don't.

The poses are held to maintain the stretch but more importantly to hold the mind. A good yogi will be able to hold any pose so comfortably that the mind is absolutely still. Holding a pose and gritting your teeth has no benefit.

The most important gain is to be able to sit for an extended period to allow deeper mediation. The most important pose is Dead Mans Pose. Dead Mans Pose is how you begin an assana session, how you rest between each pose and how you rest at the end. It is the hardest to perfect and I recommend dropping all others and focusing on Dead Mans Pose because it is 1) great for the body and 2) a meditation pose. Perfecting Dead Mans Pose helps you learn your breaths (full yogic or diagrammatic breathing are easy to observe) and get deep meditation without concern for the body being uncomfortable.

From the Dead Mans Pose you should then put the base of the feet together so that your knees are off the ground being pulled down by gravity, and just rest there, continue breathing. With time and no effort the knees drop a little stretching the inner thigh. This is an effortless way to stretch the inner thigh and makes sitting easier. Then rest again in Dead Mans Pose to rest out the stretch.

When you have used Dead Mans Pose long enough then you know your breaths, have meditated deeply, and with the stretch exercise adapted your legs. You are now fit for sitting meditation, the rest of the assana work is not required.

Now sit upright and see how you can get your legs comfortable, back straight and join me in the next write up for sitting meditation. You will probably not find full lotus useful to you yet, also if you look at pictures of deities, they most normally sit in half lotus or an adaptation. Half has the major benefit that if in pain you can swap sides and adaptations of half include some solid sitting poses and no discomfort to the western body at all.

Tao Wow | Daily Cup of Tao

No comments: