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Note: For the complete lessons,
with additions, see the AYP
Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living Books.
Lesson 300 - Samyama and Yoga Postures
Date: Jan 21, 2009
New Members: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
For those who are established in doing a daily routine of yoga postures (asanas), samyama
can be incorporated in a way that can enhance the effects of our bending and stretching.
In the AYP approach, a concise sequence of yoga postures is used before our twice-daily
sessions of sitting practices. For more information on getting started with an asana
routine, see Lesson 71. We will use this routine as a baseline for
incorporating samyama into yoga postures. Samyama can be incorporated into any other
routine of yoga postures in a similar fashion.
For those who are well established in their sitting samyama practice after deep meditation
(see Lesson 150), it is easy to add samyama to asanas. Our habit of
touching a word or phrase (sutra) faintly with attention and letting it go into stillness
will gradually show up in many avenues of our life, with great benefit. So it can be in
our structured asana routine as well.
If we take the approach of initiating a descriptive name, or sutra, for each asana as we
are first entering the posture, and let go of the sutra while we are in the posture, this
is all that is necessary.
Having let go of the sutra, our attention will naturally go with the posture and expand
beyond it, adding a far greater component of inner silence to the posture than was there
before adding samyama. The result of this is more relaxation during the posture, more
lasting effects, and a smoother performance of the physical posture itself. Keep in mind
that we never force in yoga postures, always going to our comfortable limit, and not
beyond into discomfort. This is the primary instruction in all yoga practices never
In the AYP approach, the duration of most of our postures is in the 10-15 second range,
and this is a good fit with the release of sutras into our inner silence. In the case of
samyama during yoga postures, we are engaging "stillness in action," literally.
As we continue to develop this kind of habit in our thinking and doing, it will have
profound implications in our daily life. There is great power in it, and our
accomplishments in life can be greatly enhanced.
The names of the yoga postures we use in the AYP approach, which can be used as sutras for
the corresponding postures, can be found in this illustration of the
14 postures comprising the AYP Asana Starter Kit.
The posture names can be translated to suit any language. The Sanskrit names can also be
used, if the meanings are clear to us in terms of the physical attributes of the postures.
For detailed instructions on yoga postures, see the AYP book, "Asanas, Mudras and Bandhas Awakening Ecstatic Kundalini,"
or the "AYP Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living"
These sutras can be adjusted as needed if and when our asana routine is modified, as would
be the case when using the AYP abbreviated asana routine (covered in the above referenced
books), or as we may add more advanced postures over time. All we need is a word or short
phrase that cues our inner silence to the performance of the posture. Remember, a sutra is
a code that we easily release into stillness. Our abiding inner silence will do the rest,
assuming we have been regular in our daily deep meditation practice.
What we may find with the use of samyama in yoga postures is that our comfortable limit
moves, giving us a bit more reach than we may have expected. This is good, but do not take
it as a signal to push beyond whatever that expanding comfortable limit may be. Even with
the advantage of samyama, we are obliged to prudently observe the principles of
self-pacing in every aspect of our yoga practices.
The addition of samyama to our asana routine can greatly enhance the effects of our
postures physically, emotionally and mentally. When using asanas as a warm-up for our
sitting practices, adding samyama enhances the relaxation of our nervous system, setting
us up for deeper practice of spinal breathing pranayama, deep meditation, sitting samyama,
and our other practices. The result of improved practice will translate into more peace,
creativity and happiness in daily living.
The guru is in you.
Note: For detailed instructions on
samyama practice, including
multiple applications, and self-directed research, see the
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