AYP Home

Home   Main Lessons   Tantra Lessons   Support Forums   Interviews   Videos   Books-eBooks-AudioBooks
Topic Index    Site Search    Links Section    Testimonials   
AYP Survey    Traffic    Downloads    Contact

 








Events & Training


AYP Retreats
Worldwide Listing


Weekly Global
Meditation and
Healing Samyama


Local Contacts
Meditation Groups,
Training & Retreats


Key L
essons

Lesson Tweets

Start Lessons Here

Desire - Bhakti

Deep Meditation

Self-Pacing

Spinal Breathing
Pranayama


Chakras

Mulabandha

Sambhavi Mudra

Asanas - Postures

Siddhasana

Yoni Mudra
Kumbhaka


Uddiyana - Nauli

Navi Kriya

Kechari Mudra

Chin Pump
Jalandhara


Samyama & Siddhi

Spinal Bastrika
Pranayama


Heart Breathing

Yoga Nidra
Cosmic Samyama


Mantra Enhancements

Solar Centering

Tantra

Brahmacharya

Vajroli Mudra

Whole Body Mudra

Yogic Diet

Fasting

Addictions

Hallucinogens

Shatkarmas

Amaroli

Nectar Cycle

Kundalini Assistance

Sensitivity Issues

Spirits & Entities

Shaktipat

Self-Inquiry
Jnana-Advaita


End of Suffering

Karma Yoga

Dare to Dream

Evolution of Action

Prayer & Healing

Yoga for Children

Ayurveda

Summary of Practices

Time Management

Modifications to
Baseline System


Teaching

Retreats

Enlightenment
Milestones


Freedom

More Resources

Alternate AYP Website

Support Forums

AYP Survey

audioicon1.jpg (812 bytes)
AYP on Radio & TV

Yoga FAQ

Sanskrit Glossary

AYP Books & Audio

Downloads

AYP Books Flyer

Extended Booklist

International
Translations


Press Releases

Articles & Media

Promotional
Materials


Website Statistics

AYP-Related Websites

Social Networks

Volunteer

Donate
                        

Advanced Yoga Practices
Main Lessons
Previous  |  Next  >

Note: In the AYP Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living book, and in the Asanas, Mudras and Bandhas book, additional information to this lesson is provided, including an "Asana Starter Kit" covering 14  yoga postures. For busy practitioners, an "Abbreviated Asana Starter Kit" is also provided, covering four essential postures that can be performed anywhere in a few minutes..
Click here for illustrations of the 14 postures in the AYP Asana Starter Kit.


Lesson 71 - Yoga asanas – A wonderful billion dollar industry

From: Yogani
Date: Wed Jan 7, 2004 4:57pm

New Members: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"


A billion dollars is only a guess. Maybe it's more. Maybe it's less.

No one can deny that the teaching of yoga asanas (bodily postures) is a huge worldwide business. It is a good thing.

The important thing is that yoga has caught on with the public and become very popular. So much good comes from it. It doesn't matter which branch of yoga caught on in a big way first. All the branches of yoga are connected. If you do asanas, you will be drawn to pranayama and meditation eventually. If you do meditation, you will be drawn to asanas eventually. That's how it goes. Our nervous system knows a good thing when it sees it. Wake up the nervous system a little and it wants more. All of the branches of yoga are, after all, expressions of the natural ways that our nervous system opens to divine experience. In truth, our nervous system determines the practices, not the other way around. They come to us when we need them. It is amazing how that happens. It is the power of bhakti. In time, all of the practices come together automatically. We just have to give a nudge here and there. A little bhakti is enough to put us in nudging mode. See how simple it is?

It is no surprise that yoga asanas are so popular. We live in a world where human experience is based mainly on physicality. Our senses are yet to be drawn inward to the point where inner experiences will become as real (or more real) than experiences in the external world. So we are always looking for a physical solution. Yoga asanas begin to take us from physicality to more subtle experiences of divine energy in the nervous system. This is why asanas are so relaxing. It is their main draw. People do asanas for relaxation, for some inner peace. Yoga asanas are very good for that. They are also very good for preparing the body and mind for pranayama and meditation. This is the way we will look at them in these lessons – as a preparation in our daily routine for pranayama and meditation.

There are exceptions to the "relaxing" mode of asanas. Nowadays, you can go take a class in power yoga, aerobic yoga, and get a good workout. That is okay. It is not suggested for right before meditation though. We are going the other way in that case, to less activity in the nervous system, not more.

Asanas in the traditional sense are for quieting the nervous system. But more than that. They are designed to facilitate the flow of prana in the body, particularly in the sushumna, the spinal nerve. So you can see that this makes asanas an excellent preparation for pranayama, for spinal breathing.

Asanas are part of a broader system of yoga called hatha yoga. Other yoga systems include asanas too. No one owns them. In hatha yoga there are some additional practices that are more direct approaches to moving prana in the body. There is an Indian scripture called "Hathayogapradipika" that goes into these additional practices. They can also be found in other systems. For example, kundalini yoga and tantra yoga use them.

It all comes down to what we were talking about in the last lesson dealing with balancing kundalini – the joining of feminine and masculine energies in the nervous system, the joining of Shakti and Shiva. Hatha yoga means "joining of the sun and the moon," masculine and feminine energies. We will run into this theme in every tradition, because it is an essential characteristic of the human nervous system. The Taoists call it yin and yang. The Christians call it the holy spirit (or ghost) and God the father. The Christian patriarchy has tried to make the holy spirit androgynous, but it doesn't matter what they say. It does not change what she is inside us.

There is some overlap between asanas and the more advanced practices of hatha yoga. Some of these advanced yoga practices keep the name "asana," while others carry the name "mudra" or "bandha." Whatever you call them, they are mainly physical practices facilitating the movement of prana and pure bliss consciousness inside us. We have discussed a few of these methods already – mulabandha and sambhavi (mudra). We are about to take on some more.

But first, let's talk some more about asanas. There will be no attempt to teach a full range of yoga asanas in these lessons. It would not be practical. If you live in or near any town or city, the chances are good there is a yoga studio close by. If you have not already, go and take a yoga class. This will give you a basic routine to do at home, if you are so inclined. About five or ten minutes of gentle asanas before pranayama and meditation is an excellent way to start your session. If you are not inclined to do asanas, or don't have time, it is okay. Review the lessons on "finding the time" and "managing the time" back where we covered keeping up a daily practice of meditation and pranayama. These same time management procedures apply when adding asanas to your schedule. When time is short, asanas are last in the pecking order. If there is time for only one thing, the best choice is usually meditation. If two things, then pranayama and meditation. If three things, then asanas, pranayama and meditation. Like that. This is not to say that one practice is better than another. You may be naturally inclined to do asanas and leave pranayama and meditation behind. That's okay. It may even be necessary if you are having some kundalini imbalances. Asanas can help smooth out the inner currents. But if you do not have a strong urge one way or the other, you will usually do best to pick meditation if you have time to do only one thing. It is the deepest practice. It puts us directly in touch with pure bliss consciousness.

If you know nothing about asanas and live out in the wild somewhere, and are inclined to learn, there are plenty of good books and videos on yoga asanas. Any of them will do. For our purposes here we are looking for some very simple bending and stretching before our pranayama and meditation. What you do is up to you. If you want to do more than five or ten minutes of asanas, that is okay. Some people love to do yoga asanas. It can become an end in itself for some. That's okay too. Whatever practices you choose to do, make sure you build a stable daily routine that you can keep up without undo strain or discomfort. If it feels good after practices for the rest of the day and night, you are in the right ballpark. Then you are in the best position to consider adding more advanced yoga practices at some point.

Now we will look at several additional advanced yoga practices that add stimulation to the flow of prana in the body.

The guru is in you.

Note: See the AYP Easy Lessons book and Asanas, Mudras and Bandhas book for instructions with illustrations for beginning an asana routine.

Previous  |  Next  >

setstats

Direct Downloads

eBooks - PDF, EPUB
and MOBI-KINDLE


FREE eBooks with
MP3 AudioBooks


SAVE  with Bundled
Multi-Title Downloads


Preview AYP Books
(PDF Books Flyer)

Easy Lessons

Advanced Yoga Practices Book



Spiritual
Adventure Novel



Enlightenment Series


Deep Meditation Book


Spinal Breathing Pranayama Book


Tantra Book


Asanas, Mudras & Bandhas Book


Samyama Book


Diet, Shatkarmas and Amaroli Book


Self-Inquiry Book


Bhakti and Karma Yoga Book


Eight Limbs of Yoga Book


Eight Limbs of Yoga Book



Questions & Answers


                                     

        

      © 2003-present    (see copyright notice)


Additional Translations of AYP
 

AYP Home  Main Lessons  Tantra Lessons  Support Forums  Topic Index  Interviews  Videos  Site Search  Links Section  Testimonials  AYP Survey  Traffic  Books  Downloads  Contact