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 Asanas - Postures and Physical Culture
 Asanas - Postures and Physical Culture
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yogani

USA
5189 Posts

Posted - Jul 11 2005 :  1:02:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Get a Link to this Message
There is something of a paradox here.

The teaching and practice of yoga postures is a huge worldwide phenomenon. It has even moved over into the mainstream of the physical fitness arena, with numerous kinds of aerobic and extreme yoga regimens now available. This is big business!

Yet, in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, asanas are one limb out of eight, with meditation, pranayama and the other limbs having equal or greater weight, not to mention samyama. Why the difference between the basic truths of yoga practice and what we see in the world? Some say it is "market driven." We are a culture that craves physical health above all things. It is understandable. We all want our health and well-being, the more the better.

But learning to systematically do less can be much more, you know. That is the secret of yoga. In AYP we use asanas as a limbering, a stretching of the nervous system to warm up for pranayama and deep meditation. Because there is so much about postures on the Internet, asanas are given fairly light coverage in the online AYP lessons. See Lesson #71 for a discussion on asanas at http://www.aypsite.org/71.html

An illustrated "Asana Starter Kit" with fourteen postures is included in the AYP book. And a much abbreviated version is also provided there for those "on the go." Asanas are important in AYP. If possible, we should do a set of asanas before our twice daily meditation sittings. But, when time is short, we do not do asanas instead of meditation. Or instead of pranayama. That is the difference in AYP. For more on fitting practices into a busy schedule, see Lesson #209 at http://www.aypsite.org/209.html


The physical conditioning aspect of life is not ignored in AYP. In the AYP book, a yoga-friendly routine of muscle toning calisthenics and aerobic (cardiovascular) development is included.

In this forum, the doors are flung wide open to discuss asanas and physical culture from every angle. Let off some steam if you like. Build up a sweat, if need be. Then, after you cool down, make sure to check out the Yoga Sutras. See Lesson #149 at http://www.aypsite.org/149.html

May we all find balance in our practices and thereby enter the infinite inner realms of divine joy, and bring that out into our daily living!

The guru is in you.



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