Sukhasana, the Asana of Happiness – Ramana

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Happiness

Ramana Marahshi on asanas:

Questioner: But hatha yoga is so much spoken of as an aid.

Ramana’s Answer: Yes. Even great pandits well versed in the vedanta continue the practice of it. Otherwise their minds will not subside. So you may say it is useful for those who cannot otherwise still the mind.

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Yoga : Aligning to the Source

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Asana as Karma Yoga ~ Looking at our Motive

Asana as Karma Yoga

“Asana is not yoga, but yoga is asana”.

Early image captured for use as a class promotional graphic.

Early image captured for use as a class promotional graphic.

When these 2 words are embraced in their deepest archetypal forms. We all know Asana is most often translated as posture; yet it arises from within our own state as a conscious being. Our thoughts, feelings, desires and believes. For one who is ever curious about things cosmic and mysterious, cultural distractions may at some point drop away and we may find it perhaps inevitable; then yoga may come to the fore. Then asana can serve as a natural means, a prime vessel to further let go of our common obsession with self.
Respectful bows with no cause for pride; this is the essential, often forgotten meaning of asana; inviting a posture of surrender, letting go of obstructions, attuning to the universal pulsing flow of life. This suggests asana alone is not yoga, unless it is instilled with the very essence of yoga itself. The oneness of universal life and consciousness.
Being self-centered; apart, is the absence of yoga. Apart we are bhogis not yogis. What distinguishes a yogi from a bhogi? A yogi is one devoted; honoring that which brings us together, rather than glorifying what sets us apart. So; not one set apart, but one who by nature wishes to awaken in yoga; truly and humbly caring for that one in all.

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Natarajasana

Also see:

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Why Yoga Is neither Physical nor Spiritual Gymnastics

I agree, these are important points regarding “Modern” Hatha Yoga Asana

Heart of Yoga Blog

 

 

By Domagoj Orlic

Heart of Yoga teacher from Zagreb, Croatia

 

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My teacher Mark Whitwell is fond of saying that, Yoga is neither physical nor spiritual gymnastics“, and is very passionate about explaining the reasons why this is so, focusing especially on the popular American brands of (Hatha) Yoga, and expounding the principles of practice and methodology of teaching that make Yoga what it really is: a devotional personalized practice and spiritual discipline of pleasure. Modern styles of Yoga that focus on Yoga postures, or yogasana, seem to understand (or rather don’t understand) Yoga as a form of physical gymnastics and knowingly or unknowingly reduce Yoga to mere (or predominantly) physical exertion. On the other hand, the so called “spiritual movements” originating from India or inspired by various Indian religions and/or philosophies often seem to be reducing Yoga to some sort of exotic or simplified…

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A True Yogi ~ Paramhansa Yogananda & The Path of Kriya Yoga

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A New Page Here ~ An Interpretation of the Yoga Sutras

In January 2013 a new page from Rosemontway.wordpress.com has been added here on the bar below the galaxy.

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Ananda Bijam ~ Kriya Yoga ~ Alchemy

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If you believe that yoga is defined by one aspect of hatha yoga, which is asana, then you may wonder; what do beliefs such as yamas and niyamas have to do with yoga. The answer is quite a lot. In fact asana divorced from awareness of our true motive and intent can in no way qualify as yoga. Therefore if you practice asana without transforming your believes about yourself in relation to all of life; then asana is merely another egoic glamour inducing form of gymnastic style exercise. If on the other hand you wish to reflect upon the true nature of yoga and apply it to your asana practice understanding motive, intent and awareness is essential in order to actually practice yoga.

The Yamas & Niyamas of Patañjali’s Yoga Sutra’s

Yamas & Niyamas are about our behavior. They are pointed out in the Kriya Yoga section of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, which is Chapter 2. As we all know our behavior is a reflection of our thoughts and feelings; which reflect our beliefs. Yamas and Niyamas therefore are guidelines suggesting how we can most effectively structure our beliefs; which influence feelings and guide our thoughts; which in turn may transform our intent and behavior. Our beliefs are not necessarily what we say we believe, rather our beliefs are what we actually belief. So our true beliefs are those which actually control & direct our behavior. That is our true religion, what we actually believe, not what we proclaim to believe.

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In Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtras ~ Yamas are the first limb of the eight limbs of Rāja yoga.
In Sadhana Pada Verse 30.

  1. Ahimsa non-violence is grounded in thought & feeling. Letting go of all enmity
  2. Satya truth awareness in thought word and deed.
  3. Asteya non-stealing, taking without free exchange
  4. Brahmacharya is the elevation of awareness & transmutation of sexual energy
  5. Aparigraha absence of greed, wanting more.

In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras ~ Niyamas are the second limb of the eight limbs of Raja Yoga.

In Sadhana Pada Verse 32.

  1. Shaucha: purity of thought, mind and body.
  2. Santosha: well being; contentment.
  3. Tapas: energetic spiritual dedication.
  4. Svādhyāya: self study, inner reflection awakening soul and to the God within.
  5. Ishvarapranidhana: surrender to Oneness, God.

The yamas & niyamas of patanjali’s Yoga Sutras establish guidelines for measuring our state of mind; to determine whether or not our mental conditions are conducive to promoting a spiritually awakened state of consciousness. While yamah is stillness niyama is active, radiant. Every choice we make is an action, whether we act to be still or moving. Every thing is the result of cause & effect. We have the opportunity to choose every moment. Yama is like planting, niyana blossoming. Meditation is like yama, niyama is like rising; both determine the quality of every cause & effect.. Together both are kriya practices. Preparing & Harvesting; thinking feeling & acting There is not one without the other. Every single coin has two sides.

Often yamas are interpreted as “restraints” which for me implies a state of conflict. Naturally we may experience mental emotional struggles at times, throughout our lives, but I for one don’t favor the idea, that struggling is a highly recommended path to spiritual awakening. Determination require energy and focus, but it’s best when focused wisely in the most effective way, which would be rather free of  opposition and restraint.

Say you have a motor vehicle. It can best accomplish its task when it is well tuned and efficient, for it still will face external obstacles of load & grade. Challenges are a natural part of any task, we can only assure we are well prepared to face what is beyond our control.

Struggle suggests a solution is required and that is where our attention should be focused. And that requires us to remove inner conflicts. So attunement is a better view than restraint. I believe yama actually suggests a state of quietude; stillness and an end of conflict, like the pause between each breath. Breath should not be seen as a struggle between inhalation and exhalation. Stilling is quite different from restraint.

A Rosemont Way is meant to suggest that as you climb the mount of this life’s journey; to a higher view. Being attentive along the way, you may find a rose, which in deed blossoms just for you. You are then witness there in an eternal timeless moment and are as though the eyes of God; in that perfect moment of yoga union. And if you awaken then to that eternal timeless moment you are the one yogi/yogini.

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