Myths of the Asanas: The Ancient Origins of Yoga by Alanna Kaivalya, Arjuna van der Kooij (2010) Paperback
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happy. During the jubilee, Sati appeared before her father with a saddened face and sorrow in her heart. All the guests turned to see Daksha’s beautiful daughter standing and weeping before him. Daksha, who loved his daughter very much, was distraught to see her so upset but stood by his decision to continue to reject Shiva as her partner. Sati’s fury and great sadness ignited a fire that burned so brightly inside her that she went up in flames right in the middle of the party and was reduced to
it, as half fish, half human. He was called Matsyendranath, “the lord of the fishes.” It is his wisdom that resulted in the the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, written by the Nath yogis. As as result, all hatha yogis can trace their lineage all the way back to Matsyendranath’s teachings. We honor the fish and his return as Matsyendranath, in the seated spinal twist, matsyendrasana. In this posture, the upright torso resembles that of the half human sage, whereas the folded legs represent a fish’s tail.
lunar places of our existence as we do in the bright and solar places of our life. bhujangasana COBRA POSE Bhujangasana, or cobra pose, is a simple backbend that resembles its namesake. As we lie on our belly and use the muscles of the back to lift our head and chest, our chest and upper arms represent the hood of the cobra. Because snakes have no limbs, the hands are traditionally not used to push oneself up higher. The Beauty of the Beast The cobra is a fearsome creature for most, but it
was so silent you could hear a pin drop. When Sukadeva asked the king if he would like to pause for some food and drink, the king replied that the divine knowledge was fully satisfying his hunger and thirst. After seven days, the king achieved self-realization and welcomed his physical death with an open heart and mind. Transcending Death King Parikshit made a remarkable choice when he knew his death was near and unavoidable. Instead of spending his last days with his family or enjoying his
Asanas themselves become animate in this book and act almost as gurus. Through the seemingly simple act of stepping into a pose, one is invited to access the profound myths and wisdom contained in them. When our practice of the pose matures and merges with our understanding of its myth, we experience the true meaning of our practice, which is peace and alignment in this very life. MANORAMA January 2010 acknowledgements FROM ALANNA KAIVALYA First and foremost, dearest thanks go to my