Original Yoga: Rediscovering Traditional Practices of Hatha Yoga

Richard Rosen

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 1590308131

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Part history, part philosophy, part yoga instruction manual, this book clears up some of the confusion and misconceptions about the development of yoga, both traditional and modern. Richard Rosen draws from ancient yoga manuals, which combine philosophy with postures and meditations, to show how traditional practice compares with what we do today. He is an engaging, experienced guide who reveals the development of modern yoga through the centuries and shows how the ancient yogis did it.

Each section offers a guided practice session of ancient poses and breathing techniques to enable readers to connect to the roots of their yoga and to provide a framework for understanding the sequences they use in their regular sessions.

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tailbone” is a call to action. A movement, on the other hand, is something physical; “stretch your arms over your head” is a call to move. CIRCUIT 1: FOOT AND ANKLE CIRCUITS The foot circuit combines channels running along the inner and outer edges of the foot. The inner foot channel runs from the mound of the big toe to the inner ankle; the outer foot channel runs from the outer heel along the outer edge of the foot and out through the little toe. The ankle circuit is a combination of two

nonetheless living things Again we see the close relationship between asana and the natural world. It doesn’t seem far-fetched to imagine that the world itself is ensouled and practicing yoga; that it, too, is searching for its authentic self; and that humans are playing along, matching the world’s asanas. About half the poses are sitting poses, which tells us that despite the enormous jump in the number of asanas since Patanjali’s time, they still play second fiddle to sitting meditation (and

that our interest in this pose is purely as an asana, and we won’t be practicing it in a river with the help of a thin pipe. Fig. 25. Superior Pose (utkatasana). LITTLE LAMP: MODERN SUPERIOR You might be familiar with the modern version of Superior, which is a kind of half-squat with the heels pressed firmly to the floor, the torso leaned slightly forward over the thighs, and the arms stretched overhead (see Light on Yoga #17). It’s often called Chair Pose, because it looks like the yogi’s

and confers mental peace and happiness (shanti). Shiva recommends this “seat” for pranayama, saying that sitting in Auspicious will help the yogi master the “wind” (vayu), or prana. He adds that this pose destroys “all suffering” (sarva duhkha). COWHERD OR GORAKSHA’S POSE (GORAKSHASANA) GO • cow RAKSHA • guard, watcher, keeper; a tutelary divinity This pose is dedicated to Goraksha, whose fame as a Hatha yogin is second only to that of Matsyendra. Traditional Cowherd looks nothing like its

the penis and the right ankle above the left heel. I’ve made a number of different suggestions of what to do with your hands in sitting poses throughout this book. The easiest is to either lay your hands in your lap, palms up, one hand stacked in the other, or lay your hands on your knees. With you hands on your knees you have two choices: palms up tends to help open the chest, and palms down tends to help release the shoulders. Try them both out to see which one suits you best. While some call

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