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The Hatha Yoga Pradipika

People easily believe in the stories told by those who themselves heard them second hand, and no attempt is made to find out the truth by a direct reference to any good treatise. People put their faith implicitly in the stories told them about the dangers attending the practice, without ever taking the trouble of ascertaining the fact themselves.

We have been inspiring and expiring air from our birth, and will continue to do so till death; and this is done without the help of any teacher.

It is the impatience for the Siddhis which cause undue pressure on the organs and thereby causes pains in the ears, the eyes, the chest, etc. There are two classes of students of Yoga: 1 those who study it theoretically; 2 those who combine the theory with practice. Yoga is of very little use, if studied theoretically.

Yoga Swami Svatmarama. Hatha yoga pradipika

It was never meant for such a study. In its practical form, however, the path of the student is beset with difficulties.

The books on Yoga give instructions so far as it is possible to express the methods in words, but all persons, not being careful enough to follow these instructions to the very letter, fail in their object. Such persons require a teacher versed in the practice of Yoga.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika: now available in ten chapters | James Russell's Yoga Blog

It is easy to find a teacher who will explain the language of the books, but this is far from being satisfactory. For instance, a Pandit without any knowledge of the science of Materia Medica will explain as or an enemy of thorns, i.

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The methods followed by the founders of the system and followed ever afterwards by their followers, have been wisely and advisedly kept secret; and this is not without a deep meaning. Looking to the gravity of the subject and the practices which have a very close relation with the vital organs of the human body, it is of paramount importance that the instructions should be received by students of ordinary capacity, through a practical teacher only, in order to avoid any possibility of mistake in practice. Speaking broadly, all men are not equally fitted to receive the instructions on equal terms.

In the first chapter on asanas, Svatmarama describes 15 poses. The poses have very specific effects. Each does something to prepare the body for the goal of yoga, which in this case was to contain the life force—prana—within the central channel of the body.

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By holding prana in the central channel, yogis sought release from illusion and transformation into immortal beings of light. Whether you seek immortality or practice yoga mainly to relieve stress, the point is in the beginning, the physical postures did not dominate yoga. In general, yogis still practice the 15 poses of classical yoga, though some have been altered and many more poses, as well as style of yoga, have come along. Others you will already know and be able to do. Your email address will not be published.

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