…yoga tradition believes the universe is mirrored in each of us. Nature has a working set of solutions that is used on ever greater or lesser scales for everything, as our recent appreciation of fractals demonstrates. To understand something on a scale within our perceptual range allows us to imagine solutions to questions above or below that range.
Weight Loss Through Yoga, Jewel in the Lotus page 8
Because asana quiets the mind, it is preparation for meditation. Indeed, it can be a form of meditation. It fosters awareness of the mind’s functioning, the body’s state of wellbeing, and the mechanics of breath. Asana helps us reconnect with the vast wisdom that controls and directs body function, the same wisdom that wants to bring our body into healthy balance.
Asana helps to calm the mind and temper emotions. Challenging the physical body helps the practitioner connect with the other levels of self. Because of the rapid ability of the physical body to reflect change, it demonstrates the capacity to change on deeper unseen levels. The physical body is our home in this reality. Memories can be stored in our tissues. Asana is away of strengthening the will and exploring our psychological makeup, creating a balance between our material and spiritual existence.
Moving into and holding various configurations of the physical body as part of the practice of yoga is called asana. When people in the West think of yoga, this narrow range of the total discipline commonly comes to mind. In Sanskrit, ‘asana’ translates as ‘seat’ or ‘seat next to the teacher’, expressing the need to be comfortable in the body before other learning can commence.
Asana practice improves health, strength, flexibility and balance. The lymphatic system of the body needs movement and the flexing of muscles to propel lymph fluids through the body. All the components of the body need to be exercised to maintain optimum function. Without stimulation they tend to atrophy.
The energy of attention stimulates latent apana. Because of the sexual nature of the pelvic prana, sensual arousal might occur. Just observe and accept. There is no need to censure the experience. Enjoy the meditation in observer consciousness.
After a set number of breaths, the attention moves up to the first chakra. If the meditator has time, he or she can relax into the experience and allow attention to percolate up to the sacrum on its own. The first chakra is awash with the color red. When initially meditating, all the aspirant needs is to be aware of is the color expressed through each chakra. With practice, all that will be necessary is to touch the front of the body over a particular chakra and the color associated with it will appear before the mind’s eye. Relax into the hue, feel it as much as visualize it. The shade of the color may vary from meditation to meditation and can be an indicator of the influences the person is presently under.
WEIGHT LOSS THROUGH YOGA, JEWEL IN THE LOTUS page 60
You are being let in on a big secret. This shouldn’t be a secret, but it is: ‘enlightened’ and ‘relaxed’ mean the same thing. They are synonymous. We are easing into liberation of the full expression of ‘Self’. If you had the capacity to fully let go, you would literally fall into the full perfect expression of your being. Since enlightenment is so infrequent, the ability to completely relax appears to be very rare.
Asana is helping us to be at ease in our bodies so the body is no longer a distraction. Pranayama is helping create the necessary energy and balance. Now we can start to relax. We can meditate.
Lonely rivers flow to the sea, to the sea,
To the open arms of the sea.
Lonely rivers sigh “wait for me, wait for me”
I’ll be coming home,
Wait for me.
Oh my love, my darling
Hungered for your touch
A long lonely time,
And time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much,
Are you still mine?
I need your love, I..,
I need your love
God speed your love to me
Righteous Brothers 1966