Page 10 - All India Magazine Sep-2020
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old Hathayogins  practised  them all. The  Asana  means  simply  a
                                particular position of the body and is perfect or “conquered”, in
                                the technical language, when a man can stay in a single posture,
                                however strained or apparently impossible, for an indefi nite period
                                without being forced by strain to remember the body. The fi rst          the truth; for Yogic passivity, whether of mind or body, is a condition
                                object of the Asana is to conquer the body, — for the body must
                                be conquered before it can become divine, — to be able to lay
                                any command upon it and never be commanded by it. The sec-
                                ond object was to conquer physical nature, by developing the four       which only a little is selected for the workings of the self-mastering
                                physical siddhis, laghima, anima, garima, mahima. By perfect laghi-     will, — waste, be it understood, from this point of view, not that of
                                ma man can rise into the air and tread the winds as his natural
                                element; by perfect anima he can bring the nature of the subtle
                                body into the gross body, which the fi re will no longer burn, nor
                                weapons wound, nor want of air stifl e, nor the waters drown; by         the limited life energy that enters into or is generated in it, and con-
                                perfect garima he can develop an adamantine steadiness which
                                the shock of the avalanche cannot overbear; by perfect mahima
                                he can, without muscular development, outdo the feats of a Her-
                                cules. These powers in their fullness are no longer visible in men,
                                but in some degree they belong to all adepts in Hathayoga. Their
                                existence no one can doubt who has gone deep into Yoga at all
                                or had any personal experience of siddhis. The third object is to
                                develop in the body Yogic force, which is called tapah or viryam
                                or the fi re of Yoga. The fourth object is to become urddhwaretah,
                                that is to say, to draw up the whole virile force in the body into the
                                brain and return so much of it as is needed for the body purifi ed
                                and electricised.                                                       to it, as in its easiest attitudes sedentary or recumbent. It becomes
                                                                             CWSA 1: 504-05

                                The system of Asanas
                                   The Hathayogic system of Asana has at its basis two profound
                                ideas which bring with them many eff ective implications. The fi rst is
                                that of control by physical immobility, the second is that of power
                                by immobility. The power of physical immobility is as important in

                                                            All India Magazine, September 2020          All India Magazine, September 2020
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