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Hatha Yoga The Hidden Language
Hatha Yoga The Hidden Language
Description
Back of the Book

In Hatha yoga: The Hidden Language, swami Sivananda Radha has developed a unique approach that takes the practice of Hatha Yoga to new levels of awareness and understanding. Using symbol and metaphor, students are guided to discover for themselves the deeper meaning hidden in the postures. With this approach to Yoga, one can penetrate the psychological and mystical messages of the asanas so that the body is truly understood as spiritual tool.

Swami Radha's approach has as its basis the traditional descriptions and names of a number of classical yoga asanas. The asanas are named in groups: animals, plants, birds, structures.

The asanas are mudras or seals, which the student can unlock through practice and reflection. This "unsealing" is an inner release that leads to a deeper psychological understanding- "being in touch with oneself." As the asana is penetrated, intuitive insight emerges and the spiritual dimension may be experience. Swami Radha's focus is on allowing the Light to enter the body mind, and in so doing, becoming open to divine inspiration.

Swami Sivananda Radha is the author of Kundalini: Yoga for the West, The Divine Light Invocation, and Mantras: Words of Power. She is the founder and spiritual director of Yasodhara Asharam, a Yoga study center and retreat in British Columbia, Canada, and of several sister centres across North America. She is also the founder and president of the Association for the Development of Human Potential in the United States. Swami Radha received her training at Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh, India, and at the request of her Guru, Swami Sivananda Saraswati, returned to the West in 1956 to help disseminate the Yogic Teachings and practices. Her major emphasis is on interpreting the ancient Teachings so that they can be understood and applied in the daily lives of Westerners.

Preface

When most people in the West think of Yoga, they think of yoga asanas or postures. They think of them as a form of exercise. Too often, even with experienced students, the asanas are practiced with this thought in mind. Swami Radha warns us that there are also yoga teachers who teach asanas without an understanding of their real nature and purpose. Asanas are a devotional practice which, like all spiritual practices, bring us closer to an understanding of the truth.

The most common reason students give for taking a yoga asana class is that they are seeking relief from some musculoskeletal problem, or that they want to learn how to relax. Few people express an interest in the spiritual aspects- in the beginning. However, those who stay with the practice inevitably begin to make certain discoveries. First they often do feel better physically. They begin to breathe and move more freely. Their state of mind changes, their concentration improves, and they become more alert, more fully alive. And then something else state of affairs, there is something more. The student begins to get glimpses of an aspect of self beyond the physical, mental, emotional levels- a glimpse of the truth about this entity called "myself."

Each asana affords certain physical, physiological, and psychological benefits. Beyond this there also lies a mystical or spiritual meaning. Each asana creates a certain meditative state of mind. But why these positions? Why these names?

One reason for these postures is that they are anatomically correct, and when properly practiced utilize the full and natural range of movement of the human body. They promote efficient functioning of the internal organs, balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and create an optimum state of health and well being for each individual to fulfill their own destiny.

The asanas are also symbols. When I practise them I make a symbolic gesture with my body, mind, and breath, and my experience builds a bridge between these aspects of myself and the source of energy which creates and sustains them.

One group of asanas is named after animals, some are geometric structures, some are universal symbols; many arise from ancient myths. In A Dictionary of Symbols, J.E. Cirlot says, "Symbolism was an essential part of the ancient art of the Orient and of the medieval tradition in the West. It has been lately revived in the study of the unconscious, both directly in the field of dreams, visions, and psycho-analysis and indirectly in art and poetry."

Yoga is an art and the asanas are a poetic expression of that art-symbols which can unlock the truth and lead us toward the Light. In this book, with her usual thoroughness and insight, Swami Radha has presented another valuable tool for serious students of Yoga who wish to understand the symbolic language of asanas and how to express it, body and soul, in their practice.

Contents
Forewordxiii
Prefacexv
A word from the Authorxvii
1.Introduction: Yoga Psychology & Yoga Therapy1
STRUCTURES
2.Tadasana
MOUNTAIN
29
3.Salamba shirshasana
HEADSTAND
41
4.salamba sarvangasana
SHOULDERSTAND
51
5.Utthita trikonasana
Triangle
57
6.paschimottanasana
SITTING FORWARD BEND
65
7.ardha matsyendrasana
SPINAL TWIST
71
TOOLS
8.halasana
PLOUGH
81
9.dhanurasana
BOW
91
PLANTS
10.urikshasana
TREE
103
11.Padmasana
LOTUS
119
FISH, REPTILES, INSECTS
12.matsyasana
FISH
133
13.bhujangasana
COBRA
147
14.kurmasana
TORTOISE
161
15.urishchikasana
SCORPION
175
BIRDS
16.kukkutasana
COCK
183
17.mayurasana
PEACOCK
191
18.garudasana
EAGLE
199
19.bakasana
CRANE
209
20.hamsasana
SWAN
215
ANIMALS
21.gomukhasana
COW
229
simhasana
LION
239
SHAVASANA
shavasana
CORPSE
253
Brahmacharya: Celibacy265
Conclusion: Asanas - The Hidden Language277
Bibliography291
Index301

Hatha Yoga The Hidden Language

Item Code:
IDJ988
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2006
ISBN:
8172241208
Size:
9.3" X 7.0"
Pages:
308 (Illustrated Throughout In Black & White
Price:
$22.50   Shipping Free
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Back of the Book

In Hatha yoga: The Hidden Language, swami Sivananda Radha has developed a unique approach that takes the practice of Hatha Yoga to new levels of awareness and understanding. Using symbol and metaphor, students are guided to discover for themselves the deeper meaning hidden in the postures. With this approach to Yoga, one can penetrate the psychological and mystical messages of the asanas so that the body is truly understood as spiritual tool.

Swami Radha's approach has as its basis the traditional descriptions and names of a number of classical yoga asanas. The asanas are named in groups: animals, plants, birds, structures.

The asanas are mudras or seals, which the student can unlock through practice and reflection. This "unsealing" is an inner release that leads to a deeper psychological understanding- "being in touch with oneself." As the asana is penetrated, intuitive insight emerges and the spiritual dimension may be experience. Swami Radha's focus is on allowing the Light to enter the body mind, and in so doing, becoming open to divine inspiration.

Swami Sivananda Radha is the author of Kundalini: Yoga for the West, The Divine Light Invocation, and Mantras: Words of Power. She is the founder and spiritual director of Yasodhara Asharam, a Yoga study center and retreat in British Columbia, Canada, and of several sister centres across North America. She is also the founder and president of the Association for the Development of Human Potential in the United States. Swami Radha received her training at Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh, India, and at the request of her Guru, Swami Sivananda Saraswati, returned to the West in 1956 to help disseminate the Yogic Teachings and practices. Her major emphasis is on interpreting the ancient Teachings so that they can be understood and applied in the daily lives of Westerners.

Preface

When most people in the West think of Yoga, they think of yoga asanas or postures. They think of them as a form of exercise. Too often, even with experienced students, the asanas are practiced with this thought in mind. Swami Radha warns us that there are also yoga teachers who teach asanas without an understanding of their real nature and purpose. Asanas are a devotional practice which, like all spiritual practices, bring us closer to an understanding of the truth.

The most common reason students give for taking a yoga asana class is that they are seeking relief from some musculoskeletal problem, or that they want to learn how to relax. Few people express an interest in the spiritual aspects- in the beginning. However, those who stay with the practice inevitably begin to make certain discoveries. First they often do feel better physically. They begin to breathe and move more freely. Their state of mind changes, their concentration improves, and they become more alert, more fully alive. And then something else state of affairs, there is something more. The student begins to get glimpses of an aspect of self beyond the physical, mental, emotional levels- a glimpse of the truth about this entity called "myself."

Each asana affords certain physical, physiological, and psychological benefits. Beyond this there also lies a mystical or spiritual meaning. Each asana creates a certain meditative state of mind. But why these positions? Why these names?

One reason for these postures is that they are anatomically correct, and when properly practiced utilize the full and natural range of movement of the human body. They promote efficient functioning of the internal organs, balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and create an optimum state of health and well being for each individual to fulfill their own destiny.

The asanas are also symbols. When I practise them I make a symbolic gesture with my body, mind, and breath, and my experience builds a bridge between these aspects of myself and the source of energy which creates and sustains them.

One group of asanas is named after animals, some are geometric structures, some are universal symbols; many arise from ancient myths. In A Dictionary of Symbols, J.E. Cirlot says, "Symbolism was an essential part of the ancient art of the Orient and of the medieval tradition in the West. It has been lately revived in the study of the unconscious, both directly in the field of dreams, visions, and psycho-analysis and indirectly in art and poetry."

Yoga is an art and the asanas are a poetic expression of that art-symbols which can unlock the truth and lead us toward the Light. In this book, with her usual thoroughness and insight, Swami Radha has presented another valuable tool for serious students of Yoga who wish to understand the symbolic language of asanas and how to express it, body and soul, in their practice.

Contents
Forewordxiii
Prefacexv
A word from the Authorxvii
1.Introduction: Yoga Psychology & Yoga Therapy1
STRUCTURES
2.Tadasana
MOUNTAIN
29
3.Salamba shirshasana
HEADSTAND
41
4.salamba sarvangasana
SHOULDERSTAND
51
5.Utthita trikonasana
Triangle
57
6.paschimottanasana
SITTING FORWARD BEND
65
7.ardha matsyendrasana
SPINAL TWIST
71
TOOLS
8.halasana
PLOUGH
81
9.dhanurasana
BOW
91
PLANTS
10.urikshasana
TREE
103
11.Padmasana
LOTUS
119
FISH, REPTILES, INSECTS
12.matsyasana
FISH
133
13.bhujangasana
COBRA
147
14.kurmasana
TORTOISE
161
15.urishchikasana
SCORPION
175
BIRDS
16.kukkutasana
COCK
183
17.mayurasana
PEACOCK
191
18.garudasana
EAGLE
199
19.bakasana
CRANE
209
20.hamsasana
SWAN
215
ANIMALS
21.gomukhasana
COW
229
simhasana
LION
239
SHAVASANA
shavasana
CORPSE
253
Brahmacharya: Celibacy265
Conclusion: Asanas - The Hidden Language277
Bibliography291
Index301
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