Myths Of The Asanas
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Practitioners around the world reap the physical benefits of yoga, assuming poses and frequently calling them by their Sanskrit names. While many know that hanumanasana is named for the deity Hanuman, few understand why this is the case. Behind each asana and its corresponding movements is an ancient story about a god, sage, or sacred animal, much like Aesop’s fables or European folktales. Myths of the Asanas is the first book to collect and retell these ancient stories. The myths behind yoga’s spiritual tradition have the power to help students of all levels realize their full potential. Meditating on the tolerance of trees while standing in tree pose can help one become more tolerant. Learning how the disfigured sage Astavakra came to be the teacher of a king can liberate us from anxieties about our external appearance and our self imposed limitations. Marveling at Hanuman’s devotion to Ram can serve as a source of spiritual strength and determination. With more than sixty beautiful illustrations to frame the stories, Myths of the Asanas will add a new dimension to your practice and study of yoga.
The popular names of many yogic asanas - from Virbhadra-asana and Hanuman-asana to Matsyendra-asana, Kurma-asana and Ananta-asana - are based on characters and personages from Indian mythology. Who were these mythological characters, what were their stories, and how are they connected to yogic postures? Devdutt Pattanaik's newest book Yoga Mythology (co-written with international yoga practitioner Matt Rulli) retells the fascinating tales from Hindu, Buddhist and Jain lore that lie behind the yogic asanas the world knows so well; in the process he draws attention to an Indic worldview based on the concepts of eternity, rebirth, liberation and empathy that has nurtured yoga for thousands of years.
The mantra and kirtan (call-and-response devotional chants) of yoga practice sometimes get short shrift in the West because they aren’t well understood. These chants are an integral part of most every Eastern spiritual practice because they are designed to provide access into the psyche while their underlying mythology helps us understand how our psychology affects daily life. Sacred Sound shares the myths behind the mantras, illuminating their meaning and putting their power and practicality within reach of every practitioner. Each mantra and kirtan includes the Sanskrit, the transliteration, and the translation. Clear retellings of the pertinent myths highlight modern-day applications so that readers discover their own personal connection to the practice. Alanna Kaivalya has refined her teaching over a decade with tens of thousands of diverse audience members. Her unique and popular approach to human connection and self-knowledge turns a time-tested tradition into a versatile and potent tool.
While many engage in asana, the physical practice, yoga's most transformative effects are found in the realms of the spiritual and psychological. Yoga Beyond the Mat shows you how to develop a personal, holistic yoga practice to achieve lasting and permanent transformation. Join Alanna Kaivalya as she guides you through a complete range of topics, including Removing Obstacles Appreciating the Present Moment Balancing the Chakras Healing Childhood Wounds Creating Your Own Rituals Transforming Your Archetypal Energy Entering the Blissful State This book shows you that yoga doesn't make your life easier; it makes you better at your life. Through ritual, meditation, journaling, asana, and other spiritual practices, Yoga Beyond the Mat provides techniques for developing a personal mythology and allowing the ego to rest, leading modern-day yogis toward what they have been missing: the realization of personal bliss. Praise: "[Alanna] guides and inspires students and teachers alike toward their own liberation, with patience, generosity, and wholehearted enthusiasm."—Linda Sparrowe, former editor-in-chief of Yoga International and author of Yoga At Home "This is the book I dreamed of when I started my yoga path...[Yoga Beyond the Mat includes] all the steps, tools, rituals, and wisdom for lasting bliss."—Dana Flynn, founder of Laughing Lotus Yoga "Alanna has pioneered a relevant, educational book; deep thinking and laced humor."—Ana T. Forrest, founder of Forrest Yoga and author of Fierce Medicine "Alanna reveals with great clarity and approachable language the nuances, shadings and shadows of this ancient ritual of wellness. I highly recommend it."— Dennis Patrick Slattery, PhD, author of Riting Myth "Alanna's rigorous scholarship interweaves with applicable and tangible to-do's that brings reality to your spirituality."—Jill Miller, creator of Yoga Tune Up® and bestselling author of The Roll Model "In today's hectic life, the revival of yoga-past when combined with soul centered engagement offers the remedy we seek...a breakthrough book."—Stephen Aizenstat, PhD, chancellor of Pacifica Graduate Institute "In this groundbreaking book integrating yoga, Jungian psychology, and personal mythology, Alanna Kaivalya recovers the spiritual dimension of yoga for contemporary Western practitioners."—Dr. Patrick Mahaffey, professor and associate chair of Mythological Studies Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute and author of Evolving God-Images "Alanna writes with honesty and clarity about the quest to find self-knowledge and bliss, perfectly balancing skepticism and enthusiasm. The result is a practical guide to the history and philosophy of yoga, and a useful map to living an integrated, satisfying and richly meaningful life."—Dave Stringer, Grammy-nominated Kirtan artist "Drawing on yoga, psychology, mythology, and ritual, Alanna guides readers on a transformative journey toward self-awareness and 'personal bliss,' through an amazing array of practices. Yoga Beyond the Mat is like a library of ideas for studying your self."—Kaitlin Quistgaard, writer and former editor-in-chief of Yoga Journal
'Yoga is to be known through yoga. Yoga arises from yoga. One who is vigilant by means of yoga delights in yoga for a long time' Yoga is hugely popular around the world today, yet until now little has been known of its roots. This book collects, for the first time, core teachings of yoga in their original form, translated and edited by two of the world's foremost scholars of the subject. It includes a wide range of texts from different schools of yoga, languages and eras: among others, key passages from the early Upanisads and the Mahabharata, and from the Tantric, Buddhist and Jaina traditions, with many pieces in scholarly translation for the first time. Covering yoga's varying definitions across systems, models of the esoteric and physical bodies, and its most important practices, such as posture, breath control, sensory withdrawal and meditation, Roots of Yoga is a unique and essential source of knowledge. Translated and edited with an introduction by James Mallinson and Mark Singleton
Downward Dogs and Warriors de-mystifies traditional India stories of gods and goddesses by showing their connection to universal human emotions. Connecting these stories to common yoga poses opens a deeper dimension of practice.
What is the meaning of Shiva dancing on a dwarf named Avidya? Why does Vishnu sleep upon an endless snake? To what did the Buddha awaken? What do we mean by soul? The practice of Yoga has become quite common and popular in the West; however, the stories of Yoga are still strange to Western ears. What do these ancient symbols mean, what are they trying to teach us, and how should we incorporate the knowledge skillfully into our Western lifestyle? By looking at the myths of Yoga along with the stories that have influenced Western culture, we are presented with opportunities to select the best of both worlds, and create new maps to help guide us through the uncertainties of modern living. Stories are fun! Important stories guide us and educate us; they create mental models which work at an unconscious level to help us navigate through our modern society and govern our reactions to the ups-and-downs of life; they provide meaning and purpose for our life; and our stories entertain and entrance us. In this book, Bernie Clark looks at the spiritual stories found in the West that create a base map for our lives and then looks at the stories found in the East to see how they could improve our base maps. The stories offered are mix of light-hearted and enjoyable, and deep and profound. The importance of stories East and West are illustrated through the model proposed by the great 20th century mythologist, Joseph Campbell: myths, or stories, serve four great functions - the mystical, the cosmological, the sociological and the psychological function. The stories chosen illustrate these four functions of mythology and show how we can take these stories into ourselves to create a deeper experience of life. "You may find that, with a proper introduction, mythology will catch you." Joseph Campbell: The Power of Myth
Most Westerners already know that practicing yoga can improve health and create peace of mind. But for those who yearn to add meaningful depth to their lives, even greater riches are possible... In this book, master teacher Rama Vernon shares techniques and knowledge suitable for all levels, from beginners to experienced students and teachers.