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Pictures of Asanas

Marcello1082010-07-05 01:37:09 +0000 #1
Dear Yogins. My name is Marcello and I am an Instructor of Swasthya, The Ancient Yoga. I am going to post some pictures of some of our Instructors that graduated at the University of Yoga. It takes four years to get a degree from there. We are not very well known in US but we are very well known in Europe and South America. Our main website is in Portuguese and Spanish. But we do have a site with some information in english. It is

www.swasthya.co.uk: www.swasthya.co.uk

I am currently teaching this kind of Yoga in New York City (the last picture is mine, the one on the beach)

Hope you enjoy it!
yogiforlife2010-07-05 01:53:32 +0000 #2
Nice pics, I tried to start a picture thread on here, hoping people would share photos of themselves but it didn't really take-off, only got a few pics.
InnerAthlete2010-07-05 02:15:03 +0000 #3
Welcome Marcello!

Why haven't others embraced the idea of photo sharing? Could it perhaps be these very photos that are discouraging such an embrace? Perhaps it is that some find photos, of this sort or other sorts, to be aggrandizing of the ego?

The pictures are, of course lovely and impressive things to do with the human form but are they "yoga"?

I would be curious how the photos strike our membership here.

My perspective is not THE perspective nor do I speak on behalf of YOGA.

How though are these photos representative of "yoga" and not gymnastics?

What must be present for Asana to be yoga? A better way to pose this might be to say if a contortionist can place both ankles behind the neck and support the body on the palms while straightening the arms, is this yoga?
Hubert2010-07-05 02:38:19 +0000 #4
I feel awe when I see young, beautiful bodies performing postures like that. I also feel a bit sorry that I am not that young and beautiful anymore. But this is a normal feeling. Life has a beginning, and an end, and there's a lot between these two. The sun rises, and I am happy. The moon rises and I am blue. Life is not just happiness, pleasure and light, but also pain, longing, and decay.

I don't judge people having young athletic bodies, and exceptional health, showing off. It is the creation of God. It is beautiful like a hymn. They are proud of their work put in asana practice. As long as it makes people long for such health, it is inspiring and good. That does not automatically mean they will abuse their health, or neglect paranayama or meditation.
xela2010-07-05 03:06:38 +0000 #5
I think those pictures are beautiful.
Marcello1082010-07-05 02:33:33 +0000 #6
Dear Yogins. We practice Swasthya, The Ancient Yoga, the anga (part) asana, is only 1/8 of our complete practice, and it is, by no means, the most important part, on contrary, we think it is one of the less important part because it is mainly phisical. We find much more powerful to perform a true mudra, a sincere puja, some striking mantras (kirtans, japa, bija mantras) and then do some powerful pranayamas, like bandha kumbhaka, nadhi shoadhana and bhastrika, do some kriyas, like nauli kriya and drishti, after the asanas, do a nice yoganidra and then you are ready to get into the meditative state with samyama, so that, in a few years you will be ready to awake kundalini... So, dear InnerAthlete, that is the difference from our Yoga to gym or contorcionism. We do not only do asanas, but we practice the Anciet Yoga, know as the most complete Yoga in the world.

Kind regards.
yogiforlife2010-07-05 02:55:26 +0000 #7
It was told to me early on in my practice to not focus on how you look in a pose, that a circus freak could do all the poses but doesn't mean they're doing Yoga, just as if you're only doing it to keep yourself in shape and not noticing the spiritual side thats fine but its not really Yoga.

Having said that, I loved the pics. My practice wouldn't mean as much to me if it wasn't keeping me in some kind of good physical condition and photos would show that, I don't think I should be ashamed of that or feel like my practice is lesser than others simply because I look good in a pose. I think its wrong to see those pics and immediately judge them on their style of practice when it says very little.
Hubert2010-07-05 02:19:50 +0000 #8
On the other side, I understand InnerAthlete, too. Those pictures look good, and we like them, but there have been other posts what could be considered mostly advertising. So as long as Marcello108 is here to discuss by posting sharing opinions, helping other visitors of this forum, he is welcome by me, mere visitor. Of course, this forum, even it's free, has maintenance costs (if not else, energy or personal time on part of those who created it and maintain it so we can discuss) so the owner and appointed moderators have the right to allow or not allow advertising. Even if it's inoffensive, as I suppose it was in this case.
Marcello1082010-07-05 04:10:39 +0000 #9
Reply to InnerAthlete

Were those photos Asanas? I am going to post a small extrat from our main book which is called Swasthya Yôga Shastra. It talks about Asanas and was writen by Master DeRose, who has been practicing and teaching the Ancient Yôga for nearly 50 years.

ÁSANA

FIRM AND PLEASANT CORPORAL TECHNIQUE

Ásana is any position that is firm and pleasant (sthira sukham ásanam). This is the broad and laconic definition from the Yôga Sútra, chapter II, 46. According to this definition, the number of ásanas is infinite.

Another definition, this one attributed to Shiva, confirms that of Pátañjali: there are as many ásanas as there are human beings on the face of the Earth.

Others, however, limit the number of ásanas to 84,000, of which 840 are the most important and, of these, only 84 are considered fundamental. In the current book, we present 2,000 ásanas. It is the largest compilation yet achieved in the history of Yôga in the world.

But, what is an ásana after all? Ásana is the corporal technique that, for many people, is the most prevalent stereotype of Yôga. This is due to the fact that, among all the techniques of Yôga, the only one which is photographable, filmable and able to be demonstrated in public is ásana. It is possible to photograph yôganidra, film pránáyáma or demonstrate mudrá but it is of little. As a result of these facts, this anga has ended up being the one which is most well-known.

Ásana is corporal technique, yes, but it is not exclusively corporal. It has nothing to do with gymnastics or physical education. Its origins are different, its purposes are different and the methods of executing it are different. This is why, in Yôga, we do not need many things that are fundamental in Physical Education like, for example, muscular warm ups. In Ancient Yôga, we do not use this before executing ásanas.

In order to economize on words, people tend to refer to ásanas exclusively through a corporal prism. Yet, any technique does not deserve the name ásana unless it incorporates other elements.

If it is physical exercise, it is not Yôga. In order for a technique to be considered an ásana, it must have the following three elements:

1. Position;

2. Coordinated breathing; and

3. Interior attitude.

The position needs to be:

a) stable;

b) comfortable; and

c) aesthetic.

The breathing needs to be:

a) conscious;

b) profound (abdominal and complete); and

c) with rhythm.

The interior attitude needs to have:

a) localization of consciousness throughout the body;

b) mentalization of images, colors and sounds; and

c) bháva (deep sentiments or reverence).

This is what we think about asana and it is how we achieve those asanas so easily. It was not intended to be an advertisiment. You may take it out anytime you want. I do not even have time to handle all the private students and classes that I give in New York. Sorry about that.
InnerAthlete2010-07-05 05:57:15 +0000 #10
I believe my point(s) has been missed.

I was not seeking a rudimentary definition of "asana".

What I was eluding to was that visual images contribute to perception.

These particular visual images do not, to me, reflect the deep "ancient yoga" that is mentioned. This is a bit of a personal issue for me just as Bikram rationalizing Yoga Competitions are a bit of an issue for me.

Images, just like text, support the yoga behind it. If one wants the world at large to perceive their yoga as an ancient subtle science of the body/mind/spirit then I have my doubts that these particular pictures convey in such a way.

Others obviously feel different. And that is fine.

If this form serves the practitioners and teachers and students in a way that moves them closer to their yogic dharma then it is beautiful. If it does not do such moving then it should beg the question of whether it is yoga or not.

All are welcome on the board and all are welcome on the path. It is not to me to defend or determine. If this works for those doing it then it should continue so.
YogSadhak2010-07-05 02:48:24 +0000 #11
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hubert



I feel awe when I see young, beautiful bodies performing postures like that. I also feel a bit sorry that I am not that young and beautiful anymore. But this is a normal feeling. Life has a beginning, and an end, and there's a lot between these two. The sun rises, and I am happy. The moon rises and I am blue. Life is not just happiness, pleasure and light, but also pain, longing, and decay.

I don't judge people having young athletic bodies, and exceptional health, showing off. It is the creation of God. It is beautiful like a hymn. They are proud of their work put in asana practice. As long as it makes people long for such health, it is inspiring and good. That does not automatically mean they will abuse their health, or neglect paranayama or meditation.

Namaste !

Yoga is about union of your body with Atma...the whole focus is on astral body and not on gross body...

According to Yoga, SOUL has no age...no shape, no body...

Hari OM !
Marcello1082010-07-05 04:34:36 +0000 #12
Dear Yôgins/Yôginis

Asanas do not need to be powerful or difficult to be beautiful. They only need to transmit your inside energy. Any asana can become an art if you put your happy or joy on it.

Let the Shiva Nataraja flows within you.

Marcello
souljourney1082010-07-05 07:58:57 +0000 #13
Namaste,

I'm new to this forum and was wondering is advertising allowed?

I don't see how photos of young, healthy people doing strong asanas can even come close to portraying the true meaning of yoga.

Yoga chitta vrtti nirodaha...patanjali sutra 2...yoga is when the waves mind ceases.

The purpose of asana in yoga is , as i see it and have experienced, to lighten and purify the body so that it's easier to not identify with the body/mind as who we are until we are established in truth, who we are, peace, whatever word...beyond words.We are no longer a slave to conditioning or thoughts, feelings, body,

I hope people don't get attatched to the asana and body as who they are coz this would lead to lots of future suffering. May they go deeper than that...to realize who they really are...

I realize we all have different paths, we must learn from experience anyway, so it's all good... life gives whatever you need to learn...to realize.

Hari Om,

Soul
souljourney1082010-07-05 05:42:09 +0000 #14
.... abit more. Even if one could do there asanas, why take photos of them and show them? ...maybe these photos would appeal to the competitive conditioning in most humans on the planet, and so get some business for the teachers.

The way to advertise yoga is with our beautiful smiles, no matter what we have or don't have in life... deep inner smile of not being attatched to the thoughts or body anymore...no desire even to be young and healthy, for this is all impermanent...not lasting happiness.

Wishing all to realize and dwell in Peace

love Soul

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