What does yoga asana do?

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    • #8932

      Hello Ashish,

      I’m not sure if this question belongs in this category or not…

      I understood in  Six Causes that yoga serves to enable humans to master the subtle body (is this pranamaya kosha?)  in order to pass from incarnation to incarnation consciously and with intention.  This would allow us to not be subjected to forgetting experiences through the incarnations.  So we could avoid making the same “errors” and therefore avoid accumulating more karma.  Is this right?

      Also, THIS is the question that I’ve had for years that I can’t seem to get an answer to. What exactly is happening in a yoga asana?  I’m not interested in the physical effects.  I’m asking more from the perspective of relating to the macrocosme.   When a person is in a yoga asana, what is happening on a cosmic level if anything?  When I practice, when I am in a yoga asana, I am not simply in my body, but seem to experience  macrocosmic principles and structure, for lack of a better explanation.

      I work with the vayus in the construction of my asanas and not so much with the physical body,  I’m wondering what, if anything, this way of practicing has to do with my experience.

      I’m not super clear in my question as I almost need an answer to the question in order to ask the question!

      Thanks for any insight,

      Mira

    • #8933

      I understood in  Six Causes that yoga serves to enable humans to master the subtle body (is this pranamaya kosha?)

      There are five bodies in the yoga sutras — annamaya or ‘body of food’, pranamaya or ‘body of prana’, manomaya or ‘body of meaning’, vigyanamaya or ‘body of judgment’ (which has further parts as the judgments are divided into truth, right, and good), and anandamaya or the body of pleasure (this is an unconscious body, which is also called karana or causal body). Each of the bodies beyond the ‘body of food’ is considered subtle. However, since there are deeper types of bodies, ultimately, the body of pleasure (or the causal body) is the ‘subtle body’ that goes from one life to another. Memory is part of both manomaya and vigyanamaya, and this body is lost. The astanga-yoga practice goes from gross to subtle bodies. The first three steps — yama, niyama, and asana are related to the ‘body of food’. The body of prana begins with pranayama. The aim to control each of these bodies successively, and ultimately be able to master the body of pleasure.

      In order to pass from incarnation to incarnation consciously and with intention.  This would allow us to not be subjected to forgetting experiences through the incarnations.  So we could avoid making the same “errors” and therefore avoid accumulating more karma.  Is this right?

      We are changing bodies every moment. Your body is not growing ‘old’. It is a different body. Like you change your clothes every day, likewise, you change your body. The new body has some similarity to the old body which is why you think that it is the same body. When a yogi understands the process by which bodies are changing constantly, he can also change the body willingly. There is a mystical process by which a person can enter another body. They can take on bodies of animals, or change their looks, etc. This is when the incarnation is willing, because the thoughts and intentions are preserved. This change of body is not considered ‘death’. However, there is real death, when the change of body is forced. Generally, one forgets the past in this case. However, this past is still stored in the causal body, and can be recovered from there. Thus, some times people can recall their past lives, but it is generally from the causal body.

      Also, THIS is the question that I’ve had for years that I can’t seem to get an answer to. What exactly is happening in a yoga asana?  I’m not interested in the physical effects.  I’m asking more from the perspective of relating to the macrocosme.   When a person is in a yoga asana, what is happening on a cosmic level if anything?  When I practice, when I am in a yoga asana, I am not simply in my body, but seem to experience  macrocosmic principles and structure, for lack of a better explanation.

      The world is conceptual. If you see a cow, then you also see a mammal, an animal, and a living being. The mammal is both inside the cow but the mammal is not restricted to the cow so it is also outside the cow. To see mammal and animal in the cow, we require mental perception. So, by the mind we can perceive deeper levels of reality. Since the deeper level perception transcends our body, although it is in the body, therefore, by controlling this deeper reality we can control the rest of the universe. This is what you can call ‘macrocosmic’ control. It is not a physical cnotrol. It is attained because the deeper reality is also a broader or bigger reality.

      In the Srimad Bhagavatam there is a story of a five-year old prince name Dhruva, who is insulted by his step-mother, and feeling betrayed he goes to the forest to perform severe penances. Initially he eats once a day, then once every few days, then stops eating and only drinks water, then stops water and only breathes, then he even stops breathing. At this stage, he has gained the mastery of the pranamaya body, and because prana is both inside and outside, therefore, by stopping his prana, he stops the prana of all living entities. Thus, all living entities are unable to breathe and they feel suffocated. At this point Lord Visnu appears to satisfy him. The point is that because there are subtle realities in the body, by mastering them, you can control the universe. So, the ‘macroscosm’ is inside the ‘microscosm’, just like mammal is inside the cow.

      I’m not super clear in my question as I almost need an answer to the question in order to ask the question!

      That’s alright, it goes step by step.

    • #8945

      Thank you very much.

      Once again, I’ll need to integrate this information.

      Best regards,

      Mira

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What does yoga asana do?

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