Asana: First Attempt(s)

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Asana: First Attempt(s)

Postby IADNAMAD » Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:59 am

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.


Following the instructions on Asana as given in Liber E vel Exercitiorum, I commenced with the practice of The Bear posture. Of some dozen practices of 60 minutes each thus far, besides certain other curious effects, upon quitting the position I find my arms dead because of the circulation cut-off. This occurs relatively early into the hour and so the 'pins and needles' effect is quite excruciating for some time (too long!). Due to this, despite the admonishment regarding changing positions and forewarning concerning the initial 'discomforts' involved, I switched to The Dragon, but the cut-off simply occurs in my feet instead!

Otherwise I was very much satisfied with the practices, but the fear of having to have limbs amputated is making me reluctant to continue. Is this a common occurrence, am I doing it wrong, should I stick through it, or...?

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Re: Asana: First Attempt(s)

Postby mark0987 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:30 am

93,

I have the same feeling in my asana, I cannot hold it for 60 minutes yet and I too get discomfort and pins and needles in the dragon asana. Crowley recommended to stick to one asana and not switch about, basically to have the grit your teeth and bear it attitude.

What I have found to help is before and after your asana, lie on your back and visualize a white light at your feet and move it up and throughout your body and feel all tension being released and the aura solidifying. Staying in this relaxed state for 5 minutes or so. Also there are ways of shifting your weight in the asanas so as not to put to much strain on one part of the body, as for the bear, I couldn't tell you, but I know experimenting with your heel placement in the dragon asana may help find the 'right' position.



93, 93/93.
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Re: Asana: First Attempt(s)

Postby Los » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:34 pm

IADNAMAD wrote:Otherwise I was very much satisfied with the practices, but the fear of having to have limbs amputated is making me reluctant to continue.


Depends on what you're trying to do. Are you trying to master yoga for the sake of mastering yoga? Or are you trying to use the techniques of yoga in service to some other goal, such as Thelemic attainment?

If the latter, then there's absolutely no need to assume any unusual posture, especially if it's causing you physical pain. You'll get just as much out of meditation sitting comfortably in a chair as you will contorting yourself into a weird position.
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Re: Asana: First Attempt(s)

Postby Uni_Verse » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:35 am

IADNAMAD wrote:Following the instructions on Asana as given in Liber E vel Exercitiorum, I commenced with the practice of The Bear posture. Of some dozen practices of 60 minutes each thus far, besides certain other curious effects, upon quitting the position I find my arms dead because of the circulation cut-off. This occurs relatively early into the hour and so the 'pins and needles' effect is quite excruciating for some time (too long!). Due to this, despite the admonishment regarding changing positions and forewarning concerning the initial 'discomforts' involved, I switched to The Dragon, but the cut-off simply occurs in my feet instead! Otherwise I was very much satisfied with the practices, but the fear of having to have limbs amputated is making me reluctant to continue. Is this a common occurrence, am I doing it wrong, should I stick through it, or...?


Essentially, it is something you have to over come with time and practice.

The most important part is : are you maintaining the posture?
Starting off with 10, 15 mins of rigidly maintaining the posture can work better in the long run then forcing your self to do it for 60 mins when really your body is only properly arranged for a handful of those minutes

Los wrote:If the latter, then there's absolutely no need to assume any unusual posture, especially if it's causing you physical pain. You'll get just as much out of meditation sitting comfortably in a chair as you will contorting yourself into a weird position.


Asana is to be mastered before moving onto Pranayama.
While generally speaking I would agree, from a technical Yoga stand point I can not.
If you are "sitting comfortably" you will not know if you have actually managed to learn to ignore the signals coming from your body.
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Re: Asana: First Attempt(s)

Postby Los » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:33 pm

Uni_Verse wrote:Asana is to be mastered before moving onto Pranayama.


Yes, if you're trying to master yoga (and especially the stripped-down version of yoga that Crowley presented). However, for a person not interested in mastering yoga for the sake of mastering yoga -- and interested, instead, in using yoga toward the end of Thelemic attainment -- then it's not necessary. Neither is pranayama, really. The important part is to shut down thought for a while. The other stuff might help, but it's certainly not necessary, and if it's causing someone physical pain, my recommendation would be to stop.

While generally speaking I would agree, from a technical Yoga stand point I can not.


Right. From a "technical yoga standpoint" a person has to do all these little things. For someone not interested in a "technical yoga standpoint" and interested in using yoga as a means to an end (attainment), a person does not.

If you are "sitting comfortably" you will not know if you have actually managed to learn to ignore the signals coming from your body.


Well, speaking in terms of Thelemic attainment (and not a "strict yoga stand point"), I wouldn't characterize the goal as "ignor[ing] the signals coming from your body." I would describe the goal as becoming aware that your body, like your thoughts, is not the True Self.

A far preferable way of doing this is sitting comfortably in a chair and observing all of the signals arising from the body. Twitches, itches, spasms, aches, involuntary movements, tingles, and more. Just watch your body, observe these sensations arise and then let them pass away. Return your attention to your breath, to your surroundings, to what's happening in reality. Repeat with the mind: notice any thoughts, dismiss them, and return to paying attention.

The idea is to acclimate yourself to the feeling of being without thoughts because you're training yourself to perceive *beneath* your thoughts in day-to-day life (and it's immensely helpful to know what the absence of thoughts is like so that you know the limits of that particular veil around your True Will).

What I've described above is all a person really needs to do in order to aid Thelemic attainment. Anything else is bells and whistles, and my honest advice is that a person experiencing discomfort and pain from practice -- particularly to the degree that the OP suggests -- should discontinue the practice. More than one way to scale a mountain, you know....

On the other hand, if you really like yoga or want to master yoga just to master yoga (or perhaps because it is part of your True Will to master yoga for its own sake), then go for it. Depends on what you're trying to accomplish.
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Re: Asana: First Attempt(s)

Postby chris S » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:46 pm

I have to to agree with Los. The primary focus is meditation, not being able to maintain advanced postures is not indicative of not being able to meditate.
I would not advise people to ignore their bodies signals..ie. pain/discomfort=imminent injury.
Actually all the injuries ive seen in yoga come from the ego's stubbornness to push through pain.. There isnt some mysterious force of judgement at the end of the line ticking off the postures you have accomplished before you pass through the gate.
The only result ive seen from that are visits to the physiotherapist or the surgeons knife.
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Re: Asana: First Attempt(s)

Postby Uni_Verse » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:30 am

Los wrote:
Uni_Verse wrote:Asana is to be mastered before moving onto Pranayama.


Yes, if you're trying to master yoga (and especially the stripped-down version of yoga that Crowley presented). However, for a person not interested in mastering yoga for the sake of mastering yoga -- and interested, instead, in using yoga toward the end of Thelemic attainment -- then it's not necessary. Neither is pranayama, really. The important part is to shut down thought for a while. The other stuff might help, but it's certainly not necessary, and if it's causing someone physical pain, my recommendation would be to stop.



Not necessary, though highly useful.
I believe there should be some pain and discomfort, at first.
Though there is not a need to push it to the extreme.

Los wrote:Well, speaking in terms of Thelemic attainment (and not a "strict yoga stand point"), I wouldn't characterize the goal as "ignor[ing] the signals coming from your body." I would describe the goal as becoming aware that your body, like your thoughts, is not the True Self.


Perhaps I should have worded my self better, though I feel there is a mixing of the method with the end goal.

The method entails ignoring the sensations of the body, until ones thoughts go from:
"I am in pain" to "A sensation of pain arises from the body" and finally
"A sensation arises, I am unperturbed"

Los wrote:A far preferable way of doing this is sitting comfortably in a chair and observing all of the signals arising from the body. Twitches, itches, spasms, aches, involuntary movements, tingles, and more. Just watch your body, observe these sensations arise and then let them pass away. Return your attention to your breath, to your surroundings, to what's happening in reality. Repeat with the mind: notice any thoughts, dismiss them, and return to paying attention.


Indeed.
Though it is missing the point of Asana : you should not need to "sit comfortably"
You have yet to master your body and mind if you need to "sit comfortably"
While the chosen Asana becomes the most comforting of positions, all positions become equal upon its mastery.

Los wrote:What I've described above is all a person really needs to do in order to aid Thelemic attainment. Anything else is bells and whistles, and my honest advice is that a person experiencing discomfort and pain from practice -- particularly to the degree that the OP suggests -- should discontinue the practice. More than one way to scale a mountain, you know....


While some pain and discomfort is to be expected, I agree it is unnecessary to go to the extreme.
Unless you are in a rush to get somewhere :)
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sung in infinite ways.
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"Here!"
I come or came?
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God sings,
WE experience:
THE UNIVERSE!
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