How long does it take?

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How long does it take?

Postby gerry456 » Thu Oct 01, 2015 3:16 pm

From Crowley's Eight Lectures on asana;

19. It is through the perversity of human nature that the most acute agony seems to occur when you are within a finger's breadth of full success. Remember Gallipoli! I am inclined to think that it may be a sort of symptom that one is near the critical point when the anguish becomes intolerable.

You will probably ask what 'intolerable' means. I rudely answer: 'Find out!' But it may give you some idea of what is, after all, not too bad, when I say that in the last months of my own work it often used to take me ten minutes (at the conclusion of the practice) to straighten my left leg. I took the ankle in both hands, and eased it out a fraction of a millimetre at a time.

20. At this point the band begins to play. Quite suddenly the pain stops. An ineffable sense of relief sweeps over the Yogi-.


How long should this usually take? A few weeks? A month? More?

Also, on the subject of daily practice, Crowley said one may begin with half an hour or an hour, but is this necessary as a daily time limit? I was thinking 15 minutes is more appropriate as this would help me control the onset of any damage. I seem to be {*******} my back up as well as my ankles and hip via daily half-lotus posture.
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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Re: How long does it take?

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Oct 01, 2015 4:09 pm

gerry456 wrote:How long should this usually take? A few weeks? A month? More?

It varies with people. I think you've covered the range: A few months or longer; maybe less with people who have the karma or the knack. (And, of course, it varies with how much one practices. Almost anything can be mastered in 1,000 hours, give or take.)

Also, on the subject of daily practice, Crowley said one may begin with half an hour or an hour, but is this necessary as a daily time limit? I was thinking 15 minutes is more appropriate as this would help me control the onset of any damage.

Yeah, 10-15 minutes is a reasonable start. On a lot of things in the beginning, I set a timer for 11 minutes, both for symbolic reasons and because there was a sense of "Don't stop at 10 minutes, push it just a little."

I seem to be {*******} my back up as well as my ankles and hip via daily half-lotus posture.

Maybe that's not your posture. Find another one.
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Re: How long does it take?

Postby gerry456 » Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:26 am

It's not my posture? Well Crowley says in Eight Lectures that if you start changing your mind then you are lost;

18. The irritations develop into extreme agony. Any attempt to alleviate this simply destroys the value of the practice. I must particularly warn the aspirant against rationalising (I have known people who were so hopelessly bat-witted that they rationalised). They thought: 'Ah, well, this position is not suitable for me, as I thought it was. I have made a mess of the Ibis position; now I'll have a go at the Dragon position.' But the Ibis has kept his job, and attained his divinity, by standing on one leg throughout the centuries. If you go to the Dragon he will devour you.


Also, in Book 4, Crowley says aim for half an hour to an hour


One may begin with half an hour or an hour. The student must not mind if the process of quitting the Asana involves several minutes of the acutest agony

......not 15 minutes. Are you saying beginners should only aim for 15 minutes a night?


Maybe i'm exaggerating when I say i'm {•••••••} my back up and my ankles and hip. I was doing 25 minutes a night but last couple of days i've reduced it to 15 minutes a night. I mean, as I write and sit I feel ok and yogic stretches such as the Cobra, the Cat and the Dog seem to strengthen the back so I do that before and after half lotus.

What do you make of the lying on back corpse position? That seems to be the safest.
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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Re: How long does it take?

Postby seekinghga » Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:37 am

I think what Crowley meant by warning against switching asanas is that it is "bad" only if you are of the mindset that another one would be easier to conquer. If you are determined in this one but it is causing possible injury then you should be able to switch without hampering the outcome. Just don't go posture shopping over an itch or something! ;) j/k

As far as time is concerned, 15mins is VASTLY superior to nothing. Ramp it up when you can guarantee consistency.

"So with thy all; thou hast no right but to do thy will."
"And they that read the book and debated thereon passed into the desolate land of Barren Words. And they that sealed up the book into their blood were the chosen of Adonai, and the Thought of Adonai was a Word and a Deed; and they abode in the Land that the far-off travellers call Naught."
- LXV 5:59
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Re: How long does it take?

Postby gerry456 » Fri Oct 02, 2015 4:53 am

Yeah thanks.
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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Re: How long does it take?

Postby gerry456 » Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:44 pm

Surely if Crowley was talking 10 minutes to agonizingly straighten his leg then he must've been also experiencing pain and discomfort during the hours of the days in between the yogic sessions?
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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Re: How long does it take?

Postby seekinghga » Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:07 am

To quote Crowley: Solvitur ambulando.
"And they that read the book and debated thereon passed into the desolate land of Barren Words. And they that sealed up the book into their blood were the chosen of Adonai, and the Thought of Adonai was a Word and a Deed; and they abode in the Land that the far-off travellers call Naught."
- LXV 5:59
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Re: How long does it take?

Postby gerry456 » Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:20 am

No, my point is that this sort of yoga brings pain for good but I'm sure that rugby players suffer with aches and pains that come and go due to their sport but they roll with it. Its an athlete's life.
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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Re: How long does it take?

Postby seekinghga » Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:19 am

gerry456 wrote:No, my point is that this sort of yoga brings pain for good but I'm sure that rugby players suffer with aches and pains that come and go due to their sport but they roll with it. Its an athlete's life.

There's a jolly sport! Perfect attitude. :) Asana practice for the sake of asana practice. Athlete's life indeed. And if it doesn't fill a compartment of pride it will really lay down the light.
"And they that read the book and debated thereon passed into the desolate land of Barren Words. And they that sealed up the book into their blood were the chosen of Adonai, and the Thought of Adonai was a Word and a Deed; and they abode in the Land that the far-off travellers call Naught."
- LXV 5:59
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Re: How long does it take?

Postby gerry456 » Sat Oct 24, 2015 5:47 am

Well, the aim is to reach the point of relief from pain, as Crowley said. See OP.
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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