Problems with asana

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Problems with asana

Postby vondour » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:18 pm

I have two questions/problems regarding asana.

I use the dragon posture. After I get past the 15-20 minute mark I usually start experiencing numbness in my feet. I wasn't too concerned about this until I read this footnote in Book Four: "Also beware of constricted circulation, which produces numbness more than it does pain. " Does anyone else experience this issue, and what can be done to alleviate it? I'd rather not have to change asanas, as the dragon posture seems to produce the best results for me. The thunderbolt is nearly impossible for me to do, I can't keep my balance well in the ibis, and the god is somewhat too simple for me and the fact that it requires a chair has the potential to be an inconvenience if a chair is not available.

Also, when I am practicing Dharana I find that it is quite difficult for me to stay focused on the tatwa. One of the biggest issues I have is that it tends to start shifting shape or changing size. I've tried forcing it back to the intended shape and size, but that only seems to make it worse. I've also tried just letting it shift around but then that tends to cause my mind to start wandering. I also tend to have a lot of wandering thoughts, although I suppose this is getting a slight bit better as time goes on. Interestingly, the times when my thoughts start wandering are the times when I most seem to lose awareness of my body.

Thanks.
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:32 pm

The numbness is from sitting on your feet. You can (a) become so lightweight that your sitting on your feet doesn't cut off your circulation or (b) stop sitting on your feet.

Since you don't want to switch asanas...

If you like the pose, you could use a seiza stool. This is what I do, since I generally like the posture, and it prevents you from sitting on your feet and making them numb. If you're out and about without a stool, you could use the god pose. Usually there's something a person can sit on - a bench, a chair, a log.

For dharana, imagining and focusing on a tatwa is really two items. You could start with the "focusing" half of it, and use a phsyical tatwa, instead of an imagined one.
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby Archaeus » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:41 pm

Aha!

I did not know you could get these, what a great idea!

I think I might have to break the bank and buy one.

On the other hand, I've been practising the dragon for a while now (a year or so at least) and have a few pointers:
1: lean ever so slightly forwards so that your knees and ankles form a sort of triangle with your trunk poised over the centre of gravity, this way you are evenly distributed and the pressure spots are more evenly spread.
2: place your heels slightly to the outside of your buttocks so they don't get crushed underneath your whole weight.
3: remain "poised" (which is what the asana is about anyway) so that you don't just slump down onto your poor heels.
4: get a soft mat or a flat cushion to practice on, don't waste money on a yoga mat, a camping bedroll does the job fine.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Problems with asana

Postby vondour » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:40 pm

Thanks, both of you.

Would using a seiza stool kind of defeat the purpose of the asana though? Isn't part of it working past the physical discomfort? I can handle the feeling of numbness, that's no problem, I'm just concerned due to that footnote in Book Four if it could be causing some sort of nerve or blood vessel damage.

I will try that with a physical tatwa. Is just drawing one on paper sufficient?

I'm sure everyone will experience some misbehavior of the tatwa, but to what extent is this typical? Just starting out, how long can most people keep focused? Also, is it a good idea to always use the same tatwa or to use a different one each time?

Solitarius, do you also experience numbness when doing the dragon? If so, to what extent and after how long? Perhaps I am not "poised" enough; next time I will try adjusting my weight forward as you said.
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:13 pm

vondour wrote:Would using a seiza stool kind of defeat the purpose of the asana though?

The biggest difference I can see is that one method has forced you to spend time on a forum asking for advice for numbness...

Isn't part of it working past the physical discomfort?

Jim once said something that I found very profound (and, hence, hilarious) about how nice it would be to know if each test we encounter is one of discernment or persistence. If you started jogging, you'd know to expect some aches and pains that you can use to psych yourself out and quit, but you'd also know that there might be some pains that are signs of overdoing it, or doing something wrong. Use your instinct, go slow, and listen to your body.

I will try that with a physical tatwa. Is just drawing one on paper sufficient?

Yep.

I'm sure everyone will experience some misbehavior of the tatwa, but to what extent is this typical? Just starting out, how long can most people keep focused? Also, is it a good idea to always use the same tatwa or to use a different one each time?

Very typical. Less than a second, often. If you're goal is concentration, what you choose to focus on only matters inasmuch as it has a bearing on that goal.

EDIT: here is an interesting post you might find handy
http://www.heruraha.net/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4367#p45107
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby anistara » Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:55 pm

i do yoga otherwise, with that in mind... do you work out or are you flow fit? circulation is essential for proper yoga. just doing a series of sun salutations (surya namaskar) can make asana much more simple/easy since this particular exercise moves through the body and gets the circulation flow going. it's a common practice these days, it seems. it's so resh... doing flex and point and ankle circles, standing on the tip toes and reaching high helps loads...
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby Archaeus » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:01 pm

I also do Tai chi chuan (although I have yo admit I havent practiced properly for a little while) I do find that taking a walk for a while before practice helps a lot.
I looked through my diaries for the last year or so and noticed that although I havent lengthened the average time that I sit for by more than five or ten minutes, the numbness now comes later than it did, where five minutes used to be uncomfortable its now more like fifteen minutes before I get that problem, so it does improve over time.
On the other hand, I am quite small, and only weight about ten stone, a heavier person might have more trouble.

I found a nice seiza stool on Amazon which I bought yesterday, I'm going to give it a whirl although part of me is dubious about becoming reliant on it, although to my mind at least it's better than becoming reliant on a stick to walk when I'm older because my legs and knees are jiggered :(

I wonder if any of the long-time practitioners out there could shed some light on the old circulation problem? Jim? anybody?
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby Archaeus » Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:15 am

there are a couple of ways you can visualise that to aid in balancing yourself:
1. Imagine that your spine is a stack of coins. or
2. mentally pull yourself up by the crown of your head, as if by a winch.

My seiza bench arrived in the post today, I have not yet used it for more than about five minutes, but the back and pelvis are certainly straighter with it, on the other hand, it does sort of feel like cheating, although I can see no real reason for this idea as the God-form uses a chair, I think it must be because I don't like changing around in my practice.
I'll experiment with it in the next few days and give you a verdict.
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby Archaeus » Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:04 am

Well so far I have done two half hour sessions using the seiza stool, and both times I have finished and stood straight up and gone about my business with not a twinge and only the slightest tingle and my body became active after the period of inactivity.
Plus its great for pranayama.

I am not however, entirely sure that it's a substitute for mastering the asanas as written in the A.'.A.'. literature, although there is evidence to suggest that Crowley's ideas about yoga were more about endurance training than traditional meditation training.

which leads to another question: what is peoples general opinion about these asanas, who has managed to hold the Dragon posture, for example, for the whole hour required by the A.'.A.'. syllabus? And how long did it take for you to regain the feeling in your legs afterwards?
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby Archaeus » Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:26 am

Dar wrote:
Solitarius wrote:who has managed to hold the Dragon posture, for example, for the whole hour required by the A.'.A.'. syllabus? And how long did it take for you to regain the feeling in your legs afterwards?


Are you serious?

You need to sit in this absolute 'piece of (****)' anyway posture for an hour to get a grade?

Lol. Btw - what grade would I have failed by telling the examiners to go stuff themselves? :lol:


Quoted from Liber E:
When you have progressed up to the point that a saucer filled to the brim with water and poised upon the head does not spill one drop during a whole hour, and when you can no longer perceive the slightest tremor in any muscle; when, in short, you are perfectly steady and easy, you will be admitted for examination; and, should you pass, you will be instructed in more complex and difficult practices.


This, so far as I am aware, is the Asana test required to pass from Zelator to Practicus. (although not necessarily the dragon posture) Having found that in the dragon Posture as per liber E for about half an hour you tend to lose sensation in the legs, and having found various sources (medical) stating that this can be pretty dangerous (blood clots, nerve damage, loss of circulation, Osgood–Schlatter disease) it seems nonsensical to me to carry on in the proscribed manner, which is why I am experimenting with the seiza bench, and so far the results have been great, no pain or constriction at all.

which is why I was wondering how many AA members on this forum had actually perfected this task, and how they did it? did they go "by the book" and put up with the discomfort, or did they use the (in my opinion) common sense approach and find a better posture?
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby danica » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:33 am

I use ardha padmasana (half lotus position). it's a good posture for longer peridos of sitting - at least for me; there is some numbness, but it vanishes soon after I get out from the asana.
I wasn't able to sit properly in this position at first, but I adopted it gradually - I prolonged periods of sitting every couple of days, and legs became more flexible in time.

some preliminary hatha yoga is very helpful. I've noticed that even simple Surya Namaskara (couple of cycles, depending on the speed of performing it) greatly enhances my ability to sit in asana.
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby anistara » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:52 am

i agree hugely danica. it's a magical system apart from another anyway.
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby tannhauser » Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:06 pm

To the original poster:

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
I am writing this on the assumption that it is a serious question you pose. Generally people on forums post for chitchat or mind games but there might be an exception.
Suggestions that you should ‘take a break’ or worry about this and the other side-effect are merely evidence that the posters have not mastered asana I’m afraid. If you join a ‘yoga-group’ – or a so-called thelemic group that wants to swell its members, you will be told easy stuff rather than to actually do it. But if you don’t do it, you don’t get the results.
Firstly though, the will. If you take an Oath and decide to do a practice as part of your task, you should be so fired up that you will do anything just to ensure you complete that task. Sitting motionless for an hour without fail every day for a year is not exactly a marine training course. But you have to want to do it! And if you fail, you start again from the point where you failed and keep going till you succeed.
This is one of the advantages from taking your oath and task seriously. But if you have not been admitted under the guidance of a genuine teacher, then try to imagine that you have. There is little point in whining: the instructions are pretty clear (Liber E and Book 4 Part I). It doesn’t say use a book. It doesn’t say give up after twenty minutes. And chatting about it to anyone else is likely to just put you off.
But there is no need to make things harder for yourself than you need to. Start with an asana that is comfortable, perhaps one you have used in meditation. Can you sit still for an hour? If you experience sensations of numbness, treat it as you would in pratyahara. Simply observe it. If you notice tiredness or stiffness in a part of the body, simply keep the conscious mind on that part of the body and make a mental note, “tired” or “stiff” and then carry on with the pratyahara contemplation.
There are three stages in asana as with many practices. First, you feel quite nice and comfortable. Secondly you start to feel tired or fidgety or numbness or whatever. The third stage goes beyond these and levels out so you have little awareness of your body.
Some numbness is not harmful at all. If one sits in meditation for a few hours, one will probably find it quite often that it’s necessary to straighten the legs slowly till the circulation returns. Age, diet and general health will make a difference. If you are seriously worried about your health, attend to any underlying problems and then take a bit more exercise. Improving your circulation is fine, but a little numbness during asana is not to be used as an excuse to stop. As your mind becomes less distracted with bodily movement, it becomes more acute. You start noticing things and maybe have heightened sensation. You think your legs hurt but they don’t. The imaginary pain goes away when you carry on.
There are exceptions to choosing a ‘comfy’ posture to start. For instance, you may wish to assume a posture suited to a particular god-form. But attain some mastery of asana first. Start with a comfortable position to get used to the idea, then choose one from Liber E that you feel most inclined towards. Asana and the assumption of god-forms are separate, at least to start with. Asana is also a preliminary for dharana, since the bodily distractions are the first that have to be dealt with. Take one thing at a time and get it right. Then move on. Remember, an hour means an hour, and unless you do it by the book continuously for a year, it really doesn’t count. The reasons are not really worth worrying about until you have succeeded. When you have, you’ll know.
This is my experience. But it is all in the prescribed books. You don’t have to take my word for it. If someone tells you to do things that are counter to the official instructions, they’re simply wrong. At least as far as the thelemic system is concerned!
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby ridethetiger » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:51 pm

Without disagreeing with anything you've said, which is after all what A.C. counsels again and again, I will add that the particular virtue that the Probationer and Neophyte "brings" to the Order is Trust. He or she thus must trust the Order (and his Superior) wheresoever it might lead—“Theirs not to wonder why / Theirs to do or die: / Into the Valley of Death …”

Again, this does not invalidate A.C.’s explicit warning in, e.g., Magick without Tears “against reliance upon ‘authority’, even that of the Order itself”. Aristotle says, that “whoever wants to learn must believe” -- but add Pieper's caveat that "that is true only for the first step of learning. At the beginning of the learning process one finds not critical proof, but rather an act of trust.”
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:13 pm

The points about needed to have trust are missing the point. If your teacher is telling you to do asana without any regard to numbness or muscle spasms, or the like, and saying that it's about blindly trusting that results are to be had just from pushing through, then you've got a bad teacher.

The point is about being able to sit perfectly still for an hour, so then you can work on stilling your mind. The things to work through are minor cramp, fatigue, itching, and the like. That's what Liber IV says to work through. Liber IV doesn't say anything about pushing through numbness.

Most yoga asana guides say to stop when you get numb. Your circulation is cut off, and your body will need time to adjust to the asana. You could pick a new asana, or modify the asana, or be patient with the current asana and consider employing some of the other techniques for improving circulation etc.
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby Archaeus » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:08 pm

I quote here form liber E

9. When you have progressed up to the point that a saucer
filled to the brim with water and poised upon the head does not
spill one drop during a whole hour, and when you can no longer
perceive the slightest tremor in any muscle; when, in short, you
are perfectly steady and easy, you will be admitted for
examination; and, should you pass, you will be instructed in
more complex and difficult practices.

It would be daft to try to sit in your asana for an hour from the start of your probation to its conclusion; that would be like trying to begin pushing weights by using the maximum load from day one, your enthusiasm would soon burn out once you realised the impossibility of the act.

I have not "mastered" asana, and when i first began practicing meditation five or six years ago i could barely sit still for ten minutes at a time, I was a lazy practitioner, (I still am sometimes) but now, on a good day i will sit for half an hour, I find it better to get your body accustomed to longer periods as time goes on, rather than force it on blindly, because I guarantee you that if you sit in the dragon for half an hour your legs will go to sleep, I have yet to push past 35 minutes, but i can tell you that at the moment that involves several minutes of acute agony upon quitting the asana.

So, from my own experience, to begin, set a time; say, fifteen minutes, and stick to it until it becomes easy for you, and then increase by another five minutes, and so on.

remember that you do not need to pass that particular examination until you are 2=9, so no need to rush through and perfect it at the level of 0=0, although you should have a fairly good grounding in the practice, in my own opinion.
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby ridethetiger » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:17 pm

"The points about needed to have trust are missing the point." Shall I trust you on that?

My point is that trusting the Order/Superior/teachings is essential at a basic level of studentship. A.C. goes on and on in Eight Lectures on Yoga about finding out for yourself what works and what doesn't. But he does establish some baseline structure that we have to trust -- at least long enough to be able to work with it. This is basic to working within any teaching system -- as you yourself exemplify by appealing to Liber IV.

Edit: Nothing above should be construed as my recommending austerity for its own sake. The requirements for asana are clear: “Any posture which is steady and easy is an Asana; there is no other rule.” A.C. adds that one wherein the head, neck, and spine are vertical are to be preferred, for the purpose of pranayama. But he is very clear in cautioning that the posture once having been chosen should not be exchanged for another.

As to numbness, from Book 4: "The student must not mind if the process of quitting the asana involves several minutes of the acutest agony." These difficulties are as shadows, "they pass & are done; but there is that which remains."
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:10 pm

"shall I trust you on that?"

I would suggest weighing evidence from a variety of sources, and in the end not forgetting to use your own common sense or to take a look at your topic from a couple angles. If you like.
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby Archaeus » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:16 pm

I don't think that blind trust would get you anywhere, and as a Thelemite it should be right off your chart so to speak.

Sure, trust one's superiors if you work within a given system, but just because you trust them it doesn't mean you just follow blindly, if your neophyte said something stupid like "Thou shalt sit in asana for twelve hours, and then go jump off that cliff!" you would have every right to question that. it's not as though there was never any such thing as a crappy Neophyte.

The thing is, common sense; like in any other form of excercise, gradually increase your own abilities, rather than just go for the big one straight up; I can say from experience that gradual increases in the average time spent in meditation is a safe and secure, if a little slow, way to proceed; but then, what's the hurry?

Liber E is helpful, and it serves as a benchmark for ones practice, within the AA system, whether your are actually in the AA or are going through the grades alone, but as far as manuals on Yoga are concerned liber E is VERY basic, and anyone would do well to research outside the official AA curriculum, and maybe even seek out an experienced yoga practitioner for help.
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby Vlad » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:53 am

Solitarius wrote:Sure, trust one's superiors if you work within a given system, but just because you trust them it doesn't mean you just follow blindly, if your neophyte said something stupid like "Thou shalt sit in asana for twelve hours, and then go jump off that cliff!" you would have every right to question that.


What a pu--y :D

Okay, I'll give a little bit back to the thread. "Some numbness is not harmful at all.". This is like saying to an alcoholic, some alcohol is not harmful at all. Just because it's some doesn't mean that it's not harmful. Some fire in the kitchen is not harmful at all. Our physical bodies are alot more intelligent than what our culture thinks. It's like a being on its own. Either way, it's just a distraction to try to outlive one's body with these things.
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby Archaeus » Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:57 am

Vlad wrote:
Solitarius wrote:Sure, trust one's superiors if you work within a given system, but just because you trust them it doesn't mean you just follow blindly, if your neophyte said something stupid like "Thou shalt sit in asana for twelve hours, and then go jump off that cliff!" you would have every right to question that.


What a pu--y :D

Okay, I'll give a little bit back to the thread. "Some numbness is not harmful at all.". This is like saying to an alcoholic, some alcohol is not harmful at all. Just because it's some doesn't mean that it's not harmful. Some fire in the kitchen is not harmful at all. Our physical bodies are alot more intelligent than what our culture thinks. It's like a being on its own. Either way, it's just a distraction to try to outlive one's body with these things.


I understand your point of view but I don't think that it's quite right.

For example, if I am a non-alcoholic, then "some" alcohol does no harm at all.

If I have high colesterol, or low blood pressure, or bad circulation, or obesity, then "some" numbness is a bad thing.

Simple answer, find an asana that does not interfere too much with your circulation; while it is true that with time one can sit in say, the Dragon, for quite some time with no ill effects; if one had a health issue like those I mentioned, then you'd be a fool to try to sit in that posture for long.

I would say that would be the only excuse for changing your asana for another one; if you had some sort of problem that caused undue stress on the circulatory system, then maybe you should take up some sort of exercise to balance out the static poses of asana, just going for regular walks would do it, or maybe tai chi.

Remember that the aim of asana is to control the body, so that it no longer impinges on the mind, if you are worrying about your health whilst in the asana then you are not getting the desired result; balance is needed here, don't torture your body into submission, but lead it with great attention and sensitivity to the point where it begins to be uncomfortable, keep it there for a while, and then let it relax, in this way it will gradually become used to the posture, and the duration for which it can remain there will slowly increase.

After all, the body is the only tool you have, train it, but don't break it in the process.
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby Vlad » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:24 am

Solitarius wrote:I understand your point of view but I don't think that it's quite right.

For example, if I am a non-alcoholic, then "some" alcohol does no harm at all.

If I have high colesterol, or low blood pressure, or bad circulation, or obesity, then "some" numbness is a bad thing.


You're entitled to think that some numbness in the way mr. tannhauser spoke isn't a bad thing.

ps.

"don't torture your body into submission, but lead it with great attention and sensitivity to the point where it begins to be uncomfortable, keep it there for a while, and then let it relax"

This is what I'm getting at.

pps.

Just noticed this in Liber ABA:

"Also beware of constricted circulation, which produces numbness more than it does pain."

It's dumb for anyone to harm themselves in this kind of silly way. Btw, I like Dragon Asana, I've used it before knowing the word Asana, or that it's used by others in that way.
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby Lavir » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:19 pm

Solitarius wrote:It would be daft to try to sit in your asana for an hour from the start of your probation to its conclusion; that would be like trying to begin pushing weights by using the maximum load from day one, your enthusiasm would soon burn out once you realised the impossibility of the act.


But at the same time if you never dare to, never try to go "too much" you don't know what "too much" is. IME trying to discerning intellectually how much is "too much" or "appropriate" makes the practice much less useful and much much slower.

If you find a good teacher in martial arts and you practice cardio with him, for example he doesn't let you behave on what you think it's "fine" for you. He push farther and farther and either makes you think you will die (and you don't), especially at beginning. Naturally doing this by yourself it's more difficult, but with a little of will it is possible (and I think it's either one of the points).

Solitarius wrote:I have not "mastered" asana, and when i first began practicing meditation five or six years ago i could barely sit still for ten minutes at a time, I was a lazy practitioner, (I still am sometimes) but now, on a good day i will sit for half an hour, I find it better to get your body accustomed to longer periods as time goes on, rather than force it on blindly, because I guarantee you that if you sit in the dragon for half an hour your legs will go to sleep, I have yet to push past 35 minutes, but i can tell you that at the moment that involves several minutes of acute agony upon quitting the asana.


Here, however, there's a discern to be made. Also in the God position your body gets "numb". It depends what numbness you talk about. If it is numbness caused by lack of circulation, then it's bad (really bad), if it is numbness caused by the body going to sleep (as it does) then it is what it will do (keeping the body still will force the brain to discard the input from it). But the comment in Liber IV is right, because if numbness is not caused by circulation you will have pain along it (either coming in waves). IMO you are relaxing your physical too much on your heels and for what I can discern in the technique (and the way I do it), the body should not be "resting" or "totally relaxing" (Liber IV part I explains it better than I can do).

For example, also if you use the God position you can either feel no pain at all if your arms relax totally and you have them resting on your thigs. So, to assure you don't do it, it's better to keep the hands on the knees, so that you have to keep that position with tension.

There are two ways, in fact, to receive no more impressions from the body. The first is to relax it fully, in steps (for example laying in a bed, progressing from the feet to the head and completely relaxing the parts of the body in full), the second to keep it still, with tension. In the first case there's no pain, but (for what I could see) you will have to do the process anew all the time, in the second the body comes to a point where when the position is took then it "shuts off" immediately, but it is a literal "fight" to conquer.
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby Archaeus » Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:50 am

Its never a good idea to just plonk yourself down on your ankles, I agree that this would lead to the wrong kind of constriction, I find it better to sort of balance yourself in between your ankles and your knees, you get more tension that way, and you need it to stay upright for any length of time.

I have found that if I relax too much in asana I simply fall asleep and topple over, so tension and the discomfort caused by that help to keep me awake, it is for this reason that I do not use the corpse, I sleep in that posture and my body associates it with sleep, I need the tension of an upright asana to stay awake, and I do not use the God posture because I travel a lot and don't always have a chair handy, but I have yet to go someplace that doesn't have a floor. :)

As for numbness, I don't think I've ever had total loss of sensation, there is always some discomfort, but to my mind its just your body letting you know that its still there; although very recently I've gotten to the point where I am sort of detached from it for short periods during the latter part of the practice, the discomfort is still there, but as if it were in the next room as it were, and not particularly irritating.

I went through a period of being really worried about my circulation, more as a hypochondriac than for any other reason, but that was just my mind trying to find excuses not to practice, once I stopped doing that and simply looked at what I was doing intelligently I was able to discern the difference between a little numbness (which I still maintain that you will get if you assume ANY posture for any length of time) and potentially dangerous levels of circulation loss.

A.C. himself says in Yoga for Yahoos that the student must not mind if quitting the asana involves several minutes of acute agony.

That said I don't find it necessary to sit for prolonged periods every single day, as long as I do some asana each day, for at least ten or fifteen minutes, but I try to push it to the limit at least once or twice a week; (I have now gone past the 35 minute mark by the way).

One other thing I find helps immensely is to go out and walk a mile or two before practice.
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Re: Problems with asana

Postby Lavir » Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:03 am

Solitarius wrote:As for numbness, I don't think I've ever had total loss of sensation, there is always some discomfort, but to my mind its just your body letting you know that its still there; although very recently I've gotten to the point where I am sort of detached from it for short periods during the latter part of the practice, the discomfort is still there, but as if it were in the next room as it were, and not particularly irritating.


IME the time it takes for your body to become anesthetized becomes less and less as time goes on. I've come to the point that I lose almost all sensation of the body after 4-5 minutes (the moment the pain starts) and it seems like I'm "floating".

When I started I could not reach that point at all, then it started happening at the end of the practice, then it took less and less time and became more tied to the pain starting, till reaching the point I'm now that they come togheter and last for the whole practice (the pain comes in waves - sometimes it stops, then resume, sometimes it is always present but in lower/stronger waves - and sometimes a wave can be almost unbearable; I must add that the pain, at last for me, it is not always pain in the full literal sense, it can be a sort of "electric/emotional" discomfort as inside your bones - I have not proper words to describe it - but this type of pain it's MUCH more difficult to endure).

I think that when you conquer the Asana the pain stops altogheter and the anesthesia comes somewhat immediately (or so what Crowley wrote seems to indicate that happening). So I'm doubling my effort on it (I do keep the Asana four times a day for an hour - I have not to work in this period so I can work at it much more - and it is a literal fight with myself to keep it that much, sometimes at 50 or so minutes it is like all the universe tells you "it's enough", but I grind my teeths till the end).
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