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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What is the greatest Yoga Posture?

As a Yogi and a Yoga instructor, I have been exposed to many expressions of what Yoga is.

The most poignant definition in recent years was from an interview by Yoga Journal with J. Donald Walters, (Swami Yogananda Kriyananda). Yoga Journal asked, "What do you believe is the most important Yoga posture?"

Kriananda replied instantly, "Well of course, the one that allows you to stand on your own two feet."

I have put some thought into that over time and as from any Sage, a single sentence has volumes of meaning behind it. It's our job sometimes to mine it out. Standing on our own two feet in terms of asana or physical yoga practice then of course it means the basic form of Tadasana or tall mountain. The Ananda Yoga affirmation is, "I stand ready to obey thy least command."

"Thy least command" to me has the spiritual meaning of "To thine own self be true". That my higher power wishes me to make the choices for myself that will best benefit the universe. To do what I need to get done to make my life a life of service. Standing firmly on my own two feet is more than a metaphor saying "I can do it myself." It's a metaphysical translation to I can be steady and strong, I am a store of boundless energy and I stand tall.

Based on Kriyananda's simple comment do you think that the physical expression of yoga as simply exercise? You don't have to ever step foot in an Ashram to know that as you practice the physical expression of yoga you may learn that you are beginning to experience also the joy of union of body, mind, and spirit.

If we learn to assimilate the simple observations of our great Saints and Sages, or even recognize a good human learning mantra that leads you into everyday better joy and happiness then live it and share with others what you have found.

I'll end with this, if you have been a regular student in Brian's class you have been well drilled into the importance of Tadasana. Please believe that I practice it always by actually, and spiritually standing FIRMLY on my own two feet... no one can push me down!

Let me hear what you think.

Walk in the light!