Surya Namaskar, Salute to the Sun or Sun Salutation, is a practice in modern yoga incorporating a sequence of some twelve gracefully linked asanas. The asana sequence is first recorded in the early 20th century; the basic sequence involved moving from a standing position into Downward and Upward Dog poses and back to the standing position, but many variations are possible. The name Surya Namaskar is from the Sanskrit सूर्य Sūrya, "Sun" and नमस्कार Namaskār, "Greeting" or "Salute"; the name identifies the sun as the source of all life. The asana sequence is first recorded in the early 20th century. Patinidhi Pant, the Rajah of Aundh and named the practice, may well have invented it, despite his claim that it was a commonplace Marathi tradition. Norman Sjoman notes that Krishnamacharya seems to have used the traditional Indian wrestlers' exercises called dands, described in the 1896 Vyayama Dipika, as the basis for the sequence and for his yoga vinyasas. Different dands resemble the Surya Namaskar asanas Tadasana, Caturanga Dandasana, Bhujangasana.
Krishnamacharya was aware of Surya Namaskar, as regular classes, not considered to be yoga, were held in the hall adjacent to his Yogasala in the Rajah of Mysore's palace. His students K. Pattabhi Jois, who created modern day Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, B. K. S. Iyengar, who created Iyengar Yoga, both learnt Surya Namaskar and flowing vinyasa movements between asanas from Krishnamacharya and used them in their styles of yoga. Ancient but simpler sun salutations such as Aditya Hridayam, described in the "Yuddha Kaanda" Canto 107 of the Ramayana, are not related to the modern sequence. Surya Namaskar is a sequence of around twelve asanas connected by jumping or stretching movements, varying somewhat between schools. In Iyengar Yoga, the basic sequence is Tadasana, Urdhva Hastasana, Uttanasana with head up, Adho Mukha Svanasana, Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, Caturanga Dandasana, reversing the sequence to return to Tadasana. In Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, the type 1 sequence is Tadasana, Urdhva Hastasana, Anjaneyasana, Chaturanga Dandasana, Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana, Virabhadrasana I.
A typical Surya Namaskar cycle is: Many variations are possible. For example, In Iyengar Yoga the sequence may run Tadasana, Urdhva Hastasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana, Lolasana and reversing the sequence from Adho Mukha Svanasana to return to Tadasana. Other asanas that may be inserted into the sequence include Navasana, Paschimottanasana and its variations, Marichyasana I. Alter, Joseph S.. Gandhi's Body: Sex and the Politics of Nationalism. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 978-0-812-23556-2. Mehta, Silva. Yoga: The Iyengar Way. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 978-0863184208. Mujumdar, Dattatraya Chintaman. Encyclopedia of Indian Physical Culture: A Comprehensive Survey of the Physical Education in India, Profusely Illustrating Various Activities of Physical Culture, Exercises, Etc. as Handed Over to Us from Our Fore-fathers and Practised in India. Good Companions. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list Singleton, Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice, Oxford University Press Ramaswami, Srivatsa.
The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-1-56924-402-9. Singleton, Mark. Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice. Oxford University Press. Pp. 180–181, 205–206. ISBN 978-0-19-974598-2. Sjoman, Norman E.. The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace. Abhinav Publications. ISBN 81-7017-389-2; the Complete Guide for Surya Namaskar Dep't of Posts, Gov't of India releases stamps on Surya Namaskara on International Yoga Day 2016. Sun Salutation Names and Steps Sun Salutation Complete guide With Mantras "The Hindi Webaai"
The Sritattvanidhi is a treatise written in the 19th century in Karnataka on the iconography and iconometry of divine figures in South India. One of its sections, includes illustrations of 122 hatha yoga postures; the Sritattvanidhi is attributed to the Maharaja of Mysore, Krishnaraja Wodeyar III. The Maharaja was himself a scholar and writer. There are around 50 works ascribed to him; the first page of the Sritattvanidhi attributes authorship of the work to the Maharaja himself: May the work Sri Tattvanidi, illustrated and contains secrets of mantras and, authored by King Sri Krishna Raja Kamteerava, be written without any obstacle. Beginning of Shaktinidhi. Martin-Dubost's review of the history of this work says that the Maharaja funded an effort to put together in one work all available information concerning the iconography and iconometry of divine figures in South India, he asked that a vast treatise be written, which he had illustrated by miniaturists from his palace. The resulting illuminated manuscript, which he entitled the Sritattvanidhi, brings together several forms of Shiva, Skanda, different goddesses, the nine planets, the eight protectors of the cardinal points.
The work is in nine parts, each called a nidhi. The nine sections are: Shakti nidhi Vishnu nidhi Shiva nidhi Brahma nidhi Graha nidhi Vaishnava nidhi Shaiva nidhi Agama nidhi Kautuka nidhi An original copy of this colossal work is available in the Oriental Research Institute, University of Mysore, Mysore. Another copy is in the possession of the present scion of the Royal Family of Mysore, Sri Srikanta Datta Narsimharaja Wadiyar. An unedited version of this work with only text in devanagari script was published about a century ago by Khemraj Krishna das of Sri Venkateshvar Steam Press, Bombay. In recent times the Oriental Research Institute has published three volumes (Saktinidhi and Sivanidhi. Prof. S. K. Ramachandra Rao, has edited a book titled "Sri-Tattva-Nidhi", it was published by Kannada University, Hampi in 1993. However, in reality it was on Ragamala Paintings as depicted in "Svarachudamani" authored by the Mummadi Krishna Raja Wodeyar. Similar set of Ragamala Paintings are found in Sri Tattva-Nidhi.
Another important work in this genre is by a Sanskrit scholar and hatha yoga student named Norman Sjoman. His 1996 book The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace presents the first English translation of a part of kautuka nidhi, the Sritattvanidhi, which includes instructions for and illustrations of 122 postures, illustrated by stylized drawings of a yogi or yogini in a topknot and loincloth; some of these poses—which include handstands, foot-behind-the-head poses, Lotus variations, rope exercises—are familiar to modern practitioners. But they are far more elaborate than anything depicted in other pre-twentieth-century texts, it describes the origins of some asanas from a gymnastics exercise manual of the late 19th century, the Vyayama Dipika. In his 1996 book, Sjoman asserts that the influential yoga teacher Krishnamacharya, who did much to create modern yoga, was influenced by the Sritattvanidhi, which includes 122 asanas, some based on gymnastics. Wodeyar Hindu iconography Illuminated manuscript Chinmayananda, Swami.
Glory of Ganesha. Bombay: Central Chinmaya Mission Trust. Annals of the Mysore Royal Family, Part II. Mysore: Government Branch Press. 1922. Gopal, R.. MummaDi kRuShNarAja oDeyaru - oMdu cAriTrika adhyana. Karnataka: Directorate of Archeology and Museums. Heras, H.. The Problem of Ganapati. Delhi: Indological Book House. Krishan, Yuvraj. Gaņeśa: Unravelling An Enigma. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. ISBN 81-208-1413-4. Martin-Dubost, Paul. Gaņeśa: The Enchanter of the Three Worlds. Mumbai: Project for Indian Cultural Studies. ISBN 81-900184-3-4. Sjoman, Norman E.. The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace. Abhinav Publications. ISBN 81-7017-389-2. Contains 20 color plate reproductions of 112 asanas reproduced from the Sri Tattvanidhi. Ramachandra Rao, S. K.. The Compendium on Gaņeśa. Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications. ISBN 81-7030-828-3. Contains color plate reproductions of the 32 Ganapati forms reproduced from the Sri Tattvanidhi. Thapan, Anita Raina. Understanding Gaņapati: Insights into the Dynamics of a Cult.
New Delhi: Manohar Publishers. ISBN 81-7304-195-4. Wodeyar, Mummadi Krsihnaraja. Sritattvanidhi. Oriental Research Institute, University of Mysore
Adho mukha svanasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana Sanskrit: अधोमुखश्वानासन. The name comes from the Sanskrit words adhas meaning'down', mukha meaning'face', śvāna meaning'dog', āsana meaning'posture' or'seat'; the posture is similar to Gajāsana in the 18th century Hațhābhyāsapaddhati. Adho Mukha Svanasana is not described in the medieval hatha yoga texts, but it, together with a 5-count format and a method of jumps between poses resembling Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga's system, was described in Niels Bukh's early 20th century Danish text Primitive Gymnastics, which in turn was derived from a 19th century Scandinavian tradition of gymnastics. Indian gymnastics, had a system of postures, called "dands", linked by jumps, one of the dands is close to Adho Mukha hvanasana; the dand exercises were not considered to be yoga in the 1930s. Swami Kuvalayananda incorporated the pose into his system of exercises in the early 1930s, from where it was taken up by his pupil the influential yoga teacher Tirumalai Krishnamacharya; the pose has the head down touching the floor, the weight of the body on the palms and the feet.
The arms are stretched straight forward. The pose is approached differently in different schools of yoga. In Iyengar Yoga, the pose can be entered from a prone position, with the hands beside the chest, setting the distance between hands and feet. In schools such as Sivananda Yoga, the pose is practised as part of Surya Namaskar, the Salute to the Sun, for example following Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana by exhaling, curling the toes under, raising the hips. In the Bihar School of Yoga, the pose is named Parvatasana, Mountain Pose, the hands and feet somewhat closer to each other so that the angle at the hips is sharper. Sūrya Namaskār List of asanas Fördelarna med Adho Mukha Svanasana Iyengar, B. K. S.. Light on Yoga: Yoga Dipika. Thorsons. ISBN 978-1855381667. Lidell, Lucy; the Book of Yoga: the complete step-by-step guide. Ebury. ISBN 978-0-85223-297-2. OCLC 12457963. Mallinson, James. Roots of Yoga. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-241-25304-5. OCLC 928480104. Saraswati, Swami Satyananda. Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha.
Nesma Books India. ISBN 978-81-86336-14-4. Singleton, Mark. Yoga body: the origins of modern posture practice. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-539534-1. OCLC 318191988. Detailed Instruction Animated Instruction Alignment Tips
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Padmasana or Lotus Position is a cross-legged sitting asana originating in meditative practices of ancient India, in which each foot is placed on the opposite thigh. It is an ancient asana, predating hatha yoga, is used for meditation, in the Yoga, Hindu and Buddhist contemplative traditions; the asana is said to resemble a lotus, to encourage breathing properly through associated meditative practice, to foster physical stability. Shiva, the meditating ascetic God of Hinduism, Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, the Tirthankaras in Jainism have been depicted in the lotus position. Variations include Ardha Padmasana; the name of the pose is from the Sanskrit पद्मासन Padmāsana, "Lotus position". This is a term for actual thrones decorated with lotus foliage motifs, on which figures in art sit; the Hindu and Jain Goddess of Prosperity, Sri Lakshmi, sits atop a lotus flower. The pose is ancient, being one of the first asanas to be named, for example in the 8th century Patanjalayogashastravivarana.
A figure seated in lotus position on a lotus flower is shown on dinar coins of Chandragupta II, who reigned c. 380–c. 415 AD. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika states that the pose destroys all diseases, that a yogin in the pose who retains the air breathed in through the nadi channels attains liberation. In Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism, the lotus position is called the "vajra position". From sitting cross-legged on the floor in Sukhasana, one foot is placed on top of the opposite thigh with its sole facing upward and heel close to the abdomen; the other foot is placed on the opposite thigh as symmetrically as possible. The knees are in contact with the ground; the torso is placed in balance and alignment such that the spinal column supports it with minimal muscular effort. The torso is centered above the hips. To relax the head and neck, the jaw is allowed to fall towards the neck and the back of the neck to lengthen; the shoulders move backwards and the ribcage lifts. The tongue rests on the roof of the mouth.
The eyes may be closed, with awareness of the overall asana. Adjustments are made until alignment are experienced. Alignment that creates relaxation is indicative of a suitable position for the asana; the asana should be comfortable, without any sharp pains. In most cases, a cushion or mat is necessary. One sits on the forward edge of the cushion or mat in order to incline one's pelvis forward, making it possible to center the spine and provide the necessary support. Only the most flexible people can achieve this position without a support under their pelvis. In half lotus, अर्ध पद्मासन, one leg is bent and resting on the floor, the other leg is bent with the foot in lotus position, it is an easier meditation position than full lotus. In bound lotus, बद्ध पद्मासन, the practitioner sits in full lotus, each hand reaches around the back to grasp the opposite foot. For psychic union pose, यओगमुद्रासन, the practitioner bends forward in full lotus, bringing the forehead as close to the floor as possible.
The pose is both a mudra. In Jainism, a Tirthankara is represented either seated in Lotus posture or standing in the Kayotsarga posture. In Balinese Hinduism, a prominent feature of temples is a special form of padmasana shrine, with empty thrones mounted on a column, for deities Acintya. Other meditation asanas such as Siddhasana are indicated until sufficient flexibility has been developed to sit comfortably in the Lotus. Sciatica, sacral infections and weak or injured knees are contra-indications to attempting the asana; the lotus position may be impossible to achieve if the knees point in when the feet point straight ahead, as this is an indication that the joints on the opposite ends of the femurs and tibiae are rotated relative to each other. Asana Kukkutasana, cockerel pose, is a balancing asana with the hands threaded through the folded legs of Padmasana List of asanas Maravijaya Zazen Padmāsana with detail explanation How to sit in Ardha Padmasana
An asana is a body posture a sitting pose for meditation, in hatha yoga and modern yoga, adding reclining, inverted and balancing poses to the meditation seats. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali define "asana" as " is steady and comfortable". Patanjali mentions the ability to sit for extended periods as one of the eight limbs of his system. Asanas are called yoga poses or yoga postures in English; the 10th or 11th century Goraksha Sataka and the 15th century Hatha Yoga Pradipika identify 84 asanas. In the 20th century, Indian nationalism favoured physical culture in response to colonialism. In that environment, pioneers such as Yogendra and Krishnamacharya taught a new system of asanas. Among Krishnamacharya's pupils were influential Indian yoga teachers including Pattabhi Jois, founder of Ashtanga vinyasa yoga, B. K. S. Iyengar, founder of Iyengar yoga. Together they described hundreds more asanas, revived the popularity of yoga, brought it to the Western world. Many more asanas have been devised since Iyengar's 1966 Light on Yoga which described some 200 asanas.
Hundreds more were illustrated by Dharma Mittra. Asanas were claimed to provide both physical benefits in medieval hatha yoga texts. More studies have provided evidence that they improve flexibility and balance. Asana is derived from Sanskrit: आसन āsana "sitting down", a sitting posture, a seat; the word was first used in English to mean a yoga posture in 1834. The central figure in the Pashupati seal from the Indus Valley Civilization of c. 2500 BC was identified by Sir John Marshall in 1931 as a prototype of the god Shiva, recognised by being three-faced. If correct, this would be the oldest record of an asana. However, with no proof anywhere of an Indus Valley origin for Shiva, there is no evidence that a yoga pose is depicted in the seal. Yoga originated in India. In his Yoga Sutras, Patanjali describes asana practice as the third of the eight limbs of classical, or raja yoga; the eight limbs are, in order, the yamas, asanas, pratyahara, dharana and samadhi. Asanas, along with the breathing exercises of pranayama, are the physical movements of hatha yoga and of modern yoga.
Patanjali describes asanas as a "steady and comfortable posture", referring to the seated postures used for pranayama and for meditation, where meditation is the path to samadhi, transpersonal self-realization. The Yoga Sutras do not mention a single asana by name specifying the characteristics of a good asana: स्थिरसुखमासनम् ॥४६॥sthira sukham āsanamAsana means a steady and comfortable posture. Yoga Sutras 2:46 The Sutras are embedded in the Bhasya commentary, which scholars suggest may be by Patanjali; the 10th-11th century Vimanarcanakalpa is the first manuscript to describe a non-seated asana, in the form of Mayurasana — a balancing pose. Such poses appear, according to the scholar James Mallinson, to have been created outside Shaivism, the home of the Nath yoga tradition, to have been associated with asceticism; the Goraksha Sataka, or Goraksha Paddhathi, an early hatha yogic text, describes the origin of the 84 classic asanas said to have been revealed by the Hindu deity Lord Shiva. Observing that there are as many postures as there are beings and asserting that there are 84 lakh or 8,400,000 species in all, the text states that Lord Shiva fashioned an asana for each lakh, thus giving 84 in all, although it mentions and describes only two in detail: Siddhasana and Padmasana.
The number 84 is symbolic rather than literal, indicating sacredness. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika specifies that of these 84, the first four are important, namely the seated poses Siddhasana, Padmasana and Simhasana; the pillars of the 16th century Achyutaraya temple at Hampi are decorated with numerous relief statues of yogins in asanas including Siddhasana balanced on a stick, Yogapattasana, a hand-standing inverted pose with a stick, as well as several unidentified poses. By the 17th century, asanas became an important component of Hatha yoga practice, more non-seated poses appear; the Hatha Ratnavali by Srinivasa is one of the few texts to attempt an actual listing of 84 asanas, although 4 out of its list cannot be translated from the Sanskrit, at least 11 are mentioned without any description, their appearance known from other texts. The Gheranda Samhita again asserts that Shiva taught 84 lakh of asanas, out of which 84 are preeminent, "32 are useful in the world of mortals." The yoga teacher and scholar Mark Singleton notes from study of the primary texts that "asana was if the primary feature of the significant yoga traditions in India."
The scholar Norman Sjoman
Yoga for therapeutic purposes
Yoga for therapeutic purposes is the use of modern yoga, consisting of postures called asanas, as a gentle form of exercise and relaxation to maintain or improve health. This postural form of yoga is practised in classes, may involve meditation, breath work and music. At least three types of health claim have been made for yoga: magical claims for medieval haṭha yoga, including the power of healing. Modern yoga exercise classes used as therapy consist of asanas and relaxation in savasana; the physical asanas of modern yoga are related to medieval haṭha yoga tradition, but they were not practiced in India before the early 20th century. The number of schools and styles of yoga in the Western world has grown from the late 20th century. By 2012, there were at least 19 widespread styles from Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga to Viniyoga; these emphasise different aspects including aerobic exercise, precision in the asanas, spirituality in the haṭha yoga tradition. These aspects can be illustrated by schools with distinctive styles.
Thus, Bikram Yoga has an aerobic exercise style with rooms heated to 105 °F and a fixed pattern of 2 breathing exercises and 26 asanas. Iyengar Yoga emphasises correct alignment in the postures, working if necessary with props, ending with relaxation. Sivananda Yoga focuses more on spiritual practice, with 12 basic poses, chanting in Sanskrit, pranayama breathing exercises and relaxation in each class, importance is placed on vegetarian diet. At least three different types of claim of therapeutic benefit have been made for yoga from medieval times onwards, not counting the more general claims of good health made throughout this period: magical powers. Medieval authors asserted that haṭha yoga brought physical benefits, provided magical powers including of healing; the Hatha Yoga Pradipika states that asanas in general, described as the first auxiliary of haṭha yoga, give "steadiness, good health, lightness of limb." Specific asanas, bring additional benefits. These claims lie within a tradition across all forms of yoga that practitioners can gain supernatural powers.
Hemachandra's Yogashastra lists the magical powers, which include healing and the destruction of poisons. Advocates of some schools of modern yoga, such as B. K. S. Iyengar, have for various reasons made claims for the effects of yoga on specific organs, without adducing any evidence; the yoga scholar Andrea Jain describes such claims in terms of "elaborating and fortifying his yoga brand" and "mass-marketing", calling his book Light on Yoga "arguably the most significant event in the process of elaborating the brand". Jain suggests that "Its biomedical dialect was attractive to many." For example, in the book, Iyengar claims that the asanas of the Eka Pada Sirsasana cycle tone up the muscular and circulatory systems of the entire body. The spine receives a rich supply of blood, which increases the nervous energy in the chakras, the flywheels in the human body machine; these poses make the breathing fuller and the body firmer. The history of such claims has been reviewed by William J. Broad in his 2012 book The Science of Yoga.
Broad argues that while the health claims for yoga began as Hindu nationalist posturing, it turns out that there is "a wealth of real benefits". Researchers have studied the medical and psychological effects of yoga in a wide range of trials and observational studies, sometimes with careful controls, providing evidence of differing quality about yoga's possible benefits; the various types of claim, the evidence for them, are discussed below. Much of the research on the therapeutic use of modern yoga has been in the form of preliminary studies or clinical trials of low methodological quality, including small sample sizes, inadequate control and blinding, lack of randomization, high risk of bias. For example, a 2010 literature review on the use of yoga for depression stated, "although the results from these trials are encouraging, they should be viewed as preliminary because the trials, as a group, suffered from substantial methodological limitations." A 2015 systematic review on the effect of yoga on mood and the brain recommended that future clinical trials should apply more methodological rigour.
The practice of asanas has been claimed to improve flexibility and balance. A review of five studies noted that three psychological and four biological mechanisms that might act on stress had been examined empirically, whereas many other