... Care Frater/Cara Soror, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. When I first began my practice of asana I began with dragon pose and asked theMessage 1 of 4 , Feb 28, 2006View Sourcehdbq111 <hdbq111@...>:
> When doing the Dragon Asana, does one curl one's toes under so theCare Frater/Cara Soror,
> weight is on the balls of the feet/toes? Or do you put the toes
> facing away from yourself and put weight on top of feet/legs?
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
When I first began my practice of asana I began with dragon pose and
asked the same question with potentially disastrous results. I don't
fear pain and my first week or so of practice I would hold dragon pose
(toes backwards) for an hour, enduring excruciating pain for three-
quarters of the exercise. Quitting asana did, indeed, consist of
"several minutes of the acutest agony". My legs went numb,then my calf
and foot muscles would begin to spasm and the entire day (for a week!)
I would go about with pain in my legs - I persevered because I
considered this a normal result and something simply to "power
Please don't mimic my stupidity! As a nursing student I reserved a
spot in the back of my brain for a bit of worry, i.e. "What the hell
are you doing?!", and as a result did some investigation. First, on a
widely available online version of Liber ABA (http://www.hermetic.com/
crowley/aba/aba1.html) I note the following:
"WEH footnote: It is important to distinguish between cramp and severe
chronic muscle spasm which can tear ligaments. Muscle spasm tends to
result from pinching or compressing nerves, and can lead to permanent
injury. Also beware of constricted circulation, which produces
numbness more than it does pain. Wear loose clothing and avoid
pressing on hard objects."
I searched for more information but most of the contemporary yoga
information gives the imperative from people accustomed to life with
rounded edges & cushioned surfaces, "If at all uncomfortable, abort!"
Luckily I worked on a Med-Surg floor at that time that largely served
post-op GI and vascular patients. Determined to find an answer I
pestered the best vascular surgeon on the unit. His response? In the
fashion of ladies who cross their legs knee-over-knee causing
intermittent constriction of circulation, he'd see me on his operating
table if I didn't die from a DVT-PE.Ooh...great scary acronyms!
"Thrombosis" describes the presence of a blood clot in the vascular
system - thromboses save your life in the event of hemorrhage,
otherwise they stop blood flow to the area/organ supplied. Not only
can chronic stasis of blood in the legs cause obstruction (clots) in
the superficial veins ("spider" veins) but, more dangerously, in the
deep veins resulting in a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). If one of these
clots breaks loose (now called an "embolism") it can travel through
the circulatory system and block a vessel at a distant site. Pulmonary
Embolism (PE) results when a thrombus embolizes to the lungs causing
respiratory compromise or, umm...death.
He confirmed the potential of severe muscle spasm causing torn
ligaments and muscles, nerve compression/damage may result in
permanent numbness and loss of voluntary muscle movement and extensive
diffuse cell death from hypoxia/anoxia (low/no oxygen supply) may
result in rhabdomyolysis
permanent disability. The compression caused from body weight resting
on the legs leads me to consider toes facing back a poor option. What
about toes turned forward/curled under? This position appears better
for circulation, but worse for toes. Toes do not bear weight well and
I wouldn't recommend any prolonged extreme flexion/extension of
Extreme positions won't speed you along any faster than more
anatomically friendly positions. I began with a half-lotus, spine
straight, head & neck erect and facing forward to facilitate
pranayama. To quote Liber ABA,
"And again, 'any posture which is steady and easy is an Asana; there
is no other rule.' Any posture will do."
Asana becomes excruciatingly difficult regardless of the position, you
won't need actual physical damage to experience this phenomenon.
Love is the law, love under will.
"I AM OFTEN ASKED why I begin my letters in this way. No matter
whether I am writing to my lady or to my butcher, always I begin with
these eleven words. Why, how else should I begin? What other greeting
could be so glad? Look, brother, we are free! Rejoice with me, sister,
there is no law beyond Do what thou wilt!"-Liber DCCCXXXVII
[mod inv post/quote]
... 93 Do what thou will shall the the whole of the law. Perhaps not, but do you believe some positions serve best, for an example, the aim of crossing theMessage 1 of 4 , Mar 11, 2006View Sourceninetythreeinperpetuity wrote:
>Extreme positions won't speed you along any faster than more anatomically friendly positions.<93
Do what thou will shall the the whole of the law.
Perhaps not, but do you believe some positions serve best, for an example, the aim of crossing the abyss? By this I mean the purpose of asana in Thelemic context I'm to believe is to gain edge over and/or neutralize a hindering portion of the ego controlling the central nervous system so that the ego itself can be realized. Lying down to meditate, while comfortable, cultivates the very sense-data one's attempting to limit I'd think. I'm not saying I don't believe it's possible to enter the ego while lying down, should one manage to keep mindfulness without the onset of sleep. It's just I'm left to wonder if there are holistic physiological elements missing in one who does; perhaps to the extent that the conditions will unconsciously jeopordize a thorough integration 'above the abyss'. Thoughts?
>"And again, 'any posture which is steady and easy is an Asana; there is no other rule.' Any posture will do."<Sleeping with doubt here as it were.
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Fond Greetings, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. I must begin this letter unapologetically ignorant of the trial of the Abyss and asana s roleMessage 1 of 4 , Mar 14, 2006View SourceFond Greetings,
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
I must begin this letter unapologetically ignorant of the trial of the Abyss and
asana's role in the attainment of that Grand Office. I attempt to remain
joyfully focused in the present, neither projecting too far into the future nor
ruminating overmuch on the past. Accordingly I can only tell you what experience
has bequeathed to me. I hold no degrees and assume no office, merely another
student dutifully toiling.
Of asana, perhaps I should have clarified my interpretation & practice. While
"steady and easy" could certainly mean "immobile and without effort", I
interpret these words to mean "firm and relaxed", balanced on the threshold
between action & inaction. Position should be tense, but not strained, "there
is no other rule."
Love is the law, love under will.
omnia vincit labor
... Lying down to meditate, while comfortable, cultivates the very sense-data one s attempting to limit I d think. 93 Lying down on ones back is called theMessage 1 of 4 , Mar 16, 2006View Source
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Aktiophi ." <aktiophi@...> wrote:
Lying down to meditate, while comfortable, cultivates the very
sense-data one's attempting to limit I'd think.
Lying down on ones back is called the "corpse" pose. It has been used
by many yogis, and is particularly useful for meditating on the death
of the body-ego.
But like the previous Crowley qoute said, any pose will do as long as
it is done in the right way. The primary danger with the corpse pose
is that one may fall asleep. If one is doing dream or sleep yoga, in
which one endevours to remain continuously concious from waking to
dreaming to dreamless sleep, then even this is not an obstacle.
The important thing, imo, is to dis-identify with the body before
then dis-identifiying with the mind. Mindfullness meditation is
sufficient for this. By simply being aware of having a thought or
bodily sensation that thought is objectified. Once it becomes an
object of awarness, rather than unconciously fused with the subject,
it can be transcended. Mindfullness is surprisingly efficacious for
something so simple, which to me suggests that it is perhaps inate to
the human condition.
This unconcious fusion of subject and object should be distinguished
from super concious union. First pure awarness must destroy all of
it's attatchments to what it is aware of, so that it can recognize
itself as that pure awareness. Then - and only then - can that
awarness recongize the complete non-dual unity of subject and object.
It is only natural that this process begin with the most fundamental
and primal level of awareness - that of the body.
Personally, I prefer the active alternatives to asana, such as hatha
or the martial arts, or in my case gardening, for dealing with this
level. Just as any pose can be an asana, any activity can be an
active alternative. What matters is the interior awareness that is
brought to bear. But to each his own.