Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Kurmasana, tortoise and sheltering yourself

Hatha yoga pradipika says that your sadhana is like a kurma, a tortoise. The metaphor is verbally confusing, but possibly due to translation.

According to the Bihar School Yoga book on Hatha Yoga Pradipika, commentary by Sw Muktibodhananda, this is what your practice is all about -- protection. And  why you must be regular in practice. I find that several of my otherwise dedicated students, and many wanting to be instructors(mmm:), when they are very `busy' will default on practice. When they need it most, they won't do it!

Sw Swatmarama (whose name means one playing in his own atmic bliss:) says, according to the above book: "For those continually tempered by the heat of tapa (three types -- spiritual, environmental and physical), hatha yoga is like the hermitage giving protection from the heat. For those always united in yoga, hatha is the basis acting like a tortoise."

Sw M adds this bit from Tantraraja Tantra, Verse 88: "He who does japa without knowing koormasthiti (the position of the tortoise) not only fails to get the fruit thereof but he meets with destruction."

Did they mean that if you could not do the koormasana, you will be finished? Mmm!!

And Sw Niranjananda says in one of his books that this is a spiritual pose. I can imagine it is. It is very soothing pose. However he recommends that for a spiritual pose to boost your sadhana, you must hold it for long. For health purposes, three to five minutes. And for spiritual benefits, longer... How long a road we have to travel. How exciting:)

Happy sadhana!

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