Sunday, May 06, 2012

Why the spine is so important in yoga

This fascinated me so much, when I started learning yoga and it made so much sense to me scientifically too.. that the human, in its attempt to straighten its spine, became different from other animals ... and sought divinity, even when the rest of its biological being dragged it down. In the spine, the whole tale of the struggle between the demon and the divine..

One more spine tale, from my collection:) From an article I wrote for an online site ...

There is an exquisite story from ancient India which underscores powerfully the significance of the spine in yoga. Once, as usual the demons were making trouble for the   gods. Among the demons, Vritasura was causing the most damage, his magical weapons far exceeding the thrust of the gods' own. So Vishnu comes up with this fantastic suggestion. He tells Indra to fashion a weapon out the Sage Dadichi's spine since the latter's tapas (austerity practices) had made him invulnerable to any human, divine or demonic powers.  As the sage sit meditating, the gods steal his spine, fashioning the thunderbolt or Vajra from it and using it effectively against the demons. There are several versions to this story: one version says the weapon Vajra was created from Dadichi's bones as the sage voluntarily offered to have his insides sucked out slowly while in meditation (since he could never be killed due to his tapas). The classic vajrasana (thunderbolt pose) where the meditator kneels on his heels and, interestingly enough,  is common to all world religions, is named after this sage. 
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