Props: A yoga mat, blanket, wall, and Yoga everyday tabletop. Avoiding pitfalls: Retract the shoulder blades firmly onto the back ribs; do not Yoga everyday let the upper arms sag downward. Roll the biceps upward to maintain outward rotation of the upper arms. Balance the hands and feet on their four corners. Keep the knees bent if you are stiff, in order to be able to tip the pelvis so the spine can lengthen. INSTRUCTIONS FOR FOUR STAGES OF THE POSE: Stage I: Puppy Kneel on a blanket with your shins hip-width apart. Walk your hands forward far enough so that your spine and arms stretch forward at a diagonal. Your hips remain over your knees, your head between your arms.
From Ways of Liberation to Salvation
The different styles of yoga discussed in the Gita are often divided into following headings: jnana- (knowledge), karma- (action), bhakti- (devotion) and ascetic-meditative yoga. The path of all these yoga styles in the end all leads to Krishna and the immortality of the soul. Studying each yoga style one realises that the authors continuously draw on diverse and often opposing discourses of liberation, Brahmin ritualism and monotheism. These are often – by generation after generation of authors – mixed with each other in such a way that the texts now and then lose consistency and line of argument (Malinar 2007). This means that in the end it can be difficult to tell the styles apart – a problem which is not made easier by the fact that the text repeats itself over and over again.
In the end, the overall message is clear: all yogas – paths or disciplines – lead to god if we surrender and always perform yoga with Krishna in mind. However, we are warned that yoga without god in mind leads nowhere. The most supreme form of yoga according to the Gita, therefore has to be bhakti-yoga – the yoga of love and devotion:
Not by study of the scriptures, or by austerities, nor by gifts or sacrifices, is it possible to see me as you have done. Only by tireless devotion can I be seen and known, only thus can a man become one with me O Arjuna! He whose every action is done for my sake, to whom I am the final goal, who loves Me only and hates no one – O my dearest Son! Only he can realize me (11.53-55)
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