This yoga of building up the supernatural powers of yoga-balu is in many respects similar to the mortifying asceticism that we encountered among some of the Sramanas. It is a path where the concentration of the mind leading to the arrest of sense inputs and stillness of thought is at the centre of efforts. From many places in the MBh we can see that such meditative efforts – often in combination with ascetic living – are related to the build up of supernatural powers. Hence the MBh is a direct continuation of the ancient discourse connecting ascetic discipline with supernatural powers. In other words we see already how yoga in the MD is enveloped in profound different sign systems giving birth to entirely different yoga constructions.
In 12.289 we meet a yogi, who through his yoga powers can fly, be invisible and omnipresent. He builds up his powers through concentrating on the sun – not brahman or the deepest self. The sun for him is the place of no return; the gate of immortality. His supernatural powers – sometimes called yoga sometimes prabhava – enable him to ascend to the sun at the moment of death and hence become released from rebirth (Malinar 2012b). Here we encounter a yoga form, which has not been enveloped by Samkhya, Buddhist or Brahmin sign systems. It seems to be closely related to early forms of Sramanic death rituals connected with sun worship. Thus the various yoga forms we find might sometimes represent different historical forms of yoga. This yoga would then be an old form.
Retain the forward lean, widen the upper thighs and pelvic Yoga gifts bones, then lengthen your tailbone down and draw the lower belly in and up to stabilize Yoga gifts your pelvis. Bring your torso upright and retract your shoulders back until they are just above your hips. Let go of the chair when ready, and stretch your arms up near your ears. Breathe fully and confidently as you maintain this pose. Purpose: To strengthen thigh abductors and shoulder adductors, and widen the thighs and pelvis without widening the lower legs. To repair and maintain the hip joints. Contraindications: Severe hypertension, colostomy, hemorrhoids. Props: A chair and a belt.
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