Expand from the inside. Contract your upper back muscles and Yoga jeans move the shoulder blades in toward the spine. Curl up with your head and chest, Yoga jeans keeping your shoulders back. 1Press carefully down through your arms to lift more, but keep your arms bent and the upper arms and shoulders back. 1Keep your pelvis on the floor while maintaining these actions. Use your breath to expand forward from the inside. 1Stay up for several breaths, then soften and release down. Purpose: To stretch hamstring, glutei, and quadratus lumborum muscles; to relax the back and improve hip flexion.
The great Epic Mahabharata, which was begun in the period under discussion, is one of the richest sources of examples of the supernatural powers of ascetics – and yoga. Here ascetic renouncers conquer kings and even gods, and yoga is from then on in the Epic closely linked to super-natural powers. In the Mahabharata yoga is in fact often synonymous with supernatural skills’:
When his self-magnifying self and the magnificient [universe] have fused into one another, a yogi may enter [into] women, men and the assemblies of Gandharvas, the quarters of the sky, the host of Yaksas, the mountains and the dragons, and the clouds together with the forests and all the rivers, and the terrible oceans and all the mountain peaks, and the ancestors and serpents and all the divinities,.â MBh. 12.289.58
But it was not only ascetics who were admired and feared; Brahmins were also ascribed magical power. The legal expert Manu, probably writing between 200BC and 200AD, warned rulers in no uncertain terms what they could expect if they anger a Brahmin. Manu described supernatural power as: mastery over the gross elements earth, air, ether, water and fire and of the I-faculty.â This also applies to the yoga-follower: The Yoga-follower, having attained power, can create many thousand selves, and may roam the earth in these guisesâ. While the traditional ascetic is interested in achieving supernatural power, we are assured by Manu that this is not the case for the yogi: He who having passed beyond the supernatural powers of Yoga, leaves them behind, is releasedâ.
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