Hemacandra’s Yoga-sastra is one of the first texts on yoga to describe the technical meaning. The text is as long as a modern small academic book and it is written in a clear and systematic way. The first part of the book (CH. 1-6) gives a clear exposition of traditional Jain teaching – the three jewels etc. The middle part then gives details of a Tantric sadhana or yoga (Ch.7-10). It is a yoga very similar to the yoga of the Malini Tantra discussed earlier (Quarnstrom 2000, 2002, 2003). But as the Yoga-sastra – in contrast to the Tantric discourse -was clearly and precisely written, exempt from mystical experiences and flowery metaphors -we finally get a detailed insight into a Tantric yoga practice.
The Tantric yoga outlined by Hemacandra consists firstly of numerous pranayama techniques, guided by visualisation and focused meditation (dharana). This seems similar to the six-limb-yoga of the Malini but there is a significant difference. In this Jain discourse we encounter emergent Tantric subtle body signs like the nadis, ida, pingala, sushuma, chakra (internal centres or mandalas), which inform the practice. So this yoga seems much more Tantric in character. But unlike much hatha-yoga discourse there is no mention at all of Kundalini and ecstatic Siva experiences.
Sit on the ball, one leg extended. Rest your Yoga poses vinyasa flow hands on your bent knee. Bend forward, stretching long through your torso and keeping your Yoga poses vinyasa flow butt back. Change legs. Do this 10-12 times on each leg. 32 BEGINNER Kneeling Side Bend Stretch BENEFITS: Stretches the sides of your body, opens your chest for more breathing space. Kneel, holding the ball above your head with straight arms. Bend to one side with the ball.
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