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Bridging the Outer World and Inner Life with Asana

October 26, 2007 by Lightwaves

In this compelling new timeless publication, Award winning Ascent magazine columnist Swami Lalitananda brings new insight into the practice of Hidden Language Hatha Yoga.

The Inner Life of Asanas imparts the fundamental concepts of yoga in themed chapters, Awareness, Choice, Action, Devotion and Unity. Each chapter contains columns that explain, by example, how yoga and spirituality can bridge the outer world and inner life.

Could the asanas have an inner life? What would that mean?

In the Hidden Language approach to Hatha Yoga, founded by Swami Sivananda Radha, the asanas can be realized as mudras, sacred seals or gestures. If we want to understand what secrets they hold, we can inquire and reflect and begin to loosen up what has been sealed away – in our bodies, in our minds, in the potency of the poses themselves.We can open to our inner life through the asanas if we are receptive to their hidden meaning and to our own hidden depths. With Hidden Language Hatha Yoga, we each compose our own book of knowledge and expand our awareness of the sacred in ourselves and in our world.What I know from practising Hidden Language Hatha Yoga is that it is always about where I am at that moment. When I use it as a tool, like a plough, I can dig deeply and upturn my own secrets. What is revealed can be a delight – perhaps a glimpse of my potential, or a hidden passageway that leads from a cramped, dark space to a place of Light. I may discover a treasure of knowledge that I had concealed long ago and forgotten. But I may also unearth less appealing treasures such as fears I’ve never dealt with, or pride hastily hidden behind a fragile front, or other old psychological “stuff” that has not been sorted through.

lalitmain1.jpgThe human body is the holder of all the secrets, the teller of truths. And when the truths are revealed – good or not so good – they are gifts. Seeing a pattern that creates pain, do I want to keep it or let it go? Can I decide on a new course of action by inviting in a new way of thinking? The value of Hatha Yoga is not just in stretching the muscles, but in stretching the mind.

Through discovering our own secrets and making our own choices, our lives are put back into our own hands. We do not need to look outside ourselves for a rescuer or saviour. We have gained access to an inner wisdom that is real and accessible through the body.

Hidden Language brings the spiritual aspect back to yoga. The focus is not on performing, but on expanding awareness of ourselves at every step of the way. We are gradually led to the vibrant symbolic nature of the asanas as mudras, waiting to be unsealed like royal letters. The combination of body, mind and symbol is a catalyst that inspires insights. What has been hidden – our fears and our potential – can be revealed. What is offered is the chance to evolve, to move closer to the Light of our inner nature or essence.

If Hatha has to do with celestial bodies – sun radiating light and moon reflecting light – by practising Hatha Yoga can we discover our own celestial bodies, shining and reflective? There seems to be a promise inherent in it. We can become aware that our bodies are vehicles for the Light, a Light that reveals obstacles and also dissolves them. And each time the Light of awareness grows, we can carry the power of that Light into our lives. A promise manifests…

View video of Swami Lalitananda speaking about the book

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