From the Back of the Book
Messages of Yoga "Yoga has a complete massage for humanity. It has a message for the human body. It has a message for the human mind, and it has also a message for the human soul. Will intelligent and capable youth come forth to carry this message to every individual, not only in India but also in every other part of the world?"
We have great pleasure in presenting this handbook of Asanas to the public. It gives detailed description of the technique of nearly every Asanas that has physical or a spiritual value. With a view to making the description more intelligible each Asanas has been fully illustrated. In this way the handbook has become a reliable and competent guide to the students of Yoga who wish to follow the Short, Full and Easy Courses, of Yogic Physical Culture framed by the Kaivalyadhama. In order to cover the whole field of physical culture included in the Short, Full and Easy Courses, Viparita Karani, Yoga-Mudra, Uddiyana and Nauli have been discussed in this handbook, although, technically speaking, they are not Asanas. If a reader studies our handbook of Pranayama along with this handbook, he will know almost everything that is worth knowing for a practical student of Yogic Physical Culture.
Nor have we left out of consideration the claims of a spiritual culturist. Preparing Oneself for Asanas and Meditative Poses - these two chapters of this handbook, coupled with our discussion on the spiritual aspect of Pranayama contained in the other handbook of Popular Yoga, are quite sufficient to enable an Adhyatmic student ofY oga to make a fair beginning.
At the end of every exercise the physical and therapeutical advantages have been very briefly stated. We have done this with a view to inculcate the importance of the different exercises upon the minds of our readers. Readers of Popular Yoga are to be warned, however, not to practise Yogic Therapy on the strength of the knowledge thus obtained, because half knowledge is a dangerous thing and the knowledge of Yogic Therapy is no exception to the general rule. We have also to draw our readers particular attention to the caution given in this book at various places.
This handbook is intended to be a practical guide for Yogic poses. As such, it does not contain any extensive theoretical discussions on the different exercises included in it. This fact should not, however, be taken to mean that the readers of this handbook will have no knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of Asanas. The first and the last chapters will surely give our readers a fairly good idea regarding all the functional advantages of the Asanas along sound scientific lines. But, after all, the treatment of the subject is from the practical rather than from the theoretical point of view. The theoretical aspect of the culture and therapy of Asanas will be more extensively dealt with in another volume. The two put together will give almost everything taht an average student of Yogic poses is expected to know both practically and theoretically.
Those who wish to have a thorough knowledge of the theory and practice of Yogic poses must read Yoga Mimansa where pages after pages are devoted to the discussion of the physiological and therapeutical values of Asanas, everywhere the discussion being based on original laboratory experiments. The two volumes of Popular Yoga, are intended only for those who have almost nothing but practical interest in Yoga.
, Even before bringing out this handbook of Asanas we have published a Chart of Yogic Poses supplied with a pamphelt that tersely explaines the technique of each Asana. In this connection also we want to bring the following fact to teh notice of our readers. Just as this handbook is ni substitute for Yoga Mimansa , the Chart is no subsitute for this handbook. The technique given with the Chart is, indeed, correct and sufficient to direct a practical student of Yoga. But the treatment is so terse and so bereft of any anatomical, physiological or therapeutical considerations, that it is nothing when compared with the material presented in this handbook.
The technique of the Yogic exercises described in Yoga Mamansa, this handbook or the Chart is directly taken from old Yogic textbooks in Sanskrit and ancient Yogic traditions, wih only very few minor changes. This technique should be faithfully followed in the individual practice of these exercises. The physiological and therapeutical advantages claimed for these exercises are the results of this technique.
Our cordial thanks are due to the brother Ashramites for their affectionate co-operation.
This is the fourth edition of the popular handbook which was not available for a long time. We hope that it will receive the same wide patronage that was received by it earlier.
We have been engaged in the editorial work for over two decades. in spite of our many shortcomings, some of them very serious, we have been consistently treated with great indulgence by the public. We crave the same indulgence hereafter.
Yoga has a complete message for humanity. It has a message for the human body. It has a message for the human mind. And it has also a message for the human soul. Will intellegent and capable youths come forth to carry this message to ever individual, not only in India but also in every other part of the world?
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