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Description of the Main Postures

The practice of this posture is said to bring rapid results. It is simple and comparatively easy, and, when perfected, is safe from ill effects. It is, however, not to be recommended for married men, since it weakens the male organ; it is mostly recommended for wandering ascetics and those who have renounced the world.

Its rapid effect is due to the stimulus it gives in awakening the Center of vital energy and its neighboring Center of coiled energy (kundalini). Circulation is activated, the nerves grow more sensitive, and magnetic energy circulates more freely in the body. Amongst the immediate physical effects of this posture is the strengthening of the lungs and heart, breathing becomes deeper and slower, the digestive functions grow regular, and ailments such as colds, heart-diseases, fevers, nightmares, etc. are cured.

Even without breath control or other means used in yoga, the practice of this posture alone for twelve years, keeping silent and meditating on the Supreme Being, leads to the consummation of the aim of yoga, i.e. to the stilling of the movements in the mind's substance. If this posture is practiced morning and evening, it will be possible within a year to sit thus for twelve hours on end. In this posture, the central artery of the subtle body (sushumna nadi) is naturally straight and the vital energy easily takes the upward trend which allows the mind to be successfully controlled.

The posture of Attainment aims at reproducing by the relative position of the different Centers of the human body, that particular diagram, or combination of forces, which corresponds to the non-dual entity which is the beginning of all existence.

"This non-dual Principle, support of the spatial universe, by whose powers all beings originate, into whose powers consummate yogis dissolve, is himself called the Posture of Attainment." (Tejo-bindu Up. I, 26.)

(2) The Lotus Posture (Padmasana) is considered by some schools to be the best posture. It has two forms: free (mukta) and bound (baddha).

"When the two feet are placed soles up on the two thighs this is the lotus posture which cures all illnesses and poisoning." (Trishikhi Brahmana Up. 39.)

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