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Description of the Main Postures

If, whilst practicing the head postures, one feels suddenly hot, the practice must at once be stopped and milk and ghee taken, but nothing else; medicines must especially be avoided because all remedies for fever slow down the heart and reduce in this way the blood circulation, and this prevents the congested blood from flowing normally; it suffices to lie down in a comfortable position. If an elderly man practice the Head posture, within a year he will see his white hairs turn black once more, his feebleness disappear and his body become vigorous and healthy. Those not qualified to do breathing exercises can easily enter upon the Royal Path of re-integration by practicing the Head posture.

(12) The Bow Posture (Dhanurasana): Catching the big toes of both feet with the hands and drawing them to the ear much as a bow is drawn is said to be the Bow posture. (Trishikhi Brahmana Up. 43.)

This is done lying on the belly and bending backward.

(13) The Posture of the Hidden Limb (Gupta-anga-asana): For seekers (Sadhaka) who have some abnormality, or ill-placed boils and cannot practice the Posture of Attainment, the Posture of the Hidden Limb is most useful, and it has practically the same advantages. The only difference between the two is that, in the Hidden-limb Posture, the left ankle is placed in front of the sex organs while the right ankle rests on the left one. All the rest, position of the toes, chin, eyes, etc. is as in the Posture of Attainment.

The right foot over the center "Support of the Life breath" (sva-adhishthana chakra) (above the sex organs) makes the Flying contraction easier, and its effects more readily obtainable than in the Posture of Attainment. But, since there is no outward pressure on the Basic center (adhara chakra), the lower part of the central artery of the subtle body from which the coiled energy arises, is not purified.

(14) The Corpse Posture (Shavasana): Lie on the ground like a corpse, keep the forepart of the feet touching one another, the arms lying along the body palms up and all muscles relaxed. (A small pillow should be below the neck.)

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