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Lessons In Yoga Exercises

On asanas. 1. Salutation to Âdinatha (Siva) who expounded the knowledge of Hatha Yoga, which like a staircase leads the aspirant to the high pinnacled Raja Yoga. 2. Yogin Swatmarama, after saluting his Gurû Srinatha explains Hatha Yoga for the attainment of Raja Yoga. 3. Owing to the darkness arising from the multiplicity of opinions people are unable to know theRaja Yoga. Compassionate Swatmarama composes the Hatha Yoga Pradipika like a torch to dispel it. 4. Matsyendra, Goraksa, etc., knew Hatha Vidya, and by their favor Yogi Swatmarama also learnt it from them. 5. The following Siddhas (masters) are said to have existed in former times:- Sri Adinatha (Siva), Matsyendra, Natha, Sabar, Anand, Bhairava, Chaurangi, Mina Natha, Goraksanatha, Virupaksa,Bilesaya. 6. Manthana, Bhairava, Siddhi Buddha, Kanthadi, Karantaka, Surananda, Siddhipada, Charapati. 7. Kaneri, Pujyapada, Nityanatha, Niranjana, Kapali, Vindunatha, Kaka Chandiswara. 8. Allama, Prabhudeva, Ghoda, Choli, Tintini, Bhanuki, Nardeva, Khanda Kapalika, etc. 9. These Mahasiddhas (great masters), breaking the sceptre of death, are roaming in the universe. 10. Like a house protecting onefrom the heat of the sun, Hatha Yoga protects its practisers from the burning heat of the three Tapas; and, similarly, it is the supporting tortoise, as it were, for those who are constantly devoted to the practice of Yoga. 11. A yogi desirous of success should keep the knowledge of Hatha Yoga secret; for it becomes potent by concealing, and impotent by exposing.

12. The Yogi should practiceHatha Yoga in a small room, situated in a solitary place, being 4 cubits square, and free from stones, fire, water, disturbances of all kinds, and in a country where justice is properly administered, where good people live, and food can be obtained easily and plentifully. 13. The room should have a small door, be free from holes, hollows, neither too high nor too low, well plastered with cow-dungand free from dirt, filth and insects. On its outside there should be bowers, raised platform (chabootra), a well, and a compound. These characteristics of a room for Hatha Yogis have been described by adepts in the practice of Hatha. 14. Having seated in such a room and free from all anxieties, he should practice Yoga, as instructed by his gurû . 15. Yoga is destroyed by the following sixcauses:-- Over-eating, exertion, talkativeness, adhering to rules, i.e., cold bath in the morning, eating at night, or eating fruits only, company of men, and unsteadiness. 16. The following six bring speedy success:-- Courage, daring, perseverance, discriminative knowledge, faith, aloofness from company. 17. The ten rules of conduct are: ahimsâ (non-injuring), truth, nonstealing, continence,forgiveness, endurance, compassion, meekness, sparing diet, and cleanliness. 18. The ten niyamas mentioned by those proficient in the knowledge of Yoga are: Tapa, patience, belief in God, charity, adoration of God, hearing discourses on the principles of religion, shame, intellect, Tapa and Yajna. Asanas. 19. Being the first accessory of Hatha Yoga, asana is described first. It should be practiced forgaining steady posture, health and lightness of body. 20. I am going to describe certain âsanas which have been adopted by Munis like Vasistha, etc., and Yogis like Matsyendra, etc. Swastika-asana. 21.Having kept both the hands under both the thighs, with the body straight, when one sits calmly in this posture, it is called


Gomukha-asana. 22. Placing the right ankle on the left sideand the left ankle on the right side, makes Gomukha-asana, having the appearance of a cow.

Virasana. 23. One foot is to be placed on the thigh of the opposite side; and so also the other foot on the opposite thigh. This is called Virâsana.

Kurmasana. 24. Placing the right ankle on the left side of the anus, and the left ankle on the right side of it, makes what the Yogis call Kurmaâsana....
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