Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Sun Jun 14 17:26:15 UTC 1998

Michael Rabe wrote:

> So, in brief--here's my query once again, risking overstatement for the
> sake of eliciting further speculation and textual leads, hopefully.  Given
> the contexts cited above, might the yoga-patta be, in effect, a visual
> equivalent of the black-belt in the further Eastern martial arts
> traditions?  Siva, Narasimha, and Ayyappa are demon-destroyers, now
> pacified.  Thus, might the yoga-patta be a token of necessity for
> restraint?  And likewise, in the context of heroic continence called for in
> the face of an apsaras Alambusaa's seductive wiles?

This is an interesting hypothesis, I hadn't thought of it in this

> Thus, the yoga-patta seems to be more than simply an aid for protracted
> sitting in the lotus position.  Like the black-belt of a judo master, it

The yoga paTTa is not an aid for sitting in the lotus position, I think.
In the lotus position, both knees are to touch the ground, which if
achieved (for a protracted time without developing a back pain) will
keep the back straight. The importance of keeping the back straight has
been emphasized in many upanishhads, gita etc. I forget the name of the
Asana, which the yoga paTTa helps achieve. The benefit of this Asana is
supposedly that it places stress on the lower spine. This supposedly
stimulates the kunadalini in the muladhara chakra. The other Asana which
is supposed to do this is the siddhasana. However these two asanas are
not normally recommended by yoga texts, especially for beginners.
Perhaps Iyengar has some description of this Asana or a variant of it in
his book.

[ ... ]

> >>A fellow-instructor at The School of the Art
> >Institute of Chicago--someone
> >>who has been practicing ashtangi-yoga far longer
> >than Madonna, I might
> >>add--is currently researching the iconography of

This cracked me up when I read it :-). Thanks.


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