Pose of the Week: Siddhasana

Saturday, 14 December 2019 10:54
This week’s pose is Siddhasana. Siddha means inspired sage or seer. In Light on Yoga (Thorsons Edition, 2001 p.88) BKS Iyengar says ‘Siddha means a semi-divine being supposed to be of great purity and holiness, and to possess supernatural faculties called siddhis’.  Asana means pose or posture. Siddhasana is a seated posture recommended for the practice of pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation.
 
BKS Iyengar in Siddhasana in Light on Yoga (1966)
 
In his description of Siddhasana in Light on Yoga, BKS Iyengar quotes a transcription of a passage from the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, emphasising the importance of Siddhasana in the huge number of asanas. In this ancient text (and others) specific asanas are generally not mentioned as a subject in themselves. The subject matter is concerned with spiritual development. This development goes well beyond the body and mind. As described in the Mandukya Upanishad: ‘Beyond the senses, beyond understanding, beyond all expression, is the fourth [state of consciousness]. It is pure unitary consciousness, wherein all awareness of the world and of multiplicity is completely obliterated. It is the supreme good. It is One without a second. It is the Self.’
 
So, it is said, after 12 years of accomplished practice of Siddhasana and contemplation upon the Atman (the Self) this state of non-dualism exists. Also the yogi obtains the yoga siddhis, the supernatural faculties.
 
Wednesday night's class practicing Siddhasana
 
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali describes in great detail the means to guide the sadhaka (spiritual aspirant) through the external quest to the internal, and then deeper into integration, producing sparks of superconsciousness and extraordinary powers. The aim is to grow ‘from an unfulfilled state of mind, to the glory of illumined intelligence and consciousness’ (Iyengar, BKS Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Thorsons, 2002 p. 243).
 
When this happens the yogi creates absolute synchronicity of thought and action and therefore is freed from the normal limitations of time and space, this is when the vibhutis (extraordinary powers) come into being. There are many, such as: knowing the past and the future, understanding the language of all people, birds and animals, reading the minds of others, becoming invisible at will, walking over water, creating fire at will, etc etc. (Too numerous to mention all here). Patanjali warns that these supernatural powers should not be the goal. If they do become the goal then the sadhaka has failed in his/her journey to enlightenment.
 
If you’d like to know more, come to class and practice. Learn about yourself and find your way.
 
Join us for a Special 2 hour class this Tuesday, Melbourne Cup Day - 8am-10am, with morning tea afterwards. https://yogapath.punchpass.com/passes/69450
(Please note, no evening classes due to public holiday)
 
See you on the mat :)
 
Namaste,
 
Nicole Schroeter
Certified Iyengar Teacher
Yoga Path
 
 
Learn more about your yoga - become an Iyengar Yoga Teacher
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