Yoga Postures for Our Times

From Hatha Yoga to Bikram Choudhury’s Hot Yoga,the ancient discipline to balance the mind,body and soul and keep it well.

Written by Dilip Bobb | Published: September 8, 2013 3:08:25 am

From Hatha Yoga to Bikram Choudhury’s Hot Yoga,the ancient discipline to balance the mind,body and soul and keep it well… disciplined has gone through periodic variations to suit changing needs and demands. Baba Ramdev’s stomach-churning methods have earned him an enviable following but there are other yoga postures that are more suited to the times we live in. Here are some that are gaining in popularity.

Nexus Plexus: Originally called Chaturanga Dandasana,this ancient pose translated into the four-pronged staff posture,but now refers to the position adopted by staff in the coal ministry to search for “missing” files. It involves a four-stage exercise which starts with all bureaucrats extending their arms and moving them rapidly up and down to mimic the search for files that are non-existent thanks to the process called nexus plexus. The second stage sees them jumping up and down to signal that some files have been found,but not the ones that are required. The third stage is a typical bureaucratic reflex,to hire retired staff members to join the search since they know where all the bodies are buried. Finally,the head sways from side to side to signify the most recognisable bureaucratic posture called The Abominable No Man.

The Potency Posture: The traditional posture was called Urdhva Hastasana or the Raised Arms Pose,familiar to followers of Asaram Bapu or those watching his yoga show on TV. Now that the question is about a potency test and whether other body parts can also be raised,it’s renamed the Lying in Bed Posture,since it has to be performed lying on a bed and only with female followers. Alternatively,it can also mean that Asaram is lying about what he did on the bed and that ‘spiritual healing’ may have become a more hands-on exercise.

The Sphinx Pose: This particular yoga posture mimics the pose in which the Egyptian Sphinx is depicted as guardian of the treasures in the nearby temples. In recent times,the Sphinx Pose is taken to mean the one adopted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,which means inscrutable and expressionless,as if deep in meditation,especially when he is under attack by the Opposition for using silence as a weapon of concealment.

The Lotus Position: One of the best known asanas,it entails sitting with legs crossed while meditating. Since it is the party symbol of the main opposition party the BJP,it has now become a pose with the body curved to depict a query,as in what is the BJP’s position? Their inner voice (the inner circle) tends to speak in different tongues,including over the key question of their PM candidate . The Who himself has indicated he is happy where he is till 2017,which is also known in yoga circles as the Red Herring Position.

Surya Namaskar: The most basic yoga pose,also known as the Sun Salutation. In Indian politics,it refers to the Son Salutation,as in the sycophantic poses by Congressmen towards Rahul Gandhi with hands folded,begging him to lead them into a new dawn. His position,however,on a range of issues remains what in yoga terms is called Utkatasana,or the Awkward Chair posture,meaning unclear or confused about the chair. In other words,unlike Asaram,he has so far failed the political potency test.

Standing on Banana Skin Posture: Also called Tuladandasana by yoga teachers,this shows a person balanced on one leg with arms stretched upwards as if seeking divine intervention,while the other leg remains precariously poised. That,actually,refers to the 1.2 billion people of this country who find themselves surrounded by economic debris,including the banana skin that their leg is precariously poised over.

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