Animals taught us Yogasanas -1 (Post.10,571 A)


Post No. 10,571-A

Date uploaded in London – –    17 JANUARY   2022         

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Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge.

this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures.,

M R Jambunathan who translated all the four Hindu Vedas into Tamil says that humans learnt Yogasana from animals. He gives several examples to support his finding. He is right . I can cite more examples. The longest living animal is tortoise. They live up to 300 years . Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita (2-58), Manu in Manu Smrti (7-105), Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar in his Tirukkural (Kural 126), Tirumular in his Tamil Tirumanthiram (2360) use the image of Tortoise to teach us self control. Unless they observed it for several generations, they wouldn’t have referred to it. They knew very well that the tortoises live longer than any other animal on earth because of breath control only. The most popular Frog poem (RV.7-103) in the Rigveda sows us how observant our ancestors were. There the Vedic Rishi refers indirectly to the hibernation of frogs. Vedic students begin or restart their Vedic studies after four month Chaturmasya Vratha time (rainy season). This is similar to hibernation of frogs. Several animals go into hibernation and stop their metabolic activities almost to nil.

Over 20 popular Yogasanas are named after animals, birds, insects and reptiles.

Let me give the examples shown by Sri Jambunathan. He says,

“Have you ever noticed a tired horse? It lies down completely and take some comfortable poses to refresh itself. Yoga is nothing but this activity  scientifically applied.  A weak man can never see the real Almighty says the Kathopanishad. Strength is greater than knowledge. Worship the strength said Sanatkumara to Rishi Narada.

I am the thunderbolt. I am the lion, eagle and what is all that are strong, said Sri Krishna to the valiant Arjuna. The object of the Yoga is to attain this mighty strength in and out.”

“God has endowed small animals with the faculty of protecting themselves from harm and of being happy. When we represent animals in limbs and form, in instinct and mind, what harm is there in copying some of the main activities which they do to protect and prolong their lives. If we observe all these animals, we can find that they keep themselves physically fit and enjoy happiness by adopting certain Asanas according to time and space.”

“There is no more beautiful sight in this world than that of a cat, tiger, lion sleeping or resting. It is the perfect picture of a repose with all the muscles relaxed. Thus, these animals get new life and vigour and enjoy life almost to perfection. In ancient times many Rishis in their wanderings in the forests observing carefully all the postures of wild animals, putting them to practical tests and finding them immediately profitable by their experiences , had given us these secrets in the Upanishads.”

“When a cat awakes it is a common sight to see stretching it’s body and then bringing it back in form of an arch standing stiff on all four feet. This is an everyday occurrence. It is only after assuming this posture that cat starts on its business. Instinct prompts this cat to adopt this Asana.

We may see it in a dog as well. When it turns lazy it stretches its body towards the front throwing all the weight forward and stretching it’s back without moving from the original place it throws all the weight in the rear. Thus, many animals do. Observe the monkeys adopting naturally many varieties of poses. They do take many postures like our professional athletes. They jump from one branch to another without fear and with great pleasure.”

“The question why we should copy the animals may appear to be not a reasonable one. But if you carefully study the universe and all other creations you will find that man is a representative of nature. The eye stands for the sun, the ear the sky, mind the moon, body the earth, and breath the air. Thus human body is a counterpart of all the elements of Nature.

Chandilyopanishad gives us a grand eulogism of the Asanas. Although Asanas are many in number we have only shown chiefly those that are very important. With illustration or each Asanna.”—M R Jambunathan 15-6-1933


 I am posting the Asanas in two of my blogs. Part A is published in tamilandvedas and part B is published in swamiindology.blogspot .com.

Please visit both the blogs to get all the 48++++ Asanas.

Tags- Asana, Yogasana, animal postures, Jambunathan book

Yoga without Religion is Dangerous! (Post No.4026)

Written by London Swaminathan
Date: 26 June 2017
Time uploaded in London- 11-15 am
Post No. 4026

Pictures shown here are taken  by me in Lisbon, Portugal on 25th June 2017; They are taught Yoga by a genuine swamiji Sri Amrta Suryananda Maharaja.

International Yoga day is celebrated on 21st June around the world. Though Jagatguru Amrta Suryananda Maharaja of Lisbon, Portugal proposed this in Bengaluru and got the consent from other famous and popular Yoga Gurus of India in 2011, it is Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India who made it more popular.


Yoga is a multibillion dollar business today. But one unfortunate thing about Yoga is that it has been hijacked by bad elements in some parts of the world. They do business with the ‘Yoga seal’ (Mudra). Some of them are moving away from the ideals of yoga. We see Yoga Mudra in Indus seals and Egyptian statues. It originated in India. Buddha who was born as a Hindu followed the traditional Yoga taught by Patanjali and attained wisdom under the Bodhi tree. Both Mudra and Bohi (Peepul tree) are important for the Hindus. Brahmins who recited Vedas used Bodhi sticks (Peepal or Ficus religiosa) for their fire rituals every day and it is seen in Indus seals as well. Brahmins who recited Vedas followed Asana postures during their ‘thrice a day ritual called Sandhya Vandhanam’. Buddha whose first Gurus were Hindus taught him these things. So his famous posture with fingers showing different Mudras became very attractive.


From Hindusim it went to Buddhism and now all people have started Yoga schools around the world. They have adapted it to suit their business needs. Nowadays Tom, Dick and Harry and Mary, July and Samantha are running YOGA schools!!!


Big exhibitions are held in the Olympia hall in London every year, attracting lot of Yoga businesses. There are umpteen Yoga magazines published around the world. Someone in America started wrestling yoga, another one started selling Yoga beer; in short the word YOGA is misused and abused. There is no central authority to control this. Some religions banned Yoga because it is basically Hindu. Very true. It is Hindus’ property.


If some says Yoga has nothing to do with religion, please don’t believe it. It is based on religion. If there is no religion in Yoga and Asanas it will leads to many dangers.


Hindu Forum of Europe Discussion

Hindu Forum of Europe held its AGM in Lisbon on 23rd of June 2017. Mr Radj Bhondoe (of Nethrlands) who has done lot of research in this filed spoke on this topic and emphasized that we should create awareness about Yoga. He pointed out Yoga without dharma is just gymnastics. Yoga without religion is just circus.


There can be different types of Yoga, different schools of Yoga. There is nothing wrong in it. We can adapt it according to our own needs. It is not possible to use just mats made up of grass in Western countries; we may use Yoga mats made up of recyclable materials. But if someone says that anyone can do Yoga without the traditional controls, it is dangerous.

Yoga is taught with the Yamas and Niyamas, in short physical and mental controls. Without these controls, it will open up a Pandora’s Box –other dangers.

Yoga Murder, Yoga rape, Yoga Robbery!

In the Hindu Forum meeting, I was invited to make some comments on Radj Bhonde’s talk. I readily agreed with him. I pointed out we read several news items about saints and ascetics, Babas and Swamijis involved in Rape, murder and theft cases. I warned that the same thing would happen in this field. If there is no control over our physical and mental behaviour it will be disastrous. We may even hear about Yoga murder, Yoga Rapes, Yoga robberies and Yoga thefts. We must warn all the Hindu organisations to create awareness. We don’t need to insist the slogan ‘Yoga without Hinduism is dangerous’; but we must say ‘Yoga without Dharma is dangerous’. Physical and mental controls are essential for yoga practisioners


What I have not told in the Hindu Forum meeting is given below:


Sabarimala, the famous pilgrim centre in Kerala, India attracts 20 million pilgrims within a short span of time- just 40 days. In the olden days, only genuine devotees went to have darshan of Sri Ayyappa alias Dharma Sasta. The very word Sasta gave the English word System. It was a disciplined movement at one time. Now it has become a fashion to wear black/blue dhotis or and black shirts with a Tulsi or Rudraksha mala (garland ); after forty days of fasting their behaviours becomes obnoxious. Some even abused the uniform and robbed people or raped women according to newspaper stories. Fortunately, it was not widespread and now under good control. But Ayyappa devotees don’t command the respect they commanded at one time. Some of them are disciplined only for FORTY DAYS or a Mandala. Yoga may go that way if there is no control.

According to my statistics, there are more Non-Hindus practising “yoga” than the Hindus in the western countries. There are more “Yoga”schools run by westerners than Hindus in European countries. A non-vegetarian or a drinker of alcohol can’t be a Yoga practitioner.  Unless they have the body control and mind control, it is just physical exercise they do. Let them do it for their own health. But it is NOT Yoga. Yoga aims to give a long life in a sound body so that the body can be used to reach spiritual heights. Please spread this awareness. Never ever repeat the words “Yoga has nothing to do with religion”. It is religion; religion of Dharma; religion of self control; religion of good qualities (Satva Guna). Let others tell they teach breathing exercises or Postures for flexible body movements. Don’t abuse or misuse the words ‘Yoga’ and ‘Asana’. Hindus living in Western countries must proclaim this to the world.


(My sincerer thanks to Radj Bhondoe for bringing up this subject for discussion).

I will write about how genuine Yoga that is spread in Portugal by Swami Amrta Suryananda Maharaja tomorrow; I have just returned from Portugal to London)


Mrs Nandini K.Sigla, Indian ambassador to Portugal, is doing Yoga with swamiji’s disciples