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The Stories Behind the Poses : The Indian mythology that inspired 50 yoga postures - Raj Balkaran

The Stories Behind the Poses

The Indian mythology that inspired 50 yoga postures

By: Raj Balkaran

Hardcover | 15 June 2022

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Discover the traditional stories and wisdom behind your favourite yoga poses in this stunningly illustrated book of Indian mythology for yogis of all levels.

A beautifully written introduction to Indian mythology, join storyteller, scholar and teacher, Dr Raj Balkaran, and explore the unforgettable tales behind 50 key yoga poses, such as:

  • Vīrabhadrāsana II, the original warrior pose
  • Tāḍāsana, mountain pose
  • Bhujaṅgāsana, cobra pose
  • Garuḍāsana, eagle pose
  • Padmāsana, lotus pose
  • Vīrāsana, hero pose
  • Śavāsana, corpse pose
Meet iconic Gods and Goddesses, from Gaṇeśa, the elephant-headed god of wisdom, to Śiva, Lord of Yogis, and Kali, goddess of mind, body, soul and death. Explore the rivalry between the sages Vasiṣṭha and Viśvāmitra, and their cosmic feud over a wish-fulfilling cow.

Plunge into the depths of one of the richest myths in Hinduism: the battle between the demons and the gods who churn the cosmic oceans in search for the elixir of immortality. And learn how Śiva got his blue throat!

Learn, through the mythology of the poses, more about the roots of this ancient practice and how you can use their teachings to better appreciate and respect yoga's true origins.

Enhance your practice by reading one story before or at the end of class, and incorporating the poses and their teaching into your life, as well as your yoga practice, and transform the way you view and practice this timeless art.

About the Author

Dr Raj Balkaran is a renowned scholar of Hindu mythology and author of The Goddess and the King in Indian Myth (2018) and The Goddess and the Sun in Indian Myth (2020). He holds advanced degrees in Hinduism from the University of Toronto and University of Calgary. A seasoned online educator with a global cohort of students, Dr Balkaran also teaches online courses privately and at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. He apprenticed with an Indian master for twelve years as part of a living oral tradition dedicated to the preservation and application of Hindu mythology and philosophy. He therefore brings hundreds of hours of traditional transmissions of yoga philosophy tothe table, which he dovetails with academic rigor and captivating storytelling.

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