October 07, 2012

Swing Low

Lolasana, the Pendant (or Swinging) Pose, asks you to tuck your torso and bent legs (with the ankles crossed) into a tight ball, then to raise that ball and support its weight with your arms. Once suspended, the ball is rocked between the arms like a swing. The ankles are crossed one way to start, then the pose is repeated with the ankle-cross reversed.

The histories of poses like Padmasana (Lotus Pose) are long forgotten, but we do know something about Lolasana's past. According to yoga researcher N.E. Sjoman, it was once known as jhula ("to swing" in Hindi) and belonged to a system of Indian gymnastics described in the early text "Light on Exercise" (Vyayama Dipika). The Mysore Palace's yoga teacher, T. Krishnamacharya, now recognized as one of the giants of 20th-century yoga, used the classic text and probably rechristened jhula and other exercises, elevating them to asana status and changing the face of traditional yoga forever.


The Swing of Things


Padmasana (Lotus Pose)


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