"What has yoga got to do with capes " I gripped to M. this morning
M. come back with, "well.... there was Rainbowman".
Maya, you and the kids are going to love this...
"Warrior of Love Rainbowman (愛の戦士レインボーマン Ai no Senshi Reinbōman?) is a tokusatsu series created by Kōhan Kawauchi, this was the first superhero TV series produced by Toho Company Ltd. (the Godzilla guys), and was broadcast on NET (now TV Asahi) from October 6, 1972 to September 18, 1973, with a total of 52 episodes. Mitsuru Adachi wrote a manga series based on the show which was serialized in TV Magazine Otomodachi from 1972 to 1973.
The series focuses on pro wrestler Takeshi Yamato, a young man who, after training in India with the yogi sage Devadatta, gains the ability to transform into a superhero called Rainbowman who possesses seven different superhero forms called "Dashes", with the seven Dashes representing yin and yang (the Moon and the Sun) and the five elements (wu xing) of ancient Chinese philosophy. In each Dash form, (with Dash 1 representing the Moon (yellow), Dash 2 representing fire (red), Dash 3 representing water (blue), Dash 4 representing wood (green), Dash 5 representing metal (gold), Dash 6 representing earth (brown) and Dash 7 representing the Sun (white)), Rainbowman is endowed with a color-coded costume and powers related to that element.. Wikipedia
Turns out the guy who wrote it was a bit right wing thus the baddies are made up of foreign nationals wanting to destroy Japan and the Japanese people.
M. told me not to forget to mention that when Rainbowman gets weak his legs automatically fold into lotus ( no hands lotus post - before party tricks got old) and he falls into a yogic sleep, without breathing (kumbhaka : ) for exactly five hours!
|Devadatta: the Tibetan yogi who trains Rainbowman|
I was trained in the mountains of India,
the soul of Devadatta stayed inside me.
Dream of rainbow over the sky,
I can not go back, so I go forward,
Dash 1, 2, 3
All humans are equal
except in skin colour and language
but we are all together.
Those who try to destroy our bond
I face them,
Dash 4, 5, 6
Whatever happens to me
at the command of love and justice
I cross the seas,
until the end I'll never give up.
I go forward,
Thank you to M. for putting up with being asked to translate the lyrics while rushing to get ready for work and without her contacts in
Click here for the first three episodes
|Am I partly to blame- see my old post|
Updated: Superman bound - Sick for a month!
Not into the whole superhero narrative, these days, it's just practice, no biggie but putting the capes to one side, what a great post.
Love the little Intro's, pithy, concise, like the Links to 'READ MORE', Links to videos, more intros, tutorials, all kinds of goodies, even notes on pranayama and meditation, it's a stunning post.
UPDATE: see the end of the post for my kind of superhero.
A LOT of work went into this post, here's a taste.
and a link to the full post
1. Super Hero Pose: OK, lets face it. The hardest part of our day is getting on our mat – because that also entails getting out of bed. Before dawn. While everyone else is sleeping. To do really hard stuff.
“If we’ve already shown up, we’ve already accomplished the most daunting challenge – and more than half the battle is over.” Read more here.
2. Utkatasana: Utkata is a sanskrit word that translates to wild, frightening, above the usual, and intense – while the pose itself looks like a lightening bolt, burning up your thighs with its fierce electric current as you strike the earth with your feet.
From Kino MacGregor: Be careful not to pooch the lower belly out, but keep it drawn in to support the spine. Lift the spine out of the pelvis and press down into the solid foundation of the legs
2. Hanumanasana: Hanuman is the super-strong, super-rad flying monkey who can carry mountains, jump over seas, and tie you in knots. This champion of Rama teaches us devotion and represents prana, or life force. Who in your life embodies devotion? Give this person a little shout out along with your best attempt at this incredibly challenging posture of 3rd series.
Every super hero also needs courage in the face of fear and Hanuman is there to help! Just call him through his hymn, the Hanuman Challisa, and fear will be kept at bay as the energetic and powerful lord Hanuman helps champion your battle.
22. Pranayama: This is our LIFE FORCE, our own internal lightsaber. Pranayama is the control and directing of the breath – this is one of the 8 limbs of yoga. By practicing pranayama, gradually we learn how to channel the force that lives within us. Try sitting for 5 minutes before each practice and just follow your breath. Forget about controlling or deepening – but as David Keil would say, develop a relationship with it and fall in love. As Mr. Iyengar once said, “A yogi’s life is measured not in the number of days but in the number of his breaths.” So make each one count.
Listen to one of my sessions with meditation teacher, John Churchill, as he teaches me the mindful practice of breathing.
"pooch the belly" ?
....and while on the subject of the dispatch, here's Peg interviewing David Keil for the Dispatch. Nice John Scott story early on, '..go away for three months and focus on the breath and bandhas, says John, '...rather than trying so hard with the asana'.
Oh and our friend LU has posted another couple of interviews on Ashtanga Parampara that I'm yet to sit down and read carefully, click on the names to go to the posts.
Turns out Lynne was a student of Derek (talking of Superhero's)
"Because my speciality in Nursing is Obstetrics, I was asked to teach a pregnancy yoga class in Central London, at around age 50. I continued to attend yoga classes in London with Godfrey Deveraux. One weekend he took me to an Ashtanga yoga class with Derek Ireland, I have never looked back.
I'm amazed that you began kapotasana in your mid 60s. That is incredibly inspiring. You spoke about emotional fear. Do you find these elements from within the practice that require us to confront uncomfortable periods a mirror of how we can approach difficult times in life?
Yes. For years I had experimented with other styles of yoga, but nothing affected me as internally, or as deeply, as the first Ashtanga practice with Derek Ireland. It is this which gives one the courage in the practice, and outside the practice, to grow and make changes.
Changes are never easy, they take time, and they can be complicated, as it is not always just about one’s self, that is when faith in something higher than yourself takes over.
New practitioners may not be able to appreciate the name, Derek Ireland. Can you please share with us who Derek was?
Derek Ireland was from Brighton, England, he was a student of Pattabhi Jois in the early days of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, and he was instrumental in introducing Ashtanga yoga to Europe. He taught many of today’s teachers and practitioners. He also started ‘The Practice place in Crete Greece. He was dynamic, warm and friendly, and an astute teacher and practitioner. He passed away in 1998".
I also missed this interview with
Back to the superhero, thread...
Even Patanjali lists yogic superpowers, the siddhis but then goes on to remind us that they are a distraction from Yoga and warns us not to be waylaid by them
3.38 These experiences resulting from samyama are obstacles to samadhi, but appear to be attainments or powers to the outgoing or worldly mind.
(te samadhau upasargah vyutthane siddhayah)
... unlike perhaps the siddhas
"The Incredible Powers of the Ancient Siddhars
see earlier post HERE
Siddhars are a type of saint in India who are said to have had many powers and achieved a ‘god-like’ state through specific secret practices that were known only to them. These powers spanned from controlling time and space, to transforming the body, manipulating matter at the molecular level and achieving immortality.
The Siddhars were followers of the God Shiva and according to different texts there were 18 of them. Their teachings and findings were written in the form of poems in the Tamil language, a language spoken mainly by people in South India and parts of Sri Lanka. The poems were very difficult to interpret and were written in an encoded way so that only a few could understand them.
There is a debate as to who was the first Siddhar. Some legends talk about Sri Pathanjali, who was considered to be an incarnation of Adiseshan, the celestial five-headed snake associated with God Vishnu. But the prevailing tradition refers to Agasthya (or Agasthyar) as the first Siddhar, one of the seven sages (or Saptarshis) as mentioned in the Vedic texts, and he was the son of the god Brahma of the Hindu creation story. Agathiyar is considered to be the author of a lot of the first Siddhar literature and he was supposed to have lived in the 7th century BC. About 96 books are attributed to him and that includes writings in alchemy, medicine and spirituality. Apart from the legends that exist, the beginnings of the Siddhars’ are lost in time.
The powers that the Siddhars possessed were separated in categories. The main category included 8 powers called ashta siddhis:
1. To become tiny as the atom within the atom (Anima)
2. To become big in unshakeable proportions (Mahima)
3. To become as light as vapour in levitation (Laghima)
4. To become as heavy as the mountain (Garima)
5. To enter into other bodies in transmigration (Prapti)
6. To be in all things, omni-pervasive (Prakamya))
7. To be lord of all creation in omnipotence (Isatvam)
8. To be everywhere in omnipresence (Vasitvam)
But if this is not enough, there are ten secondary siddhis as described in Bhagavata Purana that include the following:
1. Being undisturbed by hunger, thirst, and other bodily appetites
2. Hearing things far away
3. Seeing things far away
4. Moving the body wherever thought goes (teleportation/astral projection)
5. Assuming any form desired
6. Entering the bodies of others
7. Dying when one desires
8. Witnessing and participating in the past times of the gods
9. Perfect accomplishment of one's determination
10. Orders or commands being unimpeded
Siddhar StatuesAmazing as they sound, these abilities could allegedly be achieved with the help of simple tools like controlling breath, concentrating the mind and raising the power of the ‘Kundalini’, which is related to the sexual energy.
Furthermore, the system of healing that the Siddhars possessed was allegedly given to them by the god Murugan, son of the Hindu god Shiva.
Another famous Siddhar was Tirumular, who was a Tamil mystic and writer of 6th century AD and was also one of the 18 Siddhars according to the Tamil Siddha tradition. His main work is named “Tirumantiram”, a 3,000 verse text, which is the foundation of the Southern Shaiva Siddharta School of philosophy".
My favourite Yoga Superhero
My favourite Yoga Superhero
|Mahavira ( 'Founder' of Jainism)|
The Kalpa Sūtra gives a detailed account of his ascetic life
“ The Venerable Ascetic Mahavira for a year and a month wore clothes; after that time he walked about naked, and accepted the alms in the hollow of his hand. For more than twelve years the Venerable Ascetic Mahivira neglected his body and abandoned the care of it; he with equanimity bore, underwent, and suffered all pleasant or unpleasant occurrences arising from divine powers, men, or animals. ”
“ Henceforth the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira was houseless, circumspect in his walking, circumspect in his speaking, circumspect in his begging, circumspect in his accepting (anything), in the carrying of his outfit and drinking vessel; circumspect in evacuating excrements, urine, saliva, mucus, and uncleanliness of the body; circumspect in his thoughts, circumspect in his words, circumspect in his acts; guarding his thoughts, guarding his words, guarding his acts, guarding his senses, guarding his chastity; without wrath, without pride, without deceit, without greed; calm, tranquil, composed, liberated, free from temptations, without egoism, without property; he had cut off all earthly ties, and was not stained by any worldliness: as water does not adhere to a copper vessel, or collyrium to mother of pearl (so sins found no place in him); his course was unobstructed like that of Life; like the firmament he wanted no support; like the wind he knew no obstacles; his heart was pure like the water (of rivers or tanks) in autumn; nothing could soil him like the leaf of a lotus; his senses were well protected like those of a tortoise; he was single and alone like the horn of a rhinoceros; he was free like a bird; he was always waking like the fabulous bird Bharundal, valorous like an elephant, strong like a bull, difficult to attack like a lion, steady and firm like Mount Mandara, deep like the ocean, mild like the moon, refulgent like the sun, pure like excellent gold'; like the earth he patiently bore everything; like a well-kindled fire he shone in his splendour. ”
After twelve and a half years of rigorous penance he achieved Kevala Jnana i.e., realization of perfect perception, knowledge, power, and bliss. The Acharanga sutra describes Mahavira as all-seeing. The Sutrakritanga elaborates the concept as all-knowing and provides details of other qualities of Mahavira. Wikipedia
|The posture (Vajrasana?) in which Mahavira attained Kevala Jñāna|
According to Tattvarthasutra, 2nd century CE Jain text, yoga is the sum of all the activities of mind, speech and body. Umasvati calls yoga the cause of "asrava" or karmic influx as well as one of the essentials—samyak caritra—in the path to liberation. In his Niyamasara, Acarya Kundakunda, describes yoga bhakti—devotion to the path to liberation—as the highest form of devotion. Acarya Haribhadra and Acarya Hemacandra mention the five major vows of ascetics and 12 minor vows of laity under yoga. This has led certain Indologists like Prof. Robert J. Zydenbos to call Jainism, essentially, a system of yogic thinking that grew into a full-fledged religion. The five yamas or the constraints of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali bear a resemblance to the five major vows of Jainism, indicating a history of strong cross-fertilization between these traditions. Wikipedia