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dimanche, 30 avril 2006

NATA YOGA

                                                         Nata Yoga is the expression of Lord Shiva’s eternal dance, often referred to as the Shiva Tandava or Shiva’s vigorous dance which is the source of the cycle of creation, preservation and dissolution. According to the Puranas, Shiva dances a wild and vigorous (tandava) dance in the cremation grounds at night but dances a soft and graceful (lasya) dance in the tranquillity of the twilight. The nata Shastra of Bharata Muni is referred to as the fifth veda. The fourth chapter is titled ‘The Characteristics of the Tandava dance’. At the beginning of this chapter Lord Shiva declares:

‘I have conceived a dance since I am fond of dancing every evening. It is embellished with different karanas and angaharas.’

He goes on to describe the 108 karanas and the 32 anghaharas - the composite parts of the dance and then states:

‘…. the aforementioned 108 karanas enumerated by me may be employed in the course of dance, fight, personal combats and in other special movements like strolling.’

In this reference to “special” strolling there is a hidden confirmation of the existence of soft martial arts – like tai chi and chi gong in ancient India. These practices have always been utilized in the building of inner power through natural and unimposed movements; these serve to prepare the practitioner for the seated meditative practices (asanas).

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