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Hatha Yoga Tip

DIAMOND – Intermediate – Advanced

Diamond is a complete back bend which gives a wonderful stretch to the front body. This posture revitalizes the solar plexus area.

Kneel first, tops of the feet flat on the mat, knees hip-width apart. Next, sit between the heels on the mat. Slowly lower the torso onto the mat using the elbows to guide, finally coming to a lying position, with the knees bent. Position your arms behind your head, each hand clasping the opposite elbow. Relax here of 30 seconds, belly breathing slowly and rhythmically.

For the advanced pose of the Diamond, continue by placing your palms flat on the mat on either side of the head, fingertips as close to the shoulders as possible. Inhale and push into the hands to lift the head and shoulders off the mat. Tilt head back and place top of head onto the mat, similar in the steps into Chakrasana. Lift the hips off the mat. Keep light weight on the head. To go further into the full Diamond, inhale again and push into the arms to raise the torso even higher so to assist moving your head closer to your feet increasing the arch of the back. Walk the hands closer to the feet, rest on the elbows, pushing them firmly into the mat. Extend through the spine. Extend the hips forward away from the body as you breathe deeply. Hold for up to 30 seconds.

To release, walk you hands away from the feet and lower the head and shoulders back to the mat. Next, to push up, place your elbows next to your lower back, push into the elbows to lift the torso up and into a forward bend, child’s pose. Finally come to sitting position and extend the legs.


Activates prana to circulate from the solar plexus throughout the whole body.
Stretches the whole front line of the body – the ankles, thighs and groins, abdomen, chest and throat.
Revitalizes the solar plexus area
Tones the lungs with deep inhalations
Stretches the Psoas
Improves posture

Counter posture: Child’s Pose – Balasana

This yoga asana is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram partly sourced and edited from the Sivananda Publication: “Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion” – Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre – 2010.

Without service, merely doing only pranayama and asanas, your ego will develop. Do not enter that state of ego culture. – Sw. Vishnudevananda

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Dwell in the Divine. Live and move in it. Get absorbed in the Divine Flame. – Sri Swami Sivananda


KSHURASYA DHARA – the razor’s edge

The Katha Upanishad refers to the spiritual path as the kshurasya dhara, the razor’s edge.
uttiṣṭhata jāgrata prāpya varānnibodhata | 
kśurasya dhārā niśitā duratyayā durgaṃ pathastatkavayo vadanti || 14 ||

14. Arise, awake. Having reached the great teachers, learn from them. The edge of a razor is sharp and impassable. That path, the intelligent say, is hard to go by.

Commentary: Stop not until the Goal is reached. Approach the wise teachers and learn from them. The spiritual path is like the sharp edge of a razor and difficult to tread alone. The importance of the human teacher cannot be overestimated. “Study of scriptures without a Guru, for mere intellectual knowledge alone, will only lead to ajnana — ignorance,” says Lord Vasishta.

Lord Vasishta also says, “If higher knowledge is not already in the soul, then rebirth continues and there will be no other recourse than to suffer cause and effect. Even striving for light will not bestow any real benefit, for to seek enlightenment without the mantra, the teachings and the guru, is like trying to grow crops only at night.”

It is in the nature of man to strive for happiness, but all the happiness which he can gain by his actions is only of limited duration. – Sri Swami Sivananda