excerpts from Yoga Journal
I think I should describe the circumstances under which I happened to be associated with yoga. When I was a little boy of 13, I happened to witness a yogi performing some of the yogasanas. A surprised crowd was watching him with rapt attention and admiration. I watched him, but I did not stop with that. I asked myself why can I not do what that yogi was doing. Curiosity and determination to perform yoga were uppermost in my mind.
In Arabic, namaz is known as ‘salaat’, which is derived from ‘silaa’ meaning ‘meeting’. Thus namaz is a means for meeting God; that is, during namaz man’s submission and God’s acceptance take place. Namaz consists of rakaats, each rakaat being a series of 7 postures. For example, before sunrise, 2 rakaats or 14 postures must be performed. Thus each Muslim is under obligation to perform 119 postures per day, that is 3750 postures per month and 42,840 postures per year.
At this juncture it dawned upon my mind, like an insight, that namaz postures are similar to yogic postures and therefore namaz, while being performed as a religious obligation, can simultaneously give the namazee all the benefits of yoga. I became convinced that the 7 postures of namaz are the simplified and condensed versions of yogic postures in their external and internal qualities.
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