Now suppose there is a man who has not known what it is to sleep since he was born; he will never lie down. If after thirty years he wants to fall asleep he will lie down for the first time. For the first time the condition of his mind will have changed in this respect and he will go to sleep. However, he will be very much intrigued by the new posture, as his body has never before assumed it. Beforehand he would sit, stand, or walk, but never lie down. Now he has to lie down to provide the necessary conditions for sleep. When the body is lying down the mind finds it easier to slip into a particular state. But different people have different ways of lying down because the state of mind of each person is different.
For instance, a man from a tribal area will not put a pillow under his head, but for a civilized person it is impossible to sleep without one. A tribal person does so little thinking that the flow of blood to his head is much less. For sleep it is essential that the flow of blood toward the head be as little as possible. If it is too much you will not be able to sleep. If the nerves of the brain do not relax it will be difficult for you to relax; the blood will keep on flowing to the brain. Then you add one more pillow and then another. The more educated and civilized a person is, the more cultured he is, the greater the number of pillows that he requires under his head. The neck should be almost vertical to prevent the flow of blood toward the brain.
The posture of the body corresponds to one’s state of mind. So with the awakening of the energy within and its movements in different ways, asanas begin to form. The different chakras also take the body into different asanas. Thus, various postures are formed. As a particular state begins to form within, the expressions of your hands, face and eyes change. This happens in meditation. As a result, the reverse has also come into man’s attention: that is, when performing these asanas is it possible to go into meditation? It is necessary to understand this.
In meditation these processes may take place, but they are not inevitable. In other words, all meditators do not pass through the same body processes. One thing has to be born in mind: every meditator’s state of body and mind is different from another’s – therefore, everybody will not pass through the same asanas. For instance, if the flow of blood is less toward the head of one meditator and if a greater flow is required for the awakening of the kundalini, without thinking he will immediately adopt shirshasana, the headstand posture. All meditators will not go into this asana because the rate of the flow of blood is different in each; each one has different requirements. So asanas will form according to the need of each meditator.
When we ourselves select asanas and practice them, we do not know which particular asana is useful or necessary for us. Asanas can be harmful as well as helpful. If they are not required in the case of a particular meditator they can prove harmful – if they are needed they will be of help. A difficulty arises with this uncertainty. Another difficulty is that when something is happening inside and simultaneously something begins to happen outwardly, then the energy will move outward. Or when we perform an act from the outside it may be no more than a physical performance.