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Stretching, Science and the Wisdom of Ashtanga yoga

Active stretching in Ashtanga Yoga is for us to experience our true nature in practice and on how to perform each posture with sensitivity, awareness and heightened concentration.

Eventually, when the posture is known, we can drop the details and "be" in the posture. Effort ceases; the posture is expressed from within; meditation on infinity occurs. Infinity is a quality of our true nature.

via Ashtanga Yoga: Practice and Philosophy